There are an increasing number of international airports throughout the United Kingdom serving mainland Europe and beyond. Flights from the United States, however, generally use the main airports: Heathrow and Gatwick (London), Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow (Scotland) and Belfast (Northern Island)
England (and the UK’s) biggest airport is Heathrow, near London, which is the busiest international airport in the world. It has four terminals (with a fifth in development), and caters for 63 million passengers per year, with flights all around the world. The airport is connected to London’s underground (tube), although a speedier option is the Heathrow Express train, which runs to Paddington Station.
The second largest airport in the UK is Gatwick, which is also near London and serves flights to 200 destinations worldwide. An express train service runs from the airport to London’s Victoria Station.
Stansted is London’s third international airport, and a fast-growing hub for budget European flights. Train and coach services connect the airport with the centre of London.
Scotland’s principal airports are Glasgow (international), Edinburgh (mostly UK and European flights) and Aberdeen.
For cheap flights within the UK and Europe, there are many new budget airlines which offer low-cost flights. The disadvantages: minimal customer service, no in-flight freebies, stingy baggage allowances, frequently antisocial timetables and minor airports. The big advantages are potentially huge savings and the access to unusual regional destinations.