Paris - London via air

Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Paris - London via air

OK, the next item on my list of things I need your help with, fellow Fodorites:
May be able to save some big bucks by flying in and out of LGW and arranging separate transport to Paris rather than booking open jaw into London and return out of Paris. whichbudget.com shows going LON-PAR is not an issue but for Paris - London only things listed are CDG to Luton or LHR, and we would need to depart from Gatwick. I have heard that transport from LHR to LGW is a royal pain, time consuming and not cheap. If so it may negate the potential savings of this itinerary. There will be 3 or 4 traveling. Anyone have insight/comment/suggestions?
TIA, y'all
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Have done Gatwick-Heathrow transfer via National Express coach, www.nationalexpress.com. It's not really a pain except you need to allow 4 hours between flights because of traffic and other possible problems. The rate listed on their website is 18 pounds sterling, one way, discounted for seniors.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:47 AM
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You might find Luton is a better bet than Heathrow. Although further away from Gatwick, Luton airport has direct trains through the middle of London to Gatwick (www.thameslink.co.uk). And cheap flights to Luton are easier to get.

It's a bit of a hoary old myth that the Heathrow-Gatwick road is constantly traffic-bound: I drive it reasonably often and it's years (about 5, I'd say) since I hit a problem. But congestion is a risk, and there's always a remote chance something might go seriously wrong. Whereas if anything goes wrong on the Luton-Gatwick train, it normally means you're 10 minutes late.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:29 AM
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Is there a reason you don't want to use the Eurostar? It's from the centre of Paris to the centre of London and a Waterloo to Gatwick connection is a doddle compared to any of the London airport-to-airport transfers.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:01 AM
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Ahhh the thorn in my side! I loved flying BA to the states from Paris and connecting in Gatwick. In their eternal wisdom they canceled the CDG-LGW connection. AirFrance soon followed suit. Eurostar had grabbed too much of the traffic. I have done the LGW-LHR xfer once via bus. It's not so bad as it is direct. Took 45 mins travel time for me with no traffic. Add to that, time to collect your bags, get to the bus, wait for the bus, get to the next airport, check in your bags, clear security and get to the gate. Its alot of steps. Something I try to avoid if possible.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Once again the residents of Fodorville come through!
Many thanks Cots, that is exactly the sort of information I am seeking.
Where2 - I actually like train travel, but Eurostar works out to be much more expensive, negating the savings realized by flying in and out of London rather than an open jaw. If you have some tips about reducing the Eurostar cost I would sure consider it.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Seamus - unfortunately I know very little about the Eurostar pricing since, although I live in London, I have never actually been on it.

Just be careful that getting the plane isn't a false economy (money and time) for you one you add on airport transfers. A quick check suggests a single train journey from Luton to Gatwick will cost you nearly £20 per person and the train journey alone take well over an hour. I don't know about the bus journey from Heathrow to Gatwick but I expect this to be a similar price. Maybe a car service could do it cheaper for 3 or 4 of you?

Plus you need to add on costs of travel to whatever airport you use in Paris.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Eurostar can be as cheap as $90 round trip London-Paris-London on certain days or slightly more on other days - these are discounted, non-changeable, non-refundable fares. You'd have to go to Waterloo by train, easily done with one change and cost about 10 pounds. For details on the cheaper Eurostar tickets i always recommend, in the US, contacting Linda at BETS (800-441-2387) as she's an expert on these trains - the cheaper tickets should be reserved well in advance - can do up to 9 months in advance - as they are in limited numbers - walk up fares could literally be $100 or more each way.
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