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Planning London And Need To Know Good Airline  
User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

I am seriously considering going to London next spring/summer and am starting to look at various airlines, and options. Can i get some information/advice on what airlines i should take to London and what London airport i should fly into? I am/would probably be leaving from IND. thanks and cheers  Smile


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNoelG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

Hi there

In terms of the best airport, to be honest you've got to pick the best of a bad bunch! Any will involve at least a half hour transfer into the city, LGW is quieter though and imo a better airport to come into. There is a train straight to central London and from the states you have a good choice of DL/NW/US/CO/AA/BA.

LHR is a heap, overcrowded and looking very tired for the most part. They have been renovating parts of it but it is always really packed and to be honest I hate having to fly from there. From the states it's probably BA/AA/UA. It is slightly closer to the city than LGW and has a rail link (The Heathrow Express) but it's very expensive compared to the regular train. I would prefer LGW just for the factor of it being a more modern, quieter airport. I think LHR is about half an hour from central London.

STN is probably the best airport, but you will struggle for flights from the US as it's LCC zone!

You could always fly into MAN, it's at the other end of the country but is a much better airport and it's a 3 hour train ride to London. This way you get to see more of the country, the train takes you through some beautiful countryside. BHX is only an hour and a half by train to London, and again is a nice, if smaller airport. You can get a CO 757 from EWR-BHX.

Cheers,
Noel.


User currently offlineSfuk From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

If you fly to LHR you'll have the choice of:
BA
Virgin
American
United


LGW:
Continental
Delta
US Airways
Northwest

Both airports have good and easy connections to central London. Gatwick is a little further out than Heathrow.

Hope you make it over!

Stu


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3093 times:

While Heathrow is busy do consider the amount of vacation and charter traffic going through Gatwick as the terminal can get very crowded with long lines.

Are you flying First, Business, or Steerage? That makes a difference in which one you select. If flying premium then Virgin or BA are the way to go. If cattle class is your choice then pick your poisin amongst the various carriers.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineBrokenrecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 3):
If flying premium then Virgin or BA are the way to go.

If he is flying premium, then it is a moot point as all of them are decent in their premium classes.

BA is always a solid choice though.


User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Thanks for the info...i have never left the US (except to go to Canada) and i want to expand my horizons  Smile


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2976 times:

Quoting 7E72004 (Reply 5):
Thanks for the info...i have never left the US (except to go to Canada) and i want to expand my horizons

Since you've never left the US (except to visit us Canucks  Big grin ) I would strongly recommend you flying with BA or VS into LHR. The reasoning behind this is because it will be your first trip abroad and I find that flying on a foreign carrier is always a bit more interesting then flying a hometown carrier. It's something new and you get immediate interaction to another country/culture.

I would recommend flying into LHR, despite it's reputation for being a "heap" and passenger unfriendly (even though you'll get used to it) because it is a fascinating airport and it'll give you an opportunity to see aircraft and airlines that you have never seen before and won't see at LGW or STN.

That's how I would do it if it were my first time.

BTW, BA may be your easiest bet because I'm sure you can get an AA flight out of IND and cnx onto BA.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineAirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

I make the trip once a year. Leaving out of the east coast I do my best to take the day flight (departs 8-9am arrives 9-10pm). I noticed in your profile it shows IND as your home city - I don't know if they'd have any connections to make it though. I'd suggest it since you don't have to have the dreaded "is my hotel ready yet" wait.

With the arrival at LHR in the evening I've noticed that customs and immigration aren't too bad since a good amount of the longhaul have already come and gone (last time I think the only non-EU flight in line with us was a flight from Dubai).

If it's the overnight flight, I'd say go into LGW. Much less hassle.

I'm going back myself in February.. can't wait!   

As far as airline - I'd suggest BA or AA for LHR, and AA or CO for LGW.

[Edited 2005-10-10 22:38:03]

User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
The reasoning behind this is because it will be your first trip abroad and I find that flying on a foreign carrier is always a bit more interesting then flying a hometown carrier. It's something new and you get immediate interaction to another country/culture.

Good point. I always fly either BA or VS (actually only flew them once) and I love when the F/A's come around asking 'Tea or Coffee" with that British accent. The British accent itself is worth flying BA or VS.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
BTW, BA may be your easiest bet because I'm sure you can get an AA flight out of IND and cnx onto BA.

You can fly CO too and they'll get you to VS.

Quoting NoelG (Reply 1):
Any will involve at least a half hour transfer into the city

I thought the 'Heathrow Express' will get you to downtown London in 15 minutes from terminal 1 (at least that's how they advertise it)?


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2937 times:

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 8):
You can fly CO too and they'll get you to VS.

Wasn't to sure about which airlines fly in and out of IND, that's why I mentioned the AA/BA possibility. But nice to see that there is also the CO/VS option. Thanks for the info!



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 8):
I thought the 'Heathrow Express' will get you to downtown London in 15 minutes from terminal 1 (at least that's how they advertise it)?

And you are right, Heathrow Express takes just 15 minutes to London Paddington station (Central) and 5 minutes more from Terminal 4. It runs every 15 minutes.


User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 9):
Thanks for the info!

No problem


User currently offlineAC787 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2905 times:

Airplane nut and first time to London, its a simple choice, Heathrow all the way. I went to London for my first time this summer and made sure I went through Heathrow.. The amount of planes and airlines really is awseome  Smile. Taking the subway from LHR to downtown london was rlly simple and fast.

User currently offlineNoelG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2893 times:

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 8):
I thought the 'Heathrow Express' will get you to downtown London in 15 minutes from terminal 1 (at least that's how they advertise it)?

My bad, of course you're right!  Embarrassment

You can tell how often I have to make that journey!


User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2873 times:

Quoting NoelG (Reply 13):
You can tell how often I have to make that journey!

lol.. I've taken the Heathrow express more than 10 times but only btwn terminals 1 and 4. I promised myself I'll take it to downtown London next time I fly through LHR.

Quoting AC787 (Reply 12):
Airplane nut and first time to London, its a simple choice, Heathrow all the way.

You are absolutely right. It's breathtaking the many different planes/airlines you get to see @ LHR. I never get tired of it (LHR) despite the double prices on beer compared to anywhere in the states  banghead 


User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2865 times:

hmmm...so many things to decide  Smile


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Quoting 7E72004 (Reply 15):
hmmm...so many things to decide

Whatever airline you choose (Thank God Ryanair is not an option here), I bet you'll have fun. I absolutely love London. There's just something unique about the city but heck, I live in Sacramento so it figures  Smile


User currently offlineVegasplanes From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 778 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Quoting 7E72004 (Reply 5):
Thanks for the info...i have never left the US (except to go to Canada) and i want to expand my horizons Smile

If you really want to expand your international horizons, try KL or NW straight into AMS.  Wink

Seriously though, I flew AA to LGW, back to US through LHR back in May, both were fine airports, no problems at either. If flying Coach, best bet is the flight time and price that suits you. I believe AA offers the most non-stop destinations of the USA airlines to LHR or LGW.

LHR on AA from:

ORD
BOS
JFK
MIA
LAX

LGW on AA from:

DFW
RDU

Also lot of secondary markets served a few time weekly by BA or VS:

TPA
LAS
PHX
DTW
etc. etc.

Hope this helps.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

if you are flying from IND, fly to either ORD or JFK and take either BA/AA/UA...but I would go with BA because of the following.....

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
Since you've never left the US (except to visit us Canucks Big grin ) I would strongly recommend you flying with BA or VS into LHR. The reasoning behind this is because it will be your first trip abroad and I find that flying on a foreign carrier is always a bit more interesting then flying a hometown carrier. It's something new and you get immediate interaction to another country/culture.

remember however, unless you add BA miles within 3 years, your miles expire, with AA however, they last a long time!



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

I might sound like a broken record...

But I would go US Airways.

If you fly via their Charlotte Hub connections are really easy and a delight to connect at.

Also you will get an A330 with US Airways to LGW on both their PHL and CLT services. You get 33-35 inches of legroom, the seats in Y are real comfy and you also have the advantage of the on-demand seat back TV's.

The service is nothing to shout about, but the aircrafts are great.

Also Gatwick is by far your easiest airport in London to fly into if coming from the US, you will clear passport control and baggage reclaim quickly and regardless of what people say about LGW it never feels as crowded or as claustrophobic as LHR.

The railway station is a 2 min walk from the arrivals hall, and will get you to London Victoria railway staion in 30ish mins and is far more central and convenient than London Paddington where the Heathrow traims terminate.

Another real alternative could be Birmingham... Continental operate two 757 services a day from EWR. The airport is far smaller than any London airport and so easy to get through. To be honest Birmingham is over 100miles from London but the railway station is right on the airports doorstep and are 2-3 trains an hour to London usually taking about 1.5hrs. If you wanted to explore other places like Stratford-On-Avon (Shakespeares home town) this is only 20-30mins drive from the airport and also you can get direct trains to Oxford from the airport.

Hope thats some food for thought!


User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3750 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2822 times:

Fly into LHR with an arrival time of about 10am and you'll get to see lots of airliners from many of the world's airlines. It is quite a fantastic sight. Lots of BA B744s & B777s. SQ B744s, QF B744s, TG B744s. VS, AA, UA , AC, CX, Air NZ aircraft.

The airport is awful but the airliners are great.


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

Hey 7E72004,
Are you confused yet ....  

I'd keep it simple:

BA or VS through LHR. Just because!

[Edited 2005-10-11 00:14:02]


A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineXpat From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

If you want inexpensive (at least when I traveled) and basic but solid service try Icelandair. Granted, you'll have a 1-1.5 hour layover in Keflavik (tiny airport) but that just adds to the adventure. As people have mentioned above, fly into LHR despite the "mad house" atmosphere it is a very exciting airport. And then catch the "Heathrow Express" to Paddington station in 15 minutes and you're all set. There are some great B&B's and small hotels around Paddington. Quite a central place to stay.

Icelandair's US Gateways are:
BWI
JFK
MSP
BOS
MCO
SFO



The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

I would like to try an international/foreign carrier...no offense to the US carriers, i would liketo try something new  Smile I would just have to fly a US carrier from IND to one of the hubs  Smile WHen is the best time to go...spring/summer??


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2707 times:

Quoting 7E72004 (Reply 23):
would like to try an international/foreign carrier...

In that case, you might wanna consider VS. BA is alright too but VS have the best IFE out there (The IVOD). You can pause, rewind or forward your movies not to mention VS's sexy F/A's in red as compared to BA's dull blue uniforms (not that it matters much though)...lol. Ooh, another thing......if you're flying steerage, you get free alcohol on international carriers whereas US carriers will charge you $5 for a beer.


25 VV701 : Look on the map and you'll see London is a long way north. But it is kept relatively warm by the Gulf Stream that flows from the Caribbean up the Flo
26 Mawelsh : I just did my first UK visit last month. Wonderful visit! I just wish our dollar was worth more. Being a wedding, I insisted on finding a nonstop goin
27 Post contains images TPAnx : Took BA TPA-LGW. Flew steerage. Seats were a tight fit..service was excellent. Arrived around 8am--quick trip through customs and we were on our way.
28 Post contains images SWISSER : Yeah, that is so true! Whenever I get to the states I prefer a US carrier, so I could easely shift over to the US english and get adapted again to th
29 N62NA : I too was in the same boat as you until this past August. I live in Miami (MIAA) and I absolutely did NOT want to take an overnight flight, so I flew
30 Mawelsh : I'd be willing to try that, but we did an overnight (7:30pm EDT departure, 8:00am BST arrival). Popped an Ambien as dinner rolled our way. Finished e
31 Post contains images TinkerBelle : Or in retrospect, the pound worth less
32 Post contains images 7E72004 : I probably won't be flying first class as i don't have enough miles or simply cannot afford the luxury It would be nice but at least i would be able t
33 Gilesdavies : How about flying Aer Lingus if you want to fly a foreign carrier, they offer excellent connections through Dublin to London and also Ireland has an a
34 LACA773 : Since you are flying across the pond for the first time, my opinion is simple and based on experience: 1. BA--> They have the most consitent and relia
35 HT : While summer is the best season for London, it also is the busiest season for travellers, leading to high airfares, high hotel prices and cramped (tou
36 N62NA : It seems to me that you can't pre-reserve a specific seat when flying coach in BA and VS. Is this correct? For me, being able to pick my seat at the t
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