Transit Options from Heathrow to Luton Airport
Luton Airport is located north of downtown London whereas LHR Airport lies on the west side. Hence, if you want to traverse the 34-mile/55km distance from London Heathrow to Luton, you’ll have the following options in your hands: airport taxis and Heathrow airport transfers are the most convenient options, whereas airport car rentals are ideal for independent journeys. On the other hand, buses travel directly from Heathrow Airport to Luton Airport, and trains and subway lines provide cheap yet not straightforward rides between the two London airports.
|Options||Price (£)||Price (€)||Price ($)||Duration|
Heathrow to Luton by Taxi
Heathrow airport taxis are widely preferred by passengers looking for a convenient option for their ride from LHR to LTN Airport. However, there are actually two types of taxis providing equally top services. As a matter of fact, in both cases, drivers are background checked and pass through frequent medical exams.
Hence, black taxis are purpose-made vehicles that can accommodate up to 5 passengers. They are also known as black cabs or hackney carriages but can be of any color even though they are called black. They can be reserved online or hired from the airport taxi ranks. All taxi ranks are to be found outside the terminals’ Arrivals level. Please note that an official black taxi has a “Taxi” light on its roof – showing its availability-, a white license number indicating useful info such as the vehicle’s license, and a green or yellow license sticker stuck on its windshield. What’s more, the taxi driver must bear a green or yellow badge as well.
If you intend on catching your black cab from the taxi rank, you should keep in mind that during rush hours, waiting lines are a common phenomenon.
On the other hand, minicabs (private-hire vehicles) can be of any color or vehicle type. They must have the Transport for London license disk on their front and rear windows, and their drivers must wear a private-hire ID. You won’t find a minicab at the airport taxi ranks, as they can only be reserved online. Thus, you’ll find your Heathrow airport minicab waiting at your terminal’s Short-term Parking Lot. You should remember that waiting time at the LHR Car Park may add an extra fee to the final cost.
The ride from London Heathrow to Luton will cost approximately the same whether you choose to travel with a black cab or with a minicab. Verily, even though minicabs offer pre-determined fares and black cabs are metered, their rates are approximately the same. In fact, minicabs are somewhat less expensive. In any case, the charging system of black taxis is very complicated. That being said, you should pay around 70£/80.50€/86.50$ for your journey from Heathrow Airport to Luton Airport, while the ride should last around 50 minutes. However, during rush hours, traveling time can be up to 85 minutes, and the cost also rises considerably.
Our Tip: Although they provide metered services in general, some drivers of Heathrow black taxis may negotiate a fixed price for the between-the-airports ride. Still, if the taximeter shows a lower price, the passenger is obligated to pay that lower fare.
Heathrow to Luton by Bus
If you are looking for a cheap and comfortable way to travel from Heathrow Airport to Luton, you should opt for a bus ride. Verily, the National Express Company provides inter-airport routes with comfortable coaches kitted with charging outlets and luggage storage space. They even offer free Wi-Fi and travel directly from LHR to LTN.
The National Express Shuttles depart from the Heathrow Central Bus Station, located near terminals 2 and 3, and from the T5 Bus Station. Shuttles run from 06:40 am to 00:05 am and need around 45-70 minutes to get from London Heathrow to Luton Airport.
The tickets for the National Express Coaches vary. As a matter of fact, in-advance reservations guarantee lower prices. Still, rates start from 18£/21€/22.50$, while you can pay an extra 5£/5.80€/6.20$ fee and have the possibility of catching a route 12 hours before or after the ticket’s departure time. This option will be proven very handy in case your flight to Heathrow Airport gets delayed.
Apart from the online bookings (recommended as you may find tempting deals and won’t be charged a booking fee), you can buy your ticket from the automatic vendors at the Heathrow Central Bus Station (24/7). On the other hand, tickets from the automatic machines at T5 can be used from 08:00 am to 10:00 pm (in other words, as long as the station is open).
Heathrow to Luton by Train/Subway
Unfortunately, the bus is the only public transit mode traveling directly from Heathrow Airport to Luton Airport. Still, passengers enjoying rail journeys (either train or subway rides) can opt for an indirect yet safe train ride from London Heathrow to Luton. Verily, they can reach the St Pancras Station in the city center and catch the ThamesLink or the East Midlands Railway routes to LTN Airport.
The ThamesLink Trains run around the clock from St Pancras to Luton Airport Parkway. From there, passengers have to use the DART Shuttle heading to the LTN terminal, a 3-4-minute ride away. The Dart Shuttle is available around the clock. The ThamesLink routes operate 24/7 on a frequent basis and need just 33-43 minutes to reach Luton Airport Parkway. Their prices start from 22.40£/26.20€/28.10$. Tickets can be bought from the station’s ticket kiosks and automatic machines or online, while contactless payments are, in general terms, also accepted. Nevertheless, online reservations are highly advisable as they can save you time at the station (no need to wait in line for your ticket) and money (you won’t be charged for booking fees). You’ll find low-cost off-peak tickets -for rides during the non-peak hours-, anytime tickets, and the cheapest super off-peak tickets valid for weekend journeys and transit during public holidays.
Please remember to buy a “through ticket”, including the onward DART ride to Luton Airport.
The other option to travel from St Pancras Station to Luton is the East Midlands Railway (EMR) services. Departing from St Pancras, trains reach Luton Airport Parkway in just 32 minutes. They run from 05:45 am to 11:54 pm on weekdays, from 05:33 am to 10:18 pm on Saturdays, and from 09:00 am to 11:00 pm on Sundays at an around 30-minute frequency. From Luton Airport Parkway, you’ll have to use the DART Shuttle to get to the terminal. You can expect a 3-4-minute journey, while DART routes run around the clock. Tickets are priced at around 22.40£/26.20€/28.10$. Still, advance tickets (a limited number of tickets that must be booked early in advance) may cost less than 10£/11.70€/12.50$. Please keep in mind that these prices include the DART ride as well.
How to Get from Heathrow to St Pancras
One option for your ride from Heathrow to St Pancras is the Elizabeth Line. The train runs from the London Underground Station lying close to T2 and T3 (from 05:21 am (05:54 am on Sundays) to 00:12 am), from the T4 Rail Hub (from 05:30 am (06:03 on Sundays) to 11:47 pm), and from the T5 Train Station (from 05:15 am (05:49 am on Sundays) to 00:07 am). It is available every 30 minutes from the T4 and T5 Rail Stations and every 15 minutes from T2/T3 London Underground Station. Nevertheless, it doesn’t reach St Pancras. Thus, you’ll have to alight at Tottenham Court Road Station and change to Northern Line (tube) to Euston. After a 3-minute journey, you’ll hop to Victoria Line at Euston Station and travel to King’s Cross St.Pancras (just a 1-minute ride). From there, you’ll walk to your platform. Thus, the traveling time from Heathrow Airport to St Pancras (including the two-time change of lines) will be 36 minutes, and the cost will be 13.30£/15.40€/16.40$ (slightly higher if you buy a paper ticket).
Hence, the total journey from Heathrow to Luton Airport (Elizabeth Line + ThamesLink or EMR) is around 70 minutes, and its cost is approximately 35.70£/41.70€/44.70$.
Alternatively, you can take the fast Heathrow Express traveling from the T2/T3 Rail Station and the station of T5 to Paddington Station. Its traveling time is just 15 minutes, and it runs every 15 minutes from 05:20 am to midnight. After 10:00 pm, routes become scarcer (every 30 minutes). Once alighting at Paddington Station, you’ll have to take the Hammersmith & City Line heading towards King’s Cross St.Pancras. From there, you’ll walk your way to your platform (approximately 4 minutes away on foot). Your ride from Heathrow to St Pancras will last around 35-40 minutes and will cost you 27.70£/32.10€/34.40$.
Therefore, if you combine the Heathrow Express with ThamesLink or the EMR to travel from LHR to LTN, you should expect a 72-minute journey at a 50.10£/58.60€/62.80$ price.
Your last alternative is the cheap yet not so convenient (as it often gets crowded and doesn’t have luggage space) London Underground (tube). Picadilly Line connects London Heathrow Airport to downtown London at a 5-10-minute frequency, departing from all terminals. Nevertheless, its operating hours differ from day to day, and even from time to time. Thus, you can check a summary idea of its timetable:
|Heathrow Terminal||Monday - Thursday||Friday||Saturday||Sunday|
|T2/T3||05:12 am - 11:45 pm||05:12 am - 03:07 am||03:17 am - 03:07 am||03:17 am - 11:20 pm|
|T4||05:02 am - 11:35 pm||05:02 am - 11:37 am||05:06 am - 11:38 am||05:42 am - 10:37 pm|
|T5||05:22 am - 11:42 pm||05:22 am - 03:04 am||03:14 am - 03:04 am||03:14 am - 11:25 pm|
Picadilly Line isn’t just the cheapest option for your ride to St Pancras, but it is also the only direct one. Thus, it is considered the most value-for-money solution. Nevertheless, its main drawback is time. Verily, you’ll travel directly from Heathrow to St Pancras, paying just 5.60£/6.50€/7$. However, you’ll need 55 minutes to reach your destination.
All in all, the total duration of the ride with Picadilly Line and ThamesLink or EMR from London Heathrow to Luton Airport is 90 minutes, but the total cost is just 28£/32.70/35$.
How to Pay for the Ride from Heathrow to St Pancras Station
You can pay for your ride with Elizabeth Line with either of the following methods:
- Paper Tickets: you can purchase them from the airport’s ticket offices or automatic machines. They are more expensive than the other methods, yet they are a very convenient way to pay if you don’t intend on using London public transit means ever again.
- Oyster Card: the famous rechargeable cards can be loaded with money or Travelcards. At a 7£/8.10€/8.65$ cost, they are valid for all public transit modes and can save you a considerable amount of money when operating based on the “pay as you go” system. Thus, if you touch in your Oyster Card (at the designated yellow card readers) before leaving the airport stations and also touch it out at St Pancras Station, you’ll activate the “pay as you go” system, and you’ll be charged up to a daily cap (calculated based on various factors such as the traversed distance, the traveling time, etc.). After reaching that cap, you won’t be charged for any other transit up to 04:29 am the next day. On the other hand, up to 4 children aged 11-15 per one adult travel for free.
- Visitor Oyster Card: a rechargeable card that can be purchased only online (through the VisitBritain Shop) at a 5£/5.80€/6.20$ cost. It is delivered to the buyer’s home address. However, it can’t be loaded with Travelcards.
- Travelcards: allow unlimited rides with all public transit modes for 1, 2, or 3 days. Depending on where you are planning to travel (which London’s Zones), you’ll have to pick a 1-4-zone Travelcard or a 1-6-zone Travelcard. Heathrow Airport is located in Zone 6. Thus, the cost of a 1-day Travelcard for Zones 1-6 is 15.20£/17.60€/18.80$. Travelcards can also be bought only online. They are mailed to the purchaser’s address.
- Contactless payment: you can also benefit from the “pay as you go” system as long as you use the same device when you touch in and out.
Tickets for Heathrow Express can be bought online or through the ticket offices and the automatic vendors at Heathrow Airport. You can also use Oyster Cards or pay contactless. However, rides with Heathrow Express aren’t calculated for the daily caps. On the other hand, Travelcards can’t be used for Heathrow Express journeys. In any case, children younger than 15 travel out of charge.
As far as payments for London Underground are concerned, Oyster Cards, Travelcards, contactless payments, or the slightly costlier paper tickets are all accepted.
Car Rental from Heathrow to Luton
A Heathrow airport car rental will allow you to schedule your travel from Heathrow to Luton at your own pace and, if time is on your side, to make in-between stops before your upcoming flight from LTN Airport. Indeed, if you use public transit modes, you’ll add a significant amount of hassle and time to your journey, whereas airport taxis are considered rather expensive. Heathrow car rentals aren’t cheap either. Nevertheless, if you book your rental car early in advance and compare your options, you’ll most likely find competitive prices and tempting deals.
Your ride from London Heathrow to Luton should last around 50 minutes. When roads are congested (during rush hours), you should expect an even 85-minute journey. It is crucial to calculate the traveling time correctly to avoid losing your next flight. Once arriving at LTN Airport, you may have to return the London car rental or park it. As far as the parking options are concerned, apart from the nearby solutions, you can choose one of the Luton parking facilities. Verily, Luton Airport offers both short-term and long-term car parks, while you can settle on the Mid Stay Car Park, an 8-10-minute walk to the airport terminals.
Heathrow Airport Transfers from Heathrow to Luton
If you are searching for the most lavish way to travel from Heathrow to Luton, you should definitely book a Heathrow airport transfer. In that way, you’ll have your driver waiting at the Arrivals level of your LHR terminal, ready to help you with your personal items and drive you to Luton Airport, giving you useful tips and hints on the way. If you want any extra amenities for your LHR to LTN ride, all you’ll have to do is add them during the booking process. Heathrow airport transfers are appreciated for their tailored services. Still, they are more expensive than airport taxis. Nevertheless, plenty of private airport transfer companies are present at London Heathrow. Therefore, if you search and contrast the options, you’ll probably find a similarly priced solution for your Heathrow to Luton transfer.
Is there a shuttle between Luton and Heathrow?
The National Express Company handles rides from Heathrow to Luton. Running from 06:40 am to 00:005 am, coaches need 45-70 minutes to get from LHR to LTN, while the prices of their tickets start from 18£/21€/22.50$.
How much is it from Heathrow to Luton?
Fares for the ride from London Heahtrow to Luton Airport vary depending on the chosen transit mode, the time of the day, etc. Overall, a taxi ride from LHR to LTN costs 70£/80.50€/86.50$, whereas Heathrow airport transfers are slightly costlier. On the other hand, the bus rates start from 18£/21€/22.50$, and the indirect rail rides cost from 28£/32.70€/35$ to 50.10£/58.60€/62.80$.
How long is the transfer from Heathrow to Luton?
Airport taxis, Heathrow airport transfers, and car rentals need 50 minutes to get from LHR to LTN (around 85 minutes if traffic is heavy), while the straightforward buses get to their destination in 45-70 minutes. On the other hand, indirect train and subway rides can last from 70 to 90 minutes.