best way to get from London to Rome?

Old Oct 24th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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best way to get from London to Rome?

Hi everyone,

My family has rountrip airline tickets on hold from San Diego to LHR for summer 2006 (they are on hold until midnight tonight!).

Upon arrival in London, the current thinking is to take a flight from London to Rome (possibly on Ryan Air, or a similar airline) where we will leave on a round trip cruise from Civitavecchia.

After the cruise we will fly to Paris for a few days, then go to London via the Eurostar Chunnel for several more days. We will fly back to the states from LHR.

We're using United FF miles for 3 of our 4 tickets for the flights from and to the US, and were unable to obtain open jaw tickets into Rome, and out of London. Roundtrip to/from LHR seems to be the best we can do.

We arrive at LHR at 7:00 a.m. What's the best way to get down to Rome, and then back up to Paris after the cruise? If we do take Ryan Air, how do we best get from LHR to the airports from which Ryan Air operates?

We want to make this as easy as possible as we'll have the kids (14 and 11) with us.

Many thanks for your help!
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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easyjet. I know for sure there is a 4-ish PM flight out, not sure about other times. easy-peasy.
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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Check out this website:

http://www.whichbudget.com/

As far as transportation goes to/fom airports, there should be shuttle info at each airport, or contact the airline you've selected. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

Buon Viaggio,
BC
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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I don't think any of the budget airlines go from LHR to Rome. That means you'll have to change to Luton, Gatwick or Stansted to pick up a cheapy airline to Rome (probably either Ryanair or Easyjet but check www.whichbudget.com as mentioned above).

I don't know what route Flygirl means but I don't think any of the London airport transfers from LHR are "easy-peasy". The Easyjet flight will not go from LHR. Airport transfers are discussed constantly here and people never seem to agree on the best/cheapest/most convenient way.

Are you planning on staying in London at all? If so, then it becomes easier because you avoid the airport-to-airport transfer by staying in London and then it's easier to get from central London than LHR to the other airports.

Alternatively, you may want to check out the cost of BA or Alitalia from LHR to Rome which may not cost much more than trekking round or London London and it would be much less hassle.
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Last summer my wife and I did just what you are proposing. I found it cheaper to get an alitalia flight from LHR-FCO. When adding the shuttle time and cost with the transfer of airports and luggage it was just too much of a hassle. We paid about $180 for the flight, round trip. We were able to tag our luggage all the way through even we were on two different airlines who were not associated.
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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EasyJet from Gatwick to Ciampino is a good way. From Heathrow, I think it's easier to get to Gatwick than it is to get to Stansted or Luton.

You can take another budget airline for the Rome to Paris flight. See http://www.whichbudget.com .
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Thanks everyone!

No, we won't be staying in London at the beginning of our trip; we'll do that at the end of our trip just before coming back to the states.

So I'll check out BA and Alitalia from LHR, and flights out of Gatwick to Ciampino (glad to know Gatwick is the best of the smaller airports... haven't been able to locate a good airport map of England yet).

I just have to figure out what will be easiest. We will have already been on 3 planes prior to our arrival at LHR... so we want to get to Rome the quickest and easiest way possible.

If we do end up flying out of Gatwick, how much time should we allow between our LHR and Gatwick flights (we get to LHR @ 7:00 a.m. on a Wednesday).

Thanks!
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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ttt....

One more question please:

If we end up flying out of Gatwick on EasyJet (looks like the best option if we don't find an inexpensive flight on BA or Alitalia), I notice the flight doesn't leave until 4:45 p.m.. What should we do for all those hours (since we will have been in London since 7:00 a.m.)? Is there a good tour company that could pick us up at LHR, tour us around London, and drop us off Gatwick (with all the luggage we'll have)?

Thank you.
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Please be very aware of one important "issue" which I suspect may definitely apply to you..."all that luggage."

Ryanair's checked luggage restriction is for 15 Kilos and that means 33 pounds per person; with EasyJet the limit is 20 Kilos or 44 pounds. Expect to be charged extra for every kilo above those limits unless you get lucky.
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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Voyager2006 - I had heard about the weight restrictions, but thought it was per bag, not per person (we will have one suitcase and one carry-on each). Thanks for the clarification! I hear the per kilo fee is fairly stiff, as well. Uh-oh....
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 11:50 PM
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London Walks does the sort of private tour you have in mind: http://www.walks.com

You could also head into London yourself, deposit your bags in left luggage at Victoria Station (if they still have this service - an important caveat), and proceed to explore London for a few hours from there, before taking the Gatwick Express (or a slightly slower train) to the airport.

Most of the time, the checked luggage restriction shouldn't be a problem on EasyJet. Try weighing your luggage now to get an idea. Just make sure your carry-ons don't exceed the regulation limit for carry-ons, because if they do, it would be expensive to check them. Sometimes it might be a problem if you've purchased a lot of souvenirs and have to take them on your return flight. The fee is either 5 pounds per extra kilogram, or 5 Euros. The standard airlines within Europe also have relatively restricted limits compared to US carriers.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 01:54 AM
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Ii have been hearing lot sof mixed (mostly negative) reviews about RyanAir lately, but raves about EasyJet. Why don't you give them a try???
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 02:07 AM
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I can personally recommend EasyJet..excellent service whenever we have used it.

Those weight restrictions are definitely per person. You can read about them on the airline's websites. EasyJet seems to be a little more forgiving about the carry-on restruction in that it restricts size to some degree but as I recall says that the carry-on should be something that can reasonably be lifted and stored in the overhead.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Thanks again!!

I called Alitalia this morning and they have a one-way flight from LHR to Rome for $159 per person. I wonder if that price isn't worth paying just to get us to our final destination? But there are 4 of us, so I was trying to keep the cost down. We'll be tired from our long trip from San Diego and wanting to get to our final destination (Rome) ASAP.

We'll be in London later during the trip so we probably won't want to do anything in the city (yet) unless we can find an interesting bus tour that starts at LHR, drives around to some noteworthy sights, then ends at Gatwick. I guess I should start looking on some of the London visitor websites for that.

Thanks for the info. on Ryan Air, BellaVita. When we go from Rome to Paris (later in the trip) we were thinking about using them (again, assuming we have "light" luggage). Yikes!
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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www.londontown.com

will have info on drivers. if you are not worried about cost, that would be a good way to spend that day. your luggage is in one spot - no schlepping it anywhere, even to check for a few hours... you will be driven from point to point (and surely someone can nap if they need to, although what a waste).

I would hope that if you book in advance and contact them directly about your plans (pickup at LHR, drive all over, drop off at LGW) they'll put a package together for you.

it won't be cheap by a long shot, but it would be the least amount of hassle with two kids in tow.

if you go into town by yourself, you should be there by 930 at the latest, and you should think about heading to LGW by say 230 or so. (that's what we did). or earlier if you are being conservative. so figure 5 hours if you go it alone.

if you are definitely planning on London after the trip, why not spend most of those hours at Windsor Castle, not too far from LHR? If you get back to LHR and hire a car to take you to LGW, surely it's cheaper than having an all day driver.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 11:31 AM
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I've flown out of every airport in London and had various airport transfers (as well as travel to/from Italy out of London). Flying in from the West Coast is brutal, esp. on 3 different planes! I agree with your desire to get to Rome ASAP. Weigh costs & benefits with time & energy that you will have. Since you'll be returning to London, I don't think even 3-4 hrs in London would be worth it (coming off your flights). The time & money spent getting around and transfering airports can be tiring. A late morning departure straight from LHR to Rome might be your best bet. You got quoted from $159 (~£88).

If you take Easyjet from Gatwick, you can do bus transfer from LHR http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/...er.htm#gatwick

for £18pp. The 5:00pm Easyjet flight ~£25-50 one way. Unfort, you will have several hours at Gatwick.

Ryanair services Rome (Ciampino) out of Luton and Stansted, which are even longer to get to from LHR.

Alternatively, if you decide to spend the few hrs in London, figure transport into London (£6-13 Tube or Express) and the transport to Gatwick (£13 Express). There are bus tours once you're in London and few that would take you to/from airports, unless it's a private car hire/guide, which will cost a lot- you're probably better served seeing London on the return after Italy.

Also, the budget airline 4-5pm departures arrive into Ciampino ~8-8:30pm. All said and done, you may not get to your hotel until 10pm. By taking an earlier flight right from LHR, you'd arrive Rome by early to mid afternoon, can nap, and enjoy a leisurely dinner in a lovely piazza.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 06:01 PM
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Thanks cindyn -

I wish I figured this whole thing out BEFORE I purchased the round-trip tix to London. I would have spent more time trying different routes to make our FF tix work as open jaw tix into Rome, then out of England.

Alas, I believe you're correct. We do not want to arrive in Rome at 10 p.m.!! We need to purchase 4 (additional) tix to Rome, and then 4 to Paris later in the trip.... sigh. Oh, well... live and learn!

However, it's still going to be a fabulous trip and we can't wait!!
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