Anyone flown to San Francisco from the UK this June/July?

(27 Posts)
route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 17:22:46

When did you book your flights and how much did you pay? Who did you fly with and what was the service like?

I have promised ds a proper holiday next year when he finishes GCSE's so we can go a bit earlier than usual school holidays. Due to health and financial problems we haven't had a real holiday for 6 years - just odd days out in the Summer holidays and I really want to have a special holiday with him.

I don't mind gradually working out the other stuff for when we are there - I've got some relatives in California who can help with that - but they haven't flown to the UK for years so don't know much about that side of things.

Mmeh Tue 26-Aug-14 17:23:55

Watching with interest... We're planning to fly out next July/Aug...

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 17:29:53

Have you done any research on flights yet Mmeh? I always assumed that 'early as possible' was the rule for flights but some people say you can be too early and that, say, 6 months in advance is the best time.

From what I've looked at so far it seems to be around £1000 each for flights so I would really like to get that down a bit!

clam Tue 26-Aug-14 17:41:20

Not sure that transatlantic flights reflect the UK holidays in quite the same way as package deals do. I've been watching the prices to an East Coast hub airport for the last 10 years or so (since friends moved out there) and they seem to go up April/May-ish and stay up, with possibly a few fluctuations for different days of the week, until Sept/Oct. Then Christmas is a biggie, of course.

Re flying to SFO, we did it two summers ago in August, when dcs were 16 and 14. I looked on Skyscanner and plumped for an indirect flight via Philly. I then went direct to the airline (US Airways), where I could get a small reduction on account of dd's age (there was no option for that on Skyscanner). The whole thing came to around £3100 for all 4 of us, I think.

clam Tue 26-Aug-14 17:45:28

Oh, and I booked relatively late, in April. You might have more luck booking in advance.

clam Tue 26-Aug-14 17:47:16

Also, the other thing to remember is that, although June/July is early for our school holidays, most of the US schools break up early June and return mid-August (unless they're on a year-round schedule).

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 17:49:16

Do you think it's too early to start looking? I did a search on Skyscanner and they all seem to be coming in just over £1000 each flying from London and that's flying on a Monday and and not even direct.

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 17:55:29

Sounds like you got a good deal booking quite late Clam, bucked the trend.

Don't bother looking now, about 6months in advance is right. Air New Zealand tends to be best value for money though Norweigian Air is the new budget option (I live in LA so afraid I don't know who services SFO)

Our schools break up early June so prices are more from then really. It cost us $7000 this summer to fly LAX-LHR-LAX but we booked about 4 weeks in advance, upgraded to sky couch (added $400 on the booking) and flew direct. That was for 4 of us

holidaysarenice Tue 26-Aug-14 18:07:28

I did direct to Vancouver then San Fran and home by New York this summer for less than 900 each. Air Canada and United. Found it cheaper to not use heathrow but to use a regional airport with a heathrow change. Basically I flew to heathrow the night before and then travelled ob

holidaysarenice Tue 26-Aug-14 18:08:14

Should have said weekend flights about 8 weeks in advance if that.

caroldecker Tue 26-Aug-14 18:27:43
CMOTDibbler Tue 26-Aug-14 18:31:59

I agree that they go up in early June, and stay there till late August. My September flights are £690, but the late October (our half term) are £1400

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 19:20:44

Thanks for the link caroldecker but when I click it just goes straight to my previous search with the price of £1019pp. What search did you put in to get £700?

Mumtothenipper Tue 26-Aug-14 19:24:04

When you search make sure you are on private browsing and have cleared your cookies. Otherwise it remembers you and increases the price each time you look I believe.

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 19:35:28

That's a good tip! Tried opening caroldecker link in a private window but no £700 flight. Best price was US airways £976 so that's a wee improvement.

SquattingNeville Tue 26-Aug-14 19:45:52

OP what dates are you looking at? I just did a skyscanner search for 15/6/15 to 29/6/15 and found £658pp return, direct on the way out and one stop on the way home. Attached a pic so you can see airlines.

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 20:09:13

Ta Neville - that's a fantastic price shock but I am looking a bit later because I don't know what the dates of ds GCSE's are at the mo' but assuming I shouldn't book before the end of the third week in June just in case?

clam Tue 26-Aug-14 20:47:33

You might also want to check out (if you can - dd's school was notoriously late in giving notice) when any proms/leavers' do's are, if your ds is bothered about them. This year, the last exam (Maths, so included most) was 13th June, but proms in local schools varied from last date of proper school (May half term) up to end of exams (28th June). Also, if he's thinking of staying on into the 6th form, some schools run a couple of initiation days at that time as well.

SquattingNeville Tue 26-Aug-14 20:57:45

Ah yes of course. here is a link to next years timetable, it only came out a couple of weeks ago so hopefully you'll be able to work out when he finishes his exams.

googietheegg Tue 26-Aug-14 21:02:46

We booked through Round The World Experts (the Cambridge office) and they got us an awesome deal - about 600 pounds each in August

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 21:46:35

Gawd yes, the prom, forgot about that. At the moment ds is very dismissive but of course he might feel differently nearer the time. Thanks again Neville, that timetable is really useful and I will also check with the school re dates.

ToAvoidConversation Tue 26-Aug-14 21:49:51

Try Aer Lingus, they'll probably connect you through Dublin which is great because you can go through American customs in Dublin. Then when you land in San Fran you just walk straight off the plane and collect your luggage as they consider it like an internal flight. Think Dublin is the only place you can go through American customs, without being in the US.

clam Tue 26-Aug-14 22:19:11

In my experience, the girls get ridiculously invested in the whole thing way ahead of time. The boys barely give it a thought until a few days before, but they all end up having a blast.

route1 Tue 26-Aug-14 22:59:20

Sounds about right Clam!

I like the sound of going through customs in Dublin, I suppose it just depends how much time you spend hanging around for the connection. The only other time I've flown to the USA, 20 ago, there was a stopover in LA and I wandered off the wrong way and nearly missed the connection.

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