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Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Old Dec 11th 2007, 9:15 pm
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Cool Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Hi everyone... Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, moderators should feel free to move it to the Trailer Park if necessary...

We're currently planning a trip to the UK for May 2008. It will be our first trip to the UK since Mark emigrated here back in May 2003 -- we're so excited! For the past few weeks I've been looking for plane tickets online that are relatively decent price-wise for one of the following itineraries:

OUTBOUND:
RIC-LHR on Fri, May 2 (evening) or Sat, May 3 (morning)
INBOUND: LHR-RIC on Sat, May 17 (morning/afternoon)

or...

OUTBOUND: IAD-LHR on Sat, May 3 (evening)
INBOUND: LHR-RIC on Sat, May 17 (morning/afternoon)

Note #1: Dates are NOT flexible, due to our work schedules
Note #2: We're don't have to fly into Heathrow (LHR), but we DO have to fly in/out of either Richmond (RIC) or IAD (Washington-Dulles). Another option would be to fly in/out of Norfolk (ORF) but we prefer RIC or IAD.


Question #1:
I've had varying degrees of finding decent airfare for these two itineraries. A couple of weeks ago, I found flights that only cost $1380-$1620 (for both of us), and those same exact flights have now inexplicably jumped up almost $2000! What's the best way to find cheap flights for these itineraries? Do you think the prices will go back down after the holidays? Please recommend any websites and/or airlines that are worth looking into.

Question #1.5:
Would it be worthwhile to work with a travel agent? I've never gone through a travel agent so I don't know the advantages/disadvantages.

Question #2: When we do get around to purchasing our tickets, I'm concerned about what to do when asked for Mark's passport information. His N400 is (STILL) pending and I doubt he'll have his US passport before we book our tickets. Do we just give them his UK passport information and then update his return ticket with his US passport info once we have it? Is this something to be concerned about?

Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

~ Jenney
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

I just flew to Ireland with Aer Lingus, they do cheap flights into Dublin and i'm pretty sure if you look at Ryan Air or one of the cheap airlines over there you could fly to London / Luton mega cheap

My ex and his wife got a flight with Ryan Air for 1p each , 4.50 taxes and 7 pounds for each suitcase ... Newcastle to Dublin for less than 100 quid !!!

Also Dublin has US immgration based there so you dont have to stand in line when you arrive back in the states.

I'm in the same boat with Citizenship, he can use his UK passport and if he also shows his greencard in Dublin he will pass through the residents/citizens line.

All the best
Jan
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Hi,

Flying on a Saturday is always cheaper. You are probably paying quite a premium to fly from Richmond to IAD. You might want to look at the layover times vs. just driving to Dulles.

You are six months out from flying, so the fares you are seeing are basically standard fares. Personally, I'd wait a few months because there is bound to be a sale. Get on the BA mailing list and United as well for updates, because when they come you they come in fast and furious.

Note #1: Dates are NOT flexible, due to our work schedules

Bummer. I think 'Summer' fares usually start around May 15 so you might pay a bit extra for those two days.

Note #2: We're don't have to fly into Heathrow (LHR), but we DO have to fly in/out of either Richmond (RIC) or IAD (Washington-Dulles).

Most IAD flights go to LHR. I think you can take BWI to LGW if you wanted. Have you considered going from RIC-PHILLY-LHR? If you are going to fly to Dulles you might as well consider Philly (and BWI) as well for more options. Same time, but maybe a lower price out of one of the secondary airports. JFK has the most flights to the UK (so the best prices, more or less).

NOTE: BA adds a third flight in the Summer time out of Dulles. It leaves at 9am Washington time and lands about 9pm London time. I love it. You get to London without that groggy feeling and it is just like taking a long flight across country. Unfortunately, I don't know when that starts up in the Summer. I think JFK has some morning flights as well.

As for your passport thing, I wouldn't worry about it before hand. They'll probably ask you at the gate. I'm not sure (my passport details are stored in my BA preference so I don't know if they ask for them at booking).
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

http://www.flightcentre.com/
Try these guys they will under cut any other quote that you get, I have used them all over the world they are good.

Prices will drop beginning of February thats the normal so hold of if I were you.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
http://www.flightcentre.com/
Try these guys they will under cut any other quote that you get, I have used them all over the world they are good.

Prices will drop beginning of February thats the normal so hold of if I were you.
I would always look to book direct with the airline, no harm in checking prces elsewhere.


We also flew Ryanair, 2p return Stanstead to Glasgow Prestwick, plus fees!
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone. KEEP IT COMING!!!

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
You are probably paying quite a premium to fly from Richmond to IAD. You might want to look at the layover times vs. just driving to Dulles.
Just to clarify -- If we left from RIC, then we would take whatever stopover is involved -- IAD, JFK, ORD, etc. We're not dead-set on flying RIC-IAD-LHR, although that would be easiest if we couldn't get a direct flight from RIC.

There are pros and cons for flying out of RIC verses IAD:

Flying in/out of IAD
Pros: More direct flights and cheaper fares from which to choose
Cons: It takes 2+ hours to drive one-way from Richmond to Dulles. Parking is more expensive ($9/day versus $6/day). We'd have to stay in a hotel (approx $90) near Dulles after our return flight because we'd be WAY too tired to drive home after such a long trip, late at night.

Flying in/out of RIC

Pros: Only a 30-min drive, so no need to stay at a hotel on our return trip. Parking discount through my employer. We can leave earlier (arrive in UK on Friday night instead of Sunday morning) and squeeze an extra day into our trip.
Cons: More expensive airfare (approx $200-$250 more), few (or no) direct flight options

In the end, the convenience of flying in/out of Richmond -- plus the possibility of getting an extra day into our visit -- would probably be worth the extra couple of hundred dollars it costs versus flying in/out of Dulles.

You are six months out from flying, so the fares you are seeing are basically standard fares. Personally, I'd wait a few months because there is bound to be a sale. Get on the BA mailing list and United as well for updates, because when they come you they come in fast and furious.
Great idea -- I'll have to see what airlines are worth signing up for. Any other suggestions besides BA and United?

NOTE: BA adds a third flight in the Summer time out of Dulles. It leaves at 9am Washington time and lands about 9pm London time. I love it. You get to London without that groggy feeling and it is just like taking a long flight across country. Unfortunately, I don't know when that starts up in the Summer. I think JFK has some morning flights as well.
Hopefully the email alerts will let me know!

As for your passport thing, I wouldn't worry about it before hand. They'll probably ask you at the gate. I'm not sure (my passport details are stored in my BA preference so I don't know if they ask for them at booking).
Ok, that's what I was wondering about. I just don't want it to become a problem when he tries to leave or return.

~ Jenney

Last edited by Just Jenney; Dec 11th 2007 at 10:59 pm.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
I would always look to book direct with the airline, no harm in checking prces elsewhere.


We also flew Ryanair, 2p return Stanstead to Glasgow Prestwick, plus fees!
Yes I have my Xmas flight booked directly, but sometimes it works out a bit cheaper with these guys they must block off ex amount of seats etc.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by jan_michigan
My ex and his wife got a flight with Ryan Air for 1p each
Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
We also flew Ryanair, 2p return Stanstead to Glasgow Prestwick, plus fees!
"1p" = ???

"2p" = ???

I initially read that to be "one pound each" and "two pounds return" but that can't possibly be right!

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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post
"1p" = ???

"2p" = ???

I initially read that to be "one pound each" and "two pounds return" but that can't possibly be right!

~ Jenney
pence, x2 for cents, roughly.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post
"1p" = ???

"2p" = ???

I initially read that to be "one pound each" and "two pounds return" but that can't possibly be right!

~ Jenney
Time for your pre-trip homework:

http://www.milesfaster.co.uk/informa...k-currency.htm

Also Google Ryanair while you're about it. They're somewhat different to US carriers.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
pence, x2 for cents, roughly.
Well, how much were the fees? I can't imagine one could fly anywhere for two pence -- the fees must have been pretty bulky...

~ Jenney
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:47 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

If your travel dates are flexible, I recommend that you visit British Airways "Special Offers" page at;

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...ource=hpbanner

You can stay additional nights at no extra cost (if you have your own accomodation).

In 2002, my wife flew from ORD-LHR for $280 each, which included three nights in a Central London Hotel, and then cleared off to my mother's home for a week or so, before returning to Chicago.

Jim.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post
Well, how much were the fees? I can't imagine one could fly anywhere for two pence -- the fees must have been pretty bulky...

~ Jenney
It was GBP40 return, could have saved a bit if I had printed off my boarding card or had paid debit rather than credit.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

Your only other option out of Dulles is Virgin. I think they have 1 or 2 flights. If you want to fly American you have to hub through JFK or Atlanta or somewhere.

I think Continental serves LGW from Newark, and US Air (probably from Philly).

I'm pretty much 100% BA for transatlantic, Cathay for transpacific, and AA for domestic flights so I don't shop around much for tickets these days. If you are looking at a hotel I'd second the baholiday website, but I also recommend lastminute.com.

By the way, if you are in a hotel, then the hotel reviews at http://www.tripadvisor.com are essential. Never stay in a London hotel without checking these first. Some of the candid guest photos of rooms, bathrooms, etc would scare you to death.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Two-and-a-half questions about planning trip to UK

sorry for the confusion

1p = 2cents .... that was the price of the ticket

4.50 GBP = $9.00 that was taxes and booking cost

7GBP = $14 which was a baggage handling fee per bag

my ex and his wife both travelled so the total cost was $46.02 return Newcastle upon Tyne to Dublin.

My mother also flew over from Southampton to Galway with Flybe, her total return ticket price was just under $100

Lots of bargains to be had flying around Europe if your'e willing to surf the net a bit.

I only booked through Expedia because I live in N Michigan and the cost of getting to a major airport using an Airline site costs more than the fare to cross the atlantic.
$700 return Traverse City to Chicago ... $209 return Chicago - Dublin return

cost through Expedia $578 Traverse City to Dublin .....

crazy eh
Jan
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