Budget Travel - Cheapest route UK to Cali - fly direct or with change?
Aug 25, 12, 8:29 am
My first post so please be gentle with me !
I am planning to book a family trip to California for next summer and was originally planing to fly my family direct from London to LA with Virgin.
However someone was telling me its far cheaper to fly with a US airline from London to another US city and take an internal flight from there to LA. He thought he had heard flying American to Conneticcut was a good route.
Having never flown to the west coast before i would appreciate any advice as to the best route and also perhaps if its cheaper to fly to another Cali city ie perhaps San Fran?
Aug 25, 12, 9:50 am
If you're going to a smaller airport in the middle of the US it can occasionally be cheaper to book two tickets with a break somewhere on the east coast (typically NYC, sometimes BOS, WAS or ATL), though this increases the risk of problems if one of your flights is delayed. However LON-LAX is a busy and competitive enough route that a single ticket all the way will pretty much always be cheaper. The single ticket may still involve changing somewhere, but in this case the airlines are obliged to help you in the event of delays.
Just put your destination and dates into Kayak.com and see what is cheapest.
Whilst one stop routings tend to be cheaper than non-stops they are also 3-4 hours slower. As most routings involve a US airport as the intermediary airport you don't have much option but to use US airlines for at least part of the trip. Also consider that if you do use a connecting airport in the US then you'll have to pass through immigration there - so watch the time between flights.
Try someone like kayak.co.uk to get some idea of routings, travel times & costs
Aug 25, 12, 1:39 pm
Once you know know your dates I suggest you go to a price comparison site - I use www.amadeus.net, but there are others - and see what routes and fares it comes up with. That's really the only way to find the cheapest deals.
Aug 26, 12, 7:09 am
It is a little more complicated than Amazon, but far more powerful.
The airports in the immediate Los Angeles area are LAX, BUR, LGB, SNA, & ONT.
At the moment, Delta has the least expensive connection flight, and Lufthansa & United have the least expensive directs.
Virgin does seem to announce wonderful sales though, so I'd keep a close watch on them.
Probably best not to buy now, but to wait for a good sale. Then act immediately. Lots of discussion here on the topic, but some people (me included) feel the dip in rates tends to come around 2 to 3 months before a flight.
Aug 26, 12, 10:46 am
Welcome to FT.
Indirect flying will not necessarily be cheaper. It may or may not be and will depend on how full flights are to your destination on the days you want to travel.
If you mean buying two separate tickets (one transatlantic and one US domestic), it can sometimes work cheaper but it is dangerous as you risk losing your onward ticket if you miss your connection due to delay in the first one. This is not something I would want to be risking when flying the whole family.