What is the best or cheapest way to get from Heathrow to Luton in London? We fly into Heathrow at 7am and have a flight leaving Luton at 11:30am. Also, any idea on how much it will cost? Is it worth it to get an Oyster card for one day?
National Express has coaches (buses) that run to/from Heathrow and Luton at 0740 and 0840 from Terminal 4, 1hr 40 minutes, or 0710, 0810 and 0910 from Heathrow central coach station, 1 hour 10 minutes, 18 pounds per person. Plus you can reserve in advance, pay by plastic, and not have to get any pounds from the ATM (assuming you are going to the continent from Luton). http://www.london-luton.co.uk/en/nationalexpress/
Not cheap, but yours is a pretty tight connection. A taxi would be about 50-55 pounds. You probably wouldn't get your money's worth out of an Oyster, as the Tube to central London isn't fast enough, and you still would need to get to a train or minivan stop to get to Luton. Good Luck!
I'd recommend National Express, too. No matter what time you book for, you can leave on an earlier bus if you get there sooner than anticipated. For instance, if you book for the 8:40 bus but get to the terminal before 8:10 you can take the 8:10 bus instead. The service is great, and it's the easiest (one-step) transport between the airports.
www.nationalexpress.com gives you all the options. If you're coming back by the same route, a roundtrip ticket is much cheaper. In my case, travel between Heathrow and Stansted one way was 20 pounds, but roundtrip was only 26 pounds.
I would second the comment that it could be a tight connection. If you are coming into Heathrow from the US, you have to clear immigrations, get your luggage (and Heathrow has a terrible record on luggage) and cruise through customs. That could be really quick or take hours, depending on the luggage system and lines at immigrations.
Then, you'll probably be hitting rush-hour traffic around London which is one of the 7 horrors of the modern world.
And you will have to re-check in, go through security etc. at Luton.
Not so bad if it's just missing a domestic flight, but it could be really nasty the other way around.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I will be looking into the coach idea. Thankfully we will not be checking luggage, so hopefully that makes it go quicker. And it is nice to know we can catch an earlier bus if customs goes quick!