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Barcelona - London Trip Advice

oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
So, my wife and I are planning a trip to Europe, with plans to fly in to Barcelona and take the train up to London (after which we head up to Peterborough area to visit my sister and her family). We're planning on about 14-16 days, flying from Austin, and we're seeing airfares ranging from $1000-1300 each. It's a tad high, so I've been looking into alternatives.

One of the alternatives we've seen is Norwegian Air Service (www.norwegian.com), which operates to a number of destinations via New York (JFK). This would involve us having to plan our own way up to New York, but could be a pretty decent savings overall, as they seem to charge less in service fees. Has anyone had experience with them? Or heard any stories regarding them?

We're not opposed to flying into the cheapest airport possible and then getting one of the low costs (RyanAir, EasyJet) to our preferred destination. I've done a lot of that when I studied abroad, and when I used to visit my sister more regularly. Obviously the issue is the more flights you book individually, the more likely it could all go to hell.

In any case, if anyone has any suggestions or thoughts on the carrier I linked above, that would be appreciated.

(Re: Budget... overall we're looking at spending $5000 between us. We're lucky in that we will be spending some time at my sisters, and I also have a number of friends in London we can potentially overnight with.)

Posts

  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    The low cost airlines all charge you a premium for luggage, so unless you're travelling incredibly lightly, it may not be worth using them. It might be cheaper for you to fly from Barcelona to London, then catch the train to Peterborough.

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  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    The low cost airlines all charge you a premium for luggage, so unless you're travelling incredibly lightly, it may not be worth using them. It might be cheaper for you to fly from Barcelona to London, then catch the train to Peterborough.

    Agreed, I recently traveled from Manchester to Barcelona. I got my flight for really cheap then they added a price for luggage and then a price for the seat (what had I paid for then??) and by the time they'd finished adding things on it was nearly the same price as if I'd booked with another company.

  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    Have RyanAir significantly changed their pricing model? I remember book flights for .01p or .99p and it would work out to £30 or so with all the taxes and fees. From quick investigation it seems they have definitely upped their prices overall.

    We'll likely be carrying two cabin baggage backpacks. We always travel light. Are they charging for cabin baggage now, or restricting it further?

    Our plans are a bit up in the air (may not even be Barcelona anymore), and we may be moving it forward to early August. Things will be more expensive then, but both myself and my wife may have some classes starting in September.

  • TPSouTPSou Registered User regular
    I happen to be from the Peterborough area, living in London and have travelled to Barcelona a bit.

    Regarding Barcelona, be careful with Ryanair as they will take you to/pick you up from Girona which is quite a long bus ride away from Barcelona. If you're going for a couple of days this will seriously eat into your holiday time there, you can definitely get similarly cheap flights from Easyjet that actually take you to Barcelona airport right near the city.

    Regarding Peterborough, I hope you're aware there's not a great deal to do there. If you can go over to Cambridge or Norwich for the day, much nicer/more interesting cities. Peterborough has a pretty cool Cathedral though - just no decent restaurants/pubs/shopping.

    If you need any advice or help feel free to PM me.

  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    TPSou wrote: »
    I happen to be from the Peterborough area, living in London and have travelled to Barcelona a bit.

    Regarding Barcelona, be careful with Ryanair as they will take you to/pick you up from Girona which is quite a long bus ride away from Barcelona. If you're going for a couple of days this will seriously eat into your holiday time there, you can definitely get similarly cheap flights from Easyjet that actually take you to Barcelona airport right near the city.

    Regarding Peterborough, I hope you're aware there's not a great deal to do there. If you can go over to Cambridge or Norwich for the day, much nicer/more interesting cities. Peterborough has a pretty cool Cathedral though - just no decent restaurants/pubs/shopping.

    If you need any advice or help feel free to PM me.

    We're not really planning to go to Peterborough itself really, just the area, as my sister and her family live at the RAF base at Wittering. I would suspect we'll only be going into Peterborough if my sister wants to hit the shops.

    Another question. The train from Peterborough to London, is that the same line that passes through Cambridge, Bishop's Stropford and Harlow on the way to Liverpool Street Station in London? I stayed in Old Harlow for a semester of my undergrad, and often was on that train line... it would be nice to show my wife an area that I am familiar with.

    Let me refocus the thread a bit, because as I have previously said, our plans are a little up in the air. Mostly I'm concerned with transatlantic airline experiences, as well as how reliable some of the low cost airlines within Europe are. For example, we are looking for the cheapest way over to see my sister and her family, then head down to somewhere on the continent to do some exploring. We've look at flying Aer Lingus across into Dublin, SATA into Lisbon, and Singapore into Frankfurt, and then immediately taking a low cost up to see my family for four days or so, before going exploring further afield.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    Not quite sure what you mean about reliability but I've largely found the low cost airlines ok so long as nothing serious goes wrong, like say the plane breaking down before departure. Sometimes airline, airport and airlines can combine to be a bit unreliable, like a late night arrival from Europe into Stansted - which in my experience often runs slightly late, enough to, with quality of immigration, be enough to make the last train to London impossible to catch

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  • TPSouTPSou Registered User regular
    There's two trains from P'boro to London, one doesn't stop anywhere and is more expensive, one stops in quite a few places like Biggleswade, but not at Cambridge or Bishop's.

    In regards to flights, the only thing I'd be wary of is that Ryanair flights are a lot less pleasant than Easyjet. Neither are 'nice' in the same way a BA or Singapore flight can be, but Easyjet is unoffensive, Ryanair have planes that smell weird, flight attendants constantly trying to sell you scratchcards and weird baggage policies. Easyjet and their European partner airlines are much better.

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