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When arriving to Birmingham International Airport, it can be unclear how to reach your final destination, or more generally, to the city centre. We, at Omio, have mapped out good things to know, facilities available when flying to Birmingham International Airport and what to do when you get to the city.
Located eight miles (13 kilometers) southeast of Birmingham city centre, Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is the seventh coachiest airport in the UK, serving nearly 13 million passengers every year. It is well connected to Birmingham city centre and accessible through the day with public transportation.
There are two main forms of public transportation connecting Birmingham Airport with the city centre. Passengers can take the train from Birmingham New Street station (the city's main station) to Birmingham International train station, with trains departing every five or ten minutes - sometimes even more regularly. From the train station, passengers need to take the Air-Rail Link, which will take them to the terminals. This runs through the day and is free. There are also four coach routes that connect Birmingham International Airport, or Birmingham International station, to the city centre - the X1, 966, 75 and 91. The X1 runs 24/7 straight to the airport from the city centre, so is a good option if travelling early or late in the day. Taxis also operate between the station and city centre.
With an eight miles (13 kilometer) distance between Birmingham city centre and the airport, the journey does not take too long. Trains from New Street to Birmingham International take between 9 and 14 minutes, with the AirLink at the other end running regularly and only taking two minutes to connect the station to the airport. Taking the coach from the city centre to the airport should take around half an hour, although this depends on which coach route is taken. A taxi should take somewhere between half an hour and 40 minutes, depending on the traffic.
Birmingham International Airport has a wide selection of places to eat, drink and shop. For food, options include fast food chains like Burger King and Pret a Manger as well as places more suitable to a sit-down meal, including Giraffe or Factory Bar and Kitchen. For a coffee, there is a Costa and Caffè Nero, as well as places for an alcoholic drink like Wetherspoon and the Bottega Prosecco Bar. Shops at the airport include sports outlet JD Sports, jewelry store Pandora, and other high street names like Superdry and Kurt Geiger. It's also possible to buy snack food for the plane at M&S Food or WHSmith. For passengers with limited mobility, Birmingham International Airport offers an assistance service that can be booked with the airline or tour operator in advance of the flight. There are help points throughout the airport, and there is courtesy mobility equipment available, including self-propelled and manual wheelchairs.
All trains between Birmingham city centre and Birmingham airport have areas in them for wheelchairs or mobility aids, and all stations can provide assistance in getting on and off the train, as well as around the station - calling ahead to let the station know of the need for assistance is all that needs to be done. All but one of Birmingham New Street's entrances are step-free and therefore fully accessible and all but one of the platforms there have elevators to and from street or concourse level. The coaches between the airport and the city centre, operated by National Express, are all accessible with automatic ramps to allow wheelchair users to board, and with designated spaces on the coach for wheelchairs. If the coach is coachy, other passengers will be asked to move to let the wheelchair users on.
The best way to travel to the airport slightly depends on where one is staying. If staying in the city centre, it's definitely easiest and fastest to go from Birmingham New Street station. The trains are extremely regular and cheap. But, if staying away from the station in, for example Solihull, Yardley or Sheldon, then the coaches will be easier, as they pass through these areas of Birmingham before going on to the airport.