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London to Manchester

Greensboro
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London to Manchester

Sorry for the stupid question, but I need some help. My family and I have a great air fare to London Gatwick for the end of March. We are going to be heading to Manchester immediately to watch a soccer (football) match, and then will spend a couple of days somewhere up North before heading back down to London for several days.

Here's the question --- Do we journey by train to Manchester or book a flight ? If it's considerably cheaper to take a train, we'll go that route, but if it's close I'd be inclined to fly.

Any help you might be able to provide on the pros and cons of each option would be appreciated.

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London, UK
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1. Re: London to Manchester

Virgin Trains will leave from Euston station on the northern edge of central London so you have the hassle of getting there from LGW. There's also the amusing fact that train fares are often more expensive than flying domestically.

Look at the fares of Jet2 (www.jet2.com) and British Airways (ba.com) to see what you can find.

Greenwich (London)
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2. Re: London to Manchester

It's about 4 hours by train, and not too complicated - train to Victoria, tube (Victoria line) to Kings Cross, train to Manchester.

Where are you staying while you are in Manchester? Which football stadium is your match at? The Old Trafford "Glazerdome" is quite a way from the centre, while the City Of Manchester Stadium is within walking distance of Piccadilly.

London
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3. Re: London to Manchester

It probably makes sense to fly. British Airways one-way flight from London Gatwick to Manchester is £33 on the BA website. I believe you can take the train from Gatwick to Manchester, but I have heard of a few problems with this route. If you go into London and take a train from Euston, that will be a hassle. So I'd fly.

Greensboro
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4. Re: London to Manchester

We're scheduled to arrive at Gatwick at 7 am on American Airlines. Presumably, that means we'll need to retrieve luggage and go through customs and then catch our second flight to Manchester. What would be a "safe" time to schedule the flight to Manchester?

CuriousOrange, we're attending a ManU match, so we're going to stay at the Old Trafford Lodge.

Greenwich (London)
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5. Re: London to Manchester

When you make your decision, be aware that Manchester Airport to Old Trafford Metrolink station will take 45 minutes to an hour, and requires changing at Piccadilly (Transpennine Express to Piccadilly, Metrolink to Old Trafford).

It's about a 10 mile cab ride from the airport to Old Trafford - about 30 minutes.

London, United...
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6. Re: London to Manchester

The latest train out of Gatwick that would get you to Manchester for a 3.0 kick-off is the 9.37 arr 13.47 (changing at Watford Junction instead of passing though central London)

Greensboro
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7. Re: London to Manchester

I'm sorry --- I think I've confused everyone. We arrive in London on a Friday and the match is obviously on Saturday. We will be traveling from Gatwick to Manchester on the day before the match, not the day of.

My question has to do with the timing of a flight from Gatwick to Manchester on Friday. We are scheduled to arrive at Gatwick at 7:05 am Friday morning, and there is a 10:45 flight from Gatwick to Manchester on BA. Given that we will need to retrieve our luggage and clear customs, is this a safe flight (timing wise) to book?

Thanks for everyone's help.

Greenwich (London)
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8. Re: London to Manchester

Yes, I realised that you were travelling on the Friday and seeing the match on the Saturday :) - my stuff about Manchester tranportation was just for information in making your decision about flights or trains.

I think 3.5 hours is a bit tight, to be honest, unless BA are guaranteeing you a connection if the inbound sector is delayed. It's fine if your flight is on time, but it doesn't leave much space for delays.

If you are wheels down on time at 7.05 you might be deplaned around 7.30 (after taxi-ing and everyone else has got off the plabe, if you are at the back). Immigration, baggage reclaim and customs might take 1h15, so it's now 8.45, which gives you a one-hour buffer before you need to check in for the domestic leg. Given the vagaries of transatlantic weather (and other reasons for flight delays at either end), I'd not be comfortable with that.

London
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9. Re: London to Manchester

•• Honest Lawyer wrote: "We are scheduled to arrive at Gatwick at 7:05 am Friday morning, and there is a 10:45 flight from Gatwick to Manchester on BA. Given that we will need to retrieve our luggage and clear customs, is this a safe flight (timing wise) to book?" ••

In my opinion, that's more than enough time. If the worst happens, and you miss the 10:45 flight, hopefully BA will be sympathetic and put you on the next plane. But provided your incoming flight to Gatwick isn't too late, you shouldn't have a problem.

London
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10. Re: London to Manchester

HonestLawyer,

Are you sure about the 10.45 flight?

There is no 10.45 flight listed on BA's website -

britishairways.com/travel/…en_gb

The nearest time to that is BA2906 which leaves Gatwick at 11.35

You might want to check the Gatwick (LGW) to Manchester (MAN) flight schedules.