Does it matter which airport (London)?

Old Jan 25th, 2023, 02:49 PM
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Does it matter which airport (London)?

We will be travelling to London at the very beginning of July, 2023 from Athens, Greece. I've been tracking one-way, non-stop flights and noticed that some options fly into Heathrow and others into Gatwick. We are staying in Victoria (not too far from Victoria Station). I've only ever flown into Heathrow, so curious if there are any concerns or pros/cons to flying into Gatwick (currently those flights are less money than LHR)? It seems like there is easy transport via Tube and the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station.

Also, I'm not familiar with some of the budget airlines that fly within Europe. Any that we should avoid (safety issues, regular cancellations/delays)?
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 02:58 PM
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I think most budget airlines in europe are pretty awful. I would not fly any of them. All will charge for checked in luggage. Be careful and read the terms and conditions.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 03:09 PM
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LGW would be the most convenient for Victoria -- direct train right from the terminal into Victoria, arriving at the mainline (ground floor) station.

Getting to Victoria from LHR on the tube would be Piccadilly line to Hammersmith, exit train and cross to the other side of the same platform for the next District line train to Victoria, arriving in the Underground station with the steps and escalators.

So both are easy but LGW just that much more so.

I have no issues flying most European LCCs (low cost carriers) . . . But some are better than others. Many of the LCCs have very stringent luggage and check in requirements. Which airline(s) are you considering??

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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 03:21 PM
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Mille2112, will do. Thanks for the heads up!

Janisj, honestly whichever works with our timing (we are coming off a cruise) and non-stop. It seems that Aegean, Easy Jet and Wizz come up more often.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 04:05 PM
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All three are totally legit/probably equally reliable.

If it was my trip, I'd pick by 1) schedule, and 2) number of flights to my destination (IF there is a mechanical problem and there are several flights a day it is easier to recover if there are 2 or 3 more flights to London that day)

Just watch the luggage rules carefully. When I fly easyJet I always pay for the premium step-up (I think they call it Flexi now) which covers an additional/larger carry-on, express security and bag drop lines and even a food voucher (about €8-10-ish)
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 04:25 PM
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Aegean is a full service airline, part of the Star Alliance if points matter to you. They do charge for checked bags IIRC.

allow me to enter a hearty negative vote for Ryan Air and Stansted, if those were on your radar at all.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 04:39 PM
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[QUOTE=FTOttawa;17432399]Aegean is a full service airline, part of the Star Alliance if points matter to you. They do charge for checked bags IIRC.
.[/QUOTE


Good point -- Aegean certainly wouldn't be considered a LCC.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 05:42 PM
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Easyjet are a good option if you want to fly into LGW. Not all LCCs are created equal. Wizzair Iíd avoid. I donít bother with the flexi option on Easyjet, too expensive & not worth it. Standard fare is ok for me, I skip seat assignments & baggage but add baggage in at the end which makes it cheaper as itís not packaged up with something I donít want.

Sky Express fly to LHR as well as Aegean & BA.

The trains from LGW are easier to get as there isnít the trek that you have @ LHR to get to them. The platforms for the trains at LGW are really close to the arrivals area esp if you arrive in the south terminal.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 05:56 PM
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I travel carry-on only and Flexi allows for a larger carry-on - I use a normal US-sized carry-on which would have to be checked on a standard fare. so actually doesn't cost much extra -- and often the EasyJet bag drop queue can be enormous. I don'y mind paying for comfort and convenience.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 05:26 PM
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I didn't realize that the regular US carry on would be considered checked baggage with EasyJet. We will be coming from a cruise, so there is a good chance we may need to have a larger suitcase between the 3 of us, but that means we may have less luggage if we go that route (we usually travel with carryon only) and fly that airline. If we had to check them, 1 larger bag might be better than 3 "carry on" bags.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kimberlyb View Post
I didn't realize that the regular US carry on would be considered checked baggage with EasyJet. We will be coming from a cruise, so there is a good chance we may need to have a larger suitcase between the 3 of us, but that means we may have less luggage if we go that route (we usually travel with carryon only) and fly that airline. If we had to check them, 1 larger bag might be better than 3 "carry on" bags.

If you up fare to EasyJet Flexi you each get not only a larger than 'normal' US sized carry on 22'X17.7X9.8" you also get an under seat bag (17"x14"x9.7''), AND a free checked bag up to 23 kg/50 lbs. (on the standard fares you only get the small under seat bag -- nothing else)
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 12:06 AM
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I have flown Easyjet many times and always use the Flexi fare for convenience and the need for checked luggage.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by millie2112 View Post
I think most budget airlines in europe are pretty awful. I would not fly any of them. All will charge for checked in luggage. Be careful and read the terms and conditions.
EU low costs are basic, but are perfectly fine for flights that are hardly ever longer than 2-2.30 hours. Out of curiosity, what low costs do you like?
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kimberlyb View Post
Also, I'm not familiar with some of the budget airlines that fly within Europe. Any that we should avoid (safety issues, regular cancellations/delays)?
Safety is not an issue within EU, so don't use it as a criterion.

Your main criterion should be schedule. If a late flight is delayed you might miss the last train or tube and and forced to take a taxi from the airport. Also consider that certain late flights into Stansted are often delayed.

about the airports:
* Stansted is the less convenient. Stanstead Express takes you to Liverpool Street, then you have to take the tube. It is also expensive, and if it's 3 of you, a Taxi (pre-booked) is a very good alternative. A bus is probably a good alternative, as it will take you directly to Victoria
* Gatwick is the best option. Quick passport controls, and train to Victoria will take ~30 minutes. Buy a normal ticket, don't bother with Gatwick Express. More expensive, same transit time, and i believe not more frequent.
* Heathrow is your second choice, but it may take a long time for passport control, and it's far from Victoria, so choose Gatwick if possible. Take the tube into Central London (either Elizabeth line or Piccadilly)
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 01:38 AM
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Gatwick trains also run further east, to London Bridge, Blackfriars and St Pancras, which widens the range of potential accommodation options
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by millie2112 View Post
I think most budget airlines in europe are pretty awful. I would not fly any of them. All will charge for checked in luggage. Be careful and read the terms and conditions.
We've flown Easy Jet a number of times and found them excellent. Like any low cost airline you can add in the extras you want .Easy Jet reimbursed our airfares when we had to cancel a flight because of a death in the family .i just had to send in the death certificate.
. we've also flown Vueling.
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by millie2112 View Post
I think most budget airlines in europe are pretty awful. I would not fly any of them. All will charge for checked in luggage. Be careful and read the terms and conditions.
Originally Posted by northie View Post
We've flown Easy Jet a number of times and found them excellent. Like any low cost airline you can add in the extras you want .Easy Jet reimbursed our airfares when we had to cancel a flight because of a death in the family .i just had to send in the death certificate.
. we've also flown Vueling.
I agree with northie. millie2112, have you actually flown any of them? I've flown EasyJet at least 4 times, Vueling once and Wizz Air once and never had any problems with any of them.
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