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Cardiff Airport CWL

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Cardiff Airport (CWL) Guide

Discover Cardiff Airport, your portal to Wales, featuring the unique distinction of being the only airport in Wales offering international flights. Our concise guide equips you with essential information, from flight updates and terminal guides to the best dining and shopping spots. Whether it's parking advice or navigating airline terminals, we simplify your travel. Dive into our guide for a seamless journey at CWL.

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Helpful Tips & Resources

Is Vale of Glamorgan Airport (CWL) airport a bit unfamiliar to you? Look no further than for insightful tips and advice. Read on!

CWL has one terminal building with three levels. The terminal is divided into two sections: the Departures Lounge and the Arrivals Hall. There are 16 gates in total, with 10 gates located in the Departures Lounge and 6 gates in the Arrivals Hall.

The Departures Lounge is where you'll find check-in desks, security, and the majority of the airport's shops, restaurants, and services. The gates are located on the ground floor, with boarding gates 1-6 located to the left of security and gates 7-10 located to the right of security.

The Arrivals Hall is located on the ground floor and is where you'll find baggage claim, customs, and immigration. The gates for arriving flights are located on the first floor, with gates 11-16 located to the right of the escalators.

CWL Airport is a hub for several airlines, including TUI Airways, Ryanair, and KLM. TUI Airways and Ryanair primarily use gates 1-6, while KLM uses gates 7-10. However, gate assignments can vary depending on the airline and flight.

Use our interactive airport map to locate food, services, and airline departure gates.

Connecting Between Terminals

The airport has only one terminal, making it easy for travelers to navigate and transfer between flights. The terminal is conveniently located near the car park, train station, and bus stop, making it easily accessible by public transportation. Travelers can also walk to and from the terminal, as it is a short distance from the car park and train station. The airport does not offer shuttle bus services to transfer between terminals because there is only one terminal. Overall, getting between terminals at Cardiff Airport is a breeze due to its small size and convenient location.

Picking Up and Dropping Off Passengers

At the airport, there are designated areas for picking up and dropping off passengers. The drop-off zone is located in front of the terminal building, while the pick-up zone is located in the short-stay car park. It is important to note that curbside parking is not allowed, and vehicles must not be left unattended in these areas.

If you need to wait for your arriving passengers, there is a cell-phone waiting area available. This area is located just a short distance from the terminal building and allows drivers to park their vehicles for free for up to 30 minutes while waiting for their passengers to arrive. This is a convenient option for those who do not want to pay for parking or circle around the airport while waiting for their passengers.

Parking Facilities & Options

If you're flying out of Cardiff Airport, you'll have several parking options to choose from. The airport offers both short-term and long-term parking options, with both on-site and off-site parking available.

The on-site parking options include the Meet & Greet service, which allows you to drop off your car right outside the terminal, as well as the Long Stay and Short Stay car parks. The Long Stay car park is situated a short distance from the terminal, while the Short Stay car park is located just a few minutes' walk away.

If you're looking for a more economical parking option, off-site parking is available at several nearby locations. These off-airport car parks offer shuttle services to and from the terminal, making them a convenient and cost-effective choice for travelers.

For those who need to wait for arriving passengers, there is a cell phone waiting area located near the airport entrance. This area allows you to wait in your car until your party has arrived and is ready to be picked up.

Handicapped parking is available in all of the on-site car parks, with designated spaces located near the terminal entrance. If you require assistance getting to or from your car, the airport offers a Meet & Greet service that can provide additional support.

Get details about Cardiff Airport parking options and rates, along with more economical off-airport parking here.

Transportation Options

CWL offers a variety of transportation options to get you to your final destination.

For those looking to rent a car, there are several car rental facilities available at the airport including Avis, Europcar, and Hertz. These providers offer a range of vehicles to suit your needs, whether you're traveling alone or with a group.

If you prefer to take a taxi, there are drop-off areas located outside the terminal building. The fare for a taxi ride from the airport to Cardiff city center is approximately £30.

Shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft are also available at the airport. Pickup areas for these services are located outside the terminal building, and there may be restrictions on the number of passengers or amount of luggage allowed.

Airport shuttles are a convenient option for those traveling to nearby hotels or other destinations. These shuttles typically have designated pickup areas outside the terminal building and fares vary depending on the destination.

For those looking for a more affordable option, public transportation is available from the airport. The T9 bus service runs every 20 minutes and provides direct transportation to Cardiff city center. The fare for this service is £5.

Airport Hotels

Whether you're seeking a luxurious 4-star stay, a charming countryside inn, or beachfront lodgings, we've got you covered. From the Celtic International Hotel, located less than a mile from the airport, to the tranquil retreat offered by the Fox and Hounds Llancarfan, there are options to suit every traveler's needs. For those seeking a home away from home, the Beautiful 3 bedroom cottage in Vale of Glamorgan and Haven House Rooms, Barry offer well-equipped accommodations with kitchen amenities. Meanwhile, the Vale Park Hotel and The Mount Rooms are perfect for travelers looking to explore local attractions. Discover the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, and a taste of Welsh hospitality with our comprehensive list of CWL Airport Hotels.

Dining, Shopping & Enjoying the Airport

Cardiff Airport offers a variety of dining and shopping options for travelers. If you're looking for a quick bite before your flight, head to The Beer House, located in the departure lounge, for a selection of sandwiches, salads, and light bites. For a sit-down meal, Caffè Ritazza offers a range of hot and cold meals, including breakfast options, and is located in both the departure and arrivals areas.

If you're in the mood for some retail therapy, WHSmith is a great option for books, magazines, and snacks. For duty-free shopping, World Duty Free offers a range of products, including cosmetics, fragrances, and alcohol. If you're looking for Welsh souvenirs, head to A Taste of Wales, located in the departure lounge, for gifts such as Welsh cakes, preserves, and whiskey.

The locations of all food, shops, and services at CWL can be found using iFly's interactive map. For a complete list of restaurants, bars, shops, and news stands, check your options here.

Passenger Services

CWL Airport offers a range of passenger services to ensure a comfortable and stress-free travel experience.

For those who need to stay connected, free WiFi is available throughout the airport. Lost and found services are also available at the information desk, located in the main terminal building.

Traveling with children? the airport has a designated children's play area located near the departure gates, equipped with toys and games to keep little ones entertained before their flight. Special-needs services are also available, including wheelchair assistance and accessible toilets.

Need to take care of some banking before your flight? There are ATMs and currency exchange services located throughout the airport. For medical assistance, a first aid room is located in the main terminal building.

Flight Status Info

As air travel has become an integral part of modern-day life, it is crucial for travelers to stay updated on their flight status. At Cardiff Airport, passengers can easily get real-time information about their flight's departure, delays, and gate information through various means.

One of the most convenient ways to check flight status is by using the in-airport Flight Information Display System (FIDS), which provides up-to-date information about all departing flights. Passengers can easily locate the FIDS screens throughout the airport and check their flight status by entering their flight number or destination.

Moreover, most airlines offer mobile phone apps that allow passengers to receive alerts about departure delays, cancellations, or gate changes. Passengers can download their airline's app and enable push notifications, text, or email alerts to stay informed about their flight status.

Passengers can also check the status of their flight departure at Cardiff Airport by visiting the flight departures page on, which provides real-time updates on flight departures, delays, and gate information.

Helpful Tips

When to Arrive

It is recommended to arrive at CWL Airport at least two hours prior to your scheduled departure time for domestic flights and three hours prior for international flights. The busiest times to avoid are during peak holiday periods and weekends, as well as early morning and late afternoon rush hours.

Getting to the Airport

The best ways to get to the airport are by car, taxi, or bus. If you are driving, there are several car parks available on site, including a drop-off and pick-up area for passengers. Taxis are readily available outside the terminal building, and there are also several bus routes that serve the airport from various locations in the surrounding areas.

Getting Oriented

Cardiff Airport's website,, offers an interactive airport map that can help you get oriented and navigate the airport easily. The map includes information on all the facilities and services available at the airport, such as shops, restaurants, and lounges. You can also use the map to find your gate and check the status of your flight.

Avoiding Delays

To avoid delays at Cardiff Airport, make sure to arrive on time and allow plenty of time for check-in and security screening. You can also check the status of your flight on the airport's website or through your airline's website or app. It is also recommended to pack your carry-on luggage in an organized and efficient manner to make the security screening process quicker and smoother.

Airport Facts & Stats

CWL, located in the United Kingdom, has a single terminal serving both domestic and international flights. The airport is located about 12 miles from the city center of Cardiff.

The top airlines with the most daily flights at CWL Airport are Flybe, Ryanair, and TUI Airways. On average, the airport handles around 8,000 passengers daily with an average of 80 daily flights. The airport serves over 50 destinations worldwide.

The top 5 destinations served by the airport are Amsterdam, Dublin, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, and Malaga. The airport also serves popular destinations such as Paris, Edinburgh, and Barcelona.

Cardiff Airport is a hub for TUI Airways and has a number of other airlines that use it as a base, including Ryanair, Flybe, and Vueling.

Airport History

Cardiff Airport, located in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1940s. Here are some significant events in the airport's history:

  • 1940: The airport was originally built as a wartime satellite aerodrome for RAF Llandow.
  • 1954: The airport was officially opened for civil use and became known as Rhoose Airport.
  • 1965: The runway was extended to accommodate larger aircraft.
  • 1995: The airport was privatized and sold to TBI plc.
  • 2000: A new terminal building was opened, doubling the airport's capacity.
  • 2007: The Welsh government purchased the airport from TBI plc.
  • 2013: The airport was rebranded as CWL.
  • 2015: Qatar Airways launched daily flights to Doha, marking the airport's first long-haul route.
  • 2019: The airport announced a £4 million investment to improve the terminal building and passenger experience.

Today, CWL Airport serves over 1.5 million passengers annually and offers flights to over 50 destinations worldwide.

Airport Contact Information

For more information about Cardiff Airport, please refer to the following contact details:

Note that the contact information provided here is subject to change by the airport operator(s).

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