Flights from LHR to Paris

Old Apr 13th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Flights from LHR to Paris

Got two weeks from SFO to LHR on Virgin in July. The plan is to spend at least the first week in London and the second week or maybe just a few days in Paris and then get back on the morning of my flight back to SFO.

So there are some early morning flights which land at LHR before 9 AM, which should give me plenty of time to board my 11 AM Virgin flight.

So the key is to return to LHR, not Gatwick or Luton or any other airports. Yes I know about Eurostar but the earliest return on Eurostar puts me at Wellington at like 9 AM and I have to get over to Heathrow through the city.

The other option is to go to some other Continental destination (even if it requires getting back the day before my LHR-SFO flight and spending the night, probably in a hotel near LHR).

Or I could do the open jaws thing, go to maybe Rome or Madrid for a couple of days and then go to Paris for a couple and then return to LHR.

Best LHR-CDG round trip I see on BA or AF is like 86.70 pounds. Anything better?

Or could I save so much on a LCC that it would be worth coming back the night before and paying for a hotel in London?
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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I strongly recommend against flying into London the morning you return to SFO. There are far too many things that can go wrong and make you miss your flight.

Here's what I'd do in your situation:
SFO-LHR
LHR-CDG (or Eurostar to Gare du Nord if you can land a juicy discounted fare)
Eurostar to Waterloo
LHR-SFO
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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I think you have misunderstood "open-jaw". An example of this would be SFO-LHR and CDG-SFO which if you want to see London and Paris is definitely the best route to take.

I often find open-jaw flights are no more expensive than standard return flights to either city but this may not be the same in your case. Even if open-jaw is a more expensive, you still have the time and cost of your additional flights to consider if you get a return flight to London plus flights to/from Paris.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Since Virgin doesn't fly to Paris, you'll have to stick to your plan to fly back to SFO from LHR.

Flying between LHR and CDG is cheapest on BMI (www.flybmi.com), but BMI doesn't have an early morning flight from CDG to LHR. You'd have to fly to London the night before you fly home.

If you decide to fly to London in the morning, book the 07:30 Air France flight. If there is a last-minute problem, AF probably would be able to put you on the 08:00 flight.

However, my recommendation is that you travel on the Eurostar both ways, arriving back in London the day before you fly home. You can book tickets at www.eurostar.com up to 120 days in advance. Prices vary a lot because they are based on the day of the week, the time of day, and whether discount seats are still available. So book ASAP.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Here's another reason to return to London the night before. Even if the earliest Air France flight arrives at LHR on time, you won't have all that much time to play with. You'll have to allow time to go through immigration/passport control and to claim your luggage. That could easily take an hour. Then you'll have to meet Virgin's check-in deadline.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Yeah this is an award ticket so I can't do openjaw returning from CDG to SFO.

The main appeal of returning to LHR is not having to worry about the transfer from London to LHR on the morning, including the expense.

I suppose Eurostar eliminates some of the transfer costs but a night in London is costly.

Since I started this thread, I looked at some openjaw tix from LHR to VCE or FCO or NCE before hitting Paris for a couple of days. Prices shoot way up. Of course, I could try for another award ticket.

I will have to really think about this if I want to return the London the night before. Guess it's the safest thing to do and I did get bumped at CDG a couple of weeks ago so ...
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Go directly to Paris by air or rail the day you arrive, and finish in London. That way, you're already there when it's time to return. You can time your sojourn to take advantage of Eurostar's cheapest rates.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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I'm getting 79 pounds for Eurostar. As I recall, fares are less if you book on the SNCF site but the problem is, it's hard to get a trip from London to Paris, especially if you can't provide a Paris address.

Easyjet comes up at just under 62 pounds. But you fly out of Luton. Of course, you have to spend to get from the airports to the cities so that 17 pound difference will be eaten up.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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It's never a good idea to be 300 miles from your departure airport on the morning of departure, so follow Robespierre's advice and do Paris first, then return to the UK for the rest of your trip.

Otherwise return to London the night before as missing your flight back to SFO would be rather silly & probably very painful to your wallet
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Whay are you adverse to taking Robespierre's advice?
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Going to Paris first is definitely an idea.

Touch down at LHR at 10:30 so should still be able to get over to Paris without losing too much of the day.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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How much time should be allowed to get from LHR (via metro) to Waterloo to catch the Eurostar?
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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The Railair Bus from Heathrow Central Bus Station connects with Southwest Trains at Feltham, whence 8 trains an hour serve Waterloo during peak periods. The whole trip takes an hour.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Thanks - somehow I KNEW you would have the information I needed!
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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The very easiest way would be fly into LHR, fly from there to Paris, spend a few days in Paris, then take the Eurostar back to London for the final week+ before flying home.

Traveling all across London to Waterloo ( I assume that's what you meant by "Wellington" ) after landing at LHR just doesn't make sense to me. You could be in Paris before your train even left Waterloo.

Then coming back to London - the Eurostar makes perfect sense city centre to city centre.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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As a practical matter, I really wonder if you could be in Paris by the time you got to Waterloo.

You still have to go through the air security and check-in rigamarole, go through hoops at CDG, and get from there to Paris.

If the Eurostar fare is really, really good, I wouldn't mind a little longer trip just to avoid the hassle. I consider queuing in airports and getting on and off airplanes to be wasted time, but sitting on a train with a beer in my hand to be time well spent.

Anybody want to guess how long it takes all-in to get to from clearing customs at Heathrow to Gare du Nord by the air option?
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 04:20 PM
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I checked the fares for Eurostar from Gare du Nord to Waterloo.

It's like 149 pounds or 230 Euro depending on which site you use. That is for the one-way trip.

What is the baggage allowance on Eurostar?

BA and BMI are like 100 to 110 pounds round trip. BMI one way was about 46 pounds total.

Yeah I wouldn't mind taking the train and not worry about airport to city transfers. But Eurostar prices don't seem to be competitive.

The very best fares seem to be about half of the airfare but those are only for specific times. Otherwise, they're close or sometimes higher for the train.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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Look at all the £59 return fares here:

http://tinyurl.com/pj87y
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