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travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Westside
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travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

This coming Friday I am travelling to Heathrow. I have to fly at 3.30 pm so check in at the airport should be 1.30 pm, lets say add an hour just to be on the safe side, so I could arrive at the airport at 12.30.

The x 70 bus is supposed to take 80 minutes. If I leave on the 10.30 bus that should get me to Heathrow by 11.50 all being well. So there is some flexibility in that timing.

However does anyone know if the traffic conditions at this time would make it advisible to go any earlier. How could the winter weather or Christmas traffic (this Friday 18th December) affect the journey. I don't want to be sitting at Heathrow for hours for no reason, but nor do I want to miss my flight.

Any advice would be very welcome.

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Oxfordshire
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1. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

The important question is why are you arriving three hours early?

80 mins is a pretty reasonableish average from the centre to T5 at midday. Add half an hour on for safety (it's a tortuous road out from the centre to the ring road) and check the weather early that morning (sleet is currently forecast on the BBC weather thing for low-digit OX postcodes). But, assuming no blizzards or fog, 100 mins or so should be generous for the journey.

PLanning for three hours at LHR, unless you're flying to Israel, strikes me as loopy though

Westside
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2. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Loopy because of the fear of missing the flight, probably as a result of watching too many of those airport programmes on living tv where all the passengers either try to smuggle animals on board or turn up 10 minutes late for a flight to their grandparents' double funeral.

The 3 hours is no hassle at all. I like starbucks coffee and I have plenty of podcasts on my ipod.

When I went to Gatwick on the X80 it was the bus driver who encouraged me that the 8.20 bus would be a bit risky for a 12 noon check-in. I caught the 7.20 bus, and got to Gatwick just after 9 am and had time to catch a train to get a 2 hour shopping trip in Crawley !!! I bet the bus driver is the sort of person who buys his Christmas cards in the January sale. But heck I was in plenty of time for the plane.

Thanks for the advice, I will stop fretting and just check the weather on waking.

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3. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

If I may differ with flanneruk (apologies!) - it may not be quite as loopy to get there that early as first thought, as a) If there's an accident on the motorway then any diversion will take considerable extra time b) It is likely to be busy at the airport on that day and therefore check in and security queues in the old terminals could be quite long. It's really a question of personal preference - do you take the small chance of missing a flight or do you waste time getting there far too soon?!

Westside
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4. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

cox

I work like you - and I hve not got the spare cash to risk having to make alternative arrangements

My query was reallyto find out if there were any special circumstances locals knew about that would make the journey even longer than anticipated.

We keep the coffee shops of airports in business,- and our blood pressure is raised by the caffeine - but not by the thought that the plane will not wait.

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5. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Indeed - I concur! No special circumstances that I know of except to say that the Oxfordshire school term ends on Friday - so you may just beat any rush at the end of the day.

Westside
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6. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Well catching the bus four and a half hours before planned take off was good timing, even in the snow of yesterday. The bus kept good time and we were at the airport 3 hours before take off which I believe is just the right time.

Once we arrived at Heathrow events got in the way and we could have done without a four hour delay from Heathrow due to (I think) planes being grounded at other airports and then having to change arrival airport from Gibraltar to Malaga due to it being too windy in Gibraltar to land there.

However having read about the other travel chaos going on in the UK airports /Kent this weekend, I think a Monty Python type "you were lucky" is probably in order.

Happy Christmas everyone

Edited: 19 December 2009, 10:32
Oxford, United...
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7. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Delighted you made it back - enjoy Xmas. My only worry when going to Gibraltar is finding myself at Malaga - so my next trip will be in the spring or late summer when hopefully there's no wind...!!

Westside
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8. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

Thanks for the wishes. I hope everybody else who is struggling through the weather this weekend gets there safely.

Going to Malaga is not as bad as it sounds, it just makes your journey longer. The airline organises the bus and brings you down the motorway. The bus then drives into the airport and passengers disembark runway side and pick up baggage from carosel and get through customs as usual.

In the old days passengers had to go to Tangiers and stay overnight in Morocco. That must have been really annoying.

9. Re: travelling from Oxford to Heathrow

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