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United Kingdom (UK) - Getting There By Air

The United Kingdom has several major airports including London Heathrow, Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Bristol International and Birmingham International. Belfast International, Cardiff International, Exeter International, Norwich International and Blackpool International are also common routes into the United Kingdom. Several national and international airlines fly into the United Kingdom, including British Airways, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, and Virgin Atlantic. Finding a major airline with direct or one stop flights is usually possible.

Main Airports in the UK

London Heathrow International Airport

Heathrow opened in the 1940s and is England’s main airport. It is considered the busiest airport in Europe for passenger traffic. Heathrow is 22 kilometres from the centre of London, and has five operational terminals.

Heathrow Airport Limited
The Compass Centre
Nelson Road
+44(0) 844 335 1801

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport was used as a base during WWI and WWII. In the late 1940s it began running commercial flights as well. Today it is the sixth busiest airport in the UK, and was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2012. It is five miles west of Edinburgh’s city centre. Expansion plans are currently under way to accommodate an expected increase in passenger numbers in coming years.

Edinburgh Airport
United Kingdom
EH12 9DN
+44(0) 844 448 8833

Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport was built in the mid 1960s and was used as a gateway to cities in the United Kingdom and Europe. Today it is the second busiest airport in Scotland and the 8th busiest in the UK, with three functioning terminals. The location of the airport is 6 nautical miles from the centre of Glasgow.

Glasgow Airport Limited
+44(0) 844 481 5555
Minicom service for the hearing impaired: +44(0) 844 571 7410

Belfast International Airport

This is the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and the second busiest in all of Ireland. It is 11.5 nautical miles from Belfast, near Aldergrove. The airport was originally named Aldergrove Airport because of its close proximity to the town.

Belfast International Airport
BT29 4AB
+44(0) 289 448 4848

Cardiff International Airport

Cardiff airport provides flights throughout the United Kingdom as well as internationally. It is located in the village of Rhoose, about 12 miles from Cardiff.

Cardiff Airport
Vale of Glamorgan
CF62 3BD
+44(0) 144 671 1111

Main Airlines Serving the UK

British Airways

British Airways is the main airline serving the UK, with its headquarters established in England many years ago. An airline with international reach, the USA is one of the most popular destinations for BA planes.

+44(0) 844 493 0787


Lufthansa is a German airline and the largest carrier in Europe. They also have flights to 78 destinations including countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Virgin Atlantic

The main UK base for Virgin Atlantic is Gatwick Airport. They provide flights to Australia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North America, Africa and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Office
Manor Royal
West Sussex
RH10 9NU
+44(0) 844 811 0000

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus was founded in 1936 and is the oldest and second-largest extant airline in Northern Ireland. The airline serves Turkey, North Africa, Europe and America.

Aer Lingus Limited
Head Office Building
Dublin Airport
Tel: 353 1886 8202

Budget and Charter Flights

The United Kingdom's proximity to Europe and Ireland makes it possible to find budget flights, along with charter and smaller scheduled aeroplanes. Some of the better known airlines that offer budget flights within the U.K. are British Airways, Easy Jet and FlyBe. Depending on the destination of a flight they can either be non-stop flights or may require a change. Pricing is determined by the origin and destination, plus any one-way or round trip considerations for charter and budget flights, but the typical cost runs between £79 and £200 for shorter flights.

Charter flights are available to many other countries. While pricing is not available unless you have an itinerary, with destination, date of departure, number of people and length of stay, there are many sources online that can provide these details. Some of the private charter companies are listed below.

Travelling from New York to London

There are many direct flights from New York to London. It is roughly an eight-hour flight, and it is possible to depart in either the morning or the afternoon. While it is not generally necessary to change planes, it is possible to do so.

Public Transport from Airports

Several car parks exist near the major UK airports. Most of these car parks also have vehicle hire options. Hertz and Avis provide car hires at airports and around the major cities, with some satellite locations included. One of the main forms of public transportation from Heathrow airport is the London underground system; other English airports have train stations nearby which connect to a number of destinations within the country. London underground provides trains directly to the main Heathrow terminals several times a day (check online for schedules).


This car hire is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They serve many locations including London and other UK cities, as well as some smaller destinations.

+44(0) 843 309 3009


Avis is available at all major UK airports and throughout London. They are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made online.


Alamo vehicles are available in all the major cities of the UK. Reservations can be made online.

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