London Luton Airport

Google Map

A blast from the past – aka The Good Old Days
Photo courtesy of Jason Panesar

London Luton Airport is located 1.5 miles east of the town centre in the Borough of Luton in Bedfordshire, & is 30.5 NM north of Central London. The airport is 2 miles from Junction 10A of the M1 motorway.

Viewing Area 1 – Terminal Area

The wide Window has 8 seats over looking Runway 26/08, the seating area is next to Priority Lane/Boarding at Check In desks, as you enter the terminal through the turning doors, continue past the bureau de change after “Special Assistance” turn right & the area is on the right. Airport Security are kind & helpful, they come over & are interested in learning about a spotters enthusiasm. London Luton Airport & Bedfordshire Police have a Spotting Scheme. Click on the link when the page opens & on the right hand side is the application form.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates

Some locations may not be next to a road but your sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates.

Latitude: N51° 52′ 47″ (N51° 52.782′)
Longitude: W0° 22′ 31″ (W0° 22.509′)

Viewing Area 2 – Emergency Exit Gate

This spot is located just south of the runway, where aircraft will depart & arrive in front of you. This spot is good for both runway 08 & 26, however runway 26 operations are much better. Thankfully it is used the most (around 75% of the time). The terrain in this area is somewhat uneven, meaning aircraft can barely be seen when near the runway 08 threshold.

Unfortunately the perimeter fence here is in the way & is very unusual meaning photo shots can be difficult however you can still get some good views/photos of aircraft taxiing, departing & arriving. The airport staff do not seem to have any problems with you being here. Car parking is free of charge & is not restricted. Luton doesn’t have a lot of spots so for both runway directions, this is certainly the best spot that the airport has to offer!

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
Some locations may not be next to a road but your sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates.Latitude: N51° 52′ 26″ (N51° 52.435′)
Longitude: W0° 21′ 45″ (W0° 21.753′)


Holiday Inn Express

Located in an excellent position, with many of the rooms overlooking “The Pond” & others overlooking the runway, giving excellent views of all arrivals & departures.

Having stayed at the hotel previously & been in a room with a view of “The Pond”, it was decided that it would be a good idea to try one with a view of the runway. Room 526, located on the second/top floor, gave the desired result & excellent views could be had of all arrivals & departures. Higher numbered rooms, such as 534, on the same side would have offered better views, but what was had couldn’t really be faulted.

If you walk down the corridor either towards the higher room numbers or coming from that end, there are floor to ceiling  windows that overlook Signature Hangers 102 & 103, as well as stands 1R-6/7 & 16L, 16 54 with a view across 15L-10 with hangers 61, 60, 127, 9, 7 & 8. If the EasyJet hanger 89 is open, then you can see straight in.  At the other end of the corridor, the other window looks out on to the South Apron 20-22.

Although the hotel does not have its own shuttle to/from the terminal, buses do stop on the main road at the bottom of the hotel. Some of these charge £1 per person, in each direction, whilst others are free. If you prefer to walk to the terminal, it can be done in around ten minutes. When I checked in, it was done by the Duty Manager, who once he found out I was on a plane spotting visit, could not have done more to help.

All rates include breakfast (which consists of scrambled eggs, baked beans, sausages, cereals, croisants, fruit, cheese, fruit juice, tea & coffee), served in the Great Room, which has views across the runway. Complimentary wifi access is available in all public areas, but is chargeable when used in the bedroom (£9.95 for 24 hours).

A dinner menu is available until 9.30pm each day & there is a self-service fridge in reception, from where to buy snacks & canned drinks. The hotel has a licensed bar. Car parking costs £5 per day, when staying at the hotel for one or more nights. We are currently in consultation with the hotel to enable us to offer package rates to include room & breakfast, car parking, internet access & even meals, or a combination thereof. Watch this space. In the meantime we offer rates that include breakfast.

If you don’t wish to drive to the airport, we can arrange travel by rail to Luton Parkway & then jump aboard the shuttle bus connection to the airport (there is a request stop outside the hotel), as well as flights with EasyJet & FlyBE.

Editorial Note: When you ask us to make a reservation at this hotel, please request either a room with a “Pond” or runway view.

Hotel information courtesy of Paul Williams

If you have any travel requirements, please contact us for a quotation.