After a deep investigation about airlines, taking in account our journey planning (cities we want to visit), flights timetables, service quality and prices, finally we choose Air France.
In first term London was our primary option (first stopover), and Paris the second stage of the journey. This decision by itself filtered a lot of companies, having only two options at last, British Airways and Air France. Then, prices got the command, Air France is cheaper than British for a round trip Buenos Aires-London (up flight with a stop), London-Paris (by Eurostar) , and Paris-Buenos Aires (down direct flight).
The service on board was really good, I mean, kind flight attendants even speaking spanish, good meals, abundant french cheeses, and excellent red wines and champagne!!
So, I recommend this airline for a trip of this intercontinental characteristics (almost 14 hours flying...). otherwise, if your plans are different (for sure they are) I recommend you make a selection process similar to the mine.
The Flight Centre is a long established company which has expanded over the last 30 years and i have bought tickets there on several occasions. The staff are friendly and highly skilled at finding the flight for you. They now have almost 100 shops throughout the country. Use the website to find the one nearest you.
Malaysia Airlines infant bassinet dimensions are 29.52 inches x 13.38 inches x 8.8 inches and the infant maximum weight allowance is between 11kg and 15kg depending on the infant size.
We paid SGD1066 per adult and SGD376 per infant for the return air tickets (SIN-KUL-LHR-KUL-SIN) by Malaysia Airlines during UOB credit card promotion (SGD668+++).
We flew from Singapore (14 Oct 06 at 0650hrs) to Kuala Lumpur (14 Oct 06 at 0750hrs) by MH8 [1 hr]. Departed Kuala Lumpur (14 Oct 06 at 0900hrs) to London Heathrow (14 Oct 06 at 1510hrs) [13 hrs 10 mins].
We departed London (28 Oct 06 at 1800hrs) to Kuala Lumpur (29 Oct 06 at 1325hrs) by MH7 [12 hrs 25 mins]. Departed Kuala Lumpur (29 Oct 06 at 1540hrs) to Singapopre (29 Oct 06 at 1635hrs) by MH605 [55 mins].
Flights to London are easy to find, but it's hard to know if you're getting the best deal on your London flight. Make sure to shop around to different airline websites and booking engines, and look out for sales throughout the year.
I am Heathrow's biggest critic. It really is my last resort when travelling anywhere.
However, I'm just back (23-1-9) from a day trip to the great metropolis via the world's worst airport, and to my utter astonishment, nothing went wrong. Of course, I'd no checked in bags, but anyway.
Not only that, but it was a Friday - the worst to be using LHR.
My 8.55 am BMI flight form EDI left 10 minutes early! Not only that but ATC did not delay us at LHR (on a Friday morning...) so we arrived early too.
The 4.25 back from LHR was boarded and doors closed 10 minutes before departure time, but we had to wait until 4.25 to push back. We were still 15 minutes early into EDI.
Top marks to BMI.
Flight taken on 11th february from LHR to MIA. wonderful flight. smooth. excellent Lunch. great champagne.
Virgin has to be one of the best service oriented western airlines.
a bit longer than normal flight today, 8 hr 30 minutes. scones and tea for afternoon before arrival.
saw a wonderful japanese movie on board: invitation to cinema orion. enjoyed that very much. watched a bit fo BrickLane by Monica Ali.
a nice chenin blanc from coastal south africa, salmon and cream to begin, tagine de poulet with couscous and meditarranean vegetables. goat cheese.. this was the lunch
I was fully aware of all of the pitfalls of Ryan Air before I booked, to be able to offer the low fares that they do, they are absolutely no frills and they charge you for everything. Want to check a bag (with a 15kg limit)? Slap on a L5 fee. Want to pay with a credit card? Slap on a L2 fee. Want preferential boarding? You guessed it, fork over some more dough! Don't even think about getting a snack on board without coughing up some cash.
Add to this 2 gate changes with a mad crush of people trying to get to the front and an hour delay and I'm still thinking "well, it WAS a cheap ticket".
But what happened next would never happen on ANY airline in the US, the pilot decides he can't land in Venice because of an electrical storm, says he's getting low on fuel circling the airport and diverts us to Trieste. He says we'll have coaches waiting to take you to Venice in Trieste but it very soon becomes clear that not only are there no buses but there's also no public buses, no taxis, we are 129km away from Venice and the Ryan Air staff LEAVES the airport! The airport staff is franctically trying to keep the mob happy and offers to take us to nearby hotels or the train station which is where we go for a 4:30am train to Venice. I'm out 135E for a hotel in Venice that I didn't use plus 14E for the train tickets AND I've got a very jetlagged husband who didn't enjoy Venice at all.
We did challenge the Ryan Air charge on our credit card and while it took a couple of phone calls and a letter, our credit card did refund the charge. Ryan Air then had the audacity to contact us via email to get us to pay the charge, after a couple of scathing emails that my husband (who enjoys this sort of thing) sent, they stopped contacting us. I'm pretty sure we are now banned from using Ryan Air!
People who use Ryan Air routinely understand the pitfalls of using Ryan Air and swear by it but for someone who has to be somewhere at a particular time, this is NOT a good option.
One of the major highlights of living in London is the access to great priced flights to so many destinations around Europe - with some great competition we have some great bargains available, particularly now that everyones online - so for those coming to see London bear in mind the itineraries you can create before you leave home!
Flights can be linked around Europe. Check out the websites & click on their maps of their destinations to see what links can be made, also calendar/price tables so that you check what prices on what days as prices change from day to day.
and certainly the earlier is usually the better but from time to time prices drop closer to the flight time.
Recommended Budget airlines: www.easyjet.com fly to great destinations including Moroccco and Greece and way up to Riga and Tallinn in the Baltics.
Check out British Airways www.ba.com who run a lot of routes in competition with these budget airlines and some great deals can be had with them along with nicer seating, inflight meals and drinks still included. esp routes to Spain and Gibraltar.
Moroccan company www.atlas-blue.com do some great deals to Morocco and around Europe such as Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands.
www.ryanair.com are very budget airlines tho expensive close to flight departure times and are NOT able to be booked online on day of departure ie only at the airport for a set £180 one way- which they do not make any effort to warn of. Take care that you do not miss the 40 min checkin deadline as they have no mercy - and take care too they take the checkin number off the boards so you dont know where to go if youre running close. but great for flights to usually expensive destinations such as Sweden.
Lovely airline www.thomsonfly.com
www.norwegian.no do some great deals to their destinations in norway and the baltics.
www.wizzair.com and www.germanwings.com.
www.flymonarch.com - good for Gibraltar and thus Morocco
www.lufthansa.com have started advertising
On my last trip, I flew American to London and Virgin on the way back. Although I had economy tickets (premium economy on Virgin) for both trips, the difference was huge. I think most people are familiar with American, so I won't go into details there. On Virgin, you pick from an entire library of movies, a toiletry pouch that included socks and a toothbrush, as many blankets as you want, all you can drink champagne, wine, and even brandy, two full meals plus two snacks, and flight attendants with cool British accents.
There are daily flights from Málaga to all london airports with most airlines. This time i went to Easy Jet for 130 euros return to london Gatwick and time flight was ok 10.45 am going out and 20.45 going back on sunday, i could spend more time in London.
Hay vuelos diarios desde Málaga a todos los aeropuertos de londres con la mayoría de compañias aereas inglesas o de bajo coste. Esta vez volé con easy jet a Londres Gatwick por 130 euros y la hora del vuelo era la ida a las10.45 de la mañana y la vueltaa las 20.45, así que aproveché bién tanto el día de ida como de vuelta.
I've been reading for years that if you get yourself to London that you can fly cheaply using some of the smaller no frills airlines such as Ryan Air, Wizz Air, Easy Jet which sometimes have ridiculously low promotional fares like .99p to other European cities. What they don't tell you is all of the surcharges and taxes that get added on....
I wasn't lucky enough to find a .99p fare, I found a flight from London to Venice for 29.99GBP, add in taxes of 23.48GBP, surcharges of 3.50GBP to use my Visa and 3.50 GBP to bring on a bag and I'm at 60GBP!!! Ljubjlana to London for 23.99E sounded pretty good until you add in the taxes of 17E and the Visa booking charge of 7.50E. Still compare that to what British Airways is charging and it is a bargain!!!
Easy Jet is cheap and is a great low cost carrier. However they do not fly out of Heathrow, but Gatwick is really not that hard to get to with the Easy Bus (8 pounds from Central London) and I do recommend it. HOWEVER, a big HOWEVER - if you have flown to the UK from a US destination - you probably have a lot of luggage. US carriers allow 2 bags at 50 lbs a piece to be checked. That is 100 pounds of checked baggage. Easy Jet does NOT! The weight on your baggage is not to exceed 20 kilos which is a little over 40 pounds. Anything over is VERY expensive!
I knew I was going to be over the limit and per the website and a phone call knew I would be charged. However the rate in which I was charged is absurd! The gate agent checking me in told me I was over anyway may as well check my carry on and while I watched it go down the conveyor belt she then informed me, with a sneer, that the excess baggage fee was based on weight not occurrence and by the way it was too late to get my carry-on back. I ended up paying far more for my luggage then I did for my person. It was 120 pounds sterling for my 29 kilos (10 k was my carry-on backpack.) So be careful on EasyJet, they are cheap if you fall between their guidelines, and very expensive if you don't. You could basically fly first class on another carrier for the added fees! Watch OUT!
If your flight arrival is before 1500 then you will approach Heathrow from the East. If possible when checking in go for a seat on the right hand (starboard - a whole other forum) side of the plane and you'll be get to travel along the Thames from Canary Wharf to Heathrow. Sights you can expect to see are....
Tower Bridge with the Tower of London on the North Bank and the London Assembly on the South
The City of London with St Pauls Cathedral & the Gherkin (Swiss Re Building)
The London Eye - big ferris wheel
MOD Main Building - green roofed building opposite the London Eye
Houses of Parliament
Stamford Bridge (home of Chelsea FC)
Craven Cottage (home of Fulham FC)
Wembley Stadium - look for the large arch to the North
After 1500, flights approach from the West with the only sight worth seeing being Windsor Castle and lots of reservoirs
We flew from Aberdeen to London Heathrow with bmi you can choose between three airlines British Airways are usually the most expensive bmi & easyjet offer cheap flights but be aware easyjet flys into Luton, not Heathrow, so if this is your choice, be prepared for a longer onward journey.
My second trip to Europe I decided to try a different airline and went with Malaysia Airlines from Melbourne, Australia to London (via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). It took about 8 and a half hours to get to KL, and then about 11 and a half to get to London from there.
Malaysia Airlines was good, and I have to admit that the food was a bit nicer than it was on Singapore Airlines (they also cater to Vegetarians and Vegans, but you must arrange this when booking your tickets).
The seats were comfortable, but on my flights between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur the spacing of the seats was not comfortable. The usual seating goes: 3 seats - aisle - 4 seats - aisle - 3 seats. On these trips it went: 2 seats - aisle - 5 seats - aisle - 2 seats, and when you're in one of the middle 5, it is not very comfortable.
Also, especially on the flights between Melbourne and KL again, the entertainment was good, but very limited. The selection for music was very good, and you could follow the flight plan of the plane.
To view photos I took on the plane while flying to London, please check out my Pictures From The Air!!! travelogue from my homepage.