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This is long..
Black Friday deals are here. My final designation is Duesseldorf, Germany... To fly directly there is around $1800-2000. With some playing around, I got it down to $ 1300. I live in Phoenix, AZ. I can fly from PHX to Los Angles to London, do a 3 day layover ( which I would love to do in London) then fly to Duesseldorf., Germany.

I would need to fly out of Phoenix to Lax out of own pocket (less than $70) to Lax, then to London, spend 3 days, pay for 3 days hotels (around $200) then to Dusseldorf to start 3 weeks of Germany trip.

Benefits: Phoenix closer to LAX, easier to connect flights to London, price lower, never see London. Longer flight.

Downside: pay for London hotel but it is cheap


Fly and pay out of own pocket to NY ($500), stay 3 days (timeshare- no cost), fly to London, then to Dusseldorf, start Germany trip.

Benefits: shorter flight
Downside: 4th trip to NY. Have to do layover, due to timing of flight between phx and london. Same with london and Duesseldorf.

Need to make decision soon. Last year. British screwed up and delayed my flight and issued me a $1000 voucher.

What would you do


Posted by
5780 posts

Two items to consider...

  1. Not sure why your "layovers" have to become 3-day affairs. Must they be? If you really want to take 3 days out of your trip, and spend those 3 days in NY or London, then hey, that's great. While I'm sure I would enjoy 3 "bonus" days in London, personally I don't need to spend any more days of my life in New York City (it's just not a place I enjoy), YMMV. But there's another potential issue I'd consider...

  2. Three days spent on a "layover" is 3 days you won't get to spend in Germany, where (I presume) you really want to be.

For most of us, I think "usable time on the ground in Europe" is our most limited commodity. Most of us can find a little more money if needed, but many have time-constrained schedules - work, family, and other commitments limit the number of days for our trips. So if you're going to use 3 or 4 days getting there, you lose 3-4 days out of your trip. Now, I enjoy doing a "stopover bonus city" on my way in to or out of my arrival or departure city (on recent trips I've enjoyed 2-3 "bonus" days in Amsterdam, Prague, Warsaw, Edinburgh, etc.) because I had to do an overnight in those places to make my flights work. But the key is that those were all places I wanted to go anyway, so they were indeed "bonus" add-ons to my trip. If they were in places that I wasn't so excited about, then I would have simply overnighted there and moved on. This is more critical if your trip is short. If you have 3 months in Germany, then obviously you can afford to shave off 3 days without impacting your time in your preferred destinations.

Finally...everybody's priorities are different, but for me, getting a "good routing" and a good flight schedule is an important factor. I prefer arriving at my destination feeling happy and in good physical condition, excited and ready to start enjoying my trip on Day 1, rather than surviving a long, painful slog, and arriving miserable. Do whatever you need to do to arrive happy, it's worth it.

Posted by
21334 posts

I'm unclear on the cost of your second option, so these are just general thoughts:

  • I'm all about seeing new places, so it would be worth some $$$ to me to have 3 days in London rather than 3 days in NYC.

  • I can't imagine what sort of hotel room you've found in London that costs about $67 per night. That's about £52. Be sure that's accurate, because I would expect that not to buy much more than a bunk in a hostel.

  • I'd be nervous about linking the PHX-LAX and LAX-London flights on separate tickets. If the PHX-LAX flight is substantially delayed or canceled, you'll be up the creek, because missing the outbound flight to London will result in cancellation of the rest of the itinerary on that ticket.

  • I don't know whether there are any other individual tickets required on either itinerary.

Posted by
52 posts


My feeling with doing a layover is that if I am going over there and I already have to stop to change planes in London anyways, might as well as add 3 days. I was able to find Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T4 for $73. Plus my flight comes in to London late afternoon and I will have to catch the next flight to Duesseldorf the next morning at 730 am anyways. I am a teacher so time is not a concern. I am off from June 10 to July 5th.

If I fly out of Lax, I can catch the early morning flight and catch the 6-7 pm flight out of Lax to London. From PHX to LAX it is less than 2 hr flight non stop. I would be sitting at LAX with 8 hrs to spare. Coming back. I can take a direct flight from London to Phx for less than $700, which is the cheapest I have seen it. Total flight is $1300. I would pay around $300 including using the credit. Not bad.

Posted by
2576 posts

If you are staying at Heathrow I don’t think you’ll be “seeing” London. What you’ll be doing is spending a lot of time and money getting from your airport hotel and back as what you’ll want to see in London is at least an hour away. These hotels are really for layovers and early departures not as a base for touring. What you’ll find is London is an expensive place to stay, your bargain hotel notwithstanding.

Posted by
52 posts


Thank you everyone. After looking at it. I decided not to add 3 extra days at the beginning of the trip by staying in NY or London. Since I am coming in late to Heathrow from the U.S and miss the Dusseldorf flights (unless I want to get in way late after dark). I have decided to stay one night at Heathrow, then catch the 7:20 am flight on the more reliable British Airlines. Same ways coming back. I will leave Munich on July 4th, fly to Heathrow, stay a night and fly out at 8 am next day. Getting back to Phoenix by 12 pm. Better use of my time and money.

When I want to go to London, I will make sure to give it a full week.