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Train or Plane from Edinburgh to London Sunday March 10

Three of us are traveling from Edinburgh to London on March 10. The train that travels that route is Lner which does not sell tickets for that date yet. I can purchase tickets for that route on Trainline, but cannot reserve any seats which makes me nervous. Plus, I prefer to book directly with Lner. Train departs 9:30 am and arrives in London Kings Cross at 2:00 pm and arriving at our hotel at 2:30. Or, I can book three tickets on Flybe airling departing at 8:55 am and arriving Heathrow at 10:35 am. Our carry on luggage is acceptable for flights from US but I worry we would have to check our bags on Flybe, thus taking up more time at Heathrow waiting for luggage at the carousel. Our hotel is in Chelsea area and we plan to tour Victoria and Albert museum that afternoon. We fly back to US on March 13.
1. Train or Plane? Is Flybe reliable?

2. Will we be able to get seats on the Lner train if I continue to wait to buy tickets directly from them? Appears the only way to reserve seats is through Lner.
Side note to anyone visiting London Monday March 11 Westminster is closed for all tours that day. We're going on March 12.
Thank you for any and all tips.

Posted by
11681 posts

I like to start with the National Rail website; it will take you to the Lner site for booking once you select a train and fare.

Tickets for March 10 are available but very expensive (£146) as the low Advance fares apparently not available on Saturday. On March 8 the Advance fares are £42 for the 9:00 train and £59 for the 9:30. Go back a day and they drop further. From March 4-7 and also March 12 (Monday), the fares for those same trains are £26.50 and £30, respectively.

I do not know if Lner holds backmthe Advance fares on weekends til later, or maybe they just do not offer them. If no one here knows the answer, you could try asking on TripAdvisor in the London forum. The locals there are very helpful.

Posted by
7 posts

National Rail sends me to Lner. I follow the prompts to make the reservation and I receive the below message.

We're sorry, but your reservation(s) for Edinburgh (EDB) to London Kings Cross (KGX) on Sunday 10 Mar 2019 could not be made. This is the error the reservations system gave us; 906:No inventory found with Retail Service ID GR5281 on 10/03/2019 :

Maybe just easier to fly? Has anyone flown on Flybe? We have to leave Edinburgh on March 10 for London. Any and all help greatly appreciated!

Posted by
909 posts

Hi, Heather,

I haven't flown Flybe, but friends have, and tell me that the service is very reliable. As it's the Scottish airline, they have to be reliable. :)

Your basic fare includes a standard carry on bag plus a smaller item to be placed under the seat in front of you. Total weight should be 10kg or less, so no coffee table books or tinned haggis. There is a charge for luggage which goes in the hold, but instead of charging for the piece of luggage, you have to purchase a more expensive ticket.

Have you considered taking the train to Glasgow and taking a Virgin train to London? If you do that, you'd go from Waverly or Haymarket to Queen Street Station, take the free shuttle to Central Station, and board the London bound train there. It will take an hour or so longer, but if you are unable to get advance tickets for LNER, it may be your only option.

Although this shouldn't be the case, perhaps the reason that you can't purchase advance tickets on LNER is that their reservation system recognizes that you're in the U.S. The other possibility is that that particular train is fully booked.

If you're flying, you have to factor in the check in and wait time at EDI, and the tube time from LHR to central London. Train is city center to city center, so total travel time would be approximately the same.

Best of luck,

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Just checked Virgin for the 10th. price is outrageous! You may also want to check British Airways for flights. Now that Flybe are operating the EDI to LHR route, BA should be offering more competitive fares. Or maybe not. Sundays and Fridays are the most expensive days of the week to travel, as the airlines and rail services know that you need to get somewhere for the weekend. You can always take the overnight Megabus (leaving 11:00 p.m Saturday night; arriving 7:30 Sunday morning) for 14 pounds 20 pence each, plus you'd save a night's accommodation in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart! :)

Posted by
3307 posts

I flew Flybe last summer from Paris to Manchester and it was fine. Nothing special, nothing to complain about either. They got me where I needed to go and on time.

Posted by
1764 posts

Forget the Trainline and buy from LNER.

The tickets on the Trainline website are walk-up prices -these are the same tickets you can buy in Edinburgh a few minutes before departure. There is absolutely no point in buying these expensive tickets now.

Wait until the cheaper Advance tickets become available on the LNER website. These will be much cheaper. They are not on sale yet; they will be. Wait a couple of weeks or set up a ticket alert.

Trains will be busy - big rugby match (Scotland v Wales) on the Saturday.

Posted by
11681 posts

Heather, at what point do you get the error message? Perhaps you should try a different computer for the train tickets. I had no problem getting all the way to the payment page on the Lner website, looking at tickets for March 10. The price was £76.20 each, not the £146 it showed on the National Rail page ( even tho I entered only one person there).

This is using my iPad.

Ramblin' on, the Advance tickets are available for March 9 and March 11, and many other dates on either side of Heather's planned travel date of Sunday March 10. Are you saying they still might release Advance ticket fares for that date?

Posted by
8889 posts

10th March is a Sunday (groans of recognition from UK train regulars)
Sunday is when they do maintenance work on the tracks, and when they do trains have to be diverted and re-timed. The exact extent of the re-timing is often not known until the work-plan is finalised a few weeks before. So they cannot sell train-specific tickets until the train times are finalised, but they can sell more expensive "open" tickets valid on any train.

If you go to the National rail website, and look up LNER for that date, you end up here:

Amended services between Middlesbrough and York / Northallerton / Darlington / Hartlepool on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March
Start date 09/03/2019
End date 10/03/2019
Route affected . . . . London North Eastern Railway between London Kings Cross and Newcastle
Description London North Eastern Railway . . . On Sunday, services towards London will start from York until 10:00. The first train from Newcastle to London Kings Cross is at 10:00.

Conclusion: Wait a few weeks until the trains are available. Or try for an afternoon train, which according to the above info should be OK. Or try for a train via Carlisle to London Euston. This will take longer, will involve a change, but should give you a connection in the morning.

Posted by
4656 posts

Nice one Chris

I would suggest that the OP looks into trains via Carlisle.

Posted by
7 posts

Would like to arrive in London earlier rather than later. Would book a flight if I didn't have to check bags. Sept 2018 regional carrier out of Basel never even loaded one checked bag for connection in Frankfurt to the States. The longer I wait for Lner schedule the more expensive the flights become. Is it possible that once maintenance schedule is finalized for March 10 that the morning train would be cancelled altogether? I will check for train via Carlise to London Euston. Would that be through Lner or nationalrail? Really prefer nonstop.

Thanks everyone for your advice.

Posted by
80 posts

Given that a) it's a six Nations rugby weekend and b) it's a Sunday and there are works scheduled on the line, I'd personally give up on the idea of getting the train - it will almost certainly be packed (perhaps even with people standing in the aisles!) and it's quite possible the works could overrun and you'll get delays from that. Taking the train on the west coast mainline via Carlisle involves a change and could be similarly busy and disrupted by works.

Having said all that, Flybe are often known by the nickname "Flymaybe" in aviation circles and by people who use them regularly! The airline has also struggled financially recently and is currently the subject of a takeover by Virgin. Hopefully this should save them but there is some legal wrangling at the moment................BA also fly the Edinburgh to London Heathrow route but I can see their flights on that day look very expensive.

If you're staying in Chelsea then I would have thought that flying to Gatwick might be an option - The train from Gatwick goes into Victoria station which is in the south of the city centre and fairly close to Chelsea. I can see a BA flight from Edinburgh to Gatwick for a reasonable price at 7:05 a.m. although this may be earlier than ideal.

Posted by
23750 posts

The second part of your question number 1 can be answered by Clint Eastwood with his question? They used to reasonably ok but have had real money problems recently and I wouldn't bet a sixpence on them at the moment.

They might have a flight into one of the other London airports. They have a few flights out of Southend, for example. Don't know if any of those are from Scotland though.

Don't expect a jet with Flymaybe though.

What about the train on Saturday afternoon? Are there any works on Saturday afternoon? Any footie that might interfere?

Posted by
23750 posts

The answer about Saturday is that you should be OK on a late afternoon LNER train - the works website reads:-

On Saturday, buses will replace trains after 20:00 between York and Darlington via Northallerton.

If I could, and I don't know what difficulties it might cause you, I'd take a train no later than 1700 or 1800 on Saturday.

Posted by
7 posts

These rplies are very helpful. We can't leave on Saturday aas one daughter flies home to the US on Sunday mroning. 3 of us continue to London. Was very worried about Flybe. Wished i'd booked the BA flight earlier rather than continue to wait for train schedule. Have decided to fly using BA. Thanks so much for the grat information. Really appreciate it.