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Airfare rate to Great Britain

Hello...we (family of three) are looking to travel to Scotland and London in early June of 2014 via Dublin. I know it is recommended to wait about 21-22 weeks before you travel to book your airfare, but right now flights to Dublin are in the low $900 range (direct to London is $1400's). Is this a good rate or can I do better if I wait? This is our first trip to Europe so don't know what to anticipate as per airfare. Thanks for any help! Ruth

Posted by
1838 posts

At that price I would buy your tickets now. It is always a gamble but the low nine hundred dollar range seem good to me.

Posted by
1976 posts

Is your first destination Dublin? If not, you'll have to buy a separate ticket to your final destination. Aside from the extra money, this will eat up additional time. And keep in mind that if your flight to Dublin is late and you miss your next flight, you'll have to buy a new ticket at full price. Only you can decide if this is worth the financial savings of the $900-something ticket.

Posted by
11294 posts

The old "guidelines" about how soon to book airfares no longer seem to apply. There have been several posts on this Helpline from people who paid several hundred dollars extra per person for tickets because they followed such dubious advice and waited. Airfares have gone up substantially in the past year. I agree that for a flight from Texas to Dublin, in June, under $1000 is a great fare. I doubt you'll see a much lower fare by waiting. If you know your travel dates and can commit, I'd book now.

Posted by
44 posts

Thanks for all of the advice...right now, I am tentatively planning on flying into Dublin b/c of the air fare difference (total savings would be approx $1500 minus air to Edinburgh and air from London...about another $150 pp). We are planning a more thorough visit to Europe in about 3 years so I am trying to make this as budget friendly as possible...just to give us a very small sampling of Europe. So I do know that travel time is eating up probably 2-3 days...yuck! I have been struggling with the budget vs time, but for now, budget is priority. My instincts are telling me that this is a pretty good price and I don't think that I will be able to beat it. Forgot to mention that we will be flying out of Dallas...with possible option out of Houston. Thanks again to everyone...any advice is greatly appreciated.

Posted by
11294 posts

I missed that you didn't actually plan to see Ireland. If you do book RT from Texas to Dublin and then plan to fly from DUB to EDI or LON on separate tickets, at a minimum I would plan to spend the night before my flight home in Dublin. If you are on separate tickets and miss your connection for any reason, you will have to buy a new, last minute ticket. From DUB to EDI this won't be insanely pricey (although it won't be cheap either), but from DUB to IAH or DFW, it will be thousands (negating any savings, for sure). And if you do plan to go right to EDI on arrival, I'd allow a LOT of connection time. In addition to potentially missing the plane altogether, I've read that the budget airlines are very strict with check-in time cutoffs; you must actually be checked in by then, not merely in line to check in, or they won't let you on, your ticket is forfeited, and you have to buy a new, last minute, high priced ticket for another flight. Also remember that the luggage rules are much stricter on intra-European flights; you'll almost certainly have to pay for checking bags, even ones you could carry on your trans-Atlantic flight. Finally, budget flights to London often use more distant airports like Luton or Stansted, that take a lot of time and money to reach. Don't forget these costs in your calculations. (Someone posted on another thread that between London and Dublin, Aer Lingus often matches Ryanair's prices, but uses Heathrow, saving lots of time and money). I'm not saying you shouldn't save money; just be aware of ALL the costs, in time, hassle, and risk, as well as money.

Posted by
638 posts

Don't bypass that $900.00, that's a great price, you can get some great fares as someone else mentioned out of Dublin on Aer Lingus and also look at Ryan Air, but be sure to check their baggage and ticket polices closely. Since you're planning on Scotland and London and plan to go back in a couple of years don't discount Ireland itself since you'll already be there, great country with even greater people.

Posted by
977 posts

Just checked the Aer Lingus web site. Put in one way fare from Dublin to London Heathrow on 14th June 2014. Came up with a fare of 49 euro pp. Seems like a darn good deal.

Posted by
9404 posts

We did what you are doing two years ago due to a change in plans after tickets were bought. We stayed in Dublin on the way over for a night and at the airport hotel (as suggested by Harold) on the way back. Worked fine and saved money. Stayed at an Irish chain hotel for the full Irish Stew and Guiness experience. Our r/t Dublin/Paris was on Air France but it still came out less. For $900, I'm going to look into next year's tickets now!!

Posted by
3307 posts

What Harold said. All the old advice about waiting to buy your ticket you can pretty much disregard. Also, you should know that when you find a great air fare like this, if you hesitate and come back to the same website two days later to book it, that fare could be gone. This has happened to me. If you find a great fare that suits your dates, book right then or lose it. Last fall I went to British Air site, found a fare of $595. round trip New York to London, including hotel for three nights. I turned off the computer, went into the living room to tell husband about the great deal. Came back, turned on computer to book it, never found that deal again. I won't make that mistake again! What Bets said. Very good idea to spend the night in Dublin on your way back home.

Posted by
429 posts

I would buy now. That's a good price. Is this from DFW? What airline?

Posted by
11294 posts

I wasn't referring to "airport fees," which are bundled into the cost of a ticket. I was referring to the time and hassle it takes to reach the airport. London has six airports, and some are much farther away from central London than others, and so take much more time and/or money to get to. Here's a musical warning about the perils of Ryanair's Cheap Flights (warning: not safe for work - contains profanity): http://tinyurl.com/2vxmaod
"There must be extra charges when the flights are 50p" One that I don't think is mentioned in the video: if you haven't printed your boarding pass before you get to the airport, Ryanair will charge you a lot to print it at the airport. If Aer Lingus or British Air also fly your route at a competitive price, use them; they won't have as many fees, and they use more convenient airports in London.

Posted by
44 posts

What great advice! Thanks to all! @Harold, Bets & Rebecca...I hadn't really looked at times for connections to Dublin from cities we wanted to visit...just the fares...Have definitely decided that we need to stay overnight in Dublin before our flight back to states...we would only have a window of about 3 hours on the flight from London to Dublin...too risky! Thanks for opening my eyes to that tidbit. @Harold and Barry...I am now checking into all of the fees associated with luggage & other costs...haven't really been able to locate airport "fees", just baggage fees and will have to put the pencil to these. Am considering just having our luggage "shipped" back rather than messing with checking everything...Has anyone ever done this? Curious to know costs. @Barry...We are certainly not discounting Ireland...is a place I would love to spend some time being of Irish decent myself...but unfortunately, I married a "Robertson" so time requires us to go to Scotland instead. :) @Charles...the flight is out of DFW...I believe it was United Airways...found it via Kayak...looked out of Houston but lowest fares were via Turkish Airlines and that requires an overnight stay in Istanbul...which would be interesting to visit but not on the agenda for this trip and too much time Thanks again to all!