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Need flight help

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
14 replies 958 views
WolfsbayneWolfsbayne Forumite
514 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
ok, next year im planning on staying with my friend in Los Angeles for a week or two. I have never been out of the country before so am extremely niave about flights, decent companies, standards to look out for, etc.

So I was looking for some advice really. I don't have the biggest budget in the world but want to go with a company that will look after its customers if things go wrong (ie put you in a hotel rather than leaving you stranded at the airport, etc). I will be getting travel insurance, etc.

so yeah, any help greatly appreciated


  • becominganobsessivesaverbecominganobsessivesaver Forumite
    827 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    You're probably best looking at either BA or Virgin. Flights go on sale 11 months beforehand (approx) so it's probably worth looking out for sales when they come up. You will have to pay for the flight when you book, so it may be worth getting a credit card with 0% or cashback benefits for this.
    Try and avoid school holidays if you can to get the best deals. Also travelling midweek should get a better price.
  • M4RKMM4RKM Forumite
    5.1K posts
    you can also look at any of the american carriers that will do flights from the UK, such as

    US Airways
  • nw_mannw_man Forumite
    739 posts
    I agree with markymoo, American carriers will most likely be cheaper.

    Try or
  • mobby-2554mobby-2554 Forumite
    1.7K posts
    I had a few flights with Continental last year & they were very good.

    We were on a cruise & because of a hurricane we were delayed & had to fly back from New Orleans instead of Boston .
    There was no problems changing the flights or dates.
  • neilbond007neilbond007 Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Don't forget Air New Zealand. By far the best economy on this route (Direct or in-direct!)... in my opinion!
  • KLM and Air France often have excellent deals on this route, especially if you wish to fly from a regional airport.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • WolfsbayneWolfsbayne Forumite
    514 posts
    I noticed Air France was the cheapest for me (I think i'll have to fly from Birmingham as East Midlands don't go to america yet). Has anyone had any experience with them?

    Thanks for the replies so far
  • M4RKMM4RKM Forumite
    5.1K posts
    I've flown AF before, but it involved a change at Paris (CDG).. the concerns I have for someone who hasn't flown TATL (transatlantic) before, is the lack of knowledge of how you can push in queues etc, if you're on a tight connection.

    The staff at CDG really don't notice, and you have to shout loud to get through security, especially if there is a terminal change.

    If i were travelling from BHX to LAX (remember, BHX is for Birmingham UK, don't use BHM as a airport code!!), in september this year, I can get return flights with US Airways for £281 - 1 change at PHL (Philadelphia) airport.

    KLM via AMS (Amsterdam) is slightly more, £350
    Continental via EWR (Newark, NJ) is £365

    Now, if you're looking for flight NOW, and you're looking JAN - APR to go, these could be good prices to wait for... depends how much of a risk taker you are.

    Tell us the dates, and I'll willingly have a play around with nearby dates, nearby airports etc etc, and see what i can come up with.

    Other points. If you're delayed / cancelled due to weather conditions, then there really won't be any airline (that i can think of) that will put you up in a hotel. None, nada, sleep on the airport floor. They will however, make sure you're on the next available flight, and probably give you some tokens for food at the airport.

    If you're bumped due to irregular ops, and it is the airlines fault (overbooking, equipment failure) then they should offer you accommodation for an overnight stay, if it is necessary.

    Hope that helps

  • WolfsbayneWolfsbayne Forumite
    514 posts
    Thanks. I will be going next year sometime, probably the last quarter so I don't think prices will be up yet. I'm just trying to get a general idea.

    I live 8 miles from East Midlands so its extremely annoying I can't travel from there (im in derby), im also going to have to travel by train so Birmingham, possibly Manchester. London isn't inconceivable im just a bit daunted with it being the first flight and me being alone! I could fly from East Midlands to Paris, Amsterdam or whatever and get a direct flight from those countries but I guess there are then issues about delays with your first flight, etc.
  • M4RKMM4RKM Forumite
    5.1K posts
    No no....

    you want to book a flight that is 1 ticket. Then if problems arise, then the airline will help

    if you book with a LCC (low cost carrier) from EMA, to another airport, and on the way back, you're delayed and you miss your connection, then you're stranded, and have to pay for a new ticket...

    if you're on 1 ticket with a change, the airline will accommodate you anyway they can..

    personally, i wouldn't worry, and i wouldn't start even THINKING about booking a flight / looking for prices until about 6 months before you want to travel.

    in the meantime... maybe grab a cheap cheap fare from EMA to anywhere for a few quid, just so you can experience an airport, and how they operate, and what a flight is like!

    Think about it... on a flight for 8 hours (just the TATL crossing) then another 7 to get to LAX, is a daunting task for a first flight IMO. It might be worth spending some cash just so you can understand what to expect, security, passport control, boarding etc etc... it ain't like turning up at a train station in derby and going to long eaton.. oooh no....

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