London City Airport is small. So small that its runway is less than half the length of the ones at Heathrow, meaning only 27 BA pilots are qualified to land there. So small there’s only room for a handful of shops and restaurants in the departure lounge. Yet business people and holidaymakers alike love it with a passion. City feels relaxed, there’s fast, free Wi-Fi and more USB charging ports than you can point your laptop at. But the real boon is the speed in which you can get through security and immigration. With less queues to hold you up, even passengers travelling to New York can check in just 15 minutes prior to departure.Staying at one of our hotels near London City Airport will put you even closer to where you need to be, whilst giving you great access to great tourist attractions like Tower Bridge and St Paul’s, as well as all the fantastic shopping at Westfield Stratford City.
Did we mention that the terminal was small? Landside, there’s only a WHSmiths, a Pret, a doughnut shop and a bakery called Panopolis. Get through security and there are more things to do, with a handful of retail outlets and restaurants to choose from.
There’s a WHSmiths, Dixons and Boots, but the biggest retail outlet is the Aelia Duty Free. Blow the holiday budget on top-end treats, from vintage Champagnes to cosmetics. Just across the walkway is Aelia’s fashion branch, bursting with designer brands like Hugo Boss and Mont Blanc. And if you’ve seen something you like but space is tight in your hand luggage, Aelia also offers a collect-on-return service.
Best places to eat and drink
You could grab a sandwich from Boots, or if it’s just a caffeine fix you’re after, head to Espressamente Illy. The best option for something more formal is the Pilot’s Bar and Kitchen, where you can sit and relax over a pre-flight meal and a glass of wine. Drinks-wise, you can sup an artisan beer or a pint of Truman Ales at Brick Lane Brews – all made just down the road in the East End.
Time to kill?
London City Airport is heaven for the business traveller, and great for holidaymakers wishing to update their social media statuses. There’s complimentary Wi-Fi throughout (which you can pre-register for before you even get there). Run out of power? No problem. All the seats in the departure lounge have USB ports just waiting for you to plug into.
London City Airport is fully accessible. There are reserved parking spaces for Blue Badge holders in the Short Stay car park, and a special drop-off and pick-up zone for disabled passengers right outside the terminal building. The airport has a special assistance team who can help with all aspects of your journey, even if it’s just helping you with your bags.
As the only London airport that truly is in London, City has a great location. Just six miles east of the City of London and only three miles from Canary Wharf, it’s accessible by both bus and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). With handy connections to the London Underground, it’s so close to town it’s only in zone 3!
You can drive to City Airport easily, but leave enough time to get through the traffic. The airport is not in the Congestion Zone but you’ll have to pay if you go through central London. There’s a long-stay car park a short walk from the terminal where even the furthest parking bay is just a seven-minute walk away. The short stay is right next door but more expensive. Airport parking can be booked on the day, but book in advance to guarantee a space.
There are two local buses that serve the airport. The 473 stops in Stratford, Silvertown, North Woolwich and Prince Regent DLR Station, while you can catch the 474 at Canning Town, North Woolwich and East Beckton via Silvertown.
You can catch the DLR direct to London City Airport. Services run every 8 to 15 minutes from stops such as Canning Town, Stratford and Bank. If you’re coming from outside London, the closest National Rail stations are London Bridge, Waterloo and Stratford International. All three are on the Jubilee line so hop on a Tube to Canning Town then get the DLR to the airport.
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