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Flying into Manchester instead of London?

Hi all, I'm tentatively planning a couple week trip to England for September. My original thought was to fly in and out of London, essentially making a circle around the country, with the rough path of Bath, Oxford, York, and ending back in London. But right now I'm finding some cheaper flight prices flying roundtrip from Minneapolis to Manchester, rather than London. So I thought about shifting the starting point of my trip, so I'd fly into Manchester, and start the touring circle in York instead. Are there any considerations I should make going in and out of Manchester instead of London? I know it would be a longer train trip from Oxford back up to Manchester to catch the return flight, but there wasn't much difference in flight prices for a roundtrip to London vs. flying into Manchester and out of London. Just looking for some advice as I make my plans!

Posted by
21731 posts

Not a direct answer. But you have looked at open-jaw/multi-city flights? Into Manchester and home from London. That would save your the costs in money and time for returning to the original city . The vast majority of our trips are open jaw. Rarely do round trip flights.

Posted by
72 posts

Yes, at least right now, the cost of doing open jaw is roughly the same as flying in and out of London 😀

Posted by
5871 posts

Nothing wrong with Manchester. We flew out of Manchester, it has been some years ago, but it was certainly easier to navigate than Heathrow at the time, and likely still today. You have good rail connections to about everywhere and it might offer getting to a more sedate location to start your trip, than the temptation to jump into London right away. You might even look at adding Liverpool at the end of the trip, just over an hour to get to Manchester Airport from Liverpool Lime Street station, about the same as London to Heathrow, or Oxford to Heathrow.

Posted by
40 posts

I like Manchester airport. I think it's easier to navigate than Heathrow. Plus, it has its own train station, so you can walk off your plane and onto a train to York.

An open jaw itinerary does make sense if you are planning to spend time in or near London. If your last stop is Oxford, there's an easy bus connection from the city direct to Heathrow.

Have fun!

Posted by
1258 posts

Hello from Anoka. I flew into and out of Manchester a few years back and loved how less stressful it was than London. I then headed for York. I love York and the area around it. Are you watching "All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS? That area is very close to York. Also, I loved Howard Castle which isn't too far and you could probably catch a tour from York.

Posted by
5262 posts

We flew in and out of Manchester some years ago and it was fine. This was a north-focused driving trip that didn't go near London. For your purposes an open-jaw ticket, into Manchester and out of London, would make sense. Trains are frequent between Manchester Airport and York, taking about two hours with no changes, so it would be pretty easy to reach York on your arrival day.

Not knowing where else you plan to go, I suggest you consider Chester and North Wales, and/or Liverpool, as destinations close to Manchester.

Posted by
3683 posts

Flying into London and home from Manchester suits me better than the reverse. Neither resembles a casual stroll in the park, but I'd rather deal with all the current restrictions at Heathrow on landing, rather than worrying about catching the flight to depart.

Posted by
3224 posts

If you feel that the savings is worth the train trip from Oxford to Manchester airport, why not?

Posted by
2658 posts

We are flying into Heathrow the 9th of May and out of Manchester on the 7th of June.

Posted by
3663 posts

Looks like an Icelandair itinerary. Nonstop and free food and booze is sure nice (Delta), but maybe not worth an extra $500. Just remember to carry your food as Icelandair does not offer free food in coach, and careful with economy light tickets: check the carry on limitations. You can purchase food at Keflavik (only one vendor in the non-Schengen part of the airport) but it is expensive.

Posted by
72 posts

Yep Tom_MN, it's Icelandair! I've flown them frequently so am familiar with how they operate. I unfortunately have some flight anxiety so am very picky about who I fly with, especially internationally, but Icelandair is one of my "safe" airlines, along with Delta :-)

Posted by
308 posts

As others have said, nothing wrong with Manchester. Its a smaller airport than LHR and easy to navigate. It also has a train station with direct trains to York. I've gone through Manchester numerous times. It is my general impression that immigration is quicker at Manchester, but that may simply be down to facility size. If you can open jaw into MAN and out of LHR for a reasonable price, that sounds entirely reasonable. Its also completely reasonable to go round trip via MAN if the price merits it.

Posted by
2479 posts

If you are going to open -jaw with Heathrow and Manchester you will do far better price-wise flying into Heathrow rather than out. There is a high tax added to flights that originate in Heathrow that are otherwise not part of flight connection.

Posted by
3663 posts

you will do far better price-wise flying into Heathrow rather than out.

All taxes and fees being levied will be included in the ticket price at purchase for cost comparison.

Posted by
2479 posts

They will be included, but the cost will be higher. Example - my son spent a semester in St Petersburg. He flew from Philadelphia on BA. Connection in Heathrow. On the way home, the connection misses the last flight to PHL, so an overnight is forced. He has friend in London, so we decide he can stay a few days. The flight the next day was considered part of the connection. The flight 2 or 3 days later was considered a new flights even though it was one ticket. And price was $100 or so higher. This was because it with the stopover, rather than just the forced overnight, this was now a multi-city flight and the exit tax applied to the new flight, even though on the same ticket. And he been taking that flight from having flown from St Petersburg the night before, it would not have had that price increase. Yes, this is all taxes, and BA, at least at that time, did a great job of breaking this all down, but it is a tax that is not applied to a connecting flight. I just tried a sample booking on BA and it was considerably less expensive to fly home from Manchester connecting in Heathrow than it was taking the same flight from Heathrow.

Posted by
3663 posts

I understand what you are saying, but airfares are not so linear. Tickets are base price + taxes and fees. The OP claimed that yesterday the ticket price RT into MAN was the same as into MAN return LHR, and this is possible if the base fare from LHR was that much lower.

Posted by
2128 posts

It’s not the departure airport (Heathrow or Manchester - though there are exceptions) that determines Air Passenger Duty, rather the destination, ticket class and duration of connection(s).

A journey all on one ticket from Manchester > Heathrow > New York incurs the same APD as MAN > New York or Heathrow > New York

Bedtime reading

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-allowances-for-air-passenger-duty

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/air-passenger-duty-tax-flying-b1946375.html

Posted by
219 posts

Don't think you need to bogged down with worrying about departure taxes and airport charges. All you need consider is what the fare you pay is including these
Back in 2017 i booked 4 return tickets from Birmingham UK to Cluj Romania
The cost was just less than £20 per person each way.! The invoice shows Taxes and Fees at £166.76. Fare minus £6.84 thus paid £159.92