Birmingham Airport essential travel guide
Postcode for GPS: B26 3QJ

Birmingham Airport is the UK's seventh busiest hub by passenger traffic, with approximately 8.6 million people passing through in 2011. The West Midlands airport handles a high proportion of business traffic, but is also a popular departure point for holidaymakers with flights to international destinations.

How to get there

Situated at the heart of the British motorway network, Birmingham Airport lies within a two-hour drive for more than 35 million people. It is located to the south-east of the city centre, near Bickenhill in the borough of Solihull.
 
Motorists/car
Motorists can reach the hub via Junction 6 of the M42 motorway, or by using the A45 from central Birmingham.
 
All car parks are located within walking distance of the terminals. Drivers will find short, medium and long-stay options, with discounted rates available for bookings. There is also a 'drop and go' area adjacent to the terminal, which charges £1 for ten minutes. 
 
Public transport
The airport also boasts excellent rail connections, with Birmingham International station on its doorstep. There is a free monorail system, the Air-Rail Link, to carry people from the station to the terminals.
 
Train services between Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street in the city centre run approximately every ten minutes.

The airport

Birmingham is now known as a One Terminal airport, as its two terminals were merged into a single facility last year as part of a £100 million redevelopment plan.
 
This means there is a central security search area, from which all passengers can access the various shops, restaurants and departure lounges.
 
The airport is a base for bmibaby, flybe, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Other carriers that have a presence at Birmingham include Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
 
A range of shops can be found within the terminal, with outlets of Boots, Dixons, Next and JD Sports giving passengers a chance to make some last-minute purchases before catching cheap flights to New York or elsewhere.
 
In addition, the airport's World Duty Free store offers a wealth of savings on cosmetics, confectionary, sunglasses and spirits.
 
For those looking to start their holiday in style, the Blanc et Noir Champagne and Wine Bar in the departure lounge provides a rarefied atmosphere and a range of fine tipples.
 
Other dining options at the airport include branches of Frankie and Benny's, Burger King, Upper Crust and Caffe Nero. A new bar and restaurant, The Meriden, is due to open in March 2012.

Direct Flights travel tip

The airport has introduced an automated gate for biometric passport holders at Immigration, so holders of the new style of passport can avoid the queues when they fly back into Birmingham.

Other facilities

For travellers with smartphones and tablet computers, Wi-Fi is now available for free throughout the terminal building.
 
A multi-faith prayer room can be found on the ground floor of the building, behind check-in desk 28. 
 
Baggage wrapping is priced at £3.50 for any standard size suitcase or small bag. Larger items will cost between £4 and £10.

Hotels nearby Birmingham Airport

There are several places close to the airport where travellers can rest up before catching an early flight. The Ibis Birmingham Airport is located just 300 metres from the terminal and offers a free shuttle bus to Birmingham International station.
 
Another option is the Novotel Birmingham Airport, which provides four-star accommodation directly opposite the hub.