I have often said that I “love airports,” and am willing to spend hours in them just wandering around and soaking in the atmosphere.
This is still true, in many cases.
HOWEVER. I went through London Luton Airport on a Saturday night in July en route to Dublin, and I think I’m going to spend the rest of my life recovering from those scars.
Please join me on this journey.
So firstly, why it gets to be called “London Luton Airport” is so far beyond me, as the airport is not even remotely in London and it KNOWS it. Its closer to Milton Keynes than it is to London, and Milton Keynes is a great place and all (love those roundabouts), but it’s definitely not London.
Once I got dropped off at the airport, I proceeded to the check-in area which I sadly don’t have any pictures of as I didn’t realize how quickly it was all going to fall apart. The check-in area was drab, but you know what, it’s a check-in area and not a five-star hotel, so fine. There are worse things in the world than dated tiles.
After making it through security (which, to be fair, was extremely easy and took all of 5 minutes), I was suddenly in an entirely different world and didn’t really know what to make of it.
Everyone in this airport, and I mean EVERYONE except me was going on some exotic holiday to somewhere warm (basically half of them were going to Majorca). So it was less of an airport and more of a pre-holiday hangout where you partied with your friends and heckled your waitress and wandered around in your hat because you drunkenly mistook the fluorescent light for the sun.
There was nowhere to sit unless I wanted to be uncomfortably smushed in between people who left just enough space for it to appear that they weren’t being rude and taking up the entire seat when really they were.
No problem, I thought! Maybe I’ll find somewhere to shop! I like to shop (not really)! The first store I came across was a Victoria’s Secret.
Can we talk for a moment about why there is even a Victoria’s Secret in an airport? I seriously cannot think of something I would like to do less when being stuck in Luton Airport than to go buy some underwear. What about this situation screams ‘2 for 1 bra’ to you? I can MAYBE see needing a last minute bathing suit for your holiday to the Canary Islands, but that’s about it. Needless to say, I did not go in.
Instead, I went across the way to Glorious Britain and looked at the socks with tube maps on them. Glorious Britain was less than glorious, but it would have to do.
After exhausting the little energy I had pretending to be interested in a waving Queen bobblehead, I figured I might be able to pick up something to read to take my mind off my current situation. Obviously everyone else had the same idea.
At this point I was desperately seeking peace and quiet, which was looking increasingly impossible to find.
Suddenly, I happened to look up to the airport lounge. It was appropriately named ‘Aspire’ for how it makes you realize you should probably aspire to make more money so you can spend your pre-flight time up there away from whatever absolute insanity is going on in the normal-people waiting area. HOPE YOU ARE ENJOYING YOUR LIFE AWAY FROM US PEASANTS!
I eventually started to concentrate on the Departures board, which started giving me a headache in all of its technicolor glory (yes, I realize this picture is blurry, but that is about how it was starting to look to me anyway, so it’s authentic!) Finally, my gate was called. I gathered my belongings and followed the signs.
Of course I was departing from Gate 11, which was anywhere from a 5 to 15 minute walk. Okay, an element of surprise, thanks London Luton!
I finally made it to what I thought was my gate, except I was flying RyanAir which means the plane was actually parked in Manchester and I then needed to walk to it. At one point, we were so far away from the concourse that I was not 100% sure we hadn’t accidentally walked on to a construction site and would be put to work in a couple of minutes.
After a good 5 minute walk following this man who kept muttering things under his breath, I could sense that we were getting to the end of our journey and finally about to escape this adventure we had found ourselves on.
Luckily, I was right. I have never been so happy to see a budget airline plane in my entire life. Just a few laps under the wing and around the engine and I was in my seat, ready to sit there for 2 hours with no amenities other than the joy of knowing that I was free of Luton airport and its chains.
What’s the craziest airport you’ve ever been to? Any particularly harrowing experiences? Tell me in the comments!