Traveling to Southend Airport had me needlessly anxious. Traveling by transportation I have never taken to an airport I have never been to at Southend-on-sea location on the east coast of England in Essex one hour’s train ride from London.
Christmas holiday season track work meant we had to travel from Stratford, where we had stayed two nights at Marriott’s Moxy London Stratford next to Stratford tube and train station and Holiday Day Inn Express Stratford about 10 minutes walk to the station.
Our FlyBe flight to Prague was scheduled for 13:25 afternoon, so plenty of time to eat breakfast and be out of the hotel by 9:30 for Stratford Station.
I happened to come across tickets London Southend SEN – Prague PRG with FlyBe for $48.99 USD for a December departure midway between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. We even collected Avios points for the flight.
Stratford Train to Southend Airport SEN
Normally Stratford Station London to Southend Airport is a direct train ride in 45 minutes and 7 stops to the gates of Southend Airport a couple miles from downtown Southend-on-Sea.
Christmas holiday track work meant we had to ride three trains from Stratford and walk a kilometer through Southend-on-sea between two rail stations to reach the airport. Still, we managed the trip in 65 minutes.
We traveled by Underground to West Ham, purchased two tickets from the automated kiosk to Southend Airport and traveled by train to Southend Central Station in 40 minutes.
We walked out of Central Station and through the outdoor pedestrian mall central thoroughfare of quaint looking Southend-on-sea.
Southend Victoria Station was about 10 to 15 minutes walk with a dedicated airport train service in about 5 minutes travel.
The price of a ticket West Ham to Stratford Airport was 15.40 GBP per adult.
London West Ham Station
No need to be quiet. Our empty carriage on London – Southend train.
I learned this trip Ed Sheeran is more popular in UK than I’d ever imagined.
Looked like a Martello Tower to me, but I don’t know location in Essex where I snapped this photo from the train.
Update: Reader identified tower as part of Hadleigh Castle, primarily constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries (1215-1370).
Low tide revealed a massive expanse of mud flats at the mouth of the Thames estuary. One large ship indicated deeper water comes back.
Southend Victoria Station
We were the only passengers who boarded the waiting train for several minutes before taking off to the airport. About 20 people were on the short train. In 5 minutes we stopped at Southend Airport station in front of Southend Airport.
We arrived at the airport coming from Southend-on-sea, in the opposite direction of the normal 45 minute train service from Stratford to Southend Airport. Track work gave us a little more adventure and sightseeing in Southend-on-Sea, but also created a little bit of anxiety over transportation to the airport. Needlessly as it turned out. We were two hours ahead of our flight and our FlyBe flight was ultimately delayed about 90 minutes for departure.
Southend Airport SEN
FlyBe and easyjet are the primary airlines flying at Southend Airport SEN with about 20 routes to 11 other countries in Europe.
Check-in was easy enough. I had my backpack and a carry-on bag and no seat assignment on my $49 ticket. Kelley had one paid checked bag. We were given seats in rows 3 and 4 for the 90 minute flight.
Southend SkyLife Lounge
Southend Airport has SkyLife Lounge, a Priority Pass lounge, but it did not accept Diners Club, my normal lounge entry method.
We bought some sandwich meals with drink and chips at the airport market for 5 GBP and a couple of 5 GBP pints at the airport bar.
After a late start by 90 minutes, we were in downtown Prague heading out for dinner by 7pm.