The air transport industry is evolving and the price of the flight is just a component of the overall cost of the journey. Besides luggage, seat option and insurance fees, choosing the right transportation mode to get to & from the airport is essential to travel at the best price.

We created a ranking of UK’s Europe’s least & most expensive airport transfer services, comparing the cost of transportation from the airport to the city centre by train, coach and taxi. The research is based on the 10 most important airports in UK in terms of number of passengers per year and is also compiling the results for the European top 10. Here are the main results of this study:

  • Coach transfer services are up to 5 times cheaper than train.
  • London airports have the most expensive train and taxi fares to city centre in Europe.
  • Taxi rides are 5 to 30 times more expensive than coach services.




Travelling by coach and bus from the airport to the city centre will save you money

When looking at the cheapest option to go to the airport, the study reveals that it is globally coach and bus connection services which offer the best deals with fares from £2 to £7 across the UK. It is particularly relevant for London airports where train transfer services are 2 to 5 times more expensive than coach & bus. Birmingham and Glasgow are the only cities where the connection is cheaper by rail than by bus.

Surprisingly, the study also indicates that the most expensive coach journey does not take place in London but in Bristol. The journey from Bristol airport to its city centre costs £7 using the Flyer express coach service while London airports can be reached by coach for less than £7. The low fares observed for London airports are due to the development of low cost coach companies.
In other European countries, coach and train fares for the journey from the airport to the city centre are much closer. In the Spanish airports of Barcelona El Prat and Madrid Barajas, it is even cheaper to use the train rather than the coach.


Compared to other European cities, London airports connections by train and taxi are the most expensive

The comparison between the 10 biggest airports in Europe reveals that London is the most expensive city for airport transfers. By train, it will cost you more than £10 to reach the city centre from any of London airports. On top of the ranking London Heathrow, with the train journey costing £21.5, which is 3 to 14 times more expensive than other European cities. As a comparison, the journey from Paris Charles de Gaulle to central Paris costs 10 euros (£7.2) and the journey from Rome Leonardo da Vinci to Rome city centre costs 9 euros (£6.4).


Taxi rides are 5 to 30 times more expensive than coach services

The easier way to travel from the airport to the city centre remains most of the time the taxi. In the European top 10 biggest airports, travelling by taxi is 5 to 30 times more expensive than by bus. Sharing a taxi with 3 other people would save you money but is still more expensive than taking the bus, except in Glasgow, Bristol or Edinburgh airport as the taxi will be cheaper than 4 coach tickets.

The study is also available for Spain which benefit from the cheapest airport transfer services in Europe and France, revealing significant disparities between each airport.

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