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SFO to LON - airfare?

DeniseM

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I just got a chance to go to London for Easter (April 9 - 18, 2009.) Right now the lowest airfares are about $930 total (one stop.) Direct flights are about $200 more. That's only about $130 more than I paid 2 years ago. Since this is a holiday week, isn't it likely to go higher as we get closer? Should I grab it now?
 
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LAX Mom

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Denise-
I'd book the airfare now. With the current oil prices and airline difficulties I doubt it will go down in price.
I know that can be a very busy time for flights to Europe. I flew to London about that same time in 2005 on a stand-by pass and everything out of Atlanta was oversold!! The gate agents told me it's a very busy time and reservations always overbooks the flights.
 

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You can save the hefty UK longhaul departure tax (''to save the planet by discouraging air travel'') by routing your departure via another country on an ''open jaws'' ticket and use a low price LCC to connect London with the other city. That also gives you a chance to visit another country on the trip while saving money on your airfare. Just don't make the other country the Netherlands, as they also have a similar stupid tax. Ireland or Germany are usually good options.
 

scotlass

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I am waiting to book a flight from Boston to London for my sister-in-law as she will accompany us on our ff flights next summer. My thought is that the flights are so outrageous right now, $1300+, that no one will buy them and they will have to lower the price. I also read here on TUG that most European flights go on sale after the holidays. Any comments on this stragegy?
 

DeniseM

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You can save the hefty UK longhaul departure tax (''to save the planet by discouraging air travel'') by routing your departure via another country on an ''open jaws'' ticket and use a low price LCC to connect London with the other city. That also gives you a chance to visit another country on the trip while saving money on your airfare. Just don't make the other country the Netherlands, as they also have a similar stupid tax. Ireland or Germany are usually good options.
I am meeting my daughter in London, so I really want to spend all my time there, and I only have a week.

So I'd book two different flights - correct? One to Germany or Ireland and then another flight to London? If I book them on the same airline, how long of a layover should I allow?

Please spell it out for me, because this is only my 2nd trip to Europe - thanks!

Thanks!
 
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Carolinian

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You use what's called an open jaw ticket for TATL travel, US to London, and then return from say Frankfurt to US on one airline. Then you use one of the cheap LCC's for a one way ticket London to Frankfurt. Dublin is also a good choice as there are often cheap flights going there, and the national carrier, Aer Lingus, is reinventing itself as an LCC. The result is that on the inbound, you still fly directly into London, but on the outbound, where the tax is imposed, you fly from London to somewhere else in Europe and take your TATL flight home from there.
 

DeniseM

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Sorry to be so dense, but I just want to be sure I have it right:

1) Buy one-way ticket SFO to London
2) Buy one-way ticket London to another European Country
3) Buy one-way ticket from another European Country to SFO

Thanks!
Duh-nise
 

skim118

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Sorry to be so dense, but I just want to be sure I have it right:

1) Buy one-way ticket SFO to London
2) Buy one-way ticket London to another European Country
3) Buy one-way ticket from another European Country to SFO

Thanks!
Duh-nise
Hi DeniseM,

I know Carolinian means well; but his suggestions do not work well for SFO-Europe passengers; I think your original $930 price to LHR is hard to beat from SFO to other "cheaper" European destinations.. Given that you just have a week, the last thing you want to do is to fly to another country on an European LCC and connect to a US flight and waste a lot of time to ensure the connection.

Sara
 

clsmit

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Get the ticket and have a great time! The good thing about a NS is a better chance to sleep. That's a big deal since you'll have huge jet lag when you get there. You might want to splurge on that just so you'll be more refreshed when you arrive in London.

And don't worry about your Starwood "kids" while you're in London! Most of us will be in Cancun at the swim up bar while you're gone anyway...:cheer:
 

x3 skier

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Sorry to be so dense, but I just want to be sure I have it right:

1) Buy one-way ticket SFO to London
2) Buy one-way ticket London to another European Country
3) Buy one-way ticket from another European Country to SFO

Thanks!
Duh-nise
Not Exactly. What is better is to get an "Open Jaw" (Arrive one airport, leave from another eg Arrive Heathrow, Leave from Dublin) which is usually cheaper than two one way tickets. Then you use a LCC to get to the going home airport city (which may be another airport from the LCC or not).

That's probably the cheapest in monetary cost, but with the additional fees and hassle associated with LCC's, it might not be worth it to you. Since you want to spend the whole week in London, I would just get a RT SFO-LHR/LGW/etc. and curse PM Gordon Brown on the fees.

If you do decide to try a LCC, I would plan an extra travel day just in case there is a delay so you don't miss your return home. If there is no problem, you have a day to see a new city, something always worth while on a European trip.

If you have the time and energy to try some combinations, check www.whichbudget.com for some ideas on LCC and routing.

I have used LCC many times in Europe, primarily to get to where I want to go after getting FF tickets to someplace I did not want to go. It can work fine or it can be a pain. This August, I got an Open Jaw Arriving London and Leaving from Venice. I used BMI on one of their really low fares ($30) to get from London to Venice. Another time, I flew into London and home from Amsterdam (which also has some departure fees now BTW) using BMIbaby on a 1 Pound fare between London and Amsterdam since I could not get a return from London on my FF ticket when I needed to return.

Enjoy London. Its one of my favorite cities and I am leaving tomorrow for another visit.

Cheers
 
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dwsupt

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You don't say where you are flying out of but there are cheaper fares if you can be flexible on which days you fly. Check out Airfare Watch Dog they are advertising $785 from LA and SF both (United).

I use AWD to monitor fares. Their link is: airfarewatchdog.com
 

DeniseM

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You don't say where you are flying out of but there are cheaper fares if you can be flexible on which days you fly. Check out Airfare Watch Dog they are advertising $785 from LA and SF both (United).
It's in the title - SFO to London. My dates aren't flexible because as I stated above I'm going for spring break and I only have about 9 days. LA is a 6 hour drive for me, so that's not really feasible.
 
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Passepartout

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It's in the title - SFO to London. My dates aren't flexible because as I stated above I'm going for spring break and I only have about 9 days. LA is a 6 hour drive for me, so that's not really feasible.
Book it Denise, $930 is a good price from SFO R/T and if it happens to come down enough you can re-book for $50. This way it's locked in. Fares could go up as well as down. You will rest better knowing your spring break plans are set.

If it's any consolation we're paying over $1200 RT to Europe tomorrow. I usually figure a 'buy' at about $.10 a seat/mile and yours is much less than that.

Jim Ricks
 
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musictom

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Book it Denise, $930 is a good price from SFO R/T and if it happens to come down enough you can re-book for $50. This way it's locked in. Fares could go up as well as down. You will rest better knowing your spring break plans are set.
My, how times change. My family took our first SFO-LHR trip shortly after 9/11, (back when everyone was afraid to step onto a plane), and we got our tickets for about $415 apiece!!!!

Don't think I'll see that fare anytime soon. Or ever in my lifetime, for that matter. :)

tom
 

Talent312

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My, how times change. My family took our first SFO-LHR trip shortly after 9/11 (back when everyone was afraid to step onto a plane), and we got our tickets for about $415 apiece!!!!

Don't think I'll see that fare anytime soon. Or ever in my lifetime, for that matter. :)
Well, this dates me, but in 1991, Delta took over Pan American (a defunct US airline) European-routes and had a fire sale. We flew R/T to Rome for ~$250 per person.
 

musictom

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Well, this dates me, but in 1991, Delta took over Pan American (a defunct US airline) European-routes and had a fire sale. We flew R/T to Rome for ~$250 per person.
Wow! I'm shocked, not only at the price, but at the (obvious) need to explain who Pan American is! :)

Man, I am getting old. LOL.

Tom
 
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