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Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Denver, Colorado
posts: 52
reviews: 26
Flights U.S. to U.K.??

I'm relatively new to the forums here and am very new to travel, so please bear with me. I've searched and searched and read tons of info but I'm just not finding quite all the info I need. I'm planning a trip for May/June 2010 from the U.S. to Ireland and England. What I want to do is fly Denver to Shannon - Belfast or Dublin to London - and London back to Denver. I'm hoping someone here can point me in the direction of the best way to book such a flight. Everything I've tried comes up with this trip costing about twice as much as a simple return trip between Denver and Shannon. I really wanted to include London in my trip, but can't if it's going to cost double the airfare. Much of what I've read has said flying into one city and out of another can be cheaper - I'm not finding it. What's the real info on this? and where should I be looking? Oh, I do understand that I should be waiting until Feb/Mar to actually book and fares might change by then.....

Denver, Colorado
posts: 52
reviews: 26
1. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Sorry, didn't mean to post this twice - don't know how to delete....

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,530
reviews: 15
2. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Everyone has to start somewhere, so please don't worry.

As you've read elsewhere, it's a bit too early to book for next May or June. And your open jaw journey is going to be a bit convoluted because of carriers out of DEN, so the fare is going to be on the high side.

There is a way of making things easier. Consider flying from DEN to LHR (Heathrow) then picking up an inexpensive flight from there to DUB or BFS. UA (United) and BA (British Airways) fly nonstop from DEN-LHR; the advantage of making the longest journey as a single trip rather than connecting in ORD (Chicago O'Hare) or PHL (Philadelphia) is that not only is the longest sector on a bigger plane (should be more comfortable) but you'll have a handful of flights from which to choose at LHR: EI (Aer Lingus) and BMI fly from LHR to DUB; BMI flies from LHR to BFS and EI flies from LHR to SNN.

The schedules for Spring and Summer 2010 won't be available until early next year. EI and BMI both offer very inexpensive fares if you book well in advance - you may find LHR-DUB returns from about £75 - 80, taxes and fees included, not a bad fare at all.

Have a look at what UA and BA offer and see which you like, then check out EI and BMI. If you register with the airlines, you may receive notice of reduced fares a few days before others, so it could be worth sending an email if there's one carrier you like.

UK
posts: 44,798
reviews: 89
3. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

<<Sorry, didn't mean to post this twice - don't know how to delete....>>

Click on "report inappropriate posting" at the bottom of the message,, then click on 'remove my post'

Denver, Colorado
posts: 52
reviews: 26
4. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Thanks for the great info! I don't need to fly out from Denver itself - don't mind going through Newark, Atlanta, Chicago, anywhere really - just want a cheaper flight..... It appears the way I'm searching may be the problem!

Am I trying to do something on my own that would be better handled by a travel agent? I'm not going on tours so didn't want to pay an agency to book flights for me unless I really need to.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,310
5. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

No need for a travel agent if you don't mind investing time in searching. A travel agent really would not have much incentive to save you much anyway.

TravellerPlus put you on the right path. Find a cheap flight to a gateway in the UK or western Europe. Shannon, Dublin, London (Heathrow or Gatwick), Amsterdam, ... Then start looking at fares from the gateway to where you want to go. Look at the low cost carriers, even Ryanair - they may be despised, but they should get you where you are going pretty cheap. When I went back in 2003, I flew Northwest direct from Detroit to Gatwick, then took Ryanair round trip to Dublin for about $10 on one of their promo fares. Looking at random dates in Feb, Ryanair flies from Dublin to London Stansted for under 100 euro - just do your research and play by their rules if you use them.

If you nest trips on different airlines, make sure you have plenty of time - preferably a day or two - in case you are delayed. If Airline A delivers you late, Airline B can still cancel your ticket if you miss your flight.

If you are renting a car in Ireland, you may want to think about returning to your start point instead of using a one way rental. Rentals in Ireland are very expensive, and you need to buy the insurance - credit cards typically don't cover accidents in Ireland. My rental in 2003 for five days ended up costing as much as my round trip airfare.

Really the only way to find the best option is to do the research. I like itasoftware.com for flight searching as it is one of the more powerful engines.

Travelling The World
posts: 12,061
reviews: 26
6. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

> Look at the low cost carriers, even Ryanair

If you fly into and out of London or Dublin and do as suggested, your biggest expense will probably be for luggage. For one person to check two 32lb bags on Ryanair, it will cost a total of about $160 return.Suddenly that flight isn't so cheap any more! So if you have a fair amount of luggage, it could be cheaper to look at airline that doesn't charge for luggage. Otherwise, if you are travelling light, or have somewhere free or inexpensive to leave your luggage while you hop across the Irish Sea, the low cost carriers may well be the best way to go. But shop around.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,310
7. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Playing around a bit on ITA, you can get to Dublin or Shannon for under $500 from Denver. BMI is about $120 round trip to get from DUB to LHR. Definately watch the baggage policies.

A hint on using ITA - you can search multiple airports so if you enter DUB;SNN;LHR it will search all three airports. You can also use LON to cover Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead - just be careful that you don't end up leaving from a different airport than you arrived, if that matters to your travel plans or rental car agreement.

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Pecs, Budapest
posts: 4,199
reviews: 6
8. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Just a few comments here;

First - Are your dates fixed?

Second - Is there some reason for landing in Shannon? Or is your real goal Dublin and London?

Practical considerations: How many changes of planes are you willing to put up with? Remember that the first place you land on the way back to the US is the one where you'll have to go through Immigration and customs, so you'll have to collect yur baggage there.

The United flight from DIA to the UK isn't always there. ( I believe it's not this fall and winter season.) That leaves only the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, and the BA flight to LHR as the only non-stop flights from DIA to Europe. Comment on BA. If you can go and return on M or W, it's considerably cheaper than on Th, F, Sa,or Su.

kentucky
posts: 4,108
reviews: 39
9. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Oddone---why do you use the DIA designation for DEN airport?

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Pecs, Budapest
posts: 4,199
reviews: 6
10. Re: Flights U.S. to U.K.??

Because it's always referred to here in Denver as DIA. (Denver International Airport)