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Manchester to London: Fly or Train?

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My family of 4 are traveling to London in mid-June using AA miles. We had booked the day flight from Philly to Heathrow and I was thrilled. I hate the red-eye and when I had to travel to London often for work, I loved to take the day flight.

I received an email last week from AA telling me they had rescheduled us on flights from PHL to Chicago and then the Chicago to LHR redeye. They seem to have gotten rid of the old US Air PHL to LHR day flight. I really don't want to spend a half day flying 2 hrs west and then flying east to London.

So here is my dilemna--the PHL to Manchester overnight nonstop is available. We would then connect to BA to LHR which results in a surcharge of $306 for our 4 award tickets (because BA awards and London). If we terminate the flight in MAN and take a train, and can correctly select a train for a reservation, we could possibly get the price as low as $100 for the 4 of us (2 adults, 2 kids). The full fair which enables you to take any off peak train is around $370 for 4.

So my questions are:
- if our flight is delayed and we miss the train where we had a reservation at a discounted price, what happens? Do you lose the money or do you pay the difference to get on the next train/any train?
- both methods get us to London midday, I think the train would be more relaxing, more time to rest/sleep (I prefer trains to planes). Am I wrong?
- if it worth the risk of being delayed and screwing everything up to save a couple hundred $ by taking the train?
- is the train too much of a hassle vs jumping on another flight?
- keeping LHR as our destination for the award ticket would allow us to change to the PHL to LHR nonstop redeye if they ever release cheap award seats. Though right now an award is 110k on that flight (vs 30k) so it doesn't seem likely. But last year they released a slew of seats in the spring so who knows.

I appreciate any insight!

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