Luton Airport is getting an express train to London

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Luton Airport is getting an express train to London.

The East Midlands Trains rail franchise passed from Stagecoach to Dutch group Abellio this month.

The rebranded East Midlands Railway has announced a new ‘Luton Airport Express’ service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway, starting in December 2020.

Luton Airport to St Pancras express train

Details are very sketchy.  The service will run every 30 minutes from a dedicated platform at St Pancras.  It is not clear if it will run non-stop or not, although the airport claims it will take ‘under half an hour’ to get from the terminal to St Pancras.

This will need to wait until 2021, however, when the new Direct Air-Rail Transit system – a version of the shuttle train which runs between the satellites at Heathrow T5 – opens, linking the station and the airport.

You can find out more on the Luton Airport website here.

Great Qatar Airways Business Class flight deals to Asia and Australasia .... from Izmir!
Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class .... whilst pregnant

Click here to join the 14,500 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
AMEX Gold 20,000 bonus points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Noticed a comment in one of yesterday’s article to say Capital on Tap changing card to corporate credit card.
    Anyone else heard anything?
    I have only recently signed up and paid the £200 plus, based solely on ability for me to pay HMRC !

    • Article tomorrow. Due to Brexit no-deal risks they need to move from their existing banking partner. Card moves to a proper corporate credit card.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      It was me and it was received by Email. The lack of other comments and the fact other users haven’t received the same is making me slightly paranoid that I’ve been singled out! Typically put about 4K/month to HMRC as well as other supplier payments, so I’m hardly exceptional. The justification was that it protects them from complications related to a hard Brexit!?

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Phew. Rob just beat me to the reply. At least it’s not just me. Does make them a MUCH less attractive product if they’re pitching as offering working capital when needed. Other than paying employees, HMRC is surely the largest liability that eats away cash at hand for many/most businesses…

    • So what are the implications of this? I was just looking into signing up as my draft end of year accounts have been done by my accountant so I’ll be ready to meet the £5k spend to trigger 20,000 Avios.

      • I guess it means HMRC wont accept it as a payment method.

        Squirrel – Did your email say when it was due to come into effect?

        Rob – Can you advise if it is worth signing up today in the hope they will give current customers 30 days notice and all new applications will be straight on to a corporate card?

      • Nothing changes except HMRC payments will no longer be free.

    • …..And for that reason, I’m oot.

      Chances of a refund on the annual fee?

      • If there is a partial fee refund I’ll clear 92k Avios off £166 card fee. Not bad but not amazing.

        • Eh? Under what scenario is 92,000 Avios for £166 not ‘amazing’, assuming there was no opportunity cost (and paying HMRC means no opportunity cost, since there was no alternative, assuming you’ve maxed out Curve).

    • Curve???

  2. OT but does anyone know what is the least number of points and where to that can be used to fly from Scotland using Avios and 2-4-1 voucher that doesn’t involve having to use Avios to get to London. I’m sorry if this has been asked a million times before but if anyone can give me a quick answer as to what my options are that would be great.

    • Your domestic connection from Scotland to London is ‘free’ provided you are travelling longhaul from London. ‘Free’ means that it will not cost you any extra avios but you will pay the extra £ costs that BA levies for airport charges etc. If you depart Inverness and subsequently connect to a departure from Lobfon within 24h you will not pay any Air Passenger Duty so saving on longhaul premium flights is substantial and can make it worthwhile but watch out for high hotel costs in Inverness should you need to stay overnight before your flight. You can depart Inverness but return to another Scottish airport if you wish. If you are not connecting to a longhaul flight from London you will need to pay avios at the usual rates for the Scotland to London flights.

      • That’s interesting re: returning to another airport.

        Is it just a case of booking the outbound leg from Inverness and then when you call the call centre for the return leg booking it back to say Edinburgh or Glasgow?

        How do they calculate that for a 2-4-1 in terms of Avios?

    • Hi Sarah, it’s not clear whether you mean you want to avoid London altogether which is night on impossible when using a 2 4 1, although I don’t know whether anyone discovered definitively whether the 2 4 1 can be used on the direct CityFlyer routes from the regions (I think someone did use a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher with one of these). It wouldn’t be the greatest use of avios but could save you 30,000 or possibly more if you used it for CE seats.

    • Apologies Sarah, I think I misunderstood your question on first reading it. I believe the lowest number of avios for a reward flight without extra avios departing Scotlabd will be destination in zone 4 exLondon. These will cost from 10,000 avios in economy off-peak up to 42,000 in first class off-peak. Zonne 4 equates to destinations between 2,001 and 3000 miles. Take a look at this great table Rob produced; run down the first two columns and identify all the cities in zone 4 from those requiring 10,000 points in economy off-peak. I think I got that correct but no doubt Rob or others will correct me if I’m wrong.

  3. William says:

    OT: re Lloyds Avios Reward Card – Been charged interest again even though I’m still in the interest free period. Double check your statements again just in case

    • I was too, they are aware of the problem so just call them and they will credit it back to your account. It had knock on effects with the subsequent bill too so you will likely need to contact them again next month. It is fixed and settled from month three.

    • They credited me back 7p more than they incorrectly charged. That’s the most compo I’ve ever got out of Lloyds.

  4. Just a little aside re: the Hilton stay more promotion.

    I can confirm that reward stays are counted towards the 10/15/20 stay targets. I received the 10k points for 10 stays a few days ago, despite only 9 of the 10 stays being paid. The reward stay was at the Hampton by Hilton in Newport, shortly before it was removed from the Hilton Group (and my stay record but not my stay/nights tally), so I was a bit concerned the bonus points wouldn’t post/I would need to waste time on a complaint, but all was well.

    I will hit exactly 15 stays on the 6th of September, so will also get the 15k bonus, but annoyingly not the sweet-spot last 5 stays for 20k bonus. I decided at the outset I wasn’t going to create stays just to get the points, and in terms of the need to stay the first couple of months were quiet compared to the last two.

    • I hit my 20th stay last night and triggered the 20,000 point bonus plus I received the recent media promotion which earned me another 7,500 points. In total I have completed 43 stays this year giving me a total of 56 nights. Overall I have been very impressed with the points on offer this year. All I need now is a new Hilton card to come to market

      • Well done Neil, that’s a lot of stays in that amount of time.

        I received the media bonuses too; early bird catches the worm, and I caught that particular worm before it was posted here. (No offence to HFP.)

        I would love a Hilton card, presuming like most hotel cards it gives a higher earning rate at the hotels. It’s such a shame that the worst of the big groups – IHG – is the only one with a decent card. (I know SPG currently gives 6 points per £1, but that reverts to 3 points in a few months.)

        All things considered, my feeling is that Hilton is the best of them, even without a card.

        • Best slice of luck I’ve had in this game is to have just re-churned Hilton a couple of weeks before it was withdrawn. Been printing points on it since.

  5. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – Nationwide FlexPlus debit card. They’ve removed the fee for making payments in foreign (only ATM withdrawals had no fee before).

    • Thanks, useful if any issues with Curve.

      • After 1 Nov they are also removing the credit interest rate of 3% on balances of up to £2.5k, which was a good way to offset the monthly cost. Time for me to look at closing this account.

        • Oh no, have you guys been formally notified of these changes? I’ve heard nothing. That would cause me to close it too. Might consider Barclays but probably would opt for standalone insurance etc.

          • Yes, email this morning which is the notice of variation. There are some other changes (removing £250 fee free overdraft buffer) and insurance (mobile and travel) with little/no impact to me.
            You can also look at the details on the Nationwide website.

          • Thanks will have a look. Not too happy as I paid a topup premium on my insurance through end of May which I now need to effectively pay extra to benefit from.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            We are also paying topup premium to cover a preexisting condition. Will have to look around and see if there’s something similar or better…

          • Top up premium here too at a very reasonable rate. Hope the new health scheme insurers upgrade prices are similar. plus changes to cruise insurance. The 3% interest going may swing me away though.

    • I think I will ask them for a pre rata refund on my insurance supplement if I leave or to give me 7 months interest as a goodwill gesture to stay. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ll be reminding them also that I got them two new customers in the past month.

      • Worth looking at the bribes available to move e.g. £175 from HSBC.

        • Already had them all Mark, stuck with Nationwide referrals until they change previous account eld qualifying dates on the switch bribes.

  6. Spaghetti Town says:

    OT: How will amex pay my pro-rata refund if i close the card with them?

    • Optimus Prime says:

      They’ll pay it into the closed card account. So if such account is now in credit and you have another card with them, you can choose to transfer the credit over. Otherwise you can ask for a cheque. Not sure if they do bank transfers (I always try and keep at least one card with them).

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        I’ll only have 1 card left with them after closing the 2 i have now, guessing they can just deduct it from the balance on my remaining card?

      • Does anyone know how they calculate the refund nowadays? I’ve been told how much I am due but can’t work out how they get to that figure.

        • Divide the refund amount by the annual fee (£140, £195, £450, £575) and multiply it by 365. If that gives you a round number then it will represent a whole number of days that you supposedly held the card. If you were moving between the £450 and £575 fees then it gets more complicated.

          • Lord knows what I was doing to not get a round number! I hold my head in shame. That works perfectly.

      • Yes they will do bacs

    • If you have a direct debit set up you can ask them to refund the money to the linked bank account. I always do this as it’s a much easier option than having to bank a cheque or try and extract the account credit.

      • Some banks let you pay in cheques by app photograph now. Never had a problem moving credit between Amexes, but I guess that is not the ideal situation for those who like to pay Amex with Curve.

    • I always make sure that I owe enough to soak up the refund.

  7. OT – I am about to drop £10k+ to change my car. Dealership won’t take Amex and I’m not too keen on ~ £300 fee for Billhop. Dealer will also only take max. £2k on credit card and then wants rest as a bank transfer. I was planning on using my Virgin card for the £2k and then the bank transfer function on Revolut to do the rest – also on the Virgin card.

    I am wondering if I am missing a trick though by not spending on a new card given the sum involved is likely to trigger a bonus. Other than Amex we have done the IHG and Virgin cards and the only other one which jumps out is the HSBC Premier but I don’t currently have a bank account with them.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Get curve if you don’t have it, treated as a debit card and spend whatever your daily limit is. Just don’t tell the dealer.

      • Thanks – I have Curve but I don’t think it helps since the £2k limit from the dealer side is credit and debit cards I think (but will check).

        Its not so much the method of paying that troubles me as Revolut should work ok but I’m more interested in whether I’m missing a trick by not getting a new card.

        • Spaghetti Town says:

          Ahh i see. Im not familiar with revolut so won’t comment 😀

        • Your revolut plan makes sense to me, my only thought is whether loading it with £8k will cause an issue.

          For the old virgin mbna card I did £2k OK, but the new virgin money iteration causes me trouble after just a few hundred quid.

    • I had similar issues when getting my new car – dealer would only put £2K on CC but luckily did take AMEX. I personally did use billhop on my Gold Amex as it pushed us over the £15K spend to get an extra 10,000 points. So £300 for 10K points plus another 10K made sense for me.

      I would work out what you’d be paying per point for the £300 charge as it may well be worth it – especially if you know you’ll redeem for more

      • A part payment via Billhop on to my BAPP would get me over the £10k to earn a companion voucher. My issue is I have no immediate need for a voucher and I will spend my way they in the next 3-4 months anyway.

        • You could imply that not being able to pay via card is a deal breaker… I would be surprised if they would risk losing the sale over the cost of putting the additional £8k onto a card

          • Genghis says:

            +1 make it part of your negotiation. I put all mine on cards in Jan.

          • Agree, thats how l got the garage to agree to accept 3 x different amex cards to their limit to get a car. Was prepared to walk away. Esp these days, am sure it would be a dealbreaker.

  8. EU 261 compo. flight of c2500km’s

    is it EUR 400 per person if over 3 hours delay.?
    Under 3 hours- its zero?

  9. OT anyone got any latest timings on amex reward points to Hilton thanks jason

    • Young L says:

      I made two transfers lately. Transferred on Wednesday last week, points arrived overnight. Made another transfer on Friday, but this time no luck, still waiting for them to be posted.

  10. Heathrow Flyer says:

    BA Annouce new St Lucia Flights for S20.

    LGW UVF: 2pw additional Summer service between 4th July and 29th August 2020

    LGW MCO and LGW LAS 1pw reduced service each for the same period.

    Usual Avios seats should be available for booking now.

  11. Spaghetti Town says:

    OT: Following on from yesterdays discussion, has anyone made any money with free trade?

    • Mike Bickle says:

      Capital On Tap – A lot of suppliers will only take debit cards. 😭😭😭

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.