Cardiff Airport Information
Cardiff International Airport is located in the village of Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan, and is situated around 12 miles from Wales’ capital city. The Welsh Government have owned Cardiff Airport since 2013, and passenger numbers continue to increase each year; its single terminal handled 1.3 million passengers in 2016. The airport serves travellers form a wide area – mainly South, Mid and West Wales. Most fights are to regional or popular European destinations with the main flight operators including Flybe, Ryanair, KLM, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Jet2, Air France, Aer Lingus, easyJet and British Airways.
Cardiff Airport statistics and services
Cardiff is Wales’ only international airport and facilitates the transit of approximately 1.3 million passengers, on more than 26,000 different flights each year. Aircraft movements increased 5% in 2016, with passenger numbers up 16% on 2015 as well.
The increase in passenger numbers and air traffic has sparked a development strategy, with expansion of the airport terminal and refurbishment of existing buildings. The extension at the front of the terminal is designed to link arrivals and departures zones in one large area, offering new retail and food services.
Roads surrounding the Cardiff Airport started to experience severe congestion from the turn of century when the airport’s popularity began to escalate. As a result, in addition to the building extensions, the approach area directly outside the terminal have been redesigned. The Welsh Assembly Government had commissioned a study to explore options of further improving road access through wider roads and better links to the M4 motorway, but they subsequently decided that it would be more beneficial to increase rail and bus service frequency.
Facilities have improved at Cardiff Airport following its recent modernisation. Although it is a small terminal with a limited number of food outlets and retail stores, it does have the majority of amenities you expect to find at an international airport. The following are some of the facilities and services that are available: café, bar, ATMs, currency exchange kiosk, Duty-Free shop and a limited selection of retail stores. All of Cardiff Airport’s food & drink outlets only remain open during flight operation hours.
In respect to ground transport, accessing the airport from the city of Cardiff is relatively cheap and easy. The Cardiff Airport Express Bus (T9) provides a convenient connection service between Cardiff Airport and the city centre.
The Vale of Glamorgan railway line also provides a route to the airport from Cardiff and nearby towns. Rhoose Cardiff International Airport has hourly services to and from Cardiff Central and Bridgend, where passengers can access the South Wales Main Line. The airport’s railway station is linked to the air passenger terminal by Cardiff Airport Rail Link bus service, with a journey time of around 10 minutes.
For car travellers, the M4 motorway is nearby and provides access to other areas of South Wales, as well as a direct route to London. Car parking is convenient as both the Long Stay and Short Stay zones are on the main site. For those looking to hire vehicles, there are several car rental firms situated at the airport – all of which are open 7 days a week.
What if you are severely delayed at Cardiff Airport?
For passengers unlucky enough to be facing a long flight delay, the services Cardiff Airport has to offer are limited, but adequate. Providing that Cardiff Airport flight disruptions are too extensive, there should be enough amenities to keep travellers content. Two cafes and a restaurant-bar represent the three dining options available – all three having opening hours that align to daily flight schedule.
Wi-Fi internet access is free for 30 minutes, after which time can be extended on a pay-per-hour basis. Another option for getting online are the three internet booths located throughout the terminal that charge per minute – free mobile phone charging stations are available there too. There are Games Zones in two areas of the airport, with arcade games to keep children entertained. It is possible to sleep in the airport if stranded overnight, it is generally quiet during this time, but the bench seating provided is uncomfortable. An executive lounge is available to economy travellers for a surcharge, but 24 passes need to be purchased 24 hours in advance. Unfortunately there are no shower facilities at the airport itself. It is advised those delayed overnight stay at one of the four hotels located within 10 minutes of Cardiff Airport.