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Going to Lisbon from London -- happy, happy, happy but need advice!

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Going to Lisbon from London -- happy, happy, happy but need advice!

Old May 10th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Going to Lisbon from London -- happy, happy, happy but need advice!

As some of you may remember, my SO and I will be living in London from the beginning of September to mid-December (lucky us!). We'd planned to do some traveling to various places in Europe but it seems we'll be starting that sooner than we expected.

My SO has been invited to give a paper in Lisbon about a week after we get to London, so we'll have barely unpacked our undies when we'll be packing them again. The conference is on September 9th and 10th, so we thought we'd go on the 8th and come back to London on the12th.

This will be our first experience on an intra-Europe flight so I have lots of questions:
- I only know about Ryan Air. Are there better airlines to take to Lisbon?
- What about airports? Do they land anywhere near the city? And where do they take off from in London?
- What about ground transportation from the airport ? I don't know where we're staying yet but it's probably going to be at the conference hotel, only I don't know what that is yet.
- How far in advance should I book our air tickets?
- Is there any other decent way to get from London to Lisbon besides flying?

I know I'll have other questions about Lisbon but unless you can think of something I absolutely need to know right now, I'll ask again later. I've been to Portugal once but I was just a mere slip of a girl so my knowledge of Lisbon today is pretty much non-existant.

Thanks in advance for your help.
gtg
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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The Lisbon airport is close to downtown, an inexpensive taxi ride to a downtown hotel, 8E or so.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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Hi goddess,

here's the link to the easyjet flights from London [Gatwick or Luton] to lisbon for your dates.

http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Booking.mvc

they are far preferable to Ryanair, IMHO, and the rates are pretty low at the moment. [even taking account of the hoops you have to jump through to negotiate their booking website - you might not want to delete the insurance unless you have your own!]


for a 3-4 day trip, there really isn't any other way - if you went by train, it'd be time to come home as soon as you got there. [in the circumstances, that wouldn't stop my looking up the train timetables "just in case", and if it were vital that you get home, the ferries too!].

I've never made it to Lisbon - I was supposed to about 35 years ago but they had a coup while we were on our way there and we had to go to Vigo in Spain instead. so i can't help you with the city, but any enquiries about easyjet - our low cost airline of choice - and I'm your woman.

good luck and welcome [in advance] to the UK!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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GTG--My first trip overseas was to Lisbon and so it holds a special place in my heart Yes, the airport there is very close to downtown so a taxi is very inexpensive. We only had about a weeks notice to plan our trip, so we had no idea of what to expect in Lisbon and the surrounding area. Winging it somehow worked, lol. Even with limited time, I hope you are able to get out to Sinta. Such a beautiful place! We really liked Cascais as well (stayed there for part of the trip). Both are easy day trips from Lisbon.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Make sure the insurance that EasyJet or Ryanair offers actually applies to you. You have to be a UK resident, and I guess you will be, but make sure you are as indicated by their rules.

I've taken both EasyJet and Ryanair, and can't say the experience differs much at all, except you get slightly more luggage allowance on EasyJet. Double-check that you are under their limits (and somehow the actual sizer seems smaller), and don't even think of trying to sneak something by that's a bit too large.

Not sure about other airlines, but look at www.skyscanner.net and www.whichbudget.com .
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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We flew TAP Air Portugal to Lisbon from Gatwick. They also do a regular flight from Heathrow. I'd check Easyjet first as they are likely to have the cheapest flights. It depends where you will be staying in London as to which airport is most convenient to leave from. The flight less than two hours.

We caught the bus from the airport into town - I don't remember any hassles so guess it was easy to find - just outside the front doors as I remember.

We had travel cards for the Lisbon underground which was worth it for our three nights.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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GTG, are you still staying in West Hampstead? This is the area I always stay when in London. Great location and British Rail at West Hampstead can take you to Luton or Gatwick direct. I prefer Luton as it is less crowded and EasyJet flies to Lisbon from Luton.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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We spent five days in Lisbon (and five in Porto) last October, and just loved the city.

Be sure to go to Sintra, as well as Belem and Cascais. All are short train or bus rides from Lisbon.

We bought Lisboa Cards which were good on subway, trams, funiculars, and trains to Sintra and Cascais. Our 3-day cards were 11 Eiro.

Have a wonderful trip!

Byrd
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Old May 10th, 2010, 11:39 AM
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gtg, just be careful if you go Easyjet out of Gatwick. Yesterday my son was stranded in Gatwick b/c an Easyjet agent gave him incorrect info. He was scheduled to fly to Berlin @ 17:50. When he arrived @ Gatwick to check in, the Easyjet agent said that she cld not take his bag & check him in b/c his flight had been cancelled due to volcanic ash eruption. She told him to go to an airport internet cafe & try to get on the next flight which was @ 20:00. She said she could not rebook him. Turns out she had mixed up the flights!!! It was the 20:00 flight to Berlin that had been cancelled & the 15:50 flight took off w/o my son while he was trying to rebook! He ended up having to find a place to stay last night & taking the train to Berlin today (almost 11 hours). And, now Easyjet won't give him a refund because they said "You did not show up for your flight!!" Can you believe it??? So, be careful.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Thank you everyone. This is just great. (Even my SO said "ask the fodorites").

Just one further question. How far in advance should I book those air tickets? If I do it when we get to London (Sept 1) would that be to late? I can always do it before, if that's better, but how much before?

OB, how frustrating for your son! Frustrating x 3 -- first the cancelled flight, then the mistake about the cancelled flight, then not being able to get a refund! More and more lately, I think all the airlines have a death wish.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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PS Sintra is my favourite Portuguese restaurant in Toronto.

PPS Landineen, yes, we'll be staying in West Hampstead. I'm glad to get your good recommendation!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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GTG, I would buy now. I see fares at around 100.00 USD round trip to Lisbon on the low fare carriers and double that on the traditional carriers. Also, train fares from central London to Gatwick or Luton can run about 30.00 USD + round trip depending on the day. Check out www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk for any deals including the two for one offers while in London.

I'm sure your SO other can wright off portions of his trip under Canadian tax laws.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:44 AM
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Thanks, land. I'm going to buy now. Yes, my SO's trip will be paid for including lodging, so it's really only my airfare that's the cost and, of course, whatever we do on our own time.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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What's a SO?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:25 AM
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Significant Other.

On the easyjet website, I don't see any carry-on sizes or weights. Am I missing it somewhere? If my carry-on is too big, I think we'll just both pack in one suitcase and check it.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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GTG, www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/baggage.html If you check in baggage, make sure it is ONE and not two. I believe the cost for 1 is 18 pounds. Total cost for this flight should be around 300 usd.

I always go via www.kayak.com to compare flights and cost. Use LON (for any London area airport) Once you select the flights, it will redirect you to the airline or third party to continue the booking.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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I would seriously recommend looking into BA and TAP as the 2 major carriers flying on this route, too:

1. Both operate out of LHR. It is easily accessible by tube from the city and you'd save a lot of money on transportation to and from the airport apart from valuable time.

2. With some foresight, both usually are quite competitive price-wise.

3. Both display straight forward pricing and no silly upsell tricks with regards to unwanted extras and transparency on taxes.

4.Both are more likely to assist in re-booking in the event of unforeseen events and interfering circumstances than the so-called low cost carriers.

http://www.flytap.com/World/en/Homepage/
http://www.britishairways.com/travel...=GB&eId=101001
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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for that link, land. I don't know how I missed it.

hsv, I'll check your links out too. Sunday is the day I plan to sit at the computer and make travel arrangements!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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When comparing prices keep in mind when comparing the "low cost" carrier from LGW with the main carriers from LHR:
The Gatwick Express from Victoria to London is around GBP 15.00 1-way per person plus transportation to Victoria. There admittedly is a cheaper train that takes longer, but a tube ride to LHR will set you back a mere GBP 3.50 or even less if paid by Oyster Card (which you likely will).
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Old Jun 6th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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I'm leaning towards TAP at this point. It's slightly more expensive (by about 8 GBP/pp) than easyjet and quite a bit less expensive than British Air (by about 25 GBP/pp). Unless I'm missing something, Ryanair doesn't seem to fly to Lisbon. I feel a little more confident about flying a major airline like TAP than easyjet, although we might try that to another destination later on.

The only thing is that for the best fares at good times, we fly out of Gatwick and into Heathrow. I think I'll look around again though and see if I can fly out of and into Heathrow.

Thanks, y'all.
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