Flying to London When you want to Go Somewhere Else?

Many questions are asked on the London and Air Travel forums from people who are booking air tickets to London but want to travel elsewhere. The most frequent questions are regarding how long it would take to clear Immigration and Customs and how much time to leave before an onward flight or train.

This is a very risky way of traveling, as the cheapest air tickets and long distance rail tickets are non-refundable and tied to a specific flight or train. Miss the onward transport for any reason, including a delayed flight or long lines at the UK Border, and your onward ticket is canceled, meaning you have to buy a new (expensive) ticket at the walk up fare. And trying to do this on the way home just before a long haul flight is doubly dangerous as you’d be looking at having to buy a one way walk up long haul ticket.

Here are several options to help you plan your trip. The first section covers ways to avoid having to make an unprotected non-connection in London. The second section provides options if you do need or want to fly to London, as ways to eliminate or drastically reduce missing an onward flight/train.

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Flying to the UK’s Regional Airports

Many questions are asked on the London and Air Travel forums from people who are booking air tickets to London but want to travel elsewhere. The most frequent questions are regarding how long it would take to clear Immigration and Customs and how much time to leave before an onward flight or train. This is a very risky way of traveling, as the cheapest air tickets and long distance rail tickets are non-refundable and tied to a specific flight or train. Miss the onward transport for any reason, including a delayed flight or long lines at the UK Border, and your onward ticket is canceled, meaning you have to buy a new (expensive) ticket at the walk up fare. And for train travel there’s often the added hassle of having to travel into central London to get the onward train.

Many of these travelers are heading to other parts of the UK. And if that’s you there are often better airports to fly to than London’s Heathrow and Gatwick. Continue reading

Everything you need to know about Open Jaw tickets

You’re planning your vacation. Maybe a trip to Europe from Asia taking in two, three or four cities. How do you book the flights? You could buy a cheap return ticket to London, but then you’ll need to either go back to London just to fly back home, or buy another separate ticket with a very risky unprotected connection. And one way flights are usually very expensive. This is where the open jaw ticket comes in very handy.

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Connecting Flights at London Heathrow Airport

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London Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It’s complex terminal layout can make flight connections appear daunting. So this article explains the connections processes so you know what to expect and can plan your connection.

Note this article covers connecting airside for passengers booked through to their final destination on one ticket and with bags checked through. If you are looking to “connect” on separate tickets that is very risky, and you should understand these risks by reading the Traveller Article on the Risks of “Connecting” on Separate Tickets.

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TUI (Thomson) Dreamliner Movies

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TUI Airways (formerly Thomson) is a popular UK charter airline that flies long haul, using the Boeing 787 (Dreamliner). Unfortunately, TUI has been very poor at updating its film/movie listings on its website. For example, the listing for July/August 2015 was not uploaded until the first week of August, a full month late.

TripAdvisor forum regulars will endeavour to update this traveler article with the latest listings as and when they become known. If the listing below is out of date, please check back later.

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