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cheap flight tips Seattle to Glasgow

If this is a topic that has currently been added please let me know! Otherwise, we are traveling to Scotland for 3 weeks in June/July 2022 and I would love any tips you have for finding the best prices for flights from Seattle to Glasgow. We could also fly into Edinburgh and take a train to Glasgow. Four adults will be traveling. Favorite booking site? Favorite way to track prices? Any tips help! Thank you!

Posted by
3204 posts

Look at flights to Edinburgh as well, it is a much larger airport so you might be able to find cheaper flights there. There are frequent direct buses from Edinburgh airport to Glasgow so it is a pretty convenient trip.

Posted by
1810 posts

I am looking for DFW to either place for July - and everything is pretty high right now. I am even looking for a sale on flights to London, or somewhere that has a cheap short hop to EDI. Of course, I have date flexibility to do this. And I know flying in to another hub either takes away a day from Scotland or adds an extra night of lodging there pre-flight home.

I check Google Flights and set it to track flights and let me know when there is a change. But yes, flights seem high right now.

Posted by
13082 posts

I always book directly with the airline.

I checked British Airways, which flies a nice 787 from Seattle to London, where you change planes for the short flight to Scotland. Right now the prices look pretty good—-better than I have ever seen for summer prices for travel in Economy. And Glasgow is slightly less than Edinburgh. For Economy Basic (which means no checked baggage, and you pay extra to choose your own seats) the RT price is $1093 to Glasgow and back; $1147 to Edinburgh, for the random dates I checked (June24 to July 8). A later return flight (July 15) was within a few dollars, although the cheapest flights have you on an American Airlines plane for the long haul (LHR to SEA) flight.

These were for flights with a reasonable connection time and good overall flight time (14 to 15 hours total).

Virgin Atlantic/Delta combinations for the same dates (using 24 June to 15 July) are $1332 in Economy Lite for a flight with two stops on the way (Salt Lake City and Amsterdam), or $1547 for a flight with one plane change (in AMS). Booking with KLM/Delta came up with the same price and route combinations, although $10 cheaper—-$1321 for the outbound flight with 2 stops; $1537 if the outbound flight has only 1 stop in Amsterdam. Again, these are all Economy Lite prices, so check the restrictions carefully.

Lufthansa, which also flies out of Seattle, has RT flights to Glasgow on the same dates for $1109, with one stop in Frankfurt to change planes (both directions).

Given these results, I would just go ahead and book with British Airways—-I don’t see how it could go much lower than $1093, and I have seen it go a lot higher, especially as it gets closer to your travel date. But in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that BA is our usual airline for flights to Europe. You may get different opinions from those who prefer other airlines, or who prefer to change planes in AMS or Frankfurt over changing at Heathrow.

Posted by
5262 posts

I looked at Icelandair for the approximate dates Lola tried (they don't fly every day from Seattle) and found a $989 SEA-GLA round trip fare via Reykjavik, in "economy light." My experience with Icelandair (several years back) has been that their fares are generally lower than others, but that may have changed. I would say that transferring at KEF (Reykjavik's airport) is much easier than at LHR or FRA. And I hate flying somewhere and then turning around to reach my destination (even for a short hop like LHR-GLA).

Whatever airline you choose, I recommend booking directly with it rather than through at third-party site. That will help you if anything changes or goes wrong. Seldom do third-party sites actually save money anyway.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all! Lola...thank you for your above and beyond research! I'm glad to know your experience with reasonable rates as I wasn't sure quite what to expect. I've flown BA before and was happy with them so I'll get on it! Thanks again!

Posted by
13082 posts

There are a couple of things to consider about that Icelandair flight besides the price.

One is that the scheduled plane change at Keflavik airport takes place between 10:15 pm and 11:55 pm Seattle time (Reykjavik is on GMT like the UK, so 8 hours different from Seattle). If you are one who can sleep on planes on the overnight flight (which I am), that means your sleep will be interrupted.

The other is that neither flight uses a wide-body jet; they both use a 737MAX. I know those planes have been cleared for use and are no longer grounded, but that would make some people (like me) nervous.

Posted by
11288 posts

If you can use Vancouver airport, it may have better prices than flying to/from Seattle. Or it may not. You can only find out by checking for your travel dates. The only rule for flight prices is that there are no rules.

Do take all factors into account. For instance, if Vancouver is going to take time, money, and/or hassle to reach, it may not be worth any money saved. I agree that getting from Edinburgh airport to Glasgow is easy. At least pre-Covid, there was a bus that ran nonstop from the Edinburgh airport right to the Glasgow bus station, with no need to change, and it ran every half-hour. But if your goal is Glasgow, I wouldn't fly to another UK airport just because it's "cheaper" (say, Manchester or London).

Other airlines that will likely have good connections to Glasgow are KLM (through Amsterdam) and Aer Lingus (through Dublin). I have no idea if they serve Seattle or Vancouver now, but if they do, take a look. Beware of some other airlines that may take you the "long way around." This includes going through a connection in North America (say, Seattle to JFK to Glasgow) - takes longer, more hassle, and more problems if you miss the connection. That's because JFK to Glasgow is one per day, while, for instance, Heathrow to Glasgow will have multiple flights a day.

Posted by
13082 posts

I can tell you from personal experience that flying into or out from Vancouver involves some logistical challenges and extra time and $$$. We did it because we were flying with miles and those were the flights I could get. Plus we got to fly on an A380 which we like. But the public transport connections between Seattle and Vancouver are neither frequent nor cheap, and sometimes unreliable (the train can be iffy in winter due to landslides which close the tracks).

We had a flight booked from YVR in March 2020 and I actually reserved a rental car one-way to get to the airport because the tracks had been closed so many times in January and February (and then of course we canceled that trip). In 2018, our home bound flight arrival time at YVR was late enough in the evening that we needed to stay overnight at a Vancouver hotel. And then get up really early the next morning to take the train home.

Posted by
1818 posts

You could also look at flights to Manchester.
I believe they have a railway link right in or at the airport, then you could get a train to Glasgow from there.
Less hassle than going to London and transferring to a second flight.
A train would also get you right into the centre of Glasgow!
I'll look it up, then edit this if I find out.

OK: lots of flights SEA to Manchester, on American or United, with one stop in Newark, Chicago or Philadelphia; then you can get a nonstop train from Man. Airport to Glasgow, it takes 3 and a half hours to Glasgow Central Station.
Always book directly with the airline, not anything like Expedia etc.

Trains: look at and book an advance ticket to save money there; leaving enough time between arriving and getting the train of course.

That's what I would do.

Posted by
21068 posts

I buy my UK rail tickets from the operating railroad. Just go to the National Rail website and choose the departure you want. NationalRail will then link you to the website of the rail company running the trains you've chosen. I believe trainline has started charging fees.

Posted by
2830 posts

Well, I looked up prices on American From Seattle to Manchester in the late June-July timeframe, and the fare was almost 50% higher than what Lola found for British Airways to Glasgow. $ 1497 for the cheapest economy. But maybe British Air has gone up that much in a few days. I didn’t check that.

I have been following this thread with interest because I have experienced a big price increase in fares on British. There was a guy here who used to talk about the “sweet spot” for airfare prices about 2 1/2 months out. He was so sure about it, I waited to buy our tickets from Seattle to London for our family, and it cost us $2000 more than if I had bought them back in December like I planned. The price went from $1150 to $1650 per person.

Posted by
21068 posts

Honestly, I think it's a mistake to think there's a magic time for buying transatlantic tickets. Fares go up; fares go down. The airlines have computer algorithms chewing on data around the clock and making frequent adjustments. If the airline yield-management people don't know enough to set fares without depending on computers, I certainly don't know what's going to happen next week or next month (other than that fares are highly likely to fluctuate). It's always possible to get lucky--just happen to price flights on a day when fares are shockingly/obviously low, but to a considerable degree you make your own luck by monitoring fares for a while so you know what "normal" is and can jump on bargains.

The COVID situation makes things even harder to predict right now.

Posted by
610 posts

We have friends in Seattle and travel there from Scotland a few times a year (when there's not a pandemic happening!). We have checked out several different routes and airlines but keep coming back to British Airways. We fly to Heathrow from Glasgow and then change for the direct flight from Heathrow to Seattle. All other options seem to us to have more inconvenient flight times or longer lay overs.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
182 posts

I always start out by searching with Orbitz (or Kayak, or other search engine). Once they show you the best fare (I usually prioritize duration over price) you can go to the airline's website and see how much more it costs. Orbitz has some sort of deal with most airlines that can lower fares by 10%, but having an intermediary in the way if you want to make changes, experience delays, etc. can be a high price to save a few bucks. Our upcoming trip to Glasgow resulted in BA from Seattle via Heathrow using Orbitz. I changed our return to fly out of Edinburgh with no issue, so saving a few bucks hasn't bit me yet, although it has in the past. I think mid-travel problems is where things can go south. So I guess it's "buyer beware".

We used Icelandair Seattle to Dublin two years ago, and they were using 757s at the time. They changed aircraft which lost us our extended legroom, so my knees did not enjoy the flights. That may have been when the 737max was grounded. If it hadn't been for the seat assignment problem, they were very nice flights. The Reykjavik connection is easy because the airport only has a couple of gates all close together. We took advantage of their "stop over free" program to spend two days on the way home.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you everyone! I am continuing my search using this advice. Amazing and thank you!

Posted by
84 posts

thetessaroo, have you had success finding good flights? I'm just starting to look for this same timeframe, out of Seattle as well. Would love to hear what you've found by now.