Many of us put lots of time into gleaning the best airfare for our weekend break or annual holiday but often don’t take into account the cost of getting from central London to the airport. When we turn up at the ticket office, it may come as a surprise to discover we need to shell out minimum £32 return to get to Heathrow from Paddington, an amount that would likely buy a drink and some tapas for two in your destination.
So let’s look at alternatives. If you find yourself already in Paddington with your suitcase, there’s a cheaper alternative to the £32 Heathrow Express. You can take the Heathrow Connect (www.heathrowconnect.com) with returns from £16.50. That’s half price, so well worth considering if you can afford the extra 10-20 minutes journey time.
The real bargain which will help you save your hard earned cash is the Underground from £5.40 return with an Oystercard and £10 normal fare. You’ll need to allow an hour from central London. Time may be money but if you’re not in a rush, it’s quite a saving.
If you’re flight leaves from Gatwick, the Gatwick Express will set you back from £25.90 return from Victoria, but a return with Southern railways (www.southernrailway.com) starts at just £7.50 return and takes only 10 minutes longer.
If you’re flying from, or into, Easy Jet hub Stansted, the Stansted Express costs from £27.70 return from Liverpool Street. It’s the only rail option and takes around 45 minutes, but you can save money by taking the National Express bus (www.nationalexpress.com) from Victoria. Return fares start at £17.50 return and journey time is around 90 minutes.
So if you’ve bagged a bargain flight and don’t want to push up the overall cost of your holiday before you even take off, remember to check the above mentioned alternatives for getting to London airports.