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Luton Airport DART

For information the long awaited DART (automated guided people mover (light metro)) from Luton Airport Station to the airport has a soft opening on 10 March, and was fully opened on 27 March 2023 operating 24 hours a day, replacing a bus service for the link.
Luton is an airport, north of London, which is very useful for regional connections, including Inverness on Easyjet.
There is a 24 hour a day rail service from London St Pancras international, taking 45 minutes, which can sometimes be picked up on an advance fare for £2.50, more widely £8, walk on fare £16.50.
If you book to 'Luton Airport' rather than 'Luton Airport Parkway' your fare includes the DART/bus.
The DART fare alone will be £4.90.

It's a useful option anyway.

EDIT- Full opening date of today [27 March] substituted, and information on free senior citizens rides added below

Posted by
470 posts

English pensioners can use their travel concession card for free travel on the Dart

Posted by
6168 posts

Yes, but book with your train ticket (to 'Luton Airport') as above.
Either way (included in train ticket or pay on bus) it is £2.40.
On the bus it's contactless only.
The new DART will be £4.90!

Posted by
6168 posts

Although there is no concession for Senior Citizens there is a way to ride the DART for free.

Travel from St Pancras on East Midlands Trains (NOT Thameslink). If you book ahead (I've just done 4 weeks ahead) there is an advance single to Luton Airport Parkway for £5 on many trains.
But book to Luton Airport [LUA] and the add on fare is £2.30, rather than the separate full fare of £4.90.
With any railcard (not just senior), that £2.30 fare is further discounted.
The overall effect is to bring the combined fare back down to £5, so the DART is free.

East Midlands trains are the long distance fast services to Nottingham and Sheffield, rather than Thameslink all stations to Bedford (what used to be called the Bed-Pan line, as it ran from Bedford to the old, rather atmospheric, St Pancras- before it was totally rebuilt as the current ultra modern St Pancras International).

You don't need any kind of app. I have just purchased this on the ticket machine at my local unstaffed station 300 miles away.

Posted by
6168 posts

Update- the train the advance fares are usually valid on is a train to Corby, at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour from St Pancras.
That train does the journey from St Pancras to Luton Airport Parkway in 23 minutes. Including the transfer to DART, and the journey on it, it is a 32 minute journey.
Simplicity itself, and a pleasure to do.
Unfortunately with the stand alone cost of the DART being so high, personal observations tonight are that people are still walking the hilll from town, or catching the 24 hour a day public bus which runs from Luton and Dunstable, partly on a guided busway.
The DART is very quiet, the public buses busy.