British Air- Seattle to London

Apr 13th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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British Air- Seattle to London

Would like to hear from anyone who has been on the non-stop from SEA to LHR. We live in Portland. Trying to decide if it's better to drive 3 hours to SeaTac, leave car, and fly from there vs taking United or American from Portland with a change in Chicago. Another option is Lufthansa to Frankfurt and then London, bit it's quite a bit more expensive with more ticket restrictions.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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Hi B,

How long is the transit time in Chicago?

ira is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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To me it would depend on several factors -

How long a connection?

What time of year? (I try to avoid midwest and airports in the winter to avoid weather problems)

Do I have enough miles on one or the other for an upgrade?

I am about 2 hours from SFO so have the same sort of decisions - fly w/ connections from home or non-stop from SFO. The total travel duration ends up about the same - you either have time traveling to the remote airport or on the ground in the connecting city.

I end up flying from SFO about 1/2 the time -
janisj is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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I flew this route last summer but continued on to Zürich from Heathrow.

The flight was great and on-time.
We had problems with receiving our luggage in Seattle (2 days later) and we had long security lines for transit passengers at Heathrow, which wouldn't be in your case.

I agree that it's a difficult decision. I know coming back, I would be glad to be as close to my hometown as possible and not have a 3+ hour drive to contend with.
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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OH - also meant to add - I usually book a hotel/motel at SFO that offers park/fly packages. Most of the time, staying overnight either on the way over or the way back ends up cheaper than paying for parking at the airport.

If I have an early morning departure I stay the night before, and if I have an evening arrival, I stay that night.
janisj is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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My first choice would be to fly from SEA because I'd rather deal with the driving, which is more or less in my control (leave very early and arrive early at the airport) rather than add a connecting flight, which always adds the risk of missing the connection.

My second choice would be the Chicago connection, if there is enough layover time to cushion for problems with the first flight. As a general matter, on a transatlantic trip I'd rather connect in the US (assuming an overnight flight) than do the connection in a foreign airport when I'm jetlagged.
noe847 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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I have taken that flight 4 times over the past 10 years. I like it very much. Leaves evening, arrives Heathrow in the morning (I usually continue on another 2-hr flight so this works great).

The BA flight has those seatback screens & play movies, shows, etc. Free headphones, travel kit, free drinks, decent snacks and one hot meal. They try to make it as pleasant as possible. Flight attendents are nice. Always been on time, never lost my luggage. That said, the seats in coach are incredibly small and close together. Just packed.

Since I live in Seattle it's an easy choice. I'm not sure once you add coming from Portland into the mix, that I'd recommend it.
suze is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I have flown on BA's SEA to LHR flight twice. I really like the flight & BA service. I convinced my husband that it was worth the extra $$ to fly non-stop in about 9 hrs.

When you get back you might want to stay the night in a hotel rather than trying to drive back to Portland while jet lagged.
halfapair is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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I've done several flights to Europe with Continental that involve going to Seattle the night before, then a very early start and switching in Newark, and then arriving early in the morning in Europe. This is much harder on me than taking a flight late in the evening (as would likely be the case for you with BA) from my home airport of YVR and arriving in the afternoon in London. On the other hand, with Continental, I have been able to rack up frequent flyer miles quickly and it was *much* cheaper. And I only really suffer the first day - on the second day, it doesn't make much difference which method I used.

I don't know how much time you have, but another option would be to take Amtrak the night before, enjoy the day in Seattle, and then take BA to London. That way you avoid the hassle of parking. On your return, you could catch Amtrak back from downtown.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Another consideration is whether you care about FF miles or not. Flying BA (assuming you'll be flying discount economy) will only accumulate 25% of actual miles on your flights.

If you fly AA or UA, you'll get 100% miles.
yk is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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The BA SEA-LHR night flight is long, but not bad. A cocktail, dinner and a movie or sleep, breakfast and landing. Before you know it you'll be in London.
JeffTWA is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Barbara, We live in Seattle and have gone to Europe out of here several different ways. The direct flights over the pole (BA, SAS, KLM-NW) are about 9-9.5 hours as opposed to the flights that go through Chicago, Newark, Minneapolis, Houston etc that are about 17 hours of traveling. It makes a huge difference in the way you feel when you get there. Now, that being said, add in a 3 hour drive up or down I-5 and it may even things out.
AisleSeat is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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If I WERE going to do the Seattle to Heathrow BA flight leaving from Portland... I'd fly Horizon Portland airport to SeaTac at either end, not drive or train.
suze is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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wow, sorry, what a messy sentence. hopefully you get the drift.
suze is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 10:09 PM
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I've taken the BA flight from Seattle to London several times, and liked it just fine. I live in Portland. Take the Horizon flight. That shuttle leaves every hour. By the time you're in London, you'll be up for nearly 24 hours.
Merseyheart is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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For those that have taken Horizon to Seattle, do you buy a separate ticket?
I'm not finding that option on the BA website. Do you need to claim your bags in Seattle and then check them in with BA, or will Horizon tranfer them to BA? Thanks.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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When you check in for the Horizon/Alaska flight to SEA, show them that you're connecting to the BA flight and they'll tag your bags through to London. The transfer from Horizon to BA at Seattle is pretty easy. Note that cabin bags that will fit on the BA plane may not fit in the overhead on the Horizon plane; there's a cart next to the plane where you can leave your bag as you board, and retrieve it from a similar cart at Seattle.

We've taken the BA SEA-LHR flight on several occasions (but don't any more due to frequent flyer limitations) and think it's okay.

In my opinion, any west coast < > London flight on BA warrants spending the extra money to bump into premium economy (called "World Traveller Plus" - yes, two "L"s in "traveller" - UK spelling) which gets you a wider seat and more legroom, but otherwise economy service. BA's 747 coach seats are among the tightest in the industry, and spending 10 hours in them is not any fun, particularly for the full-figured.

If you want a considerably longer, but frankly more restful voyage, you could also consider taking an AA day flight to Chicago and overnighting at a Chicago hotel (cheap using Priceline) and then take AA's morning flight to London the next day. It gets into Heathrow in the evening, so you get to sleep in beds both nights. The day flights (from Chicago or several east coast cities) really help reduce jetlag in many people. The downside of course is that it takes longer, but we find it actually results in more "effective" time once one is in Europe, as you're not wandering around like a zombie for the first couple of days.

BTW, it's British Airways - they get rather stroppy about it.
Gardyloo is offline  
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