Birmingham Airport, which was known as Birmingham International Airport until November 2010, is nestled in England’s West Midlands. This well serviced and easy to navigate airport is just six miles (10km) from central Birmingham and is an increasingly popular departure point for cheap flights in or out of Britain.
Although Birmingham is one of the largest cities in Britain, the airport itself avoids the hustle and bustle of many larger airports and instead offers passengers a decent range of shopping and dining options without being too overwhelming. Birmingham Airport has recently merged its two terminals into a single terminal building in order to streamline passenger movements and prepare for a planned increase in traffic.
Birmingham Airport is a hub for low-cost airlines such as bmi, Flybe, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Passengers can use Birmingham to fly to many destinations in Europe and there are often cheap flights to Birmingham International Airport from the Middle East, North America, the Caribbean and India as well.
Birmingham Airport is well connected to various transport facilities running to a number of cities across the United Kingdom. It’s a popular airport for low-cost carriers and the facilities available at the airport are great for all types of travelers ranging from shopaholics to businessmen or parents traveling with their kids.
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London City Airport (LCY) is a single-runway airport that serves London's financial district. It is sometimes referred to as a STOLport, meaning that the airlines serving the airport operate on a Short Take Off and Landing basis.
Located on a former Docklands site, flights to London City Airport are usually booked by business people looking to gain quick access to the major financial district of Canary Wharf. However, the number of leisure travelers using London City Airport is increasing every year – especially during ski season, when flights to Zurich, Geneva and Milan are especially popular.
Just 6 miles (10km) from the city-center, London City Airport offers very easy transport links for passengers looking to access London's CBD. In fact, in the July 2008 issue of Business Traveler magazine, London City Airport was voted as having the “best public transport links in the world.”
The airport is currently in the process of expanding and upgrading its terminal and runway facilities, and aims to be able to handle 8 million passengers per year by 2030. London City Airport is just 3km (2 miles) from the site of the 2012 Olympic Games – a fact which is sure to see its passenger traffic increase.
Note that London City Airport is not open 24 hours a day and keeps the following schedule: Monday to Friday from 5am to 10pm, Saturday from 5am to 1pm, and Sunday from 11am to 10:20pm.
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Although it was the venue for a mass presided over by Pope John Paul II in 1982, Coventry Airport (CVT) has had a troubled recent history. In 2007, a contentious plan to build permanent passenger terminal facilities was rejected by the High Court , which was followed by financial problems leading to the airport being closed down in 2009.
However, there are signs of recovery at Coventry Airport, with the Midlands hub being re-opened in 2010 as a commercial airport. Please note that the information contained in this guide is subject to change.
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Nottingham East Midlands Airport (EMA) is situated 11 miles (18km) from Derby, within easy reach of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby by road and public transport.
The hub for low-cost carriers bmibaby and Ryanair, flights to Nottingham East Midlands Airport come in from around Europe, including Spain (Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Tenerife and Fuerteventura). Other busy routes to and from Nottingham East Midlands Airport are Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
EMA has received several awards in recent years including World’s Leading Eco Friendly Airport and Best Regional Airport (British Travel Award 2010) however many users report that increased traffic and lack of investment in infrastructure has led to long queues for security and cramped waiting areas. The airport has added facilities as needed, meaning things are spread out and often confusing to find.
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London Gatwick Airport (LGW) is the United Kingdom's second-busiest international airport in terms of passenger traffic. Despite its sizeable distance from central London – it is situated north of Crawley, about 28 miles (45km) from the capital's CBD – great transport links to and from the airport ensure that it remains an incredibly popular entry-point for visitors to the UK.
In fact, London Gatwick saw 31.3 million passengers in 2010, making it Europe's ninth-busiest airport, and the continent's leading airport for point-to-point flights. This impressive traffic is sure only to increase with the 2012 Olympic Games in London next summer.
Flights to London Gatwick Airport are offered by a variety of operators, including charter airlines such as Monarch and Thomson Airways, low-cost carriers such as easyJet and Flybe, and more established airlines, like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. The huge range of international destinations you can access from Gatwick is illustrated by the diversity of its seven most-popular flights: Malaga, Dublin, Orlando, Alicante, Faro, Dubai, and Geneva.
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London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom, and the fourth-busiest in the world, in terms of passenger traffic. However, Heathrow has the distinction of handling more international passengers than any other airport in the world – a testament to its importance as a transit-point for intercontinental travel.
Flights to Heathrow Airport are provided by an incredible 90 airlines, serving 180 destinations worldwide. Heathrow is home-base for British Airways, which operate direct and indirect flights to basically every major city you can think of, from Heathrow's beautiful, new Terminal 5 building.
London – a compelling, cosmopolitan city – certainly has an appropriate gateway in Heathrow Airport: a highly modern, convenient hub that is truly geared toward providing the best possible experience to travelers. Located 15 miles (24km) from central London, there are plenty of easy, hassle-free transport options available to travelers looking to get downtown. The flocks of tourists, who are no doubt going to descend on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, can look forward to a warm welcome and efficient service.
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Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA) is situated 7 miles (11km) northwest of Leeds. It serves passengers within Yorkshire and surrounding areas, mostly to sunspot destinations in Europe, Greece and Spain.
Leeds Bradford International has often been criticized by passengers as congested and chaotic. There are long-term plans to renovate the airport though. Future travelers can look forward to a major expansion of the landside face of the terminal, as well as the installation of new check-in and security screening facilities. Both promise to increase the terminal’s handling capacity and speed up passenger circulation.
Leeds Bradford’s elevated position makes it vulnerable to adverse weather conditions. If you have a bit of time between flights there is plenty to do such as shopping or enjoying a snack.
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Despite its small size and inconvenient distance from central London, London Luton Airport (LTN) still handles nearly 10 million passengers every year. There are plans in the works to extend the airport's limited runway facilities, which will eventually enable it to receive larger aircraft, and so serve more travelers.
Flights to London Luton Airport are mainly offered by low-cost carriers such as easyJet, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Airways and Ryanair. The cheap flights to London that these airlines offer prove too enticing for many travelers, who are willing to put up with the 35-mile (56km) commute into the city that flying into Luton entails.
Most flights in and out of London Luton Airport serve European destinations, though there are some connections available to North African and Middle Eastern destinations, as well.
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Formerly known as Ringway Airport, Manchester International Airport (MAN) is located around 9 miles (14km) outside of Manchester. The airport is the busiest in the UK outside of London, processing nearly 18 million passengers each year. The facilities are good, if a bit grubby, and the helpful staff members do their best to move the often overwhelming queues forward. Planned expansions will hopefully allay that congestion.
Flights to Manchester International Airport are available from a number of cities worldwide, including Paris, Dublin, Chicago, New York, Antwerp, Geneva, Frankfurt, Prague, Lisbon, Atlanta, Athens, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Milan, Islamabad, Doha, Toronto and Rome. There are also many options for local flights within the UK – to Belfast, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, London, Southampton and Glasgow.
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Located only 5.8 miles (9.3km) from the city center, Newcastle International Airport (NCL) is easily accessible by train, bus or taxi. It's currently one of the 15 busiest airports in the UK, with several daily domestic flights to Newcastle Airport arriving from London, Belfast, Southampton and Bristol.
Newcastle itself is a compact, friendly city known its nightlife, music and sport. The city has seen greater domestic and international tourism over the past few years since it regenerated. It is now considered to be a trendy cultural destination, gateway to areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Pennines and the Northumberland coastline.
The airport has several shops, restaurants and kids’ play areas, and is well equipped.
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