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TATL with 2 little kids - overnight layover at LHR or push through?

TATL with 2 little kids - overnight layover at LHR or push through?

Old Jul 19, 16, 7:39 am
  #1  
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TATL with 2 little kids - overnight layover at LHR or push through?

Looking for thoughts about travelling with preschoolers and LHR play areas.

Currently have a business AA award booked as follows:
VIE-LHR 8:00-9:35
LHR-DFW 14:25-18:50
DFW-COS 22:00-22:56

Travelling with spouse, a 3 year old and 5 year old, all have done several TATLs before and know the drills.

We are not on a time crunch at all, and I see an option to make an overnight at LHR at the Hilton connected to Terminal 4. Wondering if we should just take it easy and enjoy the pool there and LHR play areas before the big flight to DFW. Schedule would be

VIE-LHR 14:35-16:05 (or 16:44-18:25)
(overnight at Hilton in a Family room)
LHR-DFW 14:20-18:45
DFW-COS 22:00-22:56

I'm a Hilton Diamond, so we'd have breakfast covered. Also, might have Priority Pass and Centurion DFW lounge access if I don't cancel the AmEx Plats this fall.

This trip is actually part of an international household move back to the US, so I want to make it as pleasant as possible. Usually we avoid transfers at LHR as much as possible, but the routing on this worked out the best. Not sure what our terminals would be, though.

There's a chance that if we depart VIE in the afternoon rather than 8:00, we could stay in our apartment the night before rather than get another hotel room. Whether we really want to stay in a near empty apartment, however, is another discussion.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 7:56 am
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just me again, setting email notification to my subscription to this thread.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 1:29 pm
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Departing VIE at 8am and arriving at COS at 11pm is a really long day.

I guess it really depends on your personal preferences, but I personally would rather overnight at LHR for a trip that long.

You might even take a detour into the central London for a couple of hours if you feel like it.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 2:55 pm
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If not with tons of luggage I would take the LHR express and stay near Paddington. There are also some high-end country house hotels near LRH which would be great for a 2 night stay.

Another option is to buy a cheap flight to another AA gateway (CDG/FRA) continuing on with an award and spend the night(s) there.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 5:53 pm
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I assume there is no lhr-den award space.. dfw connection looks rather unpleasant - it's usually the last segment after long haul that is most miserable

But ya i would split if not pressed for time - the whole travel thing is an activity/entertainment in itself for kids (as long as there is a variety of things happening) so airport hotel is just as much fun as perhaps your actual vacation destination from their prospective
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Old Jul 20, 16, 2:32 am
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Actually, upon further investigation it looks like we can also do overnight layovers in CDG or MAD. We have to go through DFW in any case to get to COS. Not willing to pay the BA long haul taxes and go through SEA.

The CDG Hilton is near T2, where apparently we would be arriving and departing from (AB to AA) and also has a pool.

The MAD option also has a free Hilton shuttle and the nicest pool of the bunch. Could be pleasant to get out of the cold for a bit (this trip is in March).

Focusing on Hiltons because of status and a "Be My Guest" cert to burn up.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 5:59 am
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Personally, I`d just continue after an activity-filled London (or Paris, or Madrid) layover. Especially in business class.
Book a day room at the Hilton and use the pool/spa/leisure facilities before your flight.
You also will have access to the BA (Galleries Club) and AA (Admirals Club) lounges in T3, both of which have kids' areas with games etc.

I would rather stay overnight in DFW and continue on to COS to break that journey in more palatable chunks. Being spared that late-evening Dallas airport layover and subsequent long-past-bedtime flight will have more of a positive effect on the whole journey than spending a day at a hotel after a short intra-Europe flight.
There's a really nice resort-style Hilton near DFW ("DFW Lakes", just a few minutes on a shuttle) with indoor and outdoor pools that's much nicer than the LHR or DCG offerings (don't know about MAD).
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Old Jul 20, 16, 7:02 am
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Didn't realize there was such a nice Hilton property near DFW! Thanks for the tip.

Unfortunately the only saver DFW-COS award flights for our days are either 8:55am or 10:00pm. So we either get up early or stay up late.

Went ahead and rebooked to the VIE-MAD-DFW-COS option with overnight in MAD.
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