Travel Advice

FlyBe Flight Review – Cardiff To London City Airport

The motorway from Cardiff to London is only 150 miles but the traffic seems to be getting worse every year. There are frequent delays, speed cameras and when you do finally make it to London you’ll have to take out a second mortgage to pay for the parking.

So what about taking the train? Overcrowded, unreliable and if you want to travel in the morning it’s very expensive. We always seem to be sitting opposite someone drinking cider with a Charles Manson stare and all his belongings in a black plastic bag.

First class, which should be called ‘slightly more bearable class‘ is extremely expensive but you do get a free biscuit.

At last an airline service! FlyBe initially launched a temporary air service last year as an alternative way to get to London during major rail disruptions. They decided to continue with the route as it proved to be popular with commuters.

Cardiff Airport

Arriving at Cardiff Wales airport on a wet and windy early August morning.

Arrival And Check-In

The short stay car park was full so we used long stay car park 1. One of the advantages of Cardiff airport is that all the car parks are on-site and they are all walkable (without cases).

As we didn’t have any bags it was straight to security. All passengers on the FlyBe London City flight are entitled to use the fast track security channel so within 10 mins of entering the airport we were in the departure lounge.

On Time To London City

The flight in on time – all London City passengers get fast track security.

We boarded the plane on-time despite the wet and windy weather, just a short ‘dash‘ in the rain to the ‘Dash 8‘ plane. This plane has two turboprop engines which give you a classic flying experience.

Bombardier Dash 8 Q400

The plane, a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400

Boarding From Gate 1

Boarding from Gate 1, the rain is stopping.

On Board

ALthough not the biggest plane the seats aren’t crammed in like some larger aircraft, so despite the size, you don’t feel claustrophobic.

Cabin of the Dash 8

Inside the cabin of the FlyBe Dash-8

It was a quick taxi before taking off and soon we were above the clouds. The flight time varies from 35 to 55-mins depending on the air traffic around London, even though it’s a short flight there is an on board food service.

We just had a coffee and a Kit Kat, the breakfast of champions!

Take Off From Cardiff

Take off from Runway 12 at Cardiff

FlyBe Menu

The in-flight food service

Arrival At London City

After a surprisingly smooth flight we were quickly over London but due to heavy air traffic, we had to fly past Southend and then back up the River Thames. We had a clear view of the 2 km long Southend Pier.

After a 50 minute flight we were on the ground and as a domestic flight, we were soon out of the terminal and on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) heading to the city. Luckily the weather in London wasn’t as wet and windy as Cardiff.

The flight was a much better alternative to driving and the quick journey time was great. The transport links from the airport to the City and West End are also quick and easy to use.

We would definitely use this service again but unfortunately, there has just been an update…..

Landing at London City

Following the Thames as we come into land at London City airport


We have just found out that Flybe is to discontinue its route between Cardiff Airport and London City Airport at the end of October. FlyBe stated that “results have not reached the level required for the route to be commercially sustainable.”

It’s a shame to see it go as it’s great to have a decent air service from our local airport. Hopefully, some new routes will be along soon.

Do you have a favourite flight which you couldn’t do without? Let us know below.
FlyBe Flight Review Cardiff To London

FlyBe Flight Review, Cardiff To London – Pin For Later

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  • Reply
    The Jetset Boyz
    August 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    It’s a shame that the London City to Cardiff route is being pulled, but it doesn’t come as a surprise.

    The benefit of the train is that you arrive and jump on the train. There’s no faffing with having to go through security, taking out your liquids, electronics and other bits & bobs. These days travelling by plane you arrive at the airport and you’re herded from one section to another. Checkin or bag drop, security, wait in the lounge, the flight is called so you go to the gate & wait in line, have your boarding pass scanned, wait until the plane is ready for boarding, start boarding, wait in the boarding queue if you aren’t first in line… are we there yet?

    We didn’t know that passengers on this flight can use priority security, wonder if they ever shouted about this in their marketing?

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      August 16, 2017 at 10:09 am

      It was really quick getting through the airport and it was definitely designed for the business traveller. It was a relatively small plane so boarding is also quick. The main advantage was the flight time – on the way back it took 40 minutes.

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