When I lived in Seattle it was a piece of cake to get to Heathrow and Edinburgh. Is flying from the east coast more challenging? I think I may have to go to Dulles rather than flying from Baltimore which is close to me. Oddly enough it will take me longer to get to England from here than from Seattle. Do people use travel agents anymore? Any advise from you East Coast folks? Flying into Manchester would be the best for my tour connection in May. Thank you.
I fly out of Philadelphia, and finding non-stops to Europe are more challenging this year. Definitely less choices. I'm not sure how a travel agent could help.
British Airways flies directly to Heathrow from BWI.
If you want to fly directly into Manchester, I think you have to go to New York (JFK or EWR). Aer Lingus flies that route, as well as Virgin, and maybe others. BA will take you from BWI, but you have to connect through Heathrow.
Clarification to Lola’s post: Prior to covid British Airways had a daily non-stop to Heathrow (BA228). The return flight was BA229. However, that’s not the case now. We were booked to Heathrow in early January and at that time most odd number day flights were cancelled and only even numbered day were scheduled. Due to covid we postponed the trip and rescheduled for the end of February. Shortly after rescheduling BA informed us our flights out of, and back to Baltimore, had been cancelled. We were rebooked on a flight out of Dulles, and hour away. Right now there are no scheduled BA flights out of Baltimore for February through April. The first flight out of BWI is 2 May.
Once covid normalizes and fewer staff are sick with it, I’m confident the flight schedule out of Baltimore will stabilize again.
So helpful to know about the cancelled flights to Heathrow. Thank you! Was trying to schedule a May 1st flight. I need to do a drive to Dulles just to build confidence to fly from there. I may need to give up the idea of flying into Manchester. My tour starts in Harrogate so it seemed convenient. Thanks for each of your comments. Terri
Hi TerriL -
If you are heading for Harrogate and your easiest option is Heathrow, I’d book that flight. From Heathrow take the Tube through to Kings Cross (Piccadilly line, takes a shade over an hour) and connect with a main line train to Leeds (LNER are most frequent - hourly I think, but check time tables given current events!). Journey time here is around two hours and a little bit to Leeds. Without leaving the station connect to the local Harrogate train - takes half an hour-ish - departure boards in the station will let you know when and from which platform the Harrogate train departs. Book your tickets on the LNER site ‘Heathrow via All London stations’ to Harrogate. Reserve seats on the Kings Cross section. ‘Advance’ tickets are cheapest but tie you to a specific Kings Cross - Leeds train, but not the tube and very likely not the Harrogate connection. These tickets are bookable/released about twelve weeks from departure date.
If you took the flight to Manchester you’d travel Transpennine train from the airport station through to Leeds (Transpennine generally - but not always - terminates in Newcastle upon Tyne so Leeds is about halfway through the journey) and again make the local connection through to Harrogate. Harrogate is a genteel place - as a former spa town it bears a passing resemblance to Bath (cue outraged posts from Bath or nearby residents!).
We also have to fly internationally from Dulles (BWI has nothing overseas for United flyers). It's an ugly drive for us and I can understand your reluctance to have to drive there. It should only take us 1.5 hours but it almost always is closer to 3 hours. The 495 beltway can be a parking lot. Philadelphia doesn't help for United flyers either. Sometimes we drive to Newark for United flights. We justify the driving pain by flying nonstop. Pre-covid, having to transfer would add in at least 3 hours. Now, having to stop in a 2nd country just adds testing complications.
Wish I had better news.
Thank you for all your help! I spent a bunch of time booking my flights today. I decided to go ahead and book the BA flight on May 2nd - direct to London from Baltimore, and direct flight home also. So, here's to them keeping that flight on line! Jaime sent me some good ideas if worse comes to worse and I need to go out of Dulles.
Thank you, Ian, for the precise travel plans from Heathrow to Harrogate. I thought maybe you were writing from the Rick Steves' office, and then I noticed you are in Yorkshire, so you really know your stuff from experience. All of this has been printed out for when I get a bit closer to booking the train. I have done a train from Kings Cross to Canterbury after landing in Heathrow so have some familiarity. (Its the slog through the mall that makes me a little crazy.) It will work out! Do appreciate your input so much.
Thank you Terri! Mistaken for a Rick Steves staffer. Wow, that made my day! (I guess the check/cheque from Mr Steves is still in the mail……..)
Not completely relevant but be aware with BA. My British friend is meeting me in Denver (Heathrow to DIA) in nine days. So far BA has canceled his Tuesday and then Monday arrival in Denver. At this moment he has to fly to Denver on Sunday and chill in a motel for two days until the rest of the (domestic) group arrives. Also changed his return dates to England, not for his convenience I might add.
Ian, yes, hope that check arrives!
Note about BA, doesn’t sound good! I appreciate the warning. I am going to do a practice drive to Dulles airport in case British air decides not to do the flights out of Baltimore. Thinking about all the “what ifs” in case I need to scramble. Will be an adventure however it works out.