Open jaws to UK: London and ???

I'm beginning to explore options for a trip next year (or maybe the year after) to the UK. We will probably have just about 2 weeks, and hope to do the major attractions in/around London, then head north through England and Wales, ending the trip in Scotland. At least that's what I've been thinking. I always try to fly open-jaws, so I figured it would make sense to fly into London, make our way north, then return from somewhere else. Edinburgh? Glasgow? From a pure logistical/geographic standpoint, I'm guessing Edinburgh makes the most sense, but there are only a few direct flights from Edinburgh back to the USA (United has a 757 to Newark, but I'm not a big fan of 757s for long flights). I'm not seeing any from Glasgow. So I'm casting around for other options. We could simply catch a flight back to London and connect there to a long-haul back to the USA (more options, better aircraft to choose from - probably including non-stops to home in Seattle). Or we could take rail back to London (how much of a schlepp would that be? I'm guessing it's not a short rail journey). Or I could just violate my axiom that an open-jaws trip is always most efficient, and begin and end the trip in London, with a big loop out and back. Anyone here with experience getting from Edinburgh to the USA? Done an open-jaws to the UK? Other ideas? Recommendations? Thanks!

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, sometimes beggers cant be choosers. since youre staying there in the UK, i would just call it good and head back into London to get your flgith out. of course i havent done any checking into any other flights. happy trails.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1245 posts

Icelandair flies between Seattle and Reykjavik, with connections to and from both London and Glasgow. So you can do an open jaw to arrive in London (Heathrow or Gatwick I believe) and leave from Glasgow. See The Reykjavik stopover is about an hour but it's gone smoothly for us, it's their hub and they move a lot of people each day. The trip takes a few hours longer than a nonstop, the aircraft is a 3-3 narrowbody, and they charge for food. But the fare is considerably less than the nonstops. The Seattle-Reykjavik flight is about 7 hours overnight, then another couple of hours to UK destinations. If you want to spend time in Iceland, they offer hotel and tour packages with no increased airfare for the stopover. Plus you get to hear the flight attendants speak Icelandic as well as English!

Posted by j.c.
NC, United States
868 posts

Train via East Coast Line from Edinburgh Waverly to London King's Cross is 4 hours plus. Grab a cab across town to Paddington (30-40 minutes) and then Heathrow Express out to the airport. I've done it. You do risk a late train messing with your connections.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6175 posts

From Edinburgh back to Seattle, you will have to make a stop somewhere to change planes; there are no direct flights. So the simplest would be open jaw on BA, flying directly into LHR (on a 747), and back from Edinburgh with a quick plane change at LHR. I just priced it, and for flights in September, the RT flight SEA to LHR and the open jaw flight with a return from Edinburgh come out to the same price: $1424. That is a high season price; if you go at other times it could be more, or less.

Posted by Micky
San Francisco, CA, USA
97 posts

What about Manchester? A couple of years ago I flew into Manchester and out of London and it actually ended up costing less than a round trip ticket to/from London.

Posted by Mark
Waycross, GA, USA
16 posts

Check flying back out of Manchester. I am no fan of a 757 on a long haul. That is why we are not flying home from Edinburgh. Added on some days to see northern England and York, then taking the 1 hr 45 min train straight to Manchester airport. Flying a wide body back to ATL.

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1488 posts

Thanks for the input. I should have added: ticket cost is not a factor for us (we will by flying using FF points, in business). Primary factors for us are comfort and efficiency of our time. It seems that there are very limited options for flying home out of Edinburgh, and those options are not very attractive to me (Iceland is great, but not on this trip, and not in a coach seat in a narrow-body aircraft). We might fly the short hop from Edinburgh to London, then connect for the trans-Atlantic. Or, if the train between Edinburgh and London is just 4-5 hours, that's not too bad. We would probably want to spend the night before getting on a flight to the US west coast - maybe it does make more sense for us to do a big loop rather than open jaws. But I think so far, the responses in this thread confirm what I had found previously - doing open-jaws and coming home directly from Edinburgh may not make sense for us, given our other priorities. Thanks.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
902 posts

David, why not check into a direct R/T to the EU thru Amsterdam on Delta, then book seperate connecting flights (using on some of the lo-cost inter EU airlines? The Delta flight out of Seattle is pretty good, and Amsterdam is a good hub for flights into and out of the EU.

Posted by david
837 posts

Lola has given you the correct answer. The Edinburgh airport is relatively small and easy. There is a convenient bus from Waverly Station in downtown Edinbuugh to the airport. Short flight to LHR and a wide choice from their to Seattle. BA nonstop from LHR to Seattle. Can't beat it. British Air is the way to go and if there are any hitches, they will take care of you.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4763 posts

In your situation, I would just look at Kayak's "multi city" option, and see what comes up. To get back to Seattle from Glasgow or Edinburgh (or, for that matter, from Inverness or Aberdeen, if you want to be further north), the easiest way will be changing flights in London or Amsterdam, all on one ticket. The second easiest, if you're ending near Edinburgh or Glasgow and you don't mind an extra night in London, is to take the train back to London the day before your flight. I wouldn't take the train the same day as my flight (too risky for me, but your comfort with the risk may be higher).

Posted by Jim
149 posts

Or (and there are lots of open jaws options), you could do something of a clockwise UK two-week tour as we did in 2004. We flew BA from Seattle to Heathrow, transferred to a "local" BA flight to Glasgow, stayed overnight and, the next morning traveled by train across the northern coast of Scotland to Elgin, took a half-hour very local bus ride south to Aberlour on the Spey River, took a couple of days of distillery tours, etc, thence back north to Elgin and on to Edinburgh by rail, spent a few days in Edinburgh, thence south by rail to York for a couple of days, thence southwest by rail to Bath for a couple of days, then east by rail to London for the remainder of our UK adventure and off from Heathrow by BA back to Seattle. I guess that's not technically open jaws but it's close. Our other trips have always been open jaws with arrival in one country and departure for home from another. We hate to waste valuable touring time backtracking. We'll sure you'll enjoy your UK visit. We'll be returning later in year from Seattle to Amsterdam to Brussels to London (via the Channel Tunnel train) and home to Seattle.

Posted by Kathy
137 posts

Last summer, I flew from Orkney to London with a connection on Edinburgh. The BA flight from Edinburgh to London might have been the most comfortable coach flight I have EVER been on! So, you might want to consider that in getting your flight.