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Daytrip To LHR From The US  
User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5855 times:

First off, is it even possible? I live in OMA, so I'd have to get a connecting flight somewhere on the East Coast. Also, I'm young, so any extended stay is out of the question with the parents. So, basically...is it possible to get the right flights, fly in, spot for a day, then leave?


25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5811 times:

Yes it is, but not really a day trip

Most Europe bound flights from the US leave in late afternoon early evening, and fly overnight to arrive in Europe early the next morning. So theoretically, you could leave New York or wherever in the evening, arrive at LHR in the early hours, spot for 4-5 hours and catch a late morning, early afternoon return flight.


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5810 times:

Well, you shouldn't have a problem getting into LHR early in the morning from OMA, probably through ORD but staying there all day long and returning to the US might create a problem, since most LHR-US flights leave in the early afternoon, unless of course you fly to JFK, which I believe you can get a flight that comes in at night. However, connections from JFK to the rest of the US are few and far between.


User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

Thanks for the quick response. I have a few more questions that came up? Where is the best place to get the cheapest tickets, and would anyone even be willing to pick up a random teen from the states?


User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5778 times:

While you have conducted yourself in a very mature way since your arrival here on airliners, your profile says that you are 13-15 years old. Without sounding like a fuddy-duddy, are your parents ok with you vanishing to the UK for the day ?. I am sure there are plenty of folks on airliners that will be happy to help, but I feel that most will want to know that you are allowed to do this trip


User currently offlineKevi747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5763 times:

Why would you fly all the way to London and not stay for a few days? I just did it today and it SUCKS!!! A nine hour layover in LHR is not worth the trip, and I was getting paid for it! You should at least stay for a few days.

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5745 times:

I think the best you could do would be the following trip:

AA4276 OMA-ORD <--could take an earlier flight to spot in ORD
5:10pm-6:55am (+1 day)

9 hours and 40 minutes to spot in LHR
(minus time needed for immigration/customs and check-in)


Are you seriously considering such a trip? It's possible but it would cost a fortune just for a couple hours around LHR ($1,000+ for sure).


Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5736 times:

I knew this would come up at one point! I'm nearly sure my dad would let me do something like this, as he has already started to consider it. My dad has no desire to travel internationally, where as I do. He understands this and that's why he is seriously thinking about letting me go. Although it would be nice to stay a few days, like Kevi747 said, I think it's out of the question. First off, I'll probably be funding the trip on my own, and won't be able to get a hotel. I'm not even sure if that's allowed anyway, in terms of the legal aspect. Second, I don't think there's a chance in hell that would work with the dad. So, basically I think he looks at it as...I'm flying in, staying around the airport, and leaving. While still being halfway across the globe, it makes it sound much safer, IMO.


User currently offlineAirplanepics From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2748 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5730 times:

well, lets just say Id love to have a dad like yours. On the other hand, its not worth the trip across the pond unless your going to stay for at least a night. For a start you will be jet lagged (even if you did sleep on the flight) and secondly 7 or so hours in the UK? Immigration will question you like mad! By the time you got off your flight, got through immigration, colect any bags you may have, caught a bus to a decent spotting area you will have less then 5 1/2 hours to spot! And thats not including on the way back, where you have to catch the bus, check in (2 hours in advance) And thatll cut your time down to 3 hours easily! IF I was you, I would just stick with spotting in the USA until your a bit older and you have enough money to stay over night or for a few days.

Hope this helps

Simon - London-Aviation.com
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5669 times:

I think the est course of action for you if you are determined to make the trip is to start planning it out. Look at the costs, timing and try to get the hole thing organised. If this is acheived, and your dad goes for it, I am sure there will be many to help you out for the day. Just make sure it isnt Neil Robertson.


User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

I'm guessing it would probably be spring break of next year(mid-march I think). Although, if I can pull it off, I may be able to do it this winter break(late Dec). I've seen tickets on ORD-LHR as low as 500$ US. I'll have a chat with the dad within the next few days. Although, for an alternative, what about US day trips too? I've spotted at SEA, SFO, and LAX this year. So, I would like to get a East Coast airport in too. JFK perhaps?


User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

JFK perhaps?
sure, just take a boat out on the river, park it at the end of runway 4 and just walk up and down the runways for a few hours. Planes take off right over you, heck you can sit on the runway if you like as no-one seems to care..

The reason I mentioned it is that there was a news article today about three people that did just that.


User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5572 times:

Oh I understand now. Security and police must hassle every photographer insight, while they let people roam freely up and down the runways of one of the world's busiest airports! It's good to know that these guys are working so hard to keep us safe.  Insane While I was at SFO, there was a gate left clear open for trucks to pass through to get to a construction site at the airport. The funny thing is, the gate wasn't even manned by a officer of any sort. Although one did show up about 45 mins after I had started watching it. There were 767's and 777's taxiing 100ft, if not less, away from this gate. So, even if there WAS a armed officer at the gate, there's little preventing a car going past at a high rate of speed and somehow detonating a explosive under the a/c. I don't know, but IMO, this is a total joke.


User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5485 times:

Daytrip to LHR....unless you can get a good nights sleep on a plane and/or don't suffer from jetlag.... its probably not a good idea especially as the central observation deck (with its toilets and cafe) is closed. You'd be forced to travel around the perimeter which is just a big hassle after a night flight and if the weather is bad you'd feel like you'd gone to purgatory. Unless you then spend the next night in a hotel, you'd also have to take one of the very few evening flights back across the atlantic and then probably not make connections back to your home airport.

` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5339 times:
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For a day trip, i wouldn't bother, first you have a 7+ hour flight and by the time you reach LHR you'll have only a few hours left. Then by the time you find a decent place to spot (unless you're familiar with LHR it could be tricky) you'll only have a few hours left. Why not stay at one of the cheap hotels next to LHR for atleast one night?

In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineCmckeithen From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 617 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5272 times:

It is gonna cost you a lot of money to do this. Most airfares are running between $1,000 and $1,400. If you were able to do a Saturday night stay over, it might be cheaper.

You are underage to fly by your self anyway. Especially overseas. Most airlines say 16 and over can fly by themselves with out FA assistance. Do some more checking in with that.

Also, consider staying over a couple of days. Its worth it. All of that flying will take its toll on how you fell. Trust me, I just did a 15hr trip last week and it took me at least 1 day to recover.

User currently offlineWorldperks From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

There seem to be two parts to this: (1) is it a bit odd and (2) is it do-able?

Responding to the first part, I'd hate to tell you what some elite frequent flyers have done to keep their exalted status. A round-trip overseas is nothing. Check the chat archives at either http://frequentflyer.com or http://webflyer.com .

Responding to the second part, the August Skyguide shows that Midwest Express connects to two airports which receive early morning LHR departures as mentioned above. These are Washington Dulles (UA and BA) and Chicago O'Hare (AA and BA). Btw, one of the DC airports has Midwest Express non-stops to OMA.

In spite of inspiration, this is all bound to raise some security eyebrows, yes?

User currently offlineUndaero07 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5125 times:

personally, i would wait until youre 18 or older. a 15 year old should save up for a car rather than a day trip to london. just relax and enjoy your early high school days because in a couple of years it will all be over.

User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3545 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5024 times:

On another well known enthiousiasts website which shall remain anonymous someone posted the following rates for flights with UA. He did not mention the terms and conditions, which are likely to be strict. (I only listed the European destinations)

Los Angeles – Paris1
New York City - London
Washington, D.C. - Amsterdam1

I hate to repeat that others have been saying, but I'm wondering if this is really a wise thing? Personnaly I would not let you fly that far, PERIOD. Irrespective if you'd take a hotel in/near London or not. Why not stay in the US? Besides, if it is only for one day you are bound to attract security checks. I for one would not be surprised if you spend most of your time in London speaking to securtity, police, immigration etc. Worldperks may have said in the previous post that frequent flyers do silly things to keep their exalted status. But I do not believe you are such a traveller. And I would not expect security to believe it either.

JFK has a lot of international flights as well as Concorde (I am mentioning it because I have a sneeky suspicion you may be going for this bird). Miami also has a great airport with excellent viewing fascilities, or so I've been told. Being only 22 I have not been able to fly that far. Big grin

There must be a lot of possibilities without going on such a long flight!

User currently offlineN6376M From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4916 times:


Before your go fishing off of JFK, you might want to read this.


If you ask me, London for a day is too far to go. However, if you're set on going overseas, I'd suggest AMS. Great observation deck, good mix of traffic and the cost should be about the same.

Good luck.


User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4870 times:


You mentioned a 9-hour layover for your trip today. I'm assuming that American puts you guys up in the Hilton Heathrow in a day room, and then you work the flight back? What an awful trip, if that's the case!

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L

User currently offlineLHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

You would need more than a day at LHR, because you would probably want to see Concorde, which takes off in the evening - depending on your flight times. If your dad is letting you fly over on your own, and obviously has a great deal of trust in you then he should let you stay in a hotel! Depending of course on the age restrictions at the hotels surrounding LHR. LHR Is also a very confusing place if you don't know where you are going, especially to the many spotting areas...And although the weather is very good at the moment, it could change, and could ruin your trip.


A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4755 times:

Alright guys, thanks for the replies. It appears that the main opinion is don't do it. Now that I think it about it, you're all very right! In terms of spotting in the US, I've got it down to either JFK or YVR. I know YVR obviously isn't in the US, but...it's not too far or anything. I visited Vancouver last year, but never spotted. Any advice on this? BTW, dad already approved a US daytrip


User currently offlineClipper471 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 6 months 2 hours ago) and read 4654 times:

"...I've seen tickets on ORD-LHR as low as 500$ US."

Er, no. That's if you stay the minimum of a Saturday night. If you return the same day of your arrival (you will pay through your teeth (in the thousands of dollars).

Also, is it permissable to travel internationally at such a young age by ones self? Do you even have a passport?

Other reasons already brought up... jetlag, possible security detainment, flight delays, and if you're in London then see the damn sights! You can spot just as well at your local airport.

User currently offlineWGW2707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1197 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (12 years 6 months 1 hour ago) and read 4618 times:


I would strongly reccommend that if you want to take a daytrip for plane spotting, you consider YVR or JFK. Personally, though I haven't been spotting there, I like the way JFK looks, and it might be possible to see the exterior of the legendary, but now abandoned, TWA terminal, one of the great architectural masterpieces of its time. YVR probably suffers from the same disadvantages as LHR, that being that it is in a foreign country, in this case Canada, and even though your daytripping there would go over better with the customs authorities than a daytrip to London, it still isn't as safe going to an airport in the US.

If you have the kind of money to fly to London round trip, I suggest you do it with your parents, and spend a few nights there. I have been to Europe 3 times and am going again later this month, and it is 100% worth it. Actually, I like it so much that I would find only spending a day there rather depressing. When you are 16 btw, if my understanding of British and European law is correct, you will have increased legal rights in the UK and taking an overnight trip there by yourself would be a safer proposition, but be SURE to verify that with a Brit, and DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT PLEASE.

In any event, should you undertake such a journey, use EXTREME caution. Avoid looking suspicious, avoid lingering around empty areas, avoid contact with persons except for those employed by the airlines, and make sure your parents have a full copy of your itinerary so if there should be a problem you'll have that backup plan, also be sure to take a supply of cash with you for emergency expenses, and make sure you have the ability to contact your parents at all times.


User currently offlineAa777flyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (12 years 6 months ago) and read 4596 times:

If you are under sixteen American Airlines will not accept you for travel for this type of itinerary. There would have to be someone (legal age adult) to meet you in LHR and take responsibility for you at that point. In other words we will not accept a 13 year old to just fly to LHR for the fun of it then fly home. I know its a bummer.


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