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Kent to get direct trains to Luton Airport Parkway station from May

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The new and much delayed changes to the Thameslink rail network in London are about to begin in earnest.   This official website outlines what will be happening and when.

One lesser known change is that, from May, there will be a direct train service from parts of Kent to Luton Airport Parkway.

Running every 30 minutes, seven days per week, the service will run from Rainham to Luton town centre.

The Kent and outer London stations to be served are:

Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester, Strood, Higham, Gravesend, Northfleet, Swanscombe, Greenhithe, Stone Crossing, Dartford, Slade Green, Abbey Wood, Plumstead, Woolwich Arsenal, Charlton, Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich, Deptford and then on to London Bridge and through to Luton

Comments (56)

  • ChrisC says:

    I’d hardly call the change of trains in Brussels ‘annoying’. It certainly shouldn’t put anyone off getting the train from Amsterdam. Yes a straight through train would be better but don’t let it put people off.

    You get off the Thalys, go down one level (lifts and escalators available)

    Walk 2 minutes (if that) to the Eurostar check-in and clear security etc.

    Much easier than at many airports.

    • Rob says:

      Eurostar themselves has told me that they don’t expect many to take the train back.

  • mutley says:

    Why would anyone in their right mind want to fly from Luton? It’s, organised chaos at the best of times, security is a nightmare, and the £3 charge to drop off for 10 mins is a disgrace,

    • Lady London says:

      I flew out of Luton yesterday and I couldnt agree more. My heart sinks about everything to do with the place. It’s a huge opportunity wasted. The airport has a huge catchment area with increasingly wealthy passengers willing to spend good money for flights that are not expanded to by Luton. Luton Council should get someone in like BAA or the company that runs Stansted and watch it expand. Right now every encounter with Luton feels petty and mean and undersized.

      • Lady London says:

        PS I think Stansted is charging now for 10-15min dropoff too. I think I saw signs there recently.

      • ChrisC says:

        You must have missed all the building work going on there then!

        A little research via Mr Google would tell you that the airport is operated by London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (not the council which does own it) which is owned by Aena (51%) and Ardian (49%).

        Aena operates 40+ airports across the world including MAD and BCN. It is the largest airport manager in the world. So it’s not inexperienced.

        Stansted is owned by Manchester Airport Group.

        BAA no longer exists and is now Heathrow Airport Limited.

        • Lady London says:

          Good news @Chris C. I can’t recall ever visiting Luton anytime in the past 30 years when there wasn’t building work going on. Whoever is managing it, I think they could do a better job. There’s a huge opportunity there for Luton to expand if managed right. Right now it’s h*** on wheels to fly out of most of the time.

          I do admit though that the main terminal area at Stansted is rivalling Luton for meanness of non-retail space available to passengers to simply sit.

    • Brian W says:

      Because they live in Luton?

      • Nick_C says:

        Even if you live in Luton, getting in and out of the airport and dropping people off is a nightmare. Can take 20 minutes.

        Luton is my nearest airport, 18 miles away, but I prefer LHR, STN, or even LGW.

    • The_real_a says:

      Totally agree the security is third world. Expect an hours wait. Awful.

    • Callum says:

      I fly from Luton when the flights are cheaper (the whole point of the airport isn’t it?). Security lines don’t bother me but I guess I’ve been luckier than you!

  • RussellH says:

    As long as Eurostar have to keep the Schengen-phobes reasonably happy, I think that running the train from Amsterdam to Bruxelles as one service and then chucking everyone off, then re-loading with a completely different passenger load as a completely different service actually makes far more sense than what they have to on the Avignon service, which is tip everyone out at Lille Europe and put the whole trainload through immigration, which, from what I have heard is a nightmare.

    Were I the boss of Eurostar I would be strongly tempted to advertise a though London-Bruxelles-RotterdamAmsterdam service, but make it clear that no through return service would be possible because ‘our’ government refused to permit it. I am not convinced that the necessary facilities in the Netherlands will ever get completed – they must cost the Dutch a fortune in restrictions to the operation of their busiest rail stations.

    • Callum says:

      It’s probably cost prohibitive, but it would be good if they could do immigration on the train itself. Many foreign countries do that and I’m sure Ive had it done that way in Europe in the past too.

  • Kipto says:

    O/T BA Household accounts enquiry. Last night my son tried to book reward flights to Amsterdam from LHR and back into LCY using avios from our household account. He has not accrued any avios in his own right. The cost of the fees etc was £65.70 when my son tried to pay. When I tried to pay for exactly the same flight the cost was only £42. Why would there be a difference ?

    • Rob says:

      No Reward Flight Saver if you have not earned an Avios in the past year. You should book it off your account.

  • Kipto says:

    Thanks. I did book it in my account. The amount of avios was the same though whether my son or I booked it. Best he earns a few avios then….

    • Lady London says:

      Yes it’s the taxes that are reduced by RFS. the number of avios required remains the same.

      For some destinations if you were to move the avios to Iberiaplus, then taxes would be less than if non-RFS taxes had to be paid by using the avios for same route or leg, booking via British Airways.

  • Billy says:

    Looks like there is a strike on 4th April – the launch day of Eurostar’s London – Amsterdam service.
    Have received a notification offering a reschedule 🙁

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