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Day flight from US arriving London Late Night?

Day flight from US arriving London Late Night?

Dec 4th, 2002, 04:33 PM
  #1  
Barbara
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Day flight from US arriving London Late Night?

My husband and I are taking a day flight from US arriving London at 10:30PM. Has anyone done this? I am thinking of taking a hired car into London, so I don't have to deal with public transportation around 11PM. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is there airport pretty empty at that time?
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 04:44 PM
  #2  
Debs
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Barbara - What airport are you flying in to? A private car will be quite expensive into London from either Heathrow or Gatwick. If Gatwick, check the schedules for the Gatwick Express, which will put you at Victoria Station, and from there, you can hire a taxi to drive you to your hotel.
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 04:59 PM
  #3  
Gavin
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I have taken a day flight from Toronto to LHR and immediately rented a car on two occasions. I found it worked well for us with respect to jet lag. It was also nice since the airport is not too busy, traffic is light but it is not late on "home time". Our destinations were outside the M25. If I were doing your trip I would take the tube or train as appropriate to the hotel location and then take a short inexpensive cab ride if needed. But I enjoy saving money.
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #4  
JOdy
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The Express from either Heathrow or gatwick will probably be your best choice..then a taxi to your hotel.
From Gatwick a private hire service will be at least 49 GBP, from Heathrow less. But the train is easy and at that time no crowding and fast! And there will be no lines for taxis when you arrive at either Victoria or Paddington.



This is all assuming that London is your destination.

If you are going onward to somewhere else from the airport ,the whole picture would change!
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 06:32 PM
  #5  
Mel P
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Depends on which airport you are flying into. If Gatwick, then I concur with the others to take the Gatwick Express into Victoria, then taxi it from there. If Heathrow, I'd say you might do nearly as well with a private car all the way in as you would with the Heathrow Express, if you can get a good rate, particularly if you have a lot of luggage and your hotel is not close to Paddington Station. Check with your hotel to see if they have a private car service arrangement at a discount. With the Heathrow Express at £26 for two and then taxi fare, the cost of a car service may not be that much more.
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 07:11 PM
  #6  
flying
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I've taken this flight before. The airport should be relatively quiet for your arrival. Not empty but nothing like the a.m. cattle car arrivals.

Unless budget is a huge concern, I would opt for a hired car to your hotel. Ray Skinner's service is often mentioned here and I can speak positively about him from experience. About 35 GBP into Central London if you're arriving at Heathrow. Can't make a recommendation if you're travelling into Gatwick.
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 07:15 PM
  #7  
j
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Ray is 49 GBP from Gatwick

www.london-transfers.com
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #8  
Rex
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Eddie Manning also gets positive remarks much in the same fashion as Ray skinner. I don't know any reason that you couldn't get a pickup from either one at any of London's airports.

Here's one thread that has info on either of them:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=34368800

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Dec 4th, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #9  
Edwin
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Most Americans and Canadians do not have the luxury of flying to London during the day. Do it! LHR will be empty. I think all the day flights arrive in LHR (AC, VS, AA, BA, etc)
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 05:23 AM
  #10  
Barbara
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Sorry I was not more specific about airport. We will be going to Heathrow and staying in central London very close to the Green Park tube in Mayfair/St.James area. The accomodation offers a private car arrangement for 35 pounds plus parking but no extra $$ for waiting. I am seriously considering this for convenience as well as security. I am concerned about traveling the public transportation systems so late at night. I have read other posts recommending that tourists not travel the tube system late at night. Any more suggestion or comments? PS We are taking the day flight and "losing" a day in transit because I hate starting a trip exhausted!
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 05:46 AM
  #11  
kate
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The car fare your hotel has quoted is a pretty good deal. I've hired a minicab to go into Central London (a little further East and North of where you're going) and the base charge was 25 pounds plus wait time (which was about an extra 4 pounds). So, while you might get a somewhat better deal if you negotiated a deal with a car company yourself, if your hotel is arranging it for you and there's a cap, go for it. On the way back to the airport, try the following phone number 020 7431 2700. This is the company I always used, and the rate was much lower going to the airport (about 21 pounds) - so the rate your hotel offers you for the return trip might be a rip-off if it's similar to the arrival rate.

I don't imagine you were thinking of doing the tube/Heathrow Express combo to head home, but if you do, note that the tube line (Jubilee) you'd take North to
Baker St to change for Paddington isn't stopping Northbound at Baker St until sometime in the summer of 2003 - so you'd have to take a cab to Paddington. If you have to take a cab to Paddington, plus train fares, you might as well hire a minicab to go to the airport.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 06:26 AM
  #12  
Shanna
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Hi Barbara. We took a BA day flight from Dulles to Heathrow in October. It left at 8:40 a.m. which meant we had to be up at 5, at airport by 6. No long lines! We got into London at 9:00pm, not at all crowded. By the time we got to the hotel it was 10; into bed by 11:00, actually feeling tired and ready for bed. We awoke the next day refreshed. It might seem that you lose a vacation day, but the day flight was so much better than a night flight, in my opinion. We didn't feel dopey on the plane or when we landed or the next day. We stayed that night near the airport and took a cab but the next morning used Ray Skinner to go to the King's Cross train station. He's great! Day flights would be my preference in the future. Unfortunately there aren't oo many of them. Have a good trip.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #13  
Lori
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I recommend using Ray Skinner's transfer service (www.london-transfers.com). We've used them a number of times and it is great. You will have no real traffic going into London at that time of night, but for overall convenience you cannot beat a pick up service. It's a flat fee, plus tip. You will no doubt be tired, I'd not mess around with public transportation and dragging luggage about.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #14  
Bob
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Wouldn't Ray Skinner's business be his own self-employed business? What would be the point of "flat fee" plus tip? Does he simply expect you to give him money? The argument that restaurant waiters have to have tips because they are paid inadequate wages doesn't seem to apply here. Isn't Ray Skinner employee and employer both?

What's next? Adding a 15% service charge for wear to the tires on the vehicle? A "flat fee" should be a flat fee.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 07:02 AM
  #15  
ddd
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Bob,

Ray Skinner has employees. We used his service last summer when we arrived LHR in the evening. The gentleman who picked us up waited while we changed some money at an ATM and grabbed some sandwhiches and drinks to take to the hotel. He pointed out sights on the way across town and before dropping us off, drew us a map to the two closest tube stations. He earned his salary and gratuity. I would have offered the same had our driver been Ray Skinner.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #16  
Barbara
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Thanks for confirming my thoughts! By the time you've gotten up early to get to the airport and then travel all day you are tired anyway. I absolutely cannot sleep on an airplane, so to miss an entire nights sleep and arrive with a completely messed up time clock is a killer. Glad to hear that is was a good experience for you! One more question? Are there food places in Heathrow? We may want to grab a bite so we are not scouting out food at at midnight in central london. Or is midnight not too late to get a bite in the Mayfair area?
We will be staying in serviced apartments a few doors down from the Ritz. Could I get food at the Ritz that late?
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 09:37 AM
  #17  
ddd
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The food places in Heathrow are not likely to be open that late. The best we found was a duty free shop (candy and wine) and a WH Smiths with a few prepackaged sandwhiches, snacks and drinks. I had packed a jar of peanut butter and some crackers as a desperation meal. Luckily we found a noodle bar open across the street from our hotel.

Just guessing but I'd bet the Ritz dining rooms will be closed by then...possibly room service but that doesn't do you all much good. Seems to me I recall a Sainsbury in Covent Garden that stays open until midnight.

Perhaps you should repost under a differenct thread title to get some info about late nite places in Mayfair.

Good luck.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 08:41 AM
  #18  
John
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If you want Londoners to commnent on this you should be clear. You say you are going to take a hire car. This to means like you are going to rent a car from Hertz or Avis or someone and drive in yourself. If this is the case, you will have no problem at this time of night as the roads will be clear.

If you are taking a taxi you should call it a taxi, not a hire car.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #19  
Patrick
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John, as an American, I took Barbara's "hired car" to mean that they are hiring a car service. I do realize that hired car sounds like what we refer to as a rental car, but what is the proper term for hiring a private driver with car? It's not a mini-taxi, those are different. Or should we just say "taking a car service"?
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 12:41 PM
  #20  
ron
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Patrick, these airport car services are, in fact, minicabs, ie unmetered taxis, not licensed to pick up on the street. Now that London has started licensing minicabs, the official term is "Licensed Private Hire Operators". Swiss Cottage Cars, which you often recommend, has such a license, issued by the Borough of Camden.
 

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