View Full Version : UK - Washington DC

3rd Aug 2008, 13:50
For the last 30 years my travel has been funded by the British taxpayer (thank you, thank you, one and all), but having given up all pretence of work to become a mature student, from October I'm going to be faced with having to pay my own way trans-Atlantic, probably 4-5 times a year.

I would be very grateful for any thoughts from old hands on this forum on the best/cheapest route/carrier from UK to DC with the following criteria:

- I can be flexible, by a matter of days, on when I travel and equally flexible on where I depart UK, say anywhere between Glasgow and Gatwick.

- I want to arrive in BWI if at all possible - Dulles is the wrong side of DC.

- I would prefer to fly direct unless the savings were so great as make routing via Atlanta and Denver really worth it.

Thanks in advance,

Room 40

3rd Aug 2008, 14:23
A number of my family, including myself, have been back and fourth to DC over the last few years as some of my relatives were posted out there. Collectively we've flown BA, Virgin and United...

United - family was far from impressed with the service...
Virgin - most of the family used them. They fly into Dulles though - great service, great prices (comparable to BA, though sometimes a bit more expensive)
BA - they are the only airline that fly direct from London to BWI. Service is usually excellent, prices are dirt cheap (378.50 rtn at start of October at the mo) and they have great regional connections from as little as 50 one way. Terminal 5 is now running smoothly and so you shouldn't have many, if any, problems.

The other airlines connect in Philadelphia, Chicago and Newark to name a few places, however if you search the forums you will find that transiting through the States is best avoided at all costs so I'd say go with BA

Hope this helps! :)

3rd Aug 2008, 20:09

thanks - that confirms what I had worked out from bashing the various flight finder sites.

The beloved, who is the reason I'll be doing this, warns against flying United or any other US carrier - as a US Gov employee she's trapped into 'flying the flag' on business, they all seem equally nasty.

Pity that Icelandic Air don't do BWI any more - I never minded a change in Kef, no way I want to do one in One Horse, Montana or Pigs Knuckle, Arkansas.

Room 40

3rd Aug 2008, 22:36
You could go via Toronto, but I doubt that would qualify as either the cheapest or the easiest.

Do you have something against BA ? Seems the obvious option.

3rd Aug 2008, 22:48
IMHO Dulles is the most disorganized airport in the US. In comparison BWI is heaven.
I'd pay a premium to fly into BWI.
And I agree with your assessment of United.

4th Aug 2008, 15:56
I would be very grateful for any thoughts from old hands on this forum on the best/cheapest route/carrier from UK to DC ...One useful thing to do is to sign up for emails from all the airlines that fly on the route, so you get alerted to fare sales. When a sale is on - whoever has announced it - look at fares on the airline(s) of your choice for the travel dates for which the sale is valid and also look at any other dates on which you might want to travel. Then, if you like the prices, pounce on the dates that suit you. Given that, much of the time, the other airlines on the route will match the sale fares even if they do not themselves advertise their own sales, this is one tactic for getting the lowest fares on your airline of choice.

4th Aug 2008, 20:56
Always go direct if poss

In the back with Virgin or BA?, litle difference IMHO

So avoid Dulles

Which leaves BA.

Tonic Please
4th Aug 2008, 23:24
How ironic. I just popped in here and saw a post about the UK - IAD (Washington). This evening, I booked my flight to Washington. I spent 2 days searching. I ended up using Dial a Flight. I was seeing cheaper flights by 20 with Delta but that went out of Gatwick, came back in at Heathrow, and had a stop in the U.S somewhere - forget where. However, one can haggle with Dial a Flight, so it's a good option.

I'll be with Virgin on the VS 55 on 23rd Aug.. Absolutely can't wait since the 340-600 has always been my favourite aircraft (has been part of my email address for 8 years)...and I love the VA colour scheme on it. Infact, I'm childishly ecstatic about going on it!!!! :D :cool: :ok: (must stay young).

If anyone else will be on it, or if any crew in here will be serving that flight, I'd be happy to amaze you with some Card mentalism which I do... (who said the magic circle?!??!?? shhh!!!).


5th Aug 2008, 06:24

thanks to all who responded - I guess if ABCXYZ Airlines did East Midlands-BWI for 30 return I would have picked up on it, but if you don't ask you don't get.

Looks like BA to BWI it is, but I'll try the dial-a-flight thing. Mind you, it would have to be a bl00dy big saving on Virgin to get me into Dulles.


6th Aug 2008, 12:25
Hi room40, try kayak.co.uk as well, it seems to check all relevant airlines. For example it comes up with US Airways LGW-BWI via Charlotte for about 400. However, at that time(early September) it also has BA for 408 direct, so no competition there!

Direct IAD flights, same time, lowest 370.

Good luck with your search!:ok:

6th Aug 2008, 12:40
Have you considered non-UK and non-US airlines? Friends went to DC via Amsterdam with KLM which was considerably cheaper than any other option, even allowing for the fact that they were travelling in the wrong direction to begin with! This was 2001 mind, pre 9/11......