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The city of Southampton in the south of England is filled with history, and its airport is no exception. The Southampton International Airport runway was constructed on top of Roman villa remains which were unearthed in 1925. The airport served as a WWI refugee transit camp and was the site of the first 1936 Supermarine Spitfire flight. Today, this relatively small and relaxed airport just four miles from Southampton has become a popular alternative to London's much larger airports. The airport's popularity is helped by its wide variety of transportation options, including half-a-dozen bus services and car rental in Southampton International Airport, while the hub sits in close proximity to Southampton Airport Parkway Station.
Who to Book With
The car rental reception centre at Southampton International Airport stands adjacent to the short-stay car park opposite the airport's single terminal. Whether customers reserve their vehicles with Avis, Europcar, National, Hertz, Alamo or Enterprise, they can enjoy the best deals by booking online.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents must be presented at the car rental reception centre:
- Both sections of your driver’s licence
- The credit card with which the vehicle was reserved
- Confirmation of both identity and vehicle booking
Driving in and around Southampton and its surrounding Hampshire region is generally leisurely and enjoyable. Weekends and holidays are usually the only times drivers are likely to encounter traffic jams on Southampton's roads, including the M27 and M3 motorways. Car parks are affordable and easy to find throughout this popular summer holiday destination. Motorists can easily drive to other coastal getaways, such as Bournemouth, Poole and Portsmouth, or even make the 60-mile journey to London.
There is no shortage of transportation options at Southampton International airport, from six different reputable car hire companies to a rail station no more than a 60-second walk away from the airport terminal. Taxis are available 24 hours, while buses depart once per hour for Southampton University and the city centre.
Few European airports stand within a closer distance to their nearest rail station as Southampton International Airport. It takes most airport passengers no more than a minute to make the quick walk over the new covered footbridge from the airport terminal to Southampton Airport (Parkway) Station. Trains head for Southampton Central Station every 10 minutes as well as London's Waterloo station every 20 minutes. South West Trains and CrossCountry are the region's two main rail companies. South West Trains specialises in short trips between Southampton Airport and Southampton Central stations, with a day single priced at £3.30. Tickets to London Waterloo Station cost around £35 if purchased on the day.
The office of Checker Cabs, Southampton International Airport's leading taxi provider, is located opposite the Arrivals hall, near the main concourse exit. Drivers pick passengers up outside the terminal building and accept payment either upon initial booking by debit or credit card, or after the journey has ended by cash. Taxi fares are fixed and arrangements can be made for disabled passengers.
Southampton International Airport to Southampton city centre is about £15
Southampton International Airport to Southampton Central Station is about £15
Southampton International Airport to Southampton Ferry Terminal is about £16.50
All of the half-a-dozen bus routes which transport passengers from Southampton International Airport to the city centre take no more than 40 minutes. Uni-link operates a bus service called U1C, which travels between Southampton's airport, the city centre, the waterfront and the university every 20 minutes during weekends and holidays, as well as every 15 minutes on weekdays. The Uni-link U1A service makes the same journey in the opposite direction. Tickets for these buses cost only £1 for those under 16 and £2 for adults.
Southampton International Airport's lone terminal welcomed well over 1.5 million passengers during 2011, ranking this historic airport as the UK’s 18th busiest. This Eastleigh airport's location is only four miles northeast of Southampton's city centre. Flybe budget flights to destinations throughout Europe form the majority of the airport's flight roster, which also includes Eastern Airways flights to Aberdeen as well as charter flights to Menorca and Ibiza. The ground floor contains most of the airport amenities.
The first 10 minutes of parking at the Southampton International Airport short-stay car park, recommended for stays shorter than 24 hours, are free, followed by a £2.50 charge for stays of up to 30 minutes. Short-stay car park fees gradually rise per extra hour, with a £20-plus fee for a 24-hour stay. Shuttle buses transport passengers to the long-stay car park, which is ideal for passengers on longer holidays, every five to 10 minutes. Long-stay car park fees are £11 per day for a minimum three-day stay. Frequent airport passengers can purchase breeze priority parking passes or seasonal tickets which are good for a month, a quarter or a year.
Access points for wireless internet are situated throughout Southampton International Airport. Visitors can obtain details in the Departures lounge at the Boingo wireless desks.
The Southampton International Airport information desk stands next to a WHSmith bookshop. A help point and tourist information touch screen terminal are placed between the Departures and Arrivals areas in the main concourse. Helpful airport ambassadors roam the terminal.
Airport Main Switchboard: +44 870 040 0009
Tourist Information Desk: +44 870 050 0808
Timetable Hotline: +44 2380 627 141
All of Southampton International Airport's disabled passenger amenities are situated on the ground floor of this DDA compliant airport. These facilities include spacious walkways with ramps as well as lifts, telephones and toilets which are fully accessible to disabled passengers. Disabled persons’ parking places are also available in both the short- and long-stay car parks. The covered walkway linking the airport with the Southampton Airport (Parkway) Station has lift access.
Restaurants and Bars
Southampton International Airport's most upscale restaurant, Mitchell's Kitchen & Bar, is named after Spitfire designer RJ Mitchell. The menu constantly changes at this brasserie-style restaurant which boasts a full bar. Two Costa Coffee outlets, one of which features a spectacular runway viewing area, are also located at the airport.
Breeze Priority Lounge
Money and ATMs
Southampton International Airport may lack full banking facilities, but visitors can still order and collect currency at TTT Moneycorp, which accepts advance online currency orders. The ATMs positioned next to TTT Moneycorp, World Duty Free and the airport help point dispense both euro and pounds sterling.
In addition to a World Duty Free shop past the Departures security area, Southampton International Airport includes two WHSmith bookshops. One bookshop is located before the security area, near the Arrivals area, while the other is situated past the security area. World Duty Free shoppers headed for destinations within EU boundaries can leave their purchases at the airport and then pick them up in the Arrivals area after their flight home under the Shop and Collect service.