Bournemouth Airport is a modern and friendly airport based just out of town in Christchurch. It can be reached easily by road via the main route in and out of Bournemouth, the A338 or “Wessex Way.”
The airport serves around 600,000 passengers every year and 25 destinations ranging from package holidays to the sun and snow, fly-cruise link flights to the Caribbean and various towns and cities across Europe.
Bournemouth Airport works with Crystal Ski to provide winter flights to Turin, Italy and easyJet to Geneva. If you’ve got kids and fancy a less strenuous trip to enjoy the snow, you can take a flight with Santa’s Lapland, Transun, Thomson / First Choice, Newmarket Holidays, Omega or Hurtigruten to a variety of wintry destinations including Finland to see the big man in red himself, unforgettable trips to the Northern Lights and a tour of the Arctic.
If you’d rather seek some winter sun, Thomson / First Choice offer regular winter flights to warm destinations including Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Cyprus. Ryanair’s winter schedule will whisk you off to Alicante, Faro, Gran Canaria, Krakow, Malaga, Malta and Tenerife. Bournemouth Airport also provides flights to Barbados each winter to link up with three P&O Caribbean fly-cruises for the ultimate in winter sun!
While Bournemouth is a top spot for UK seaside holidays, the airport offers flights to various destinations if you fancy a change of scenery (or a break from the British weather!) Thomson / First Choice offer direct routes to the sun with flights to Corfu, Dalaman (Turkey), Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca, Naples, Paphos (Cyprus) and Tenerife, heading for some destinations up to four times a week.
Ryanair flights head to Alicante, Faro, Girona (Spain), Gran Canaria, Kraków, Malaga, Mallorca, Malta,Murcia (Spain) and Tenerife, visiting some of these destinations up to six days a week!
The airport also links up with Newmarket Holidays with a flight to Verona and delivers passengers bound for the Celebrity Fly-Cruise holiday around the Greek Islands too
Private jet hire
Besides the growing variety of scheduled flights to and from Bournemouth Airport, you can also travel in a private jet for the greatest level of control and flexibility over your schedule. The airport works with PrivateFly to provide access to thousands of aircraft and helicopters tailored to your needs and travel plans from small prop aircraft across the channel or long haul commercial large airliner to transport your whole sports team. PrivateFly covers all corners of the globe and operates 24/7 so you can plan and book your private charter flight whenever you need to.
If you’re departing from Bournemouth there are three options for long-stay parking at the airport. The Standard Parking package offers on-site parking with a transfer time of 3 to 10 minutes to the airport terminal. The Premium Parking guarantees you a space directly outside the terminal with a transfer time of 1 to 3 minutes. This rate includes wider parking bays, security FastTrack for up to six people and two complimentary drinks upon arrival in the terminal. The Summer Saver Parking option reserves spaces a short stroll from the terminal (5 to 7 minutes’ transfer) in an official airport car park only open in the summer months. This rate includes cancellation protection if your plans happen to change.
Bournemouth Airport is well served by the local road networks, in easy reach of Bournemouth Town Centre and the A338 out of town to the east and A31 to the west. If you want to hire a car, there is a branch of Europcar and Hertz inside the airport. You can reserve your car with these companies before you arrive or ask at the desk for a budget, family or executive car.
Time to shop
If you’re flying from Bournemouth Airport and your final destination is outside the European Union you can enjoy great savings in the World Duty Free shop on cosmetics, sweets, perfumes, fashion accessories, beers, spirits and wines, souvenirs, fine foods, cigarettes and cigars.
There is also a branch of WHSmith, stocked with all you could possibly need to occupy you and the family at the terminal as well as on the flight. You’ll find snacks, books, magazines, drinks and toys plus last-minute travel essentials like flight pillows, headphones and electrical adaptors.
Whether you’re meeting a flight or jetting off from Bournemouth, the airport has a trio of dining establishments ready to tempt you with snacks and light-bites, treats and full meals. Est Presso is an Italian coffee shop / café serving barista-made hot drinks, hot breakfast baguettes, fresh sandwiches and pastries to enjoy in the café or on your flight.
Joes Coffee House serves barista coffee, freshly-made hot food and has a convenient ‘grab-and-go’ selection ideal if you’re making a dash. As well as a variety of hot drinks, Joes serves fresh fruit juices, smoothies, sandwiches, soups and salads as well as a range of tempting cakes and baked goods.
The Olive Tree is a relaxed pub-style restaurant and bar – ideal for settling down to breakfast, lunch or dinner or whiling out the wait for your flight. You can choose from a range of traditional meals, light bites and snacks plus barista coffee and a fully-stocked bar to start the holiday the way you mean it to go on!
Bournemouth Airport security recommends a number of steps to make sure your holiday gets off to a great start. Before you travel make sure you have a valid passport and visa where appropriate. Many authorities now require a passport that is valid for at least six months from the time you fly so if it’s soon to expire you may need to organise a replacement in order to board.
If you’re taking a domestic flight, airlines now request to see appropriate photo identity so make sure you check with your airline and bring the ID you need to board your flight.
Check your ticket or travel itinerary or ask your airline for advice about check-in times but generally the check-in desks at Bournemouth open 2 to 3 hours before the flight is due to depart.
Make sure you’re familiar with the latest regulations about what you can and can’t take on board the aircraft. Each airline has its own policy regarding the amount of hand luggage you are permitted on board the aircraft so check with them before setting off. If you need to, you can take small quantities of liquids through security but these must be carried in a single, clear and re-sealable bag and each item in a separate container no greater than 100m / 100g. Permitted liquids include water and other drinks, soups and syrups, creams, lotions, perfumes, shower gels, toothpaste and mascara. If these liquids are not vital for your journey, they can be checked into the hold in your main suitcase.
Essential medicines needed on the trip must be checked through security and should be in containers of less than 100ml / 100g and in a clear plastic re-sealable bag. If the container is bigger you will need to bring supporting documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional and have prior approval from the airline.
Liquid baby food and sufficient sterilised water for the journey can be taken through Bournemouth airport security.
Laptops and large electrical items must be removed from hand luggage and scanned separately. Large musical instruments are allowed as an extra item of hand luggage but, again, must be screened separately.
Bournemouth Airport offers free WiFi for 60 minutes in any 24-hour period – ideal for taking care of the last-minute logistics on a business trip or occupying excitable kids after check-in. Simply select ‘BOH Public WiFi.’ It can be used for all connected devices inside the airport building. You can purchase additional WiFi connectivity at the airport in hourly, daily or even monthly packages if you’re a frequent visitor.
Smoking and electronic cigarettes
If you want a final cigarette or e-cig before take-off, Bournemouth Airport provides a dedicated smoking area airside in the departure lounge. There is another smoking area before you enter the departures terminal building. Electronic cigarettes are not permitted in the airport but they can be used in these dedicated smoking areas.
Bournemouth Airport offers a number of facilities for your service and comfort including wheelchairs, boarding assistance, toilet facilities and telephones.
A brief history
Bournemouth Airport first opened as RAF Hurn in 1942 during the Second World War. During this time, it was home to Spitfires, Wellingtons and Typhoons and became a base for a number of American squadrons. By the end of the war the airport was transferred to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and was actually the UK’s only intercontinental airport until the opening of Heathrow. It served Accra, Cairo, Calcutta, Johannesburg, New York, Sydney and Washington!
The 1950s to 1970s saw Bournemouth Airport become heavily involved in aircraft production. Vickers Viscount aircraft were built in the ‘50s and ‘60s followed by the BAC-1-11 jet aircraft during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Components for Concord were also assembled here.
In 1958 the first Palmair flight took off from Bournemouth bound for Palma, Majorca, as one of the UK’s very first charter holiday flights. The company offered charter and scheduled flights on behalf of Bath Travel to a dozen holiday destinations and a series of day trips.
The Concorde connection
1995 saw the main runway extended to 2271 metres, making it one of the longest in Southern England. The following year it was given its inaugural test with Concorde the first aircraft to fly in. In the following years Bath Travel regularly chartered Concorde and it became a frequent visitor to Bournemouth Airport.
Ryanair launched its Bournemouth-Dublin route in 1996 – the start of a partnership which sees routes to tens of European cities today. The airport came under the ownership of the Manchester Airport Group in 2001 and Le Cocqs Airlink (now Blue Islands) began regular flights to the Channel Islands.
In 2005 Thomsonfly opened a base at Bournemouth, adding flights to several European holiday and city break destinations and bringing a new wave of visitors to the area. The end of the year saw easyJet introduce a daily winter service to Geneva and Air Berlin start a new route to Paderborn, Germany.
In 2007 Manchester Airports Group began a major redevelopment programme, transforming Bournemouth Airport with development of the departures terminal, a new international arrivals hall (completed 2011) and additional car parking amongst other major improvements. The same year Wizz Air introduced a new service to Katowice, Poland – the airport’s first route to Eastern Europe and several cargo flights commenced including flowers from the Channel Islands, Royal Mail flights, RAF and Royal Navy transport. Today the airport is also home to three flying schools training private and commercial pilots.
Whether you’re planning a visit to Bournemouth or you want a short break leaving from your home town, the airport is an International, yet local facility, providing familiarity and friendliness with service on a global scale. Why not start planning your next holiday on the website and see where Bournemouth Airport can take you?