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Parking at London City
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The business-centric passenger levels at LCY, given its proximity to Central London, mean that the short-stay car park is all about convenience. It takes 2-5 minutes to walk from short-stay to the terminal, so it’s as close as you can get, whether you’re staying for a day or a fortnight.
The airport also allows you to use the long-stay car park, which is only a 5-10-minute walk to the terminal, for anything between a minute and 15 days. Rates and time-slots vary for the first 24 hours in either short- or long-stay; if, for example, you only need 12 hours of parking at LCY, it can actually work out cheaper to use the long-stay car park, but be sure to check rates with us at Looking4.com before you book.
The London City Airport Valet Service is much like the Meet and Greet parking options in other airports. As long as you’ve pre-booked the service, all you have to do is drive to the short-stay car park and a member of the LCY staff will meet you there to park your car for you. The valet service allows you to leave your car at the airport for between one and 15 days, but with the convenience of saving time because you won’t have to find your own parking space.
London City Airport (LCY) is the smallest of the five airports in London. It’s also the 13th-busiest flight hub in the UK. Mainly serving business travellers on short-haul flights to and from destinations in the UK and Europe. LCY also provides business-only flights to New York.
The airlines using London City Airport include British Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines. A record 4.53 million passengers passed through the airport in 2016.
London City Airport is 9.4 miles (15 kilometres) to the east of Central London (Charing Cross Station). It takes around 55 minutes to reach LCY by car from this point, but due to traffic congestion in London, it will take you around the same time to make the journey by bicycle.
If you’re making the journey by train, you’ll get to the airport from the city centre in around 48 minutes. LCY also has its own train station on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). Frequent services run to it from Stratford, Canning Town and Bank in addition to regular buses from stops in the local areas.
The Queen opened London City Airport to the public in November 1987. Its purpose was to serve the financial centres of Canary Wharf, the City of London and the Royal Docklands and it had served 15,000 passengers by the end of its first year.
That number had reached 216,000 within three years, which led the government to approve plans to extend the runway at LCY. Despite this, passenger numbers slumped during the Gulf War and it wasn’t until 1995 that the half-a-million passengers barrier was broken.
In 2001, LCY won Best Business Terminus Worldwide for the fourth time in a row, which is only a fraction of the many industry awards it’s won over the years.
In 2011 in preparation for the following year’s Olympic Games in London, the airport operators spent a reported £7 million on improvements to allow the site to cope with the surge of passengers it expected.
At London City Airport, there’s a newsagent both before and after security. There’s also a bookshop, a duty-free store, a shop selling electronic travel gadgets, and a pharmacy.
While there are a few brand stores you’ll see on the high street at London City Airport, few of them aim their products at the budget end of the market.
There’s a distinctly classy air about many of the facilities there because of the corporate nature of the clientele. You’ll find high-end designer clothing and watch outlets, in addition to ‘premium’ convenience stores, bars and restaurants. There are, of course, your typical facilities such as newsagents (both before and after security), a bookshop, a gadget shop and duty free, too.
Facilities at LCY include:
Due in part to its small size, London City Airport has no hotels on-site, but there are a few places to stay nearby.
The Hotel ibis Budget London City Airport is half a mile (0.8 kilometres) from LCY. It takes just four minutes to drive or 12 minutes to walk from the hotel to the airport. Despite its budget prices, Hotel ibis gives you a choice of modern rooms with free WiFi, desks and flat-screen TVs. There’s also a vibrant bar and free parking on-site for the nights you're staying there. Breakfast is available for a small extra charge, too.
Travelodge London City Airport Hotel is slightly closer at 0.4 miles (0.64 kilometres) from the terminal. You can reach the airport by foot in just eight minutes from the Travelodge. The hotel provides WiFi (free for 30 minutes every 24 hours) and a bar-café area. There are also early check-in and late check-out options and parking is available for an extra charge on a first-come-first-served basis.
The more upscale option is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London ExCel, which is 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometres) from London City Airport. A six-minute drive or a 16-minute stroll from the DoubleTree Hilton will get you to the main entrance of LCY and, during your stay, you’ll get access to large suites with balconies and views of the River Thames. What’s more, your reservation includes use of the WiFi, gym and car park.
London City Airport offers a DiamondAir VIP Airport Concierge Meet & Assist service to ensure that, from the moment you set foot in the airport, you won’t have to lift a finger. Your personal Airport Concierge Agent greets you at the curb and organises your whole experience from there.
Porters are on hand to carry and transfer your bags, the airport staff guide you through security and ensure a seat in the lounge is waiting for you (if required) and your concierge will give you the option of being first or last to board.
When you land back at LCY, another agent will be on hand to meet you and provide the same VIP treatment in reverse. They’ll arrange for a chauffeur to take you to your hotel or meeting and you can even book a personal shopper, executive car transfer or, indeed, the meeting room itself through them.
From romantic Valentine’s getaways to Yuletide discounts and other seasonal deals, there are plenty of chances to win at LCY. All you have to do is enter your details on the airport website. There are also many attractive discounts to take advantage of at LCY, so you can seize the opportunity to grab a bargain at duty free whilst you’re there.
One thing you’ll notice about London City Airport is how quiet it is, so don’t panic if you don’t hear announcements about your flight. The reason it’s so quiet is that LCY operates a silent airport policy.
Due to its small size, there’s none of the chaos you may expect in bigger airports, so it’s a surprisingly good place to get stuck into a book or read the papers before you fly.
You can join two exclusive clubs at LCY.
If you’re a personal assistant (PA), executive assistant (EA) or office manager in London, London City Airport gives you the opportunity to become a member of its Premier PA Club for free. When you’re in, you get a monthly email update on business travel to help you stay organised and ahead in your work.
You also get access to exclusive industry events, competitions and other attractive deals from the airport and its airlines.
If you’re a business traveller, you can take advantage of British Airways’ Club World London City.. This elite business-class service transports you to and from “the financial hearts of London and New York”. As one of the club’s select few members, you have a choice of 32 spacious seats that convert into fully-flat beds for a relaxing night’s sleep. WiFi is available throughout your flight and BA even lends you an iPad with the latest TV shows and films to help you unwind during your trip.
London City Airport has designed a workplace programme that allows local people in Newham, as well as those in Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Dagenham, Bexley and Barking, to strengthen their employment and education skills. If you live in any of these areas and want to find a way into the aviation industry or elsewhere, work experience at LCY could be a great chance to get your foot in the door.
The 'Up at The O2' experience allows you to climb over the roof of the building once known as the Millennium Dome. Starting at basecamp, you meet your guide who takes you through everything you need to know for a safe and fun climb.
You traverse the 28-degree walkway with the wind blowing you to and fro and the safety equipment keeping you safe and sound. The wind is especially strong (sometimes as high as 40mph/64km) as the walkway starts to flatten just before you reach the top.
When you get to the summit, you’ll stand on the observation platform to see London from a unique perspective. There are three different expeditions on offer: Original, Sunset and Twilight. If you’re lucky that good weather coincides with your chosen timeslot, you’ll come away with pictures to boast about when you get home.
It takes just 17 minutes to drive the 4.7 miles (7.6 kilometres) from LCY to the O2 via the A1020.
The Line is billed as the contemporary art walk that came before all others in the big city. Its route follows the Prime Meridian Line, which is the point from which every place on Earth and in the sky is measured. During your unguided walk or cycling tour, you travel from Greenwich (the O2), to Queen Elizabeth Park (Stratford).
You’ll see temporary sculptures and artwork by famous artists like Damien Hirst and Abigail Fallis (they get replaced every two years) and permanent hidden gems including the Grade I listed House Mill and Cody Dock along the route.
To join The Line from London City Airport, you need to find your way to Royal Victoria Dock. It only takes eight minutes to drive there on the A1020.
The Museum of London Docklands is a 200-year-old former warehouse. Inside, you discover the long history of London’s Docklands in the East End and their role as major ports for trade and migration. Victorian London is recreated in the immersive Sailortown display, whilst London’s absorbingly shameful role in the sugar and slavery trades is laid bare in the exhibition by the same name, The Sugar & Slavery exhibition.
The museum is chock-full of charming galleries and weird and wonderful objects, so it provides a great day out for the whole family.
You can get there via the A1020 in just 11 minutes, since it’s only 3.7 miles (6 kilometres) away from LCY.
Despite its regal name, Queen’s Yard is in the heart of the East End (between Hackney and the Olympic Park) in Hackney Wick. Here, you’ll find The White Building, which serves as a space for events and art exhibitions.
It’s also home to the Crate Brewery, which is a ground-floor bar-cum-pizzeria, and a collection of artists’ workspaces known as Mother Studios.
The Yard overlooks the Hertford Union Canal, so it’s a wonderful place for summer parties, relaxing with a meal by the canal or taking in the local art and culture scene. It‘s only 17 minutes by car to Queen’s Yard from LCY on Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach/A12.
The Tower of London provides a fascinating (if a little bloody) slice of London’s history. As a home to Beefeaters (also known as Yeomen Warders) and ravens, it’s easy to see why the iconic tower attracts over 2.5 million visitors each year.
Visit the Crown Jewels on permanent display and see some of the world’s most spectacular and coveted diamonds up close. Go on a Yeoman Warder guided tour to discover the many tales of intrigue, execution and imprisonment that occurred within the walls of the tower.
The Tower of London is 26 minutes’ drive from London City Airport via the A1203.
Apocalypse Events offers Zombie SWAT Training in Bunker 51, which is chillingly a decommissioned nuclear bunker from the Cold War. You get the chance to take part in zombie-themed paintball and laser tag and you’ll also get locked in a room with a zombie and be forced to solve Crystal Maze-style puzzles to get out alive.
Get there – if you dare – in 21 minutes from LCY along the A102.
The Emirates Air Line lets you see London by cable car so you can see a host of the city's iconic buildings from above. These include the O2 (the Dome), Greenwich Peninsula, Thames Barrier, Cutty Sark, Olympic Park and more.
If you have an Oyster Card, you can get a discount on the price of tickets for the Emirates Aviation Experience - a 360-degree round-trip of the all of the sites on its list.
It takes 12 minutes to drive to the Royal Docks terminal from the airport via Sandstone Lane.
The Royal Observatory is a must-visit if you have enough time to spare in or near London City Airport. As the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the observatory is home to unique navigational gems, including its collection of Harrington chronographs.
Come to the Royal Observatory to stand in two hemispheres at once on the Prime Meridian Line and get a unique insight into not only your place on Earth, but also in the universe, thanks to the only planetarium in the capital.
It takes 26 minutes to drive the 7.7 miles (12.3 kilometres) from LCY to the Royal Observatory via the A102.
London City Airport’s place in the Docklands limits its size. As a result, it has just one very short runway, which prevents larger aircraft from taking off and landing at LCY. Despite this, British Airways (BA) provides specialist, business-class-only flights to New York from LCY. The Irish-based Skywork Airlines uses LCY as its only UK base.
Most airlines provide short-haul flights to destinations around Europe, whilst Bboth BA and Flybe sell domestic flights to select destinations around the UK.
The 11 airlines currently offering flights from London City Airport are:
|British Airways||Main terminal|
|SkyWork Airlines||Main terminal|
|SUN-AIR (for British Airways)||Main terminal|
|Swiss International Airlines||Main terminal|
If you’re using sat nav, the post code E16 2PX will take you directly to the airport terminal. To find your way to the short- and long-stay car parks, you’ll need to use E16 2PB instead.
If you’re travelling to LCY from outside London, find your way onto the M25, leave at Junction 30 and follow directions for the A13. To make your way onto the North Circular, exit the A13 at the A406/A1020 ramp, leave the roundabout at the first exit onto Royal Docks and, from there, you can follow signs to the airport.
If you’re going to the car parks, make your way onto Airport Road and you’ll see the terminal is on your left. Continue towards the roundabout in the distance and you’ll see the car park entrance further down on the left.
London City Airport is very easy to access via London’s rail system. In fact, it has its own train station on the DLR that you can reach from Bank, Stratford and Canning Town. Services to LCY run every 8 to 15 minutes.
The bus routes serving the airport in the local area are the 473 and 474. The 473 takes you to the airport from Silvertown, Stratford, Prince Regent DLR Station and North Woolwich. The 474 brings you to LCY from Canning Town, North Woolwich, Silvertown and East Beckton. These services run every 9 to 13 minutes.
If you have an early morning flight, you should keep in mind that you can’t stay in the airport overnight.
LCY is open from 5am to 10pm (the last flight is at 9.30pm) on weekdays. It opens at 5am and closes at 1pm on Saturdays, whilst on Sundays, the airport opens at 10am and closes at 10pm.
You are not allowed in the terminal after it closes, but there are plenty of hotels close by if you need somewhere to stay overnight – many of these hotels come with on-site parking options, too.
There are currently no showers at London City Airport. However, BA has an arrangement that allows passengers flying to New York to take a shower when they reach JFK Airport.
You can contact BA on +44 (0)844 493 0787 for further information.
Unusually, you may use either the short- or the long-stay car park for anywhere between a minute and 15 days. The difference is in the pricing – rates and time-slots vary, but the long-stay car park is cheaper for stays of longer than 24 hours.
There’s no dedicated transfer area at London City Airport, so you must clear the arrivals area after making your way through customs and then make your way back through security to get back into the departures lounge. We advise leaving enough time in between your flights for a stress-free transfer, as it can get busy at LCY.
No. The LCY website still mentions the shoeshine service on its website, but the on-site customer service team states that this service is no longer available.
London City Airport has just one terminal, so it’s easy to find your way around. Go to the LCY website for live flight information regarding your flight.
London City Airport is in the Borough of Newham in TfL Zone 3. The LCY DLR Station connects to the terminal, which makes it both quick and easy to reach from light-rail train stations in the area.
There are no hotels on-site, but there are a few within a mile of the main airport building. Many of them offer parking facilities and a room reservation as a combined package.
It’s just a two-minute walk from the check-in area to the departures lounge, so it is possible to check in 30 minutes prior to take-off if you have hand luggage. To be on the safe side, you should check with your airline as each one has separate rules regarding the latest-possible check-in times.
LCY is 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometres) from Canary Wharf. It takes 12 minutes to drive between them on the A1020, 20-25 minutes via public transport and 22 minutes by bike.
London City Airport does not permit smoking or vaping inside the terminal, either before or after security, but there is a designated smoking area outside the main building.
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