Cardiff’s compact and bijou airport really is a joy to travel to or from. Quicker queues, shorter corridors and limited human traffic: it’s one of the least stressful airport experiences you can have. But there’s a catch; being a smaller airport with less services can sometimes mean a more expensive ticket and limited direct flight options. Bristol Airport is just over an hour away and is often a more convenient choice.
Based in Rhoose, Cardiff Airport is 25km from the city and will take about 30 minutes drive. Direct destinations are largely limited to Europe - most notably Spain, Turkey, Greece, Malta and Ireland. There are also direct flights to Finland and Barbados and, thanks to KLM’s Cardiff operations, all corners of the globe are accessible with a time-tabled connection at Schipol airport, Amsterdam.
Major flight operators based at Cardiff International Airport include KLM (www.klm.com), BMI Baby (www.bmibaby.com) and Flybe (www.flybe.com).
It takes just over an hour to drive the 75km distance between Bristol Airport and Cardiff but there’s a much bigger range of options available. There are hundreds of flights using Bristol Airport daily, with direct flights to almost every European country. They also offer non-stop flights to Egypt, Mexico, USA, Tunisia and Morocco.
Major airlines using Bristol include KLM (www.klm.com), Easyjet (www.easyjet.com), Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and Flybe (www.flybe.com).
Getting to the city from Cardiff Airport
A picturesque 30 minute drive from the airport to the city centre will cost approximately £25. The airport has one official taxi service which is Checker Cars (www.checkercars.com) who you can call on +44 1446 711747. There’s a whole range of other companies offering the same service here www.cardiff-airport-guide.co.uk although with Checker you pay a fixed price ahead so you don’t need to worry about having the correct fare or currency on arrival. See Cardiff Car Hire for details on vehicle rental.
The city’s Cardiff Bus company runs a cheap service every two hours during the day throughout the week. At the cost of £4.20 for adult and £2.80 for child, it’s not to be ignored, but if your flight lands an hour and a half before the next bus, you’ve got a lot of waiting round to do. A timetable is available at www.cardiffbus.com... Fingers crossed you’re in luck!
Rhoose has to have the tiniest airport train station in the UK. Its solitary platform serves Arriva Trains’ hourly service that takes 30 minutes and costs £7 each way. A shuttle bus will take you the short distance between the airport and the station. For its price and efficiency, I’d suggest the train route for younger or solo travellers but a taxi is a more cost effective route for couples, families or larger groups.
Getting to the city from Bristol Airport
With return tickets starting at £9.25, National Express offers the cheapest journey from Bristol Airport to Cardiff. It takes twice the journey time you’d usually experience by car, however, and buses are relatively infrequent. You can check the timetable here www.nationalexpress.com
A taxi ride from Bristol Airport to the city centre will cost you approximately £80. The cost depends on the size of car and time of day you’re travelling. Visit www.taxisbristolairport.co.uk or ring +44 117 339 0006 for a detailed quote. See Cardiff Car Hire for information on hiring a car in Bristol and using it in Cardiff.
There are no direct train lines from Bristol Airport, but a coach service runs every 30 minutes to Bristol’s central station Temple Meads. A combined coach and train ticket costs £27 for adults and £15 for children and the journey time differs between one hour and twenty minutes and one hour and fifty minutes depending on train times when you arrive at Temple Meads. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.