Why Does London Have So Many Airports?

I grew up in New York City so I was always used to having 3 airports within a reasonable distance – JFK, LaGuardia and, the one closest to me, Newark. When I moved to Orlando, there was only the one big airport in town. Although if you’re willing to drive an extra 45 to 75 minutes and have greatly diminished choices of flights and airlines, Sanford and Melbourne could be options, too. But again, there are 3.

So I always thought it was pretty cool to have 3 airports within a reasonable distance, especially in light of so many cities only having 1. But now I think I’m developing airport envy, because of London? They have 6 airports. SIX! The history of all the airports in London (including some that have disappeared) is pretty cool. Here’s a funny but informative history lesson on them all…

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Should You Stay Near The Airport Or In The City?

When having a morning flight, there’s always the question of whether it’s better to stay at a hotel near the airport or should you stay in the city. My best answer to this question is an emphatic, “It’s Complicated.”

I know, you’re thinking what a cop-out that is. You wanted me to tell you what to do. If you’ve read any of my posts, you should know I’m not going to tell anyone what to do. What I will do is give you some of the questions you need to ask to make the best decision based your situation and throw in some examples we’ve been in and what we’ve learned from the choices we’ve made.

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Well, This Is Someone You Don’t Expect To See Working At London Heathrow!

Traveling is an adventure and you never know who or what you’re going to see or experience. People joining the Mile High Club while in their seats on the plane. A concert on your plane. Getting a totally unexpected upgrade on your flight.

So when you arrive at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London Heathrow and James Corden is there to greet you, serve you drinks, make announcements, and a whole bunch more, you know it’s going to be an adventure. Take a look…

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Flight Review: Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy JFK-LHR on an A330

On our most recent trip to London, Sharon and I decided that we would save some miles and book tickets in Virgin Atlantic’s Premium (Economy) cabin for the flights. When using Delta SkyMiles, each segment in Premium costs 55,000 miles while a segment in Upper Class costs 120,000 miles. We were able to find flights from New York JFK to London Heathrow on an A330. A round trip on this flight would cost anywhere from $1,600 to $4,000. We’d never flown with Virgin in their Premium cabin before, so what did we think of their product?

The first noticeable difference is that when you’re flying in Premium, you don’t get lounge access like you do when you’re flying in Upper Class. While that’s not a huge deal, it did hurt a little bit inside knowing that the Virgin Clubhouse was just down the hall but I was sitting for my flight with this view:

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To say the area of JFK’s Terminal 4 where Virgin Atlantic departs from is bland is a bit of an understatement. (Insert any generic airport picture here, but no, this is actually JFK).

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Taking The “Express” May Not Be The Fastest Way From The Airport To London

If you’re flying to London and need to get from the airport to your hotel, it would be no surprise if you Googled “Heathrow to London.” If you do that, this will most likely be the first hit:

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While taking the express train will be the fastest way to get between the airport and the terminus station in London, if that’s not your final destination then the “express” may not be the fastest, and definitely not be the cheapest way for you to get from point A to point B.

We’ve visited London several times and have always used public transportation to get from the airport to our hotel and back. Even if that meant waking up early in the morning to catch the first Underground train of the day headed to Heathrow Airport from Kings Cross.

So it came as quite a surprise to me that while you’re bound to see marketing for either the Heathrow Express or Gatwick Express trains unless you’re conveniently located near to their final destination, there may be other cheaper, faster and more convenient options available.

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