I flew to Budapest Airport from London Luton on Wizzair’s 0815AM Airbus A321 flight. I like this flight because it lands in Budapest before 12 and I can then catch a train home at 1pm from the nearby train station. The problem is this plane was delayed to 0950AM because the incoming flight was late taking off.
I booked my flight direct with Wizzair and the ticket cost under £80 return. I booked it about three weeks in advance of the departure date. With Wizzair it is always a bit of a hit and miss in terms of getting a good price. If you plan to fly at least 4-5 times with Wizzair in a year then I would recommend getting their frequent flyer membership card that gives a discount off each flight.
Arrive one hour before departure if you hate waiting at airports: Luton is super small and there is nothing to do there.
Finding London Luton Airport
London Luton Airport is well connected by buses and trains and there is plenty of long, mid and short term parking nearby. You can also get a cab or a private hire car here, which will take about 1-1.5 hours from central London.
The trains depart from Kings Cross St Pancras fairly regularly and cost about £15 return. It can take between 25-45 minutes to get here depending on which service you get on. You will need to get off at Luton Airport Parkway and get on a bus service to the terminal which will cost you an extra couple of quids.
National Express and a few other bus companies also operate regular services here from London and various other locations around the country. A ticket normally starts from £5-10 each way or return if you book in advance.
Entering London Luton Airport
They are currently completely rebuilding London Luton Airport in an attempt to enlarge it for more traffic. This airport was pretty much built on the back of eastern European immigration – flying the immigrants back and forth between Hungary, Romania, Poland and a number of other countries.
Now that Britain is leaving the European Union I often wonder how this will impact this airport which has invested so much in eastern European EU immigration. Anyhow, the entrance is about 100-200 meters from the bus drop off point.
Checking In With Wizzair
I checked in online and I normally travel with hand luggage only as these budget airlines try to rip you off on every occasion so I don’t tend to check in. But if you need to the desks are easy to find in front of the main entrance. Queues can get very long as this airport gets busy in the morning when most of the immigrants go home to visit family on these cheap flights.
The Lift and Public Areas in Luton
The entire airport is currently a big building site but the public areas which are accessible are clean and clutter free. The waiting rooms and hallways are well-lit and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes if you get hungry.
The Airport Security Checks
Going through the security checks is a wizz! You get in line and remove the liquids and laptop out of your bag. Once you have everything in hand walk to the boarding pass scan and head to the shortest queue.
This doesn’t always help speed up the process but at least you don’t need to fiddle with the suitcase and other things when you are already at the x-ray.
Tips: Place the laptop and liquids in a separate tray then put your valet, phone, keys and coins and all loose items in your jacket pocket which should have a zip.
Zip your pocket, fold the jacket and put this in a tray along with your shoes and belt. Then place your suitcase in another tray. This should take less than one minute.
Then head through the x-ray machine and hope they won’t find any problems with your luggage. Even when I had no liquid in my luggage I was sometimes stopped and searched, so it is a hit and miss.
The Restrooms at Luton
The restrooms are usually pretty clean but they often get busy. On a number of occasion I had to queue to get in so if you are in a rush better get ready for the occasional wait.
Cellular Coverage at the Airport
London Luton Airport has sufficient cellular coverage so I could access my mobile network to check my mail and watch youtube while I was waiting. I did not check if there was free wifi access.
There were some phone charging points and some of the seats also had plugs and USB charge points.
There were also a few coin operated pay phones and computer terminals to check your email for a fee.
Finding The Departure Gate
At 0800AM they announced that we would be boarding at Gate 23 but the plane hadn’t yet arrived so we were standing in the queue for the next 40 minutes until the plane landed.
The boarding gate had two scanners and a long line of people with a separate entrance for priority boarding.
They eventually started scanning us in but it was raining outside so that caused a little more delay. We also had to wait for the people to get off the plane first and for the crew to check the plane and clean up quickly.
Once it was done it was already 0905AM and we finally began to board the plane.
Boarding My Wizzair W6 2202 Plane
Wizzair seats are allocated in advance and are on the mobile ticket or the printed boarding card. Wizzair sells pre-checked seats and also charges extra for longer legroom. The regular legroom seems to be OK and I can stretch out underneath the seat so I would never pay the extra £10 or so for that.
Wizzair Luggage Allowance
Wizzair operates a convoluted baggage system: it is free to take on a small rucksack but you need to pay extra for a regular size cabin bag. It is yet more to check in a 20kg bag into the hold, so check the website for the exact information before you board.
On-Board The Wizzair Flight to Budapest
There is an on-board shop with the regular after shaves and duty free items for sale as well as food items and drinks. The on board shop is called Wizz Boutique.
The on-board restaurant is reasonably priced with sandwiches at €4, drinks at €2-3 and crisps and snacks between 50p and €3. You can pay by card as well as cash in multiple currencies including euros, dollars and pounds.
Wizzair also sells extra legroom on board as well as connecting train and bus tickets.
The Seat And Legroom
The seats are allocated in advance which means you sit where they tell you. The seat was comfortable with enough legroom for my long legs. The seat does not recline so after an hour it became slightly uncomfortable but I could get up and then walk up and down the aisle a little mid-flight.
Wizzair On-board Facilities
There was a safety notice, a bag and magazine in the seat pocket in front. The desk was clean and sufficiently big for a laptop or other devices.
The toilet was pretty small and the sink was not large enough to wash my hands without spilling water everywhere. The toilet was well-lit and smelled fresh. The mirrors were also clean and the bin was empty. The paper hand wipes were fully stocked.
I thought the flight was pretty good except for the late departure but honestly speaking I hardly ever board a flight that departs on time so I would not mark them down for that. I think this is a convenient flight although in recent years it has been taken over by drunken stag and hen parties visiting Budapest to get drunk on cheap booze.