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Opinions 9:10 am flight depart Chicago that arrives 10:35 pm London

Opinions 9:10 am flight depart Chicago that arrives 10:35 pm London

Mar 8th, 2004, 05:32 AM
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Opinions 9:10 am flight depart Chicago that arrives 10:35 pm London

I tacked this question on to the jet lag thread which was not fair of me. Sorry.

Considering taking the 8:20 pm flight that arrives late morning London that poster Schildc1 said worked very well. I was also wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the flight that leaves from Chicago early morning and arrives late at night London time. The one downside for me would be that I have to connect from St. Louis. The computer gives me some very short connections time when I put in this option. My thought was that I would not be tired on arrival.

Anyone done it? Thank you.

SandyBrit is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:42 AM
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<<My thought was that I would not be tired on arrival.>>

Exactly. Might not be in the right frame of mind to ge to sleep, and wondering what to do with yourself from 1 am to 5 am when you finally nod off. Heck of a way to start the first morning that you actually wake up in Europe. And you're paying for a hotel night when you got ZERO actual time in London on that date (that you arrived and checked in there).

Having said that, there are those people who swear by these daytime flights, and thre have been long threads about this. Might not be easy to find, as I don't know any/many distinctive words that they would contain. I'll see what I can find, to represent the "other side" of the argument in balanced fashion.

Best wishes,


rex is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:44 AM
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I find with morning flights I'm not so tired when I arrive - but my clock is off kilter in a different way. By the time I check into the hotel its 11pm or so and I think I should be going to sleep - but its really only 6pm my time - so I'm not ready to go to sleep until around 4am. Then I'm not ready to get up at 8/9am.

I've decided for me, the night flights are better.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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This one is old, and rather contentious...


You will find some other mention of these kinds of flights on a search of "jet and lag and morning".
rex is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:55 AM
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As a Chicagoland resident, I've eyed that American Airlines flight also as the price is not bad for when I want to go.

My hesitancy is the time of arrival at night -- I would rather not be crawling to my hotel at 11:30pm -- I'd go for a 7am departure and an earlier arrival in London.

Re connections -- you would check in in St. L. for the whole trip and your London flight will leave from the same domestic terminal, so other than checking in at the desk for the London flight -- no worries. So you don't need the long domestic to international connection times.
sfowler is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Thanks everyone. Thanks Rex for your extra work in finding the old thread - I will read later today. No internet access at my job - work in a nursing home and must be off.

You have given me some things to think about. Thank you very much.

SandyBrit is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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I was wondering what can you do at 11:30 pm in London? In other words, after you check in, what can you do to tire yourself out. I suppose some clubs are open, but that may not appeal to many here. Any thoughts?
Bitter is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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I always end up staying awake for at least one night on transatlantic flights, either the one spent on the plane or the next one, sometimes both. The one time I ended up flying during the day (from Vancouver to London) was due to a 12-hour flight delay; we got into LHR around 10 PM and now that I recall, my connecting flight to Leeds the next morning was really easy. Of course it was helped by the fact that BA upgraded us to biz and comp'd the LHR hotel, but that's only right after spending 15 hours at the Vancouver airport being told any minute (hour? day?) now.

People that used to ride Concorde said the daytime-only flights helped them overcome jetlag quicker, so I'd probably give it a go. One thing I'd certainly sugest (and with an 8:20 AM longhaul departure you wouldn't have much choice anyway) would be to spend most of the night before you left awake, (a) because you'd need to in order to get to the airport, and (b) to "innoculate" yourself with fatigue so that you'd be tired enough to go to a hotel (pick one at LHR) and be in bed by midnight or 1 AM. That's what worked for me.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 8th, 2004, 07:36 AM
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I am one of the people that love day flights, and have taken the Virgin Atlantic daytime flight from NYC several times. I live in Europe and fly to the US during the day regularly, which I much prefer as well. You feel like you have been up all day and are actually ready for bed at a normal hour. The VA flight arrives in London at 8 pm which is a bit better than your proposed 11:30 pm arrival.

The advantages of a late evening arrival are:

(i) the there won't be a long line at immigration (which can be the case in the morning when the huge bulk of int'l flights arrive),

(2) no traffic getting into London,

(3) you will be able to check into your room immediately as opposed to arriving at the hotel at 10 am from a morning flight and having to store your luggage and find something to do for several hours until your room is ready for check-in, and

(4) you don't have to force yourself to stay awake on that first afternoon when it can be hard to keep your eyes open. All in all, I would take the day flight and sleep in a bit on the first day if you end of not being able to sleep on the night you arrive.

If you take a day flight, try to stay awake the entire flight (which is not hard as it is light for about half the flight) rather than sleeping.
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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I just took the AA daytime flight ORD-LHR for the first time last month. I think it's great. I took an Ambien the first night but felt no jet lag at all on this trip.

On other trips to London, I've done the redeye flight and absolutely needed Ambien to get any sleep at all on the flight. It helps to get that sleep on the plane but I still feel sluggish for a day or two.
janeygirl is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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I live in the Detroit area and took an Air Canada daytime flight when I last traveled to London about 3 years ago. The flight left around 7 am from Windsor, Ontario for the < 1 hr flight to Toronto, where we changed planes. We got into London around 9:30 pm. By the time we got to our hotel room it was around 11 pm. Getting up early and traveling all day was enough to make me tired enough to sleep easily. The next morning I felt only a little jet-lagged. I liked it much better than an over night flight.
Pat_in_Mich is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Count me as another in favor of day flights to London for all the reasons articulated by the last three posters. I've done it twice and in both cases, jet lag was significantly reduced. I always look for this option as long as schedule allows the spare day to spend flying.

I'm not sure SandyBrit's arrival time is actually 11:30 pm...it appears to have been picked up from another poster's response. She does say, however, that she'd be arriving late at night.

Ironically, the post rex highlights was mine (my first at fodors) and really focuses on whether food would be available at a later hour (it was). We were travelling with a finicky 11 year old who I knew would not eat airline food.

Here's another thread which focuses more directly on the pro's and con's of the day flight:


So far the only feature of SandyBrit's description that would steer me away from the day flight is the short connection time.
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 8th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Can't speak to the preference for day vs night flight. I do fly out of STL and have often flown AA to (or through) ORD. If you're flying out on a Saturday or Sunday, the earliest flight is 7:35am, arriving at 8:42am (we hope) at Chicago. Not enough conncetion time to catch that 9:10am departure for LHR. During weekdays, including Friday, there is an earlier flight leaving at 6:17am, arrive ORD at 7:23. It's a popular business route, so very full usually.

If you can travel during the week, and can get on that early flight, you might make the connect. Not sure what that will do to your fare though.
Clifton is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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obxgirl - thanks for the additional thread. (I have now read that one and the one Rex posted) You are correct one of my fears is the short connection time. Clifton - thanks very much for your input about what time the flights leave from St. Louis.
Everyone else - you all have given me much to think on. I am not keen on losing a vacation day. I do appreciate all remarks and must ponder this over and then decide.


SandyBrit is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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All my flights from California to Europe except two were daytime flights. Since I cannot sleep on airplanes by time I get to London I have been awake nearly 24 hours. But I never have any problems as I am so energized by being in London I make it thru the day without any problems. I don't see any plays the first night, but I will go for a walk or sit in a park and just relax. I then get a normal nights sleep and am ready to go the next day. I have never had jet lag from my flights to Europe. In fact, I never have had jet lag. I might be the exception but travel is a driving passion in my life and it definitely does not tire me out.
rj007 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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I've been considering this flight as well. Since AA canceled its non-stop from St. Louis to London, I have consoled myself with the fact that, if I have to connect in Chicago, at least I can take a day flight.

I am so envious that people can sleep on planes, and that they don't suffer jet lag. I am miserable my first day in London, whether I take a nap or try to push through it and stay awake. I think a day flight would help immensely.

And I don't think of it as losing a day. It's not like the old days, when AA's London flight left at 7pm so you could practically go to work all day and leave for London that night. With increased security lead-times, and connecting flights, you're going to lose a day anyway.

Let us know which you choose and how it works. Go Cards.
EricaS is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 11:05 PM
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I have taken flights from Ohare to Heathrow a few times and usually opt for the 5.30 PM, or 8 PM flights. It gets you into London early morning, and you don't waste a whole day travelling. If you are the type who sleeps well on planes and are not travelling with kids, this is a good option. Also, non stop flights are so much easier when at all manageable.

Good luck!
GodsGift is offline  

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