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London’s main airports - Important info, top sights and fun facts

Monday, June 18, 2018

London is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and has many different airports to cope with the large demand of passengers flying in and out of the city. In this post, we wanted to enlighten our readers with some information about the main London airports, such as things to do nearby, statistics, history and some other fun facts!

Is your connecting flight from London and you have some spare time? are here to help you make the most of your time in this world-famous city.

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London’s Main airports; an introduction

London Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in all of Europe, ferrying 77,989,371 passengers all across the world in 2017. There is plenty to do if you find yourself with a bit of time at Heathrow, be it for a layover or final destination. Here are some facts about the UK’s main airport.

  • Date Opened: 1946
  • Top things to see nearby: The Merry Pedaller (cycle route), Langley Country Park, Twickenham Stadium (world famous rugby stadium)
  • Main Airlines: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines
  • Main International Destinations: New York, Dubai, Dublin
  • Fun fact - For the 2003 film, Love Actually, passengers shown reuniting in the opening monologue were real passengers at Heathrow airport.

London Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is another one of London’s main airports, and is the 8th busiest in Europe! While often seen as secondary to Heathrow, Gatwick is a popular international airport in its own right. If you are visiting the UK via London Gatwick or simply have a long layover, there is plenty for you to do!

  • Date Opened:1933
  • Top things to see: Gatwick Aviation Museum, Archway Theatre Horley, Gatwick Footgolf Centre Ltd.
  • Main Airlines: easyJet, TUI Airlines, British Airways
  • Main International Destinations: Barcelona, Dublin, Malaga
  • Fun fact - “Gatwik” is comprised of the Old English words “Gat” (or “goat”) and “wik” (“farm”), so the name means, essentially, “goat farm”. Maybe they should have a goat farm at the airport!

London Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport has a rich history, first being used by the RAF as an airfield in the 2nd World War, but opened as an airport much later. Since then Stansted has consistently developed into one of London and the UK’s favourite airports. Here are some key pieces of information if you would like to learn more about Stansted Airport.

  • Date Opened:1966
  • Top things to see: Mountfitchet Castle, House on the Hill Toy Museum, Whoosh Explore
  • Main Airlines: Ryanair, Jet2, easyJet
  • Main Destinations: Dublin, Milan, Rome
  • Fun fact - Stansted Airport’s Burger King is the busiest airport BK serving more than 400,000 hungry travellers annually.

London Luton Airport

Previously known as Luton International Airport, London Luton might not be as big as its neighbours Heathrow and Gatwick, but it still a great airport in its own right. Below we have outlined some interesting information surrounding Luton airport.

  • Date Opened: 16 July 1938
  • Top things to see: Stockwood discovery centre, Wrest Park, Woodside Animal Farm and Leisure Park
  • Main Airlines: easyJet, TUI airlines, Wizz Air
  • Main Destinations: Budapest, Frankfurt, Paris
  • Fun fact - Airport police dogs at Luton have personalised ID cards

Top things to see in London

If you are visiting London from any of its airports, there are so many great things to do and see in this famous capital city. Below we have outlined some of the top picks of things to do while you are visiting London.

  1. Warner Bros studio tour (Harry Potter) - Harry Potter is often one of the first things that comes to mind when people think of the UK. So why not explore the sets and studio behind J.K Rowling’s magical world?
  2. Buckingham Palace - The British Royal family is loved and observed from all around the world, with Kate and William’s wedding being viewed by over 24 million people in the UK alone. Visiting Buckingham palace is an exciting prospect for many tourists eager to view the changing of the guard.
  3. London Eye - Now officially known as the Coca Cola London Eye (which has had mixed reactions), the London Eye is one of the poster attractions of London. You may not feel a need to actually go round but this is still a must see for many tourists when visiting London.
  4. Tower of London - The Tower of London has played a prominent role throughout English history, operating as an armoury, treasury, menagerie and most famously as a prison. Today it functions as one of London’s most popular tourist sites and has been identified as a world heritage site.
  5. London’s free museums - If you are looking for a cheaper way to explore London, then look no further than the cities world-class free museums! This includes the Natural History museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert museum and many more!
  6. Theatre (Lion King, Les Mis etc.) - perfect for some evening entertainment in London, the theatre has many great plays on offer for cheaper prices than you might expect. Some great plays to consider are Les Miserables, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and many more!

Many view London as a very expensive place to visit, and this can be true. However if you are looking for some cheap places to eat, Timeout has created the perfect list for people looking to dine cheaply in this great city.

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Flight delay statistics for London Airports

At we specialise in claiming compensation for delayed passengers, so this blog would be incomplete without giving you the low down on the facts surrounding flight delays at London’s main airports! Using our data from the last Quarter (January to March 2018) we have highlighted to statistics for these airports below.

London Heathrow

  • Percentage of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time = 77.37%
  • Total flights = 47’713
  • Total delayed flights = 10’796
  • 120 delayed flights per day

London Gatwick

  • Percentage of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time = 72.21%
  • Total flights = 29’019
  • Total delayed flights = 8’063
  • 90 delayed flights per day

London Stansted

  • Percentage of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time = 66.81%
  • Total flights = 18’175
  • Total delayed flights = 6’032
  • 67 delayed flights per day

London Luton

  • Percentage of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time = 75.15%
  • Total flights = 10’864
  • Total delayed flights = 2’700
  • 30 delayed flights per day

Compensation for a flight delay at one of London’s Airports

If you have been delayed at any of the airports above then we are here to help! Under EU regulations passengers delayed at any airport in the European Union for more than 3 hours are entitled to up to 600 Euros in compensation! To see if you are entitled to compensation, use our free flight checker! Don’t worry, using this checker is free and non-committal! But if you would like us to make a claim for you then this is on a no-win-no-fee basis, even if we have to take the airline to court on your behalf.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and are all set to make the most of your time visiting London!