Seattle to London Air Travel (Cheaper Fares From Vancouver International, British Columbia)

In looking at fares between Seattle and London, flights are quite a bit cheaper going out of Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver, British Columbia. We live about 2 hours south of Vancouver so I was wondering about the logistics of using Vancouver rather than Seattle because there can be a significant savings on the airfare and more flights to choose from.

Does anyone have feedback on getting to and from Vancouver International, long-term parking (two weeks probably) at the Vancouver airport, border restrictions, etc.?

We would be looking at traveling during the first couple of weeks in September.

Thank you.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2490 posts

I always thought it was the people from Vancouver coming to SEATAC to do their long distance flying.

You can catch a train between the cities, but 4.5 hrs. is long for a 140 mile trip. It's an easy drive but you've got to deal with border agents. I suggest going in off peak times, whenever that is.

You can fly British Airways and Air Canada into Heathrow and Virgin Atlantic flies it seasonally. You can also fly into Gatwick on Air Transit.

You'll just need to compare the cost of driving up there. The parking is very, very expensive @ $15-20 at the airport.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1136 posts

I Googled for airport parking packages and found several deals where up to 14 days of parking was included. That would give plenty of margin for the flight departure. And the US greenback is strengthening against the Canadian loony.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5237 posts

Have you checked flights and prices for Iceland Air leaving from Seattle? Nice short 7 hour flight to Iceland, and then a hop to London? Might be worth it over the drive to Vancouver and the parking fees there, plus when you return, that drive back home. That is something dangerous to do, driving for a couple of hours after a long flight.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
20285 posts

Mary,

Regarding the parking question at YVR, have a look at this website....

https://www.parknfly.ca/Location/Vancouver-Airport-Parking.aspx?referralid=9526&coupon=90024&gclid=coux-ju1pb0cfqqcfgodqmkazg

I vaguely recall that some of the airport hotels used to provide complementary parking for a specific time if guests stayed at least one night, but I'm not sure if that offer is still in effect.

If you're going to spend one night in Vancouver prior to your flight, you might try a splurge at the YVR Fairmont if your budget will allow. You can walk from there right into the terminal, and it's great to be able to see the flights coming and going from your hotel room.

Posted by Mary
USA
26 posts

Thank you everyone. This forum is always so helpful and friendly, especially for the novice international traveler.

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1171 posts

Also consider the shuttle service that exists between Seattle and YVR. If you go to the Vancouver Airport website, there is a page that outlines the various shuttle links. This might work well for you.

If you can fly direct from YVR to Gatwick with Air Transat, I'd highly recommend it. I find Gatwick much easier and more pleasant than Heathrow. I'm also a big fan of Transat's Club Class - a really worthwhile upgraded service, with lots of extra room. In the past, I've bought Club Class on the overnight to Europe, but just flew economy on the way back - that made it more affordable and put the upgrade to when I need it most.

Posted by mpeacock
19 posts

Hi Mary -

I live in Vancouver, and last year we flew out of Seatac thinking it would be cheaper, and this year we are flying out of Vancouver - you're right, it's cheaper, and for you, even more so with a stronger dollar. There are a lot of cheap hotels near the airport that I'm betting offer parking deals, or as someone mentioned the Fairmont is really nice if you can splurge. The long term parking at the airport is called Park n' Fly. There's probably others but that's the main one. The drive up from Seattle isn't too bad, and I don't have Nexus, cross the border all the time and rarely find it to be a problem. If you're an early riser just cross early and you won't have a problem at all. Fill up your gas tank on your side of the border - gas much cheaper in the US, I fill up every time I cross!

Posted by mpeacock
19 posts

FYI - Just went to Park n' Fly site and plugged in Sept 3-17 as a base, got a rate including tax and fuel surcharge of $138 (that's Canadian!), so not too bad a price? Again, some hotels might include it anyway. Good luck!

Posted by Lauren
Seattle, WA
4 posts

My husband are I saved a ton this summer by booking through Air Canada from Seattle to London. We each paid less than $800 total for RT between SEA and LHR via YVR, through Air Canada's website.

We're flying from Seattle in late June on the 48-minute Air Canada #8094, then after a layover of a couple of hours we fly Vancouver to Heathrow on AC #854. We come back in mid-July by repeating the process in the opposite direction. We've done this before and everything went perfectly. (We've also flown IcelandAir from Seattle with a change in Reykjavik and that's great, too, with the added bonus of stopping three nights in Iceland on the way home for no additional airfare cost.)

I would always vote for flying from Seattle to Vancouver to connect, rather than messing around with border traffic, cost of gas, getting a hotel, and paying for long-term parking.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8541 posts

We flew out of Vancouver just last november.. and yes.. many hotels offer free parking if you stay a night.. for a two week trip they would expect two night stays( front and back usually) for free parking.. but even if you stay one night.. get 7 days free. and only have to pay for another 7 days of parking its cheaper then paying at airport parking for full two weeks.
Every hotel we looked into offered free shuttle to airport..

We stayed at the Days Inn as there was 5 of us and they had a room for 5.

Posted by keporter
5 posts

We recently got a great deal with one leg through Air Canada. Since there were only 3 airlines involved I'm assuming it was some sort of alliance deal. Our roundtrip per person cost from Seattle to London is $900 which is half of what we have been seeing for airfare. Our outward flight is Seattle to Chicago and then Chicago to London, our return flight is London to Calgary and then Calgary to Seattle. None of layovers are more than 2 hours.

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1171 posts

The only caveat with London Heathrow, as a destination or a connecting airport, with Air Canada this year is the airline's plan to move its operations to a different terminal (from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2). Part of this announced move for June is the lay-off of their own ground crews and future sub-contracting of these services. That is a recipe for an eventual bumpy ride for passengers headed to or through LHR with AC around that time.

Since AC to LHR is one of only two choices we have for a direct flight to Europe from Ottawa, I'm keeping a close eye on how the situation is evolving. I'm flying next week on the only other direct flight (AC to FRA) and any disruption with AC in LHR will be felt across the system. Also not encouraging for me is Lufthansa's pilot strike this week, AC's partner airline for my connecting flights. :-(

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1136 posts

Those Seattle-London fares are tremendous bargains. I've looked at several airfare search sites, including Air Canada itself, and in late June found only fares costing nearly twice as much as reported. When did you get them, and how?

Posted by Mary
USA
26 posts

I use Expedia and Kayak to search for flights mainly so I can find out which airlines fly the route I am looking for although this time I almost didn't do that since I had heard about Iceland Air offering cheaper flights to Europe from Seattle. Even though I search on Expedia and/or Kayak, I still always book directly on the specific airline website so if there are any problems I deal with the airline and not a third-party.

AirCanada offered not only the best fare but the flight is non-stop from Vancouver to London Heathrow and it is a wide-body jet, something that Iceland Air doesn't use and they don't have a direct flight either. The savings of $800 is significant, especially given the flight is non-stop and the plane is bigger and more comfortable. Also, the Park N Fly parking/shuttle service is very comparable to what we would pay for off-airport parking if we flew out of Seattle. We are only one hour's drive from the border and will be traveling mid-week both outgoing and returning with an early evening departure and a mid-afternoon return so don't anticipate delays of any consequence at the border. I had been looking at the Iceland Air options but am glad I didn't assume they had the best deal and did a second search!

Posted by Mary
USA
26 posts

Forgot to add that the time of year might affect the fare too. We are going in Sept. with a Tues. departure and a Wed. return. That time period might be cheaper than June but I don't know since I was only putting in Sept. dates. Also, I noticed that flights on some days of the week are cheaper than on other days.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8541 posts

In January Virgin Alantic had 800 dollar fares Vancouver to London direct. We booked.. but took premium economy .. since it was a good price . I now see those fares for same date are long gone.

Posted by lized01
2 posts

I recently booked airfare for 2, Seattle to London on Icelandair. It was considerably cheaper ($200 plus) that other carriers. I followed Kayak's advice on when to buy and feel like I got a good deal. Check it out. Liz

Posted by Gordy
Bellevue, WA, USA
3 posts

We are taking our 2 kids from Sea to Athens this summer. After much frustration with the high fares, I checked flying from Vancouver, and using similar British flights we are able to save over $1600. We can park for 2 weeks for $99. No brainier, especially since with the flight times we can do the drive up and back without spending a night in Vancouver.