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Transatlantic flight - Easyjet in Gatwick, am I crazy?

Transatlantic flight - Easyjet in Gatwick, am I crazy?

Sep 5th, 2005, 10:02 AM
  #1  
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Transatlantic flight - Easyjet in Gatwick, am I crazy?

I'm considering taking a last-minute European vacation to Eastern Europe: Prague, Budapest, etc. in mid-September. Northwest Airlines has a 7-day-advanced fair of only $755 round-trip from Portland to London/Gatwick.

I can use Easyjet to get to Budapest or Prague the same day I arrive in London. My NW flight would arrive at Gatwick at 9:00. The Prague flight leaves at 11:40, the Budapest flight leaves at 13:00. The 11:40 flight seems to be cutting it too close, but I'm guessing if all goes well I would have no trouble making the 13:00 connection to Budapest. NW and Easyjet are both in the South Terminal at Gatwick.

On the way back from Prague to London there's no way to do it same-day, so I figured I would spend my last two nights in London. I'm not worried about that - but what about the inbound connection same-day at Gatwick? I know there are many things that could go wrong: my NW flight could be delayed so I miss my Easyjet flight to Budapest or my bag might not make it to Gatwick for some reason (and then NW would have no obligation to forward it on to me in Prague).

Has anyone ever done this sort of thing successfully? If I flew directly to/from Prague/Budapest it's about $500 more plus I'd had to wait a week and I'd rather go earlier in the month. Taking the NW/Easyjet route I have the same number of connections but I get a few extra days in London for still less (even figuring in two nights hotel in London). I know I could add a first night in London to take the risk out it, but I hate putting off getting to my intended destination.

What do you think?

Andrew
Andrew is online now  
Sep 5th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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I don't see any problem w/ booking the Budapest flight. I'd not try for the Prague flight - especially w/ EasyJet's strict check in requirements.

As long as you pack light enough for Easy Jet's weight requirements I say go for it -- and use the savings to pay for a great couple of days in London.
janis is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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I flew from Sacramento to London Gatwick and then transfered to Luton for an Easyjet flight to Athens. Had no problems. I gave myself about four hours to make the connection though and had time to spare when i got to Luton.
producerkoof is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I agree with Janis, and the best part is you don't even need to worry about more potential problems of switching airports.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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To get an idea of what a bad scenario (NW really late) might cost you I suggest that you price the cost of a short notice flight from LGW to BUD. BA also flies the route and has some later departures. I think that what you are proposing is reasonable but not totally risk free.

I have a similar trip planed for October but have built in two nights in London at each end of the trip.
Gavin is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Yes, NW is late. I've checked the key NW flight arriving into LGW the last two days. It arrived 40 minutes late today, 30 minutes late the day before. Once was cited as due to weather; once was cited as due to "non-scheduled maintenance."

Even an hour late probably wouldn't risk my connection to Budapest as I would still have three hours to get luggage, clear customs, checkin with EasyJet, and back through security. If I missed that single flight EasyJet has to Budapest, I could still catch an EasyJet flight out of Stansted (yes, I know that's a few hours to connect probably) late in the evening. The Prague connection seems really tight and if I missed that, I would be looking at catching a later flight out of LGW that night.

I'm still weighing whether to spend the first night in London, whether to skip London altogether and just do the two connections for a few hundred bucks more, or splurge and take Lufthansa with only one stop in Frankfurt to get to Budapest/Prague - but with those latter two I have to wait an extra week to go...

Andrew


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Sep 9th, 2005, 02:26 PM
  #7  
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I'm still considering this craziness (tight connection at LGW to Easyjet). Even looking to try connecting to the Prague flight with a 2:40 layover. Trying to understand what to expect at Gatwick. I've flown into Heathrow before but never Gatwick - I gather it is a large, busy airport. Here's what I'm guessing:

- plane lands at Gatwick
- deplane and get our luggage
- through customs
- back up to checkin to Easyjet (same terminal, same airport)
- back through security
- to the Easyjet gate by 30 minutes before departure OR ELSE.

Can anyone fill in the blanks if you've done a connection like this at Gatwick? Anything to watch out for?

The Prague flight would be really, really ideal at 11:40. Looks to me like if everything was on time I would be able to make the connection in 2:40. The last few days, I've monitored my flight into LGW and it's arrived anywhere from 40 minutes late to 30 minutes early. Even at 40 minutes I still think I could make the connection.

Of course my travel day could be the one where thunderstorms close down MSP for three hours. But in that worst case, I would just lose my earlier ticket and rebook probably at $160 for the Prague flight at 16:20. Or, if I know in MSP that we'll be really late, I could change the ticket myself online there and at least not lose my first ticket's value.

As it is I'm arriving on Wednesday, and if I stopped in London for a few days I'd be leaving for Prague on a Friday or Saturday - more expensive Easyjet fares and probably a lot more crowded. I'm guessing Wednesday in September at the Easyjet checkin will not be the busiest time of the week there.

Andrew
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Sep 9th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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Gatwick, is, IMO, an absolute mob scene, but seems to be so more for departures than arrivals.

I personally think you can make the later EasyJet flight and should go for it. I would not do the Stanstead thing at all.

Clearing customs/immigartion will depend a great deal on the number of other flights ariving at the same time yours does..and who knows about luggage?

I honestly think that Immigration lines at London airports move faster than the ones I've been through here in the US.

As to EasyJet..just used them again this past August from Athens to Gatwick and found them to be efficient, friendly, etc. No frills but no big probelms either. Obviously your own experience may vary.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 03:49 AM
  #9  
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Well, I am not crazy. I made the connection easily from my NW flight at Gatwick to the Easyjet flight to Prague at 11:40. Actually NW arrived about 30 minutes early, but even then I went from stepping off the plane to checking my bag at EasyJet's desk in 45 minutes! I had almost two hours to kill at Gatwick. Maybe others wouldn't be so lucky, but it worked for me!

My Easyjet flight was fine. Clean, new plane. If you've flown Southwest, you know the drill.

Andrew
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