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Travel to Edinburgh from Boston

We are planning a 10+ day vacation in Scotland, in and out of Edinburgh. Unfortunately there are no direct flights that I can find. I do see at least 3 one stop flights. British Airways thru Heathrow, United thru Newark, and Aer Lingus thru Dublin. Any thoughts? Which would readers recommend? There is also Norwegian Air from TF Green in Providence to Dublin, then change to Aer Lingus to Edinburgh. However I have not heard good reviews of Norwegian Air. What do you thinK?

Posted by
2446 posts

a friend of mine from Kansas city has visited me in Edinburgh a few times in recent years and has gone via Amsterdam, might be worth looking at routes through there.

Posted by
5537 posts

I would go for BA via Heathrow. My logic being that once you've arrived at Heathrow, even if for some reason you miss your onward flight to Edinburgh, there will be many more options there to catch the following flight to Edinburgh than via the other two cities.

You're lucky to be flying from Boston, Europe is so much closer to there than almost anywhere else! And the British Isles most of all!!

Posted by
16998 posts

Can't quibble with Kim's logic, but I think Heathrow is considered one of the most difficult airports for changing planes, in the sense that it can take longer than expected. I am not speaking from personal experience, because I have heeded the comments on this forum and so far managed to change planes in other airports (Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Munich). I'd use Heathrow if I needed to, but I'd be looking for a layover that was longer than the minimum requirement for the airport.

Posted by
2579 posts

We've flown Aer Lingus twice out of JFK with connections through either Dublin or Shannon, and have no complaints. The condition of the planes, courtesy of service, quality of onboard food, helpfulness of check-in staff etc. was all very good.

Connecting to/from Scotland, Aer Lingus uses a partner airline that feels more like a commuter flight. They use a far-flung tarmac so you get on a shuttle bus to get to the terminal itself. You may have to show your boarding pass to board the bus, and again to go up the stairway and board the plane. I mention this because our first time we were wondering "Where are they taking us???"

Posted by
909 posts

Hi, delia.klingbell,

I'm old enough to remember flying Northwest from Boston Logan to Abbotsinsch, which is what Glasgow Airport was called back then, to differentiate it from Glasgow Prestwick (which I've also flown in to a few times).

Anyway, I'd agree with flying through LHR on BA. I've flown BA out of Philadelphia many many times, making the connection through LHR and onward to GLA. I've never missed a conncection, although I've come close on the return journey.

Once AA instituted direct flights to GLA out of PHL, we've flown with them the last couple of times. However, the service isn't as good, even though we get priority boarding due to my veteran's status.

As a second choice to BA, I'd go with Aer Lingus, if you don't have a long layover in Dublin. As the flight timing for both BA and Aer Lingus are about the same on the Transatlantic leg, you may want to make layover time and cost your deciding factors.

Best wishes for your journey!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
115 posts

This thread has made me a bit nervous. We're going to be tired when we reach LHR after a red eye from Hawaii to Seattle of 6 hours and then a non-stop to LHR of over 9 hours. We have a bit over 2 hours at LHR before the final leg to EDI. It's worth the long trip to Scotland, but want to be sure we're not stuck in LHR for much longer than planned.

We've already had to change our flight that was originally scheduled to Inverness as that flight was cancelled and replaced with one that had more than 10 hours in LHR.

Posted by
340 posts

At least three times my husband and I used United to fly into Edinburgh thru the Newark airport (Liberty), since there is no direct flight from the Washington, DC area. We never had any problems, but Liberty is not a particularly pleasant airport to spend any length of time in. Also, I would take into consideration the time of year you’re flying. For example, we’re going to Edinburgh later this month, and due to potential winter weather delays, don’t want to chance changing planes in Newark, so we’re flying into Heathrow and proceeding from there. As a previous poster noted; there are numerous ways to continue on to Edinburgh from Heathrow.

Posted by
80 posts

You don't mention what time of year you're travelling? I mention this cause next summer Delta will be operating a daily non-stop from BOS to EDI - however this is a seasonal service operating from late may to mid September iirc.

Failing that, the most seamless connections (and often good fares) from BOS to Scotland are arguably with icelandair via keflavik. However, icelandair only fly to Glasgow - I don't know if that's any good for you?

Of the options you mention I would go with Aer Lingus via DUB. Heathrow can be a congested nightmare with huge immigration queues, delays etc. Via Newark, particularly on the return, could be the same.

I wouldn't touch the Norwegian option with a bargepole tbh - there have been recent stories in the press questioning their ability to stay in business! Additionally, afaik your connection wouldn't be protected so if your flight was late and you missed your connection then you might be stuck in DUB and have to buy an expensive new ticket to EDI (or worse, all the way to PVD on the return!).

Posted by
34 posts

Delta fly's Logan to Edinburgh non-stop. I'm planning it for August
10:03 pm — 9:25 am +1
6h 22m

Posted by
11158 posts

Good point about flying Aer Lingus: On your return you clear US customs and immigration in Dublin ("pre-clearance"). Your landing in Boston is then like a domestic arrival, with the "formalities" already done.

Bad points about flying Aer Lingus: At least in September 2015 when I flew Aer Lingus, their flights to Edinburgh and Glasgow departed from gates 336 and 337. The catch was, the signage only showed the way to gate numbers up to 335, or to 400 and above. And there was no person at that point to ask. I finally found someone who knew that if you just follow signs to 335, you will eventually see signs for 336 and 337. Note that these gates are separated from the others, and only have a few vending machines (and bathrooms), but no other food or drink. A sign in the gate area indicated that the closest fuller services were 10 minutes away, each way. In 2015, the flights from Dublin to Scotland were on smaller propeller planes, and you boarded via a steep stairway (after being bused out to the plane). Boarding wasn't a problem, but deplaning on those steep stairs with my carry-on luggage wasn't fun.

With all those caveats, the flights were fine, and I'd certainly fly Aer Lingus to Scotland again. I just want you to be prepared.

Whatever you do, make sure you are all on one ticket, so the airline is responsible for getting you to your final destination at no extra cost if there is a problem. So, nix on that Norwegian Air to Aer Lingus itinerary. If there's any problem, you're on the hook, both logistically (no airline will help you) and financially (you'd have to buy a last minute ticket; expensive for Dublin to Edinburgh, but potentially ruinous for Dublin back to the US).

Posted by
80 posts

The Delta BOS-EDI fights start on may 24th and then operate through the summer till September. It will only operate over this timespan because it's a seasonal route and there's only sufficient demand to fill the plane over the peak summer - it's nothing to do with the weather in the NE. Seats on the flight are available to book now and afaik have been for several weeks.

If you're travelling outside the period during which this flight operates then your options are limited to indirect ones.

Norwegian did fly previously direct from the US, including providence, to Edinburgh. However they have dropped all these routes due to issues with air taxes. As such the only option on Norwegian is via Dublin and as has been pointed out that's not a good idea!

Posted by
80 posts

These flights were announced a couple of months ago and as far as I'm concerned have been on sale ever since. It would be very abnormal for an airline to announce a new route like this and then not put seats in sale even 2 to 3 months after the announcement.

As such, I have no problem finding seats on this service available for booking on the Delta website and other travel sites, so I'm not sure why other people are having a problem.

Remember this direct service only operates from the 23rd of may until the end of August.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks to all who replied. The direct Delta flight only runs until the end of August, so unfortunately that doesn't help. Right now we plan to go with Aer Lingus from BOS thru DUBLIN to Edinburgh.

Thanks again for the advice.

Posted by
2454 posts

I always fly BA to Europe, Boston to Heathrow, and then on to the final destination. If you fly BA for both flights, you will likely not have to leave terminal 5. (I haven't had to change terminals yet anyways). This makes Heathrow much more enjoyable. Even better, to avoid jet lag, take the BA day flight to Heathrow, stay overnight at the Sofitel just outside terminal 5, and then take a nice late morning flight to Edinburgh.

Posted by
3 posts

We have flown out of Providence several times using Norwegian, traveling to Dublin and then to some other destination. We have only had one bad experience, which I blame on our "bad luck" friend who always has flight issues no matter the airline. Flying from Dublin to any destination in the UK or Europe is easy and cheap! Are there any good flights out of Hartford? Norwegian also has a flight to London-Gatwick from Boston, where you can catch a connection to Edinburgh; I know many people who have used Norwegian out of Boston and have been happy with the service.

Posted by
4694 posts

Terri, you might want to see if you're required to change terminals. That means an immigration line, a bus,and another security line at the second terminal. Your two hours will be very busy.

Posted by
28 posts

I also fly out of Boston and am familiar with this qualm of getting to EDI as it is my favorite city. Almost every time I have gone to Edinburgh from Boston, I fly direct to Dublin through Aer Lingus. Then I book separate with Ryanair or the like a cheap flight to EDI. I know it does not protect you from delays and such but it has always been the most economical way. I was lucky to get a decent Air France (Delta) flight once BOS-Gatwick and then also took a cheap Ryanair from Gatwick to EDI. I have never found Heathrow to be the economical option. I would say Dublin is your cheapest hub followed by Gatwick. Last time I flew home from EDI I took a Ryanair flight to Dublin in the evening. Paid $20 for a dorm bed in Dublin for the night and then took a direct flight on Norwegian to Boston. I found Norwegian to be a fine budget airline, but I am not someone who is accustomed to traveling in any kind of luxury. Even with the transportation into Dublin for the night and the hostel, that was the cheapest flight option by $100+. Hope this can help you some!

Posted by
8889 posts

OK, I spotted this question when it was first posted, and I can no longer resist the temptation to post:

Travel to Edinburgh from Boston

Boston doesn't have an airport, but it does have a station and you can easily get from Boston to Edinburgh by train. it take 3 trains, for example:

10:50 depart Boston, arrive Grantham 11:41
12:19 depart Grantham, arrive Newark North Gate 12:31
12:46 depart Newark North Gate, arrive Edinburgh 16:14

You are correct there are no direct trains, as you see you do have to go via Newark.

I demand the US returns all the place names they stole, and calls their places by different names to avoid confusion. ☺