6 Cheapest Airports to Fly Into London (Updated 2023)

by Flora
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Discovering London doesn’t require a royal budget. Focusing on the cheapest airports to fly into London, this guide unveils the secrets to exploring the city, all while keeping an eye on affordability. Join us on a journey that marries cost-saving with unforgettable adventures in the heart of the UK!

London: where the old meets the new, where history comes alive, and where every alley has a story. It is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Europe. Just imagining the cobbled streets, the iconic double-decker buses, and the buzzing nightlife gets the heart racing. But before diving into this urban wonderland, there’s the all-important decision of choosing your entry point into this city.

London offers a grand total of six airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City, and Southend. Each one has its unique flavor, advantages, and, yes, even some downsides. Especially if you’re counting those pennies, picking the right airport can make all the difference to your trip and wallet.

Sure, you might find a steal of a flight deal, but there’s more to consider. What about those extras? Like the price of that airport latte or how much you’ll shell out for a train ride to the city’s heart. It’s not just about the flight ticket; it’s the whole package.

In this guide, you’re in for a treat. We’re going deep into each of these airports, sharing all the insider tips. From affordable foodie spots to the low-down on getting around, you’ll be set to make the best choice for your London adventure. So, let’s dive in and kick-start your journey before you’ve even packed your bags.

The cheapest airports to fly into London right now
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#1 tip to find cheap flights to London

Looking for cheap flights to London? Before diving into all the top airports to fly to London, I want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

For the past 3 years, I’ve used Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going) to get amazing flight deals. All you have to do is enter your home airport and where you want to go, and from there, they’ll send you mistake fares and other ridiculously cheap flight deals. And the coolest part? It’s 100% FREE! In 2023, I’ve saved thousands of dollars from their email alerts. This includes most recently, a $295 roundtrip fare from Boston to London.

There’s a free and a premium version – the free one has pretty much everything you’ll need. Though if you’re like me and travel a lot, it’s worth upgrading to the paid version for $49 per year. I recommend signing up for the free trial (you can cancel at any time) to try it for yourself. And if you like it, use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

Now without further ado, here are the best London flights in 2023.

Cheapest Places to Fly to in London in 2023

Below are the cheapest airports to London from the US and around the world.

1. Heathrow

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is where the magic of London starts for many. It’s bustling, lively, and feels like a mini city all on its own. But here’s the golden ticket: it can be one of the cheapest airports to fly into London, especially if you time it right. Think early autumn – when the summer rush has chilled out, and airlines drop their fares to woo the savvy traveler. So, not only can you snag a deal, but you’ll also get to see London in its autumnal splendor, with fewer tourists to boot.

But the magic of Heathrow being the cheapest airport in London to fly into doesn’t stop there. It’s loaded with budget-friendly features. From tasty eats that won’t break the bank to public transport options that make those city cab fares look scary, Heathrow is a dream for the cost-conscious traveler. And since it’s super close to central London, you’re not spending loads to get into the city’s rhythm.

The enchantment of London begins at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), a bustling, lively hub that resembles a small city.
The enchantment of London begins at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), a bustling, lively hub that resembles a small city.

Sitting just 15 miles from London’s heart, Heathrow is your express ticket to the city’s soul. Ever heard of the Heathrow Express? This speedster will whisk you away to Paddington Station in just 15 minutes, meaning you’ll be sipping tea or grabbing a pint in no time.

But hey, if you’ve got a wanderlust itch, Heathrow’s also your gateway to more British gems. Fancy a trip to Oxford’s historic streets? Just a 90-minute drive. Or maybe Windsor’s royal vibes? That’s only an hour away.

Looking to save BIG on airfare? I recommend signing up for Dollar Flight Club. Thanks to DFC, I saved $5,000+ on travel in 2023…so I couldn’t recommend it more!

2. Gatwick

Stepping into Gatwick Airport (LGW), you’re immediately greeted with a little taster of what the bustling city of London has in store for you. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a London regular, the buzz and vibe of this city never get old. Gatwick makes sure you feel that right from the get-go.

For U.S. travelers aiming to get a good deal, Gatwick often pops up as the cheapest airport to fly into London from the USA. Thanks to a good mix of airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, and Norwegian Air, among others, you can find some wallet-friendly fares. These airlines have carved out a niche by offering cost-effective flights without skimping on the destination options. So, whether you’re making London your final stop or jet-setting across Europe, Gatwick is a strong option.

Upon arrival at Gatwick Airport (LGW), you are promptly introduced to a preview of the vibrant experiences
Upon arrival at Gatwick Airport (LGW), you are promptly introduced to a preview of the vibrant experiences London offers

Now, if you’re scratching your head thinking about where to fly into London, Gatwick offers a compelling case. Beyond flight deals, it’s also about getting to the city’s heart in no time. The Gatwick Express will have you soaking in the city vibes at Victoria Station in just about 30 minutes.

The city isn’t just your gateway to London’s bustling streets and iconic landmarks. Some might even argue it’s the best city to fly into London. Beyond London’s borders, the magic continues. Fancy a bit of sea breeze and pebbled beaches? Brighton’s just a hop, skip, and a train ride away. It’s a delightful change of scenery from the urban jungle. With Gatwick as your starting point, you’re all set for a memorable trip.

3. Stansted

London Stansted Airport (STN) sits amid the peaceful landscapes of Essex. Its modern design and efficient layout offer travelers an organized start to their London adventure. Known for its budget-friendly flight options, Stansted has become a notable mention when discussing the cheapest city in London to fly into. Several low-cost carriers, like Ryanair and easyJet, operate from this airport, offering a broad spectrum of affordable routes.

If you’re mapping out where the best place to fly into London might be, consider Stansted’s merits. The airport’s transport infrastructure, such as the Stansted Express, ensures a relatively quick connection to central London. Beyond the city’s hustle, its location in Essex offers opportunities for more relaxed excursions. Travelers may consider visiting Cambridge or the surrounding countryside.

When considering the most economical London airports, Stansted remains a strong contender.
When considering the most economical London airports, Stansted remains a strong contender.

When tallying up options for the cheapest airports to fly into London, Stansted holds its ground. This is mainly because of its blend of economical flight choices and decent connectivity. Whether your itinerary covers the broader European landscape or focuses on the diverse offerings within the UK, Stansted serves as a practical starting point for many travelers.

4. Luton

Touched down at Luton Airport (LTN) in Bedfordshire? You’re about to embark on an adventure that offers a mix of local charm and easy access to the heartbeat of London. Known for its nifty size and efficient services, Luton sets the tone for a hassle-free trip.

If you’re someone always on the hunt for deals, Luton is a great choice. When discussing the cheapest airport to fly into London, Luton’s name often pops up. With budget players like Wizz Air and easyJet anchoring the flights here, you get access to affordable routes. This is especially true if Europe is on your itinerary. And the savings don’t stop at just flight tickets. Luton’s terminal is packed with wallet-friendly options, ensuring your travel budget stays intact.

Considering the most budget-friendly London airport? Choose Luton.
Considering the most budget-friendly London airport? Choose Luton.

But before you make a beeline for London, give Luton itself a chance to charm you. Places like the Luton Hoo Estate transport you to a different era with its grandeur. Spots like the Wardown House and Stockwood Discovery Centre are perfect for soaking in some local history and beauty.

Thinking about the cheapest place to fly into London? Luton has got you covered. The airport’s solid transport links, like the direct train service, get you to London’s core in just about 30 minutes. So, whether you’re looking to soak in the sights of the Big Ben or catch a West End show, you’re not far off.

The city itself is a  springboard to other beautiful spots across the UK and Europe. And having a title as the cheapest London airport to fly into is just the cherry on top!

5. London City

When flying to London, London City Airport (LCY) is the way to go. The airport, renowned for its central location and swift services, ensures that your journey to London is as remarkable as it is efficient.

The quest for the cheapest airports to fly into London often leads travelers to explore various options. For many, London City Airport is a great choice. While it might not always offer the lowest fares compared to some other airports, its proximity to London is incredibly convenient, saving travelers both time and transit costs. The airport is a hub for several airlines, offering a range of flight options to destinations across the UK and Europe.

In the quest for the cheapest London airports, many travelers find London City Airport to be a great option.
In the quest for the cheapest London airports, many travelers find London City Airport to be a great option.

When scouting for the cheapest place to fly into London, it’s vital to look beyond just the flight tickets. Other factors, like how quickly and affordably you can zip around the city post-landing, play a massive role. Thanks to LCY’s prime central spot, travelers can dive straight into their London escapade almost as soon as their feet touch the ground.

What sets London City Airport apart is connectivity. It’s handily linked to the vast London Underground network, letting explorers fan out to the city’s every nook and cranny. Add to that the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) – a dependable and wallet-friendly transit option that covers numerous London districts. Opting for the DLR over cabs or private rides can mean noticeable savings for the budget-conscious traveler.

Those with tight schedules will enjoy this airport’s convenience. London City Airport’s proximity to the heart of London and efficient check-in and arrival systems mean they can maximize their time in the city. The blend of convenience and cost-effectiveness here is hard to beat.

6. Southend

Situated 40 miles east of Central London, London Southend Airport (SEN) stands out as a smart choice for travelers prioritizing both convenience and affordability. Its smaller footprint, streamlined services, and prime position make travel more cost-effective.

When weighing the options among the cheapest airports to fly into London, Southend Airport often comes to the forefront. It’s home to renowned low-cost carriers with attractively priced fares to a plethora of destinations.

Southend is often considered by many travelers as potentially the most budget-friendly airport for reaching the English capital
Southend is often considered by many travelers as potentially the most budget-friendly airport for reaching London.

But the benefits of choosing Southend don’t end with flight prices. The airport boasts swift and budget-friendly transportation links to Central London. Thanks to the Southend Airport Railway Station and its direct routes, travelers can find themselves almost anywhere in Londo in just about an hour. This blend of transit speed and flight affordability positions Southend as a top pick for travelers who value time and money.

Indeed, many travelers view Southend as possibly the cheapest airport to fly into London. Its modest size facilitates speedier check-in and security procedures. This gives passengers a more relaxed start to their journey. Beyond the airport, the nearby Southend-on-Sea offers its own set of delights, from its picturesque coastline and iconic pier to a diverse mix of dining and shopping spots.

Both easyJet and Ryanair play pivotal roles in solidifying Southend’s reputation for budget travel. easyJet connects passengers to sun-kissed destinations like Alicante, Faro, and Malaga. On the other hand, Ryanair offers a cost-effective bridge to Dublin and its Irish charm.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest London Airports to Fly Into

Explore practical insights and tips related to the cheapest airports to fly into London with our FAQ section, designed to enhance your budget-friendly travel experience.

What is the cheapest airport to fly into in London?

For those aiming to minimize travel costs, airports like London Luton (LTN) and London Stansted (STN) often emerge as leading options. They frequently showcase budget-friendly flights, particularly via low-cost carriers like easyJet and Ryanair. While these airports aren’t directly within London’s city limits, they boast efficient, economical transport links to the heart of the city. This makes them top picks for travelers who prioritize both affordability and convenience.

What month is the cheapest to fly to London?

The cost of flying to London often fluctuates based on the season. Generally, the winter months, except the peak festive stretch from mid-December to early January, tend to have lower flight prices. January and February, right after the holiday rush, usually offer cost-effective fares. Yet, to maximize savings, it’s wise to regularly track flight prices and use fare alert tools. Discounts and promotions can emerge anytime. It is also at these months where accommodations in London offer best deals.

The best part? With a little bit of research and flexibility, you can find amazing deals on the cheapest places to fly from London. These include cities like Riga, Sofia, Brussels, Milan, and Vienna. 

What is the cheapest day to fly to England?

To snag the most affordable flight to England, consider booking a midweek departure. Flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays often come with more attractive price tags compared to the more popular travel days like Fridays and Sundays. However, always remember that prices vary based on multiple factors. Consistent fare monitoring and flexibility can lead to the best deals.

How can travelers ensure they are booking a flight to the cheapest airports to fly into London?

To land a flight to one of London’s most budget-friendly airports, lean on flight comparison tools. These platforms facilitate fare exploration across various airlines and airports. With flexibility in travel dates and a willingness to consider alternative airports, travelers can sift through numerous price points. This ensures they find a fit for their budget and needs.

In this extensive guide, we've examined top airports for London travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airports for London travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

How early should I book my flight to secure the best fare?

To strike a balance between early booking benefits and potential last-minute deals, consider booking your flight about 4-6 weeks before travel. For high-demand times like summer or holidays, booking several months in advance is advisable to sidestep potential price hikes.

Is it possible to find last-minute deals to London airports?

Certainly. While advance booking is a common route to savings, airlines sometimes offer last-minute deals, especially if they have unsold seats as the departure date nears. For those open to spontaneous travel, checking platforms specializing in last-minute deals and setting up fare alerts can yield significant savings.

How does the choice of airline influence the cost of travel to London?

Airline selection can majorly shape travel costs. Typically, low-cost carriers, like Ryanair and easyJet, one of the best airlines to fly to Europe, operating from airports such as Luton and Stansted, provide more wallet-friendly fares. These airlines are often the go-to for budget-conscious travelers.

What additional costs should be considered when flying into London?

Beyond just the flight price, travelers should factor in extra costs like airport transfers, baggage fees, and in-flight purchases. Additionally, evaluating the airport’s location concerning one’s London destination is essential, as both transit time and costs can differ markedly between airports.

How does the time of year influence flight prices to London?

Seasons play a significant role in flight pricing to London. Peak tourist times, like summer and the December holidays, often carry higher fares due to increased demand. In contrast, off-peak periods, notably the winter months (excluding holidays), often offer more budget-friendly flight options.

What are some tips for finding the best flight deals to London?

Scoring the best deals requires a mix of flexibility, continuous fare tracking, and leveraging various online tools. Being adaptable with travel dates and airports can reveal different pricing options. Flight comparison sites are essential tools for scouting and contrasting fares. Setting up fare alerts ensures timely notifications about price drops or promotions. Lastly, considering alternative booking strategies, such as choosing a different airport or accepting a layover, might unlock further savings.

Final Thoughts on London’s Cheapest Airports

Exploring one of the cheapest places to fly to in Europe, London, with its rich history and lively streets, doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. By choosing from the cheapest airports to fly into London, travelers can embark on their London adventure without stretching their budget. Whether landing at Luton’s busy runways, Southend’s convenient terminals, or other budget-friendly options, each airport sets the stage for a memorable journey. With iconic landmarks and bustling avenues, London invites visitors for unforgettable experiences, all while prioritizing affordability.

The cheapest airports to fly into London for all types of travelers
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