Flights to London
Cheapest time to book
How to fly
Student flights from the USA to London
London, baby. Where do we even begin with this most magnificent metropolis? The first thing to note is that it is big. Like, really, really big. This is not somewhere you’re going to get the measure of on a weekend. Almost 10 million people live there, and they are from EVERYWHERE, making the UK capital one of the most multicultural cities in the world (270 nationalities, 300 languages...). This is good news in all respects: amazingly diverse food, phenomenal arts scene and an incredibly tolerant attitude.
Many of the best attractions are free to enjoy, including the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, and it doesn’t cost a penny to soak up all those iconic buildings and sights, from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament. Thanks to a plethora of world-leading universities, the student population is vast: almost half a million and from all over the world.
Fancy a visit, then? Book a flight with one of our discounted fares. We’ll have you talking Cockney rhyming slang in no time, mate.
What are the main London airport hubs?
London has three major international airports dotted around its sprawling perimeter: Heathrow in the west, Gatwick in the south and Stansted in the north. None are particularly close to the city centre (most of London was built long before air travel was a thing!) but all have good transport links. There is an airport in the east, too, called London City Airport, which is much closer. But while it’s technically international, the short runway means the airport doesn’t cater for larger jets, like those used on routes from the US, so it’s unlikely you’ll land here.
London Heathrow / LHR: Located about 15 miles from central London, Heathrow is the UK’s largest airport, with five terminals and two runways (and a third planned). If you’re trying to balance cost and efficiency, the best way to get into the city centre is by Tube - the Piccadilly Line (the dark blue one on Underground maps) creates a direct connection. It’ll take about 40 minutes and cost about £3 ($4). A quicker but more expensive option is the Heathrow Express, which’ll take you to Paddington Station in about 15 minutes.
London Gatwick / LGW: About 30 miles south of the city centre, London Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport, with two terminals and two runways. There is a train station at the airport’s South Terminal (if you land at North Terminal, there is a free shuttle to South) which has regular and direct trains into London Victoria. The normal journey takes about 30 minutes and costs about £15, but there is a quicker option—the Gatwick Express—if you’re in a hurry, which is a bit quicker (no stops) but costs more.
London Stansted / STN: The fourth largest of the UK’s airports, Stansted is located about 40 miles north of the city centre, and like Gatwick, has a train station and regular trains, though the journey time is longer—about an hour. A cheaper option is to use the National Express service, which runs 24 hours a day and costs less - about £5 ($6.50) if you book in advance.
When is the cheapest time to book a flight from the USA to London?
Prices based on bookings made 60-90 days prior to departure.
London universities and campuses
London has far too many world-class universities to list in any detail here, but some of the best include the University of London, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London, London School of Economics (LSE), Queen Mary and London Metropolitan University. And just a few miles away, the academic heavyweights of Cambridge and Oxford await!
London lifestyle and culture
London is an incredibly diverse and multicultural city and this is reflected in all aspects of life, from the cuisine (you can pretty much eat your way around the world without leaving the city centre!), the arts scene, the music, the markets, the nightlife and of course the population itself. Despite all the worldly influence, however, there is an unmistakable streak of Britishness that runs through the whole place like writing in a stick of rock. Respect the queue, don’t make eye contact on the Tube, and say ‘sorry’ a lot, and you’ll fit in just fine.
Exploring London on a student budget
London has an embarrassing amount of cultural riches and most of them are free to enjoy. There are no entrance fees for almost every museum of note, so you can explore the treasures of the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and plenty more for absolutely free. There’s a huge amount of amazing green space, also free, and you’ll find affordable bars and clubs at every turn. Have fun!