Hit the rails: Why trains are the best way to get to the airport

Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Your journey

Whether you’re travelling to a regional or major airport, going by rail offers a variety of advantages – here are five reasons to take the train to your next flight.

Depending on who you are, what airline you fly with and where you’re going, airplane travel can either be exciting and exhilarating, or arduous and stressful. Regardless of which experience you encounter, it pays to think about the legs to and from the airport. A recent survey found that there has been a year-on-year spike in flights from all UK airports, so whether you’re flying from a national or regional airport, the best way to get there is hitting the rails.

Travelling to the airport

An extension of your flight

Many people choose to drive to the airport – an option that is expensive, environmentally unfriendly and clunky. More and more people in the UK are choosing to fly out of national airports as flight prices are dramatically cheaper, although these bargains are quickly offset once you factor in travel, which can include an overnight airport hotel stay, increased car parking rates during school holiday periods (sometimes up to 57%) and airport express services that can cost over 200% more than your average rail ticket. However, if you have a regional airport close to where you live, they can be a great choice – not just for cashing in on cheaper flights, but because the volume of human traffic is lower (so that usually means getting through security in a much speedier fashion).

Bringing back the joy of rail

Whether for holiday or business, flying can sometimes be a stressful experience. From braving the check-in lines to trying to make it to a distant gate, higher numbers of people travelling – and travelling more frequently – mean that flying has lost some of its previous glamour. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a touch of it for the legs before and after. If you didn’t manage to make it to first class on your flight, you can still experience a taste of it via the £15 upgrade on London Northwestern Railway, which runs to Liverpool and Birmingham airports, and experience some quiet and extra legroom.

See more, do more

With free wifi on board all London Northwestern Railway services, it’ll be easy to check up on your socials or do your emails on the go. Also offered is free online entertainment, such as films, box sets and magazines, so it’ll be easy to keep the kids occupied while you get your teeth into the latest blockbuster. Travelling by train instead of via car also allows you to use your time productively. Whether you’re reading a book or catching up on some z’s, train travel gives you a few moments to zone out and relax, so you’re more ready to brave the airport madness, as well as giving you a chance to stretch your legs or keep the kids from getting fidgety.

Hop on, hop off

Although travelling by car can feel more independent, that you can work to your own schedule, it can be a clunky and troublesome experience. Rail travel doesn’t have the problem of traffic or congestion, with trains running up to three times an hour on the most in-demand of routes. You can find the best fares on the website, if you don’t want to queue for a ticket machine on the day, or buy your tickets via the app to download straight to your phone, so you won’t need to worry about losing a paper ticket.

Travelling to the airport

It’s the little things that make the big difference

Rail travel is not only a relatively environmentally friendly mode of transport, but also one of the most economical. It offers great value for money, a chance to relax before you get to the airport, luggage racks to store your bags, and is one of the safest ways of getting from A to B. Trains are often more comfortable than cars and you get a chance to enjoy the scenery en route. Plus, for the more tardy among us, you can board right down to the minute before they leave. These small things all add up to a much larger experience, from the convenience of on-board facilities (rather than queuing at a service station) to the conversation-enhancing seating arrangements. Overall, it might be that the best leg of your journey is the one where you’re firmly on the ground.

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