Southend: London’s 6th Airport

I mean, really! How many airports can one city need? Actually in London’s case, six still isn’t too many, as anyone who has been in the security queues at Gatwick’s rush hour will testify.

London Southend has been functioning as a civilian airport since 1935 (in fact, until the 1970’s Southend was London’s third busiest airport), but it’s set to get a whole lot more busier as easyJet have just begun flying routes from the airport. So let dealchecker give you the low down – How do you get to Southend, where can you fly to, and where you can you get the best pre-take off pint!

Flying from London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport take off

easyJet is the first of the ‘big’ airlines to make regular use of Southend’s newly extended runway. But the airport is also the departure point for two routes by Aer Lingus Regional flying direct from Essex to flights to Dublin and Waterford.

easyJet’s options take you even further afield – You’ll be able to top up your suntans in Mediterranean and sunshine destinations including Barcelona, Alicante and Faro – plus Southend’s first departures to Ibiza, Majorca and Malaga are imminent. You can also make the short (well, one hour) hop across the North Sea to Amsterdam. Towards the end of 2012 easyJet plan to offer flights to their Geneva hub too – putting even more of Europe on offer.

It’s not just European destinations that will benefit – easyJet will offer a few extra domestic routes too – There will be a route to Jersey from May 2012 onwards, and they’re already flying daily to Belfast.

Getting to London Southend Airport

If you’re driving then you’ll want to get onto the A127 to reach London Southend airport. And if you’re looking for more specific driving directions than that allow me to point you at the following link to google maps. Google is better at map reading than I will ever be.

The easiest way to get to the airport from central London is on the train: there are up to eight trains an hour departing from Liverpool Street rail station and the journey takes 53 minutes.
If you’re thinking about coming to London for that big Olympics thing this summer then you might be interested to know that trains will go directly to Stratford. The quick and easy journey to Stratford (just 44 minutes) is expected to make Southend pretty popular during the Olympics. Southend railway station is a few minutes walk from the airport terminal. 100 steps exactly according to their website. Count them and check if you want.

Services at Southend Airport

London Southend Airport staff

AKA how is Southend going to entertain you while you’re waiting to board the plane? Well it seems like the essentials are covered at least:

Arnold and Forbes looks like your best bet if you’re planning on a little wining and dining before take off. It’s an airport restaurant, not the Ritz, but you can get a pint as well as a wide selection of hot and cold meals.

WHsmiths will provide you with all your holiday reads, and the obligatory airport shopping experience (luxury goods, perfume, cosmetics, handbags… all the essentials) will be provided by Stobart Airport Shopping.

Want to know more? Well then head on over to London Southend’s website. Or compare prices on flights from all London airports with dealchecker.

Images courtesy of London Southend Airport.