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Old 11-15-2015, 09:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,355 times
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Looking for advice on travelling to Cardiff, Wales next summer.

We have two young children, so the convenience of flying the direct RDU to LHR route may outweigh the expense. I understand you can connect easily to Paddington Station and then take a train 2 hours to Cardiff.

Are there cheaper (and not considerably more painful) alternatives? We have family meeting us in Cardiff who will likely fly from BWI - we would do an RDU>BWI leg if it saved us a bunch. Not really interested in connecting through DC or NYC.

Is Gatwick worth looking into? Would it save on LHR airport taxes? What's the best number of days in advance to look for cheaper flights?

Also, any Brits or Welsh folks care to comment on how electrification of the South Wales rail system is affecting travel times?
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:51 PM
 
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WE always use National Express Coaches {Bus) when we go back to the UK to get to my home Town. Clean, efficient, cheap and safe. Jump on at Heathrow and get off in Cardiff, easy. Last time we flew home we drove up to Washington and flew Virgin Atlantic, it was way cheaper than flying from RDU.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:58 PM
 
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Coach & Bus Travel | National Express Coaches
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:05 AM
 
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Another option is the Railair bus from Heathrow to the Reading train station, then a train to Cardiff. Nearly all, perhaps all, Paddington-Cardiff trains call at Reading. But remember... if you are traveling with children and lots of luggage, the fewer ground connections you make, the better.

I fly the AA RDU-LHR nonstop in economy once a month. About half the time, the nonstop is the same price as connecting flights on the other airlines. Most of the rest of the time, it's up to $200 more. But when the nonstop approaches a sellout, AA will price the remaining seats quite high. Sellouts are rare on weekdays between now and March, aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the route gets busier from April onward. The key to getting a decent price on the AA nonstop is to buy your ticket at least a month in advance... or farther in advance, if you travel during the summer peak. Even during the summer, traveling midweek is likely to be less expensive than traveling on the weekends.

If you travel in business class, you will find that the AA nonstop is priced far higher than connecting flights on other airlines.

Forget Gatwick. It will lengthen your journey considerably.

Last edited by wizard-xyzzy; 11-16-2015 at 04:17 AM..
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:00 AM
 
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Its hit or miss with that flight. Last December we flew to the UK and actually ended up driving to Newark to fly Virgin as it was tons cheaper. But I had to go back in June and I got that direct flight for $700 (5 days before I flew!)..
There's a direct flight from Charlotte on US Airways (which I guess is now American Airlines) that is sometimes cheaper and not too far to travel...
But the convenience of that direct flight is quite lovely!!!
It's very easy to connect from London to Wales. I would recommend the bus too rather than the train.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:49 PM
 
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Heathrow Connect is cheaper than the Heathrow Express but takes 15 minutes longer. 20 return v. 35 return. Runs every 30 minutes v. 15 and only every 60 minutes on Sunday. Both go to Paddington station.

Paddington to Cardiff Central will cost you 222 return without a rail card. 2+ hour trip. 624 if you go first class.

National Express from Heathrow return is 130 for two adults and two kids - 3:45 hrs trip.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:09 PM
 
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Also, whenst in the UK a Thank You works wonders when people take time to help you,,,bloody Yanks
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlhm5 View Post
Heathrow Connect is cheaper than the Heathrow Express
Just beware, during the morning and evening rush hours on weekdays, HC can get crowded between Hayes & Harlington and Paddington. HE is never that crowded.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:36 PM
 
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Thanks all for your comments. Pardon my tardy response - did I mention I have small children? Not much free time.

Two more questions: I've learned that Icelandic WOW Airlines is now flying from BWI to Bristol UK. Does anyone have experience either with that airline (reliability, worthiness, etc) and/or flying to Bristol to get into Wales? I have to assume customs is a much easier experience there than through London. And getting to Cardiff looks to be a quick hour-long bus ride.
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