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Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Atlanta, Georgia
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Which Airport for Departure Flight?

My boyfriend and I are heading to the UK for a little vacation, but more importantly (especially for him!) we're coming to see a Man Utd game. (He's a HUGE fan). We still haven't decided whether we're going to fly into London or another city and then travel to the UK, but definitely will depart from London. Flying out of Manchester isn't an option because of price, so it will either be LHR or LGW. My question....which one?

We will probably stay the Saturday night of the game in Manchester and so will be departing from there to catch (hopefully) and afternoon flight. Just not sure which one. And, okay, I guess if it will make our lives immensely easier, then we'll consider Manchester, but it is more expensive.

Thanks in advance for the help!

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1. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Have you calculated the cost of transport to, and accommodation in, London before flying from LGW or LHR? Is it still cheaper than flying from Manchester?

Both are equally easy to get to from Central London (under an hour, usually) by train (or Tube as well for LHR). Heathrow has 4 terminals, Gatwick 2, and that may be a consideration when navigating around.

Gosh, I knew there were no Manyoo fans in Manchester but I hadn't realised they were as far afield as Noo Orleans.....

Dublin
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2. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

The Heathrow Express is more expensive in terms of price for miles travelled than the Gatwick Express. But it gets you to Heathrow three times faster than the Gatwick Express gets you to Gatwick. And the Heathrow Express is exquisitely maintained whereas the Gatwick rolling stock is old, often not very clean, and not the most aesthetic of places in which to spend forty-five minutes of your time. So, for a smooth journey out of London to the airport (which is the main concern of your post), take a taxi to Paddington and pay the high cost of the HEX out to Heathrow. You'll be glad, because it is a relaxing experience (as opposed to the mpore drawn out experience of the Gatwick Express).

In brief, it has to be Heathrow almost every time !

London, United...
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3. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

What the OP wants to do is stay in Manchester overnight Saturday and fly out of either LHR or LGW in the afternoon.

Getting the first train from Manchester to Gatwick with only one change en-route would be the 09.18, arriving 14.29 with a change at Reading and would cost £29.

Getting a National Express coach from Manchester to Heathrow around the same time of day would be the 09.30, arriving 15.40 with a change at London and would cost £25.50.

So not much in it - the cost of the flight would be the important factor!

Dublin
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4. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Thanks for clarifying matters (at least for me!).

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Could we have the date & time of your flight options as train travel on a Sunday could be a lot slower than expected and most US flights require you to be at the airport 3 hours before

Could you also tell us when the match finishes as you may be able to get a late train / bus to London

London
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6. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

If you're planning at staying in Manchester match night and you havn't booked yet, then I'd check availability and prices now before you commit to this.

When Man Utd play at home hotel capacity is hopelessly short of demand and hotels charge accordingly.

It may be cheaper and convenient to travel down and stay in London that night.

Cary, North Carolina
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7. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Ignoring cost and schedule issues, Gatwick could be a better option. Heathrow is getting a lot of bad press lately for stunningly long departure lines, stunningly long wait times, and general unpleasantness. I'm sure others can comment with more recent experience, but I'd certainly take that into consideration, especially if I had to make an early morning flight home.

London, UK
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8. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

>>>And the Heathrow Express is exquisitely maintained whereas the Gatwick rolling stock is old, often not very clean, and not the most aesthetic of places in which to spend forty-five minutes of your time. <<<

You are thinking of the Stansted Express which is horrible. The GEX is just as clean and modern and the HEX.

Watford
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9. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Also worth bearing in mind that there are limited late afternoon/evening flights from London back to the USA. Getting to Heathrow from Manchester would almost certainly be easier and quicker than Gatwick but knowing your preferred flight route and dates would help us offer suggestions. My instinct would be to consider the Manchester-New York route which has a number of carriers to choose from.

And this may be a daft question but you do have tickets for the game?

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Which Airport for Departure Flight?

Thanks for all the quick responses!

To address....

Now considering flying out of Manchester. (After all those good posts!). But, again, that depends on hotel availability in Machester, of course. We aren't planning to go until February. But, I am addicted to travel planning, we just decided we would go yesterday, so I was excited to take a look-see about flight options.

So, if able to stay in Manchester, will fly out of Manchester. If staying in London....from the reports here and my personal experience, leaning towards Gatwick. From connections, it was a fairly pleasant airport and easy to navigate.

Looking into hotels now for Manchester. And, as I've noted from the Manchester forums, we are planning to reserve a room as quickly as possible.

As for tickets....no, not a daft question....they go on sale in December, and I'm sure my boyfriend will be literally sitting on hos laptop waiting to click order. lol. However, my brother is a partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers, so I'm hoping that he can score for us some better tickets sooner.

Man Utd fans in New Orleans....absolutely! My BF loves football (not soccer...I get corrected on a regular basis...haha), especially Man U! I am still a newbie to it all, but it's quite easy to catch the fever. :)

Thanks for all your responses.

And while I have you here....We are planning to spend a couple of days/nights in London. Looking at the Morgan Hotel. It's gotten good reviews, decent price, and seems to be in fairly good location. Insights or opinions?