Planning a trip to the United Kingdom and flying to London Luton and wondering if you can buy a sim card on arrival at the airport Don't ruin your trip to London due to high roaming charges or slow overseas data roaming plans. This is a complete guide with everything you need to know about buying a sim card at London Luton Airport.

Find out where to buy a sim card at Luton Airport, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, the best e-sim cards for the UK, information about international sim cards and more.

Traveling is my biggest passion and I like to document all my travel tips for other travelers. Getting connected is one of the first things I look for when planning my next trip. In the past I used to buy a local prepaid sim card everywhere on arrival but these days I mostly use e-sim cards.

Since Traveltomtom is also on on a journey to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Europe, Frankfurt, Madrid, Lisbon, Milan, GreeceSaudi Arabia, Rwanda, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Moscow, Malaysia, Marrakech, Aruba, Oman, Zanzibar, New Zealand, Philippines and many more.

Of course Traveltomtom also wrote specific sim card guides for the UK: best prepaid sim card for tourist in the UK and a comparison of the best UK e-sim cards in 2024.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest e-sim card and prepaid sim card advice for your holiday destination.

Is London your first stop on a trip to Europe then you might be better off with a European sim card. Check out my article about the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying an EE UK prepaid sim card at London Luton Airport. For $25 USD you get a little more than 10 GB data.

Unfortunately you can only buy physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are still NOT provided at London Luton Airport. But you can buy an e-sim card for traveling in the UK on the internet.

Keep in mind that e-sim cards for the UK are cheaper than the sim cards you can buy at London Luton Airport. For $21 USD you already get a UK e-sim card with 20 GB data. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for the UK via either SimOptions, Airalo or Nomad.

For more info about using e-sim cards in the UK check out my complete guide for buying an e-sim card for traveling in the United Kingdom in 2024.

If you want to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival in London then wait till you get to a phone store in London city center and find much better prepaid sim card deals. Traveltomtom also wrote a guide for the best tourist sim card for the UK in 2024.

A great alternative is to order an international sim card for travelers before your trip and get a physical prepaid sim card delivered to your home address. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards with data for traveling in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip.

Best e-sim cards for the UK

E-sim cards are the most convenient and easiest way to stay connected when traveling to London in 2024. No more visiting a sim card store or swapping physical sim cards. You arrange everything online within just a couple minutes.

You order an e-sim card for the UK on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a UK e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in the United Kingdom it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for the UK.

For all FAQ's about using e-sim cards when traveling to the United Kingdom click on the link to read my detailed guide.

There are several e-sim card providers, here are the most trusted ones.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for united kingdom 2024

Airalo offers multiple data-only e-sim cards for traveling in the UK and Traveltomtom has used Airalo lots of times without any problem Check out the Airalo e-sim card deals for the UK in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $7.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22.5 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $36 USD

Click here for more info or to directly order an e-sim card for the UK via Airalo.

The above Airalo e-sim cards for the UK are from Uki Mobile and are data-only. Calling and texting is NOT supported. The data allowance is only valid in the UK, there is no free EU roaming with these e-Sim cards. They operate on the 4G/LTE networks of O2 and Three.

SimOptions

simoptions international esim cards for uk 2024

SimOptions offers different e-sim cards, so called international e-sim cards for traveling. These e-sim cards are valid in up to 39 countries and include EU data-roaming and as well as calling and texting.

Check out the SimOptions international e-sim card plans for 2024:

  • 15 GB data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $21.90 USD
  • 10 GB data (5G ready) + $2 calling credit for 30 days = $24.90 USD 
  • 12 GB data + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD (data-only, no EU roaming)
  • 30 GB data + unlimited calls for 30 days = $44.90 USD
  • 30 GB data + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $49.90 USD
  • 50 GB data (5G ready) + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD

Click here to order an international e-sim card for the UK via SimOptions or find more offers and info in the link.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for uk 2024

A third trusted and reviewed e-sim provider is Nomad. Traveltomtom has used Nomad in more than 10 countries around the world.

Here are the regular Nomad e-sim card plans for the UK in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $7 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $8 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $21 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for the UK from Nomad.

Before ordering an e-sim card for the UK first make sure your phone is unlocked. Second, make sure your phone is e-sim compatible. E-sim cards only work in unlocked phones that are e-sim ready.

For more UK e-sim card offers and much more details check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to the United Kingdom in 2024 with an answer to all FAQ's about using e-sims for traveling to the UK.

Not every smartphone is e-sim compatible and in that case you can order a physical prepaid sim cards for the UK on the internet. You can find an international prepaid sim cards for the UK with 10 GB data and unlimited calls in all of Europe for $24.90 USD. Click here to directly order this sim card for the UK via SimOptions or see all the offers and find more info.

When you can wait till London city center there are numerous mobile phone shops to get your UK sim card from. Have a look at my UK prepaid sim card comparison for 2024 and find the best UK sim card for tourists.

RELATED: a list of charming but cheap Airbnbs in London! Check out these 15 homes for under $100 per night!

London Luton Airport

After Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Luton is the 4th largest airport in London. More than 90% of the arrivals are from European destinations, only a handful intercontinental flights arriving here per day. Mainly intercontinental flights from Asia and Northern Africa fly into London Luton Airport.

Where to buy a sim card at London Luton Airport

sim card vending machine luton airport

Just like at the other London Airports there are two places where you can buy a UK sim card: sim card vending machines in the baggage claim hall and at the WH Smith shop in the arrivals hall.

wh smith luton airport

Of course the vending machines won't give you any costumer service, although all the info is clearly displayed. Though I can understand that there are still a lot of questions that rise. At the WH Smith shop they are able to give you a little more information in case you have questions about buying a UK prepaid sim card at London Luton Airport.

wh smith sim card luton airport

There are 4 main mobile internet operators in the UK: Vodafone, Three, O2 and EE. Apart from O2 you can buy a sim card from all of the mobile internet providers in the UK on London Luton Airport. On top of that you also have Lebara and Lycamobile sim cards for the UK.

Lebara sim cards can be found at the WH Smith shops and Lyca Mobile sim cards can be bought from the sim card vending machine.

Free data roaming in EU with UK sim cards

Because there are hardly any intercontinental arrivals the demand for UK sim cards at Luton Airport is not as big as on other international airports in London. Since summer 2017 data roaming fees within the EU are banned. Therefore most people traveling to London Luton can use their own local sim cards from home.

But because I like to research sim card for tourists in the UK I also traveled to Luton Airport, just as I did it for Amsterdam airport, Frankfurt, Rome, Paris and many more. Buying a sim card at an airport is not always the best idea. Especially in Netherlands and Germany you get ripped off buying a sim card on arrival.

Brexit and EU roaming

Unfortunately there is no more free EU data roaming on UK sim cards. You will either be charged a daily fee or there are a lot of limitations. UK sim cards are simply NOT worth it anymore for traveling to Europe. Check out my list of the best sim cards for traveling to Europe in 2024.

Prices sim cards London Luton Airport

Vodafone UK prepaid sim card

There is only one Vodafone UK prepaid sim card available at London Luton Airport and I can already tell you it is not the best deal at all. You can buy it at the sim card vending machine in the baggage hall.

Price

£20 GBP

Data

1GB + 4GB extra

Minutes

Unlimited

Text

Unlimited

Valid

30 days

Lyca Mobile UK prepaid sim card 

The Lyca Mobile UK sim cards can only be bought at the sim card vending machines as well.

Price

£25 GBP

£35 GBP

Data

6GB

15GB

Minutes

3,000

Unlimited

International minutes

100

100

Text

3,000

Unlimited

Valid

30 days

30 days

Lebara UK prepaid sim card

Lebara prepaid sim cards can only be found at the WH Smith shop in the arrivals hall. If you have read my article about prepaid sim cards in Spain, Germany and France you already know Im not a big fan of Lebara sim cards. At London Luton Airport they have offer two UK sim cards.

Price

£20 GBP

£30 GBP

Data

1GB

5GB

Minutes

500

Unlimited

International minutes

500

Unlimited

Text

-

1,000

Valid

30 days

30 days

In case you might be someone who calls a lot to international numbers the unlimited bundle on the £30 UK sim card of Lebara could be of use. Although WhatsApp calls are for free nowadays and you only need a proper data connection.

Three UK prepaid sim card

At the sim card vending machine you find 1 Three prepaid sim card and at the WH Smith shop you can find three more.

Price

£30 GBP

vending machine

£20 GBP

WH Smith shop

£30 GBP

WH Smith shop

£45 GBP

WH Smith shop

Data

12GB

1GB

12GB

Unlimited*

Minutes

Unlimited

3,000

3,000

3,000

Text

Unlimited

3,000

3,000

3,000

Valid

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

*The unlimited data bundle in the EE UK Prepaid sim card for £45 is limited to 12GB per destination in Europe.

EE UK prepaid sim card

Last but not least the EE UK sim cards. There are only 2 different UK sim cards available, but you can buy them at both the sim card vending machine and the WH Smith shop.

Price

£20 GBP

€25 GBP

Data

10.5GB

13GB

Minutes

150 UK or international

250 UK or international

Text

150

500

Valid

30 days

30 days

Best UK sim card London Luton Airport

ee sim card luton airport

The Vodafone and Lebara prepaid sim cards at London Luton Airport are too expensive and not worth it for tourists. Personally I like prepaid sim card plans with big data bundles. Calling and texting I can’t be bothered about that much.

Traveltomtom compared all the available prepaid sim cards at London Luton Airport and in fact would like to recommend ordering an e-sim card for the UK on the internet. There are e-sim cards for the UK that you order online with 20 GB data for just $21 USD.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for the UK via Nomad, Airalo or SimOptions.

For a much more detailed guide about using e-sim cards when traveling to the UK check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for the UK in 2024.

The EE UK prepaid sim cards at London Luton Airport have the best value for money. For £20 GBP ($25 USD) you get 10.5 GB data. Therefore EE is the best sim card at London Luton Airport in 2024.

Buy a prepaid sim card for the UK online

international prepaid sim cards for traveling to uk 2024

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a sim card for traveling to the United Kingdom online before your trip then check out the following.

Arrive prepared for your trip to London with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in London, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions offers the following international prepaid sim cards for the UK:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • $2 calling credit (no top-up)
  • valid for 30 days
  • valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 56 countries
  • 4G/LTE

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 39 countries
  • 4G/LTE

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 39 countries
  • 4G/LTE

Click here to order an international sim card for traveling to the UK via SimOptions.

Also a last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange everything online by simply getting an e-sim card for traveling to the UK. Click here to order a data-only UK e-sim card via Airalo or here for ordering an international e-sim card for the UK including calls and texting via SimOptions.

Curious to know more detailed info about using e-sim cards then check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for the UK in 2024.

From Luton Airport to London City

how To get from luton airport to london

There are many busses and trains leaving every 10 minutes. Close to the exit there is an information center on your right side if you walk out. There you can find information about how to get from Luton Airport to London and also directly buy your tickets.

Trains are the fastest option, busses are cheaper though. There are live information screen available about the departing busses and trains and free shuttles to the train station. The bus stop is directly outside the terminal.

The reason I ended up on three different airports in London in December 2019 is a funny one, or rather stupid. For my flight to Gdansk, Poland I showed up at London Stansted Airport instead of London Luton Airport. I missed my flight but was lucky enough to fly a couple hours later to Poland on a different flight from Luton Airport.

When traveling to and from London double check that you are at the right airport. It sounds like a simple thing but apparently even for a very well experienced traveler like me it is not. In total I have been to more than 130 countries in 11 years continuous traveling and by documenting these trips I became a full time professional travel blogger. Read more about it in the link.

I hope this article with information about buying a sim card at London Luton Airport was helpful for your trip to the UK.

Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.

Enjoy your trip to London!