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Need to change hotel in London after drastic flight time change. Looking for some advice and recommendations.


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We disembark in Southampton first thing Saturday June 6th. Planned to go into city and do hop on-hop off bus Saturday and Sunday (London original is 24 hour ticket vs specific day, from what I read). Have reservations at Premier Inn County Hall. Flight was Sunday at 5pm. Email from American say flight change...it’s now at 9:35am. 😳 So thinking it best to stay near airport. So...train from Southampton to Waterloo may not be best bet. Bus better? Thinking to hire a car if I can find a reasonable price to save us some time though - since we just lost 1/2 day. And good hotel out towards Heathrow? Where we can hop on tube to go into central London for HOHO bus and boat. 

Edited by SarahD112
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Are they giving you other flight options?  Even BA code share?

 

Your current hotel is a great location for everything but your now early flight. If you can get a later flight on AA or BA, you’re fine. And you probably only lose a half hour at that time of day staying at County Hall. You’ll lose more than that going in and out from a Heathrow hotel. 
 

Normally the airline will give you a option. You really need to check on that before changing anything. If they changed the time with the same flight number, that’s what they’ll show. Doesn’t mean it’s your only option. 

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56 minutes ago, markeb said:

Are they giving you other flight options?  Even BA code share?

 

Your current hotel is a great location for everything but your now early flight. If you can get a later flight on AA or BA, you’re fine. And you probably only lose a half hour at that time of day staying at County Hall. You’ll lose more than that going in and out from a Heathrow hotel. 
 

Normally the airline will give you a option. You really need to check on that before changing anything. If they changed the time with the same flight number, that’s what they’ll show. Doesn’t mean it’s your only option. 

Your post intrigued me so I looked at the flights closer...it appears that there is no longer a flight from JFK to BNA at a time that would work for our original flight. The 9:55pm direct flight is gone. Nothing after 6:30pm. Three of us are booked with miles, and there’s a massive surcharge to use a partner airline. $400 per person for British Airways. Also, we were supposed to spend the day and a half in London with friends who have had to cancel since, so I’m ok getting in earlier in the day. I just have to figure out now how to change hotel and transportation plans to work better with new itinerary. 

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That kind of sucks. Worth a phone call, especially if you have status with AA...

 

I wouldn't change the hotel. You're up at 4:00 a.m. regardless of whether you're at Heathrow or County Hall. From a Heathrow hotel, you either have to get back to LHR to the Tube or Heathrow Express (only a couple of  hotels are on property; most will require a cab). The Tube will be inexpensive but take time; HEX will be expensive and probably put you in the wrong part of London for what you want to do. So look at a car service for O Dark Thirty from County Hall, and do as much as you can in London. You're probably looking at a 5:00 to 5:30 car, but you'd be looking at a 5:30-6:00 cab at Heathrow. Keep the hotel, and the train to Waterloo. You just need an early car to Heathrow, a bloody mary (if you consume) at the airport, and a long day on a plane. 

 

You'll lose time in London; you probably need to list what you really want to see, and we'll all try to help you decide options. HOHO may still be best, but walking +/- Tube may be better. 

 

On this one, I suspect our UK contingent is largely going to agree with me (for once!)😀

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Flight and hotel bookings are falling through the floor just now. It's not impossible that your new flight will be changed again.

 

It might also be worth looking again at your hotel booking as prices will fall along with demand.

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We have a similar situation. We have booked Staybridge Suites on Bath Road near the airport. Right next door is a Holiday Inn.  Just google Heathrow airport hotels.There is a free bus at the airport to transport us to the street the hotel is on & back to the airport. I believe it runs every ten minutes. Feel much safer  being near the airport on the day we fly home.

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When choosing a hotel for 1-2 nights stay, I would rather go for the chain hotels. Something like Hilton or Ibis or maybe Best Western if you are on a budget. I would even consider Air BnB  depending on a situation. I dont see a single reason to overpay. Also, those hotels I just mentioned - provide everything you need for a comfortable stay. They all got breakfasts, nice cozy rooms and shower. They got a bar and cafe (sometimes even a restaurant for you to chill while waiting for a flight or cruise). They can also provide you with inexpensive taxi or a shuttle. So, if you ask me - I would go for those cheap hotels rather than looking for some expensive resorts 

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3 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

When choosing a hotel for 1-2 nights stay, I would rather go for the chain hotels. Something like Hilton or Ibis or maybe Best Western if you are on a budget. I would even consider Air BnB  depending on a situation. I dont see a single reason to overpay. Also, those hotels I just mentioned - provide everything you need for a comfortable stay. They all got breakfasts, nice cozy rooms and shower. They got a bar and cafe (sometimes even a restaurant for you to chill while waiting for a flight or cruise). They can also provide you with inexpensive taxi or a shuttle. So, if you ask me - I would go for those cheap hotels rather than looking for some expensive resorts 

 

I have no idea what you're trying to say. They have a reservation at a UK semi-budget chain. They will be leaving too early for breakfast to matter. They're question is whether to change to Heathrow from a very convenient County Hall location, that as Bob as mentioned, may now be bookable at a better rate anyway. 

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On 3/10/2020 at 12:19 AM, SarahD112 said:

We disembark in Southampton first thing Saturday June 6th. Planned to go into city and do hop on-hop off bus Saturday and Sunday (London original is 24 hour ticket vs specific day, from what I read). Have reservations at Premier Inn County Hall. Flight was Sunday at 5pm. Email from American say flight change...it’s now at 9:35am. 😳 So thinking it best to stay near airport. So...train from Southampton to Waterloo may not be best bet. Bus better? Thinking to hire a car if I can find a reasonable price to save us some time though - since we just lost 1/2 day. And good hotel out towards Heathrow? Where we can hop on tube to go into central London for HOHO bus and boat. 

 

Despite the significant foreshortening of your time in London I see switching to an airport hotel as counter-productive.

Even if the PI booking is cancellable without penalty, its location still makes sense.

 

If it's cancellable I agree with Bob that it's worth keeping an eye on rates and cancel / re-book if rates have dropped.

Or even cancel / book another hotel nearby if other hotel rates have dropped significantly more than PI's.

 

But switch to an airport hotel ????

No way - unless you decide to abandon the whole idea of visiting London.

 

Train takes 90 minutes to central London, add 10 mins to walk to PI County Hall.

Out on the streets of central London before 10.30am.:classic_smile:

 

Bus takes over 2 hours to LHR, add bus from LHR to (most) airport hotels, then bus back to a terminal or waiting while a car is called, then heading into London (and returning to the airport hotel) will waste a couple or three hours of your already-shortened single day in London. 

Out on the streets of central London by 12.30 to 1pm if you're lucky. :classic_sad:

 

Flight day is a sunday, and you'll be heading to the airport while London is still sleeping.

Travel to the airport by pre-booked car takes 45 minutes - make that an hour to allow for (unlikely) problems such as driver arriving late.

Travel from most airport hotels is about 15 minutes - make that 30 minutes for similar (unlikely) problems.

 

Like Markeb, I don't understand Roger's comment about hotel choice. :classic_huh:

Premier Inn is a hotel chain. The biggest and most-respected budget chain in the UK.

And AirB&B is surely the least-reliable when time is of the essence - you need a pukka hotel with a known address, manned reception, luggage-holding facility, etc. 

 

Car rental is a no-no.

Even on a saturday driving, navigating (and parking :classic_ohmy:) in central London will be frustrating.

Easy enough driving to an airport hotel, but time gained on the road will be lost in collecting & returning the car. 

And the rental fee plus full CDW insurance plus one-way fee plus fuel plus whatever else they can add to the bill will cost a multiple of the train or bus fares for two.

 

So I strongly suggest you leave arrangements as they are, and concentrate on getting the best out of your limited time.

I'd recommend a complete (or almost-complete) ho-ho tour (about 2hrs15) on Original's yellow route from the ho-ho stop about 100 yards from County Hall https://www.theoriginaltour.com/en/map-times

 

(no buses are permitted past the front of Buckingham Palace - to see it you need to get off at Buckingham Gate, stop 19 on Original's yellow route, walk round the corner to the Palace, then back to the stop for the next bus. Since time is short - and especially if you have a good seat- mebbe give it a miss).

 

Hop off the bus at yellow route's stop 6 (Pall Mall East, close to Trafalgar Square) to walk the same route as the ho-ho from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall (Horse Guards Parade, Cenotaph, 10 Downing Street, etc) to Parliament Square (Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben,etc) and to the river cruise pier near Westminster Bridge. Basic walking time of 15 minutes with perhaps the best concentration of London's sights in such a short distance.

From that Westminster Bridge pier a short river cruise to the Tower of London (included in ho-ho ticket).

Then depending on time available, spend time at the Tower and/or Tower Bridge or use the Tube to visit other sights that you might want to see more-closely like St Paul's or Covent Garden or one or two of London's many museums.

And an evening show or restaurant or just wandering (light evenings in June). With no long journey back to airport hotel-land.

 

Just one other matter, on which I don't know my stuff.

Are there alternatives to that 09.35am sunday flight, without significant penalties?

Is 09.35am on the monday possible?

Or a switch to one of American's alliance partners?

 

JB :classic_smile:

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1 hour ago, John Bull said:

 

 

Just one other matter, on which I don't know my stuff.

Are there alternatives to that 09.35am sunday flight, without significant penalties?

Is 09.35am on the monday possible?

Or a switch to one of American's alliance partners?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

I've just done a little bit of web-surfing on the subject.

 

This is fairly obviously a cancelled flight rather than a revised flight time.

Check the flight numbers of the original 5pm flight and the 9.35am flight - the're different, right?

 

Airline rules normally give them the right to cancel flights and book you on a different flight with just 14 days notice.

But even though AA isn't a European airline and even though the UK is in the "transition stage" of leaving the EU, you have extra legal rights under EU law regarding a flight cancellation because the flight departs from an EU airport.

 

This includes...... 

 

- being offered an alternative flight, even if its with a different airline, which gets you back to your home airport no more than 4 hours before the original arrival time. The flight offered clearly drives a horse and cart thro that timing.

 

- being offered a full refund.  And with aircraft flying half-empty, (undoubtedly the reason for the cancellation) there will be flight bargains out there, so you could end up with a much more acceptable return flight time and at a much lower cost .

 

These rights apply regardless of how far out the booked flight and regardless of how much notice is given by the airline. 

 

I'm fairly confident about those rights, so don't let American bluff you :classic_wink:

 

This is my source

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays/#cancelrules

MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis isn't some unaccredited blogger.

He's perhaps the most widely respected money expert in the UK, and has a very popular weekly money programme on mainstream ITV 

 

Do any flight experts want to chip in?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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1 hour ago, John Bull said:

 

I've just done a little bit of web-surfing on the subject.

 

This is fairly obviously a cancelled flight rather than a revised flight time.

Check the flight numbers of the original 5pm flight and the 9.35am flight - the're different, right?

 

Airline rules normally give them the right to cancel flights and book you on a different flight with just 14 days notice.

But even though AA isn't a European airline and even though the UK is in the "transition stage" of leaving the EU, you have extra legal rights under EU law regarding a flight cancellation because the flight departs from an EU airport.

 

This includes...... 

 

- being offered an alternative flight, even if its with a different airline, which gets you back to your home airport no more than 4 hours before the original arrival time. The flight offered clearly drives a horse and cart thro that timing.

 

- being offered a full refund.  And with aircraft flying half-empty, (undoubtedly the reason for the cancellation) there will be flight bargains out there, so you could end up with a much more acceptable return flight time and at a much lower cost .

 

These rights apply regardless of how far out the booked flight and regardless of how much notice is given by the airline. 

 

I'm fairly confident about those rights, so don't let American bluff you :classic_wink:

 

This is my source

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays/#cancelrules

MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis isn't some unaccredited blogger.

He's perhaps the most widely respected money expert in the UK, and has a very popular weekly money programme on mainstream ITV 

 

Do any flight experts want to chip in?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

So what happened is that the second flight was cancelled - JFK to Nashville. The ,attest flight out of there now leaves before we could land on original flight. We were supposed to spend the day and a half with friends from Leeds, and they’ve had to cancel. So I’m okay with the flight change. We lose a half day, but husband has work to return to and college age son has internship to get back to. So landing earlier works better for them. Three of our four flights were booked on miles, so not sure what the recourse would be anyway. We’ll stay as is. 
 

On the logistics, that was a good suggestion someone made to hire a car service to airport on Sunday morning - and keep the train to Waterloo plan for Saturday. The premier inn has dropped about £15 for each room, so I’ll rebook and drop the breakfast option. Do you think that would be better than hiring a car service for Southampton to Airport hotel, taking tube into central London Saturday, and being closer to airport for Sunday morning? It sounds like current hotel a better one, because it saves time getting into London from airport, but I’m not familiar with travel times. 

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34 minutes ago, SarahD112 said:

Do you think that would be better than hiring a car service for Southampton to Airport hotel, taking tube into central London Saturday, and being closer to airport for Sunday morning? It sounds like current hotel a better one, because it saves time getting into London from airport, but I’m not familiar with travel times.

 

Yes. You'll be tired on the flight morning because you'll be up early, but you won't have the delay of getting from the airport to London to sitesee. If you go all the way to the airport by car, it will likely take longer, and you'll have to double back to get into London. From Waterloo, you'll all but be at your hotel, with all the advantages he mentions. Go with JB's timings instead of mine; he's saying 45 minutes to an hour to the LHR by car service and I was thinking 30-45 minutes. Still early, but it's a long flight...

 

If you don't have lounge access at LHR, there are plenty of places to grab breakfast after security, whether you just want coffee and pastry or something more substantial. More familiar with T2, which I don't think is where you'll depart, but they all have similar offerings in my experience.

Edited by markeb
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3 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

Yes. You'll be tired on the flight morning because you'll be up early, but you want have the delay of getting from the airport to London to sitesee. If you go all the way to the airport by car, it will likely take longer, and you'll have to double back to get into London. From Waterloo, you'll all but be at your hotel, with all the advantages he mentions. Go with JB's timings instead of mine; he's saying 45 minutes to an hour to the LHR by car service and I was thinking 30-45 minutes. Still early, but it's a long flight...

 

If you don't have lounge access at LHR, there are plenty of places to grab breakfast after security, whether you just want coffee and pastry or something more substantial. More familiar with T2, which I don't think is where you'll depart, but they all have similar offerings in my experience.

Sounds good. What time do you suggest we aim to arrive at airport? On a Sunday morning here, I’d say 90 minutes for domestic but not international. Flight at 9:35am...is 7 ok? Because it’s a Sunday? Now I’m off to find a good car service that can handle four people and cruise luggage. 😂

Edited by SarahD112
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I'm in the minority that thinks you can't arrive at LHR too early... I usually do 3 hours, but I usually hit duty free, and I do have United Club access.

 

Are you flying business or economy? Do you have premium status on AA? That actually matters in my timing recommendations. Most of the terminals have a premier security line that is actually a lot faster... But they start at the same level that gets you into the club.

 

There are several routinely recommended car services. I've only used Blackberry, but a couple of the others (Simply airports comes to mind) probably have a better rep and I need to remember them next time I'm in London. Several of the car services recommended for Southampton are in Southampton, and are NOT good choices for a London airport run...

Edited by markeb
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8 minutes ago, markeb said:

I'm in the minority that thinks you can't arrive at LRH too early... I usually do 3 hours, but I usually hit duty free, and I do have United Club access.

 

Are you flying business or economy? Do you have premium status on AA? That actually matters in my timing recommendations. Most of the terminals have a premier security line that is actually a lot faster... But they start at the same level that gets you into the club.

 

There are several routinely recommended car services. I've only used Blackberry, but a couple of the others (Simply airports comes to mind) probably have a better rep and I need to remember them next time I'm in London. Several of the car services recommended for Southampton are in Southampton, and are NOT good choices for a London airport run...

We fly Southwest in the US - no bag fees and no change fees. My husband flies business or first class internationally but only has one or two trips a year. So booked economy, no lounge access. 
 

I’ll check out Simply airports. I searched on the boards but all I kept finding was Southampton to airport threads, not London hotel to airport information. Thanks for all the help!

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15 minutes ago, SarahD112 said:


 

On the logistics, that was a good suggestion someone made to hire a car service to airport on Sunday morning - and keep the train to Waterloo plan for Saturday. The premier inn has dropped about £15 for each room, so I’ll rebook and drop the breakfast option. Do you think that would be better than hiring a car service for Southampton to Airport hotel, taking tube into central London Saturday, and being closer to airport for Sunday morning? It sounds like current hotel a better one, because it saves time getting into London from airport, but I’m not familiar with travel times. 

 

I can only repeat my advice that an airport hotel would lose you a chunk of time on your short day in London, vs getting up half an hour earlier on the sunday morning if you stick with PI  County Hall.

 

In all other respects PI County Hall is an excellent location.

But like most locations it's not great for travel to LHR because there's no direct public transport.

Your main choices are

- using the Tube with a change at either Leicester Square or Green Park or Piccadilly Circus.

Needs a Londoner to advise which is easiest (or should that be least-difficult) with luggage. Tube system won't be busy at that time of a sunday morning, and I don't think the poorer frequency on a sunday will make much difference.  Total journey time something over an hour from hotel to airport. 

- or a pre-booked private transfer, hotel to airport.

Around £40, mebbe a little more for 4 + luggage. Drive-time about 45 minutes (18 urban miles).

And since it's your money that we're all spending, I 'll join the chorus that recommends a private transfer :classic_biggrin:.

Simply Airports is one of the biggest Heathrow operators. 

 

I suggest you arrive 2 hour before flight time. 

90 minutes gives little wiggle-room.

60 minutes is within many airlines' limits, but is def. waaaay too risky for check-in lines, security lines, etc. 

So I'd suggest a car booked for 6.30am. And if you somehow lose up to an hour, no worries.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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6 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

I can only repeat my advice that an airport hotel would lose you a chunk of time on your short day in London, vs getting up half an hour earlier on the sunday morning if you stick with PI  County Hall.

 

In all other respects PI County Hall is an excellent location.

But like most locations it's not great for travel to LHR because there's no direct public transport.

Your main choices are

- using the Tube with a change at either Leicester Square or Green Park or Piccadilly Circus.

Needs a Londoner to advise which is easiest (or should that be least-difficult) with luggage. Tube system won't be busy at that time of a sunday morning, and I don't think the poorer frequency on a sunday will make much difference.  Total journey time something over an hour from hotel to airport. 

- or a pre-booked private transfer, hotel to airport.

Around £40, mebbe a little more for 4 + luggage. Drive-time about 45 minutes (18 urban miles).

And since it's your money that we're all spending, I 'll join the chorus that recommends a private transfer :classic_biggrin:.

Simply Airports is one of the biggest Heathrow operators. 

 

I suggest you arrive 2 hour before flight time. 

90 minutes gives little wiggle-room.

60 minutes is within many airlines' limits, but is def. waaaay too risky for check-in lines, security lines, etc. 

So I'd suggest a car booked for 6.30am. And if you somehow lose up to an hour, no worries.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Agreed. Just booked with Simply Airports - £53. Not too bad for four people, four large and four hand luggage. Booked for 6am because that’s when my husband would start pacing anyway. 😂 Thanks again for the help! Now to figure out the Southampton train to Waterloo piece...

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27 minutes ago, John Bull said:

I suggest you arrive 2 hour before flight time. 

90 minutes gives little wiggle-room.

60 minutes is within many airlines' limits, but is def. waaaay too risky for check-in lines, security lines, etc. 

So I'd suggest a car booked for 6.30am. And if you somehow lose up to an hour, no worries.

 

JB :classic_smile:

We always aim for two hours ahead. This gives ample time for bag drop and, with a morning flight, an expensive but leisurely breakfast. Naturally we check in online the day before.

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24 minutes ago, SarahD112 said:

Agreed. Just booked with Simply Airports - £53. Not too bad for four people, four large and four hand luggage. Booked for 6am because that’s when my husband would start pacing anyway. 😂 Thanks again for the help! Now to figure out the Southampton train to Waterloo piece...

 

OK. Now you're getting close to being able to relax again and actually enjoy a day in London. 

 

With the short stay, I like the HOHO idea. If there's something you want to visit specifically, work that in. Keep in mind that you'll have long days at that time of the year, and since you're probably doing drive by/walk by visits, you can go as late as you feel confident you'll wake up for the flight. You weren't going to have a realistic opportunity for a real visit to the Tower of London, for instance, anyway as it just gets so busy later in the day, but you might have time for a Thames River Cruise from the Eye to the Tower. Just don't overplan, and at some point find a pub and just collapse for an hour...

 

See JB's post #9 again.

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22 minutes ago, SarahD112 said:

Thanks again for the help! Now to figure out the Southampton train to Waterloo piece...

 

Southampton central to London Waterloo.

Taxi from ship to station £7 to £10 depending on your cruise terminal. 

 

Don't buy your rail tickets yet !!

Cheap Advance train tickets are usually available from about 8 weeks out and from what I can see on the NationalRail and South-Western websites, are currently available up to Saturday 23rd May.

Just £9 pp for the 8.55am train, which is fine for a cruiser with an early disembarkation slot though you might want to be extra-sure by disembarking unassisted (usually 7 to 7.30).:classic_smile:

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

https://tickets.southwesternrailway.com/

So bookmark to check again in 2 to 3 weeks' time.

Those Advance tickets are only good for the train time that you choose. If you miss that train your tickets are trash, and you'll have to pay the walk-up fare of £46. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

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18 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

OK. Now you're getting close to being able to relax again and actually enjoy a day in London. 

 

With the short stay, I like the HOHO idea. If there's something you want to visit specifically, work that in. Keep in mind that you'll have long days at that time of the year, and since you're probably doing drive by/walk by visits, you can go as late as you feel confident you'll wake up for the flight. You weren't going to have a realistic opportunity for a real visit to the Tower of London, for instance, anyway as it just gets so busy later in the day, but you might have time for a Thames River Cruise from the Eye to the Tower. Just don't overplan, and at some point find a pub and just collapse for an hour...

 

See JB's post #9 again.

Luckily, we’ll have a full day in London before we cruise, although there will be a jet lag factor. So we’re going to do the Tower of London that day, and take a peek at The Tower Bridge while we’re over there. Then we’ll see what we’re up for from there. 

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