U.K. and Ireland - layover question
i arrive from the states at 7am(assuming flight is on time) with my family of 5,
if the fares on another airline for my connection are 2x the heathrow fare
would you take the ride to Luton to save $700 and if so how much time should i allow for the whole land/immigration/bags/cab to take
Jan 25, 08, 9:27 am
Where is your final destination?
My first suggestion is to avoid Heathrow and Gatwick like the plague. Fly through any other airports to get where you're going.
i am coming from the states, so LHR is the only arrival airport offered, i then go to barcelona
Jan 25, 08, 11:16 am
Do you HAVE TO travel via the UK? Couldn't you connect at another hub?
Jan 25, 08, 11:30 am
have to go thru lhr
Jan 25, 08, 12:13 pm
Tell us where you're starting and where you're finishing so we can help you properly. (Are you allowing for the cabs in your saving? Because, assuming a return journey for 5 people, that could easy eat up $400 - $500 of your saving...)
Jan 25, 08, 12:27 pm
i start in sf, non stop to LHR, i land at 7am, the cheapest flights from lhr to barcelona(bcn) are 1000 pounds for the 5 of us
i see easy jet from LUTON for half that
my return flight i dont care where i land, i am going to go into london for 2 days for a first trip with the family to london
sorry to be a novice
Jan 25, 08, 3:27 pm
So the obvious first question is whether you've looked into an open-jaw ticket (out SFO-BCN, back LON-SFO) and whether that will help you. (Or a circle trip SFO-BCN-LON-SFO.) There are several places you could potentially change planes on the outbound depending on your choice of airline; Heathrow would definitely be a possibility, but Frankfurt might serve you just as well (or better!).
If you're not wedded to United, you could look into US Airways (so you'd still earn United miles) who can get you San Francisco-Philadelphia-Barcelona, or American, who can do San Francisco-JFK-Barcelona.
What you should definitely not be doing is buying separate tickets on full-service airlines from SFO-London and London-Barcelona. It's almost always more expensive to do that than to get a through ticket.
Oh, and it may be (and it may not be!) that you can get a SFO-BCN ticket that allows for a stopover in London. That's well worth exploring.
Jan 25, 08, 4:00 pm
It sounds like you may have already purchased the SFO-LHR tickets in which case, you're probably locked into them.
Also, are you saying that you want to spend the first two days in London and then continue on to Barcelona?
Two days in London isn't very much time really. By the time you allow immigration and customs, getting to hotel etc with a family of five it will be 10am or so . Then you will need to allow at least 3 hours to get back to LHR for the trip to Barcelona. You will not see much in London in the two the days as a lot will be taken up with traveling time. I guess it depends on the age and condition of the family members. Everyone between 12 and 60 probably not a problem. Other ages might take more time for everything. And don't forget the 8 hours time difference and the effects of jet lag. It can be a killer!
Also remember that Easyjet and many of the European carriers have very strict baggage allowances. You will only be allowed one very small carry on, think one purse or one very small laptop, not both, and you may find you'll be paying for excess checked luggage depending on how much everyone packs. So any potential savings could be lost in extra fees, transport for 5 people (will always need two cabs etc) and time.
If you haven't already booked tickets others have made good suggestions. See about buying a thru ticket with a stopover. Or even avoid London and use another European city as a transit.
London has enough to keep someone accupied for a couple of weeks. It is a destination in itself. Plus it is very, very expensive with the current exchange rate.
Jan 25, 08, 4:51 pm
This was typed before the last two replies, but failed to submit properly. Some of it is repetition but some of it is still worth saying, I think:
Why aren't you booking this as one ticket? That would likely be a lot cheaper. Is the SFO/LHR portion already booked? For random dates, the cheapest return between SFO and BCN seems to be UA/LH through MUC or FRA. You could try building an openjaw with UA/LH that went: SFO/FRA/BCN**LCY/FRA/SFO and slot in a lowcost BCN-LON where the asterisks are. This will admittedly give you one extra segment, but you'll avoid LHR completely and thus the taxes that go with it.
ETA: look at KLM. For random dates in February (probably not when you want to go) the open jaw into BCN and out of LCY is pricing at $592.20...
Jan 27, 08, 11:40 am
One point to make - most of the flights to SFO leave in the morning.
Therefore you have to spend the night in London before returning home as there's no chance that you could fly from Barcelona to Luton then transfer to Heathrow in time for your flight.
Have you factored in those costs?
Additionally if you are non-connecting tickets and you miss your second flight, none of the airlines involved will lift a finger to help you - except to sell you some very expensive one way tickets which for 5 people will be a pretty penny
Either drop Barcelona, revise your plans to allow a couple of days in London at either end of your trip or - buy a SFO to LON & BCN to SFO open jaw ticket and book LON to BCN separately