May 15, 2009 9:16 AM   Subscribe

How long is travel time between London City Airport and leaving Heathrow?

It's $150 fare difference to choose this option, so curious to know your thoughts on it. Would I hate myself? I would have 4 hours to make the transfer.
posted by chickaboo to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depending on the expected check-in time, that could be a squeaker.

London City to Paddington is about 40 minutes (DLR and Tube), then 15 minutes (plus waiting time) on the Heathrow express. You could potentially take the Tube all the way from the DLR (changing at Canning Town for Jubilee and Green Park for Piccadilly) which runs around 1:30, depending on what time you're travelling: Zone 1 at rush hour with luggage isn't fun, though.

If you mean 4 hours plus the 2 hours or whatever you're expected to arrive in advance of your flight, then you're fine. If you're really needing to be there 2 hours ahead of time, then you should be okay if all things run smoothly. (Here's the TfL Journey Planner.)
posted by holgate at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2009

Response by poster: 12:45 arr City Airport (London)

17:05 dep Heathrow

this is the flight...
posted by chickaboo at 9:36 AM on May 15, 2009

Well, lessee...

City Airport is out on the Docklands Light Railway, so to connect with the Tube network, you'd go into Bank. It would take about 15 - 30 minutes, depending on time of day.

From there, you'd two options. You could take the tube to Paddington and take the Heathrow Express. Bank to Paddington would take maybe 15 minutes, and the Express leaves every 20 minutes or so during the day and takes about 15 minutes. The Express would cost you £15, and and the single tube journey would cost you £4ish. So, about a £20 cost, and about an hour and a half max, probably closer to 45 minutes if you line up your travel times right.

The second option is to get to Bank, then take the Central Line to Holborn, then the Piccadilly Line all the way to Heathrow. A single for this journey will cost you about £6 or £7. From central London, it takes just shy of an hour to get out to Heathrow, so this will take about an hour and a half, tops.

So yeah, it'd be worth the $150 difference either way, and you can easily do it inside the 4 hrs you have (assuming you're talking about 4 hrs before the start of your check-in and not your actual flight time, you normally have to check in 2hrs in advance at Heathrow for international flights, 1hr for domestic).
posted by Happy Dave at 9:43 AM on May 15, 2009

Ah, right, if there's four straight hours, then you actually have just shy of two hours for your transfer.

You could make that, going either way.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2009

What day of the week is that? There is a load of engineering work at the weekends on the tube at the moment and it could disrupt your journey and cause extra hassle.

To me that looks tight, but if no delays on arrival and depending on how seriously your airline takes the 2 hr check-in, do-able.
posted by patricio at 9:50 AM on May 15, 2009

Yes, if it's a weekend you need to be careful, because of the engineering work. You can usually find this out a month or so in advance from the TFL web page, but the Jubilee line closes a lot at the moment, so be warned.

TFL say it takes about 1 hour 20 mins to get from airport to airport using the Heathrow Express if you were to leave right now, which is Friday rush hour time. Doable, but could be stressful, especially if you are not familiar with the London Underground and How It Works.

The Heathrow express costs about £32 for a return ticket, so that might also eat into you $150 saving.
posted by Helga-woo at 9:54 AM on May 15, 2009

Response by poster: It's a Sunday... in August if that helps.
posted by chickaboo at 10:14 AM on May 15, 2009

My $.02 (having flown in and out of Heathrow number of times): peace of mind is worth a lot. Possibly even $150 (minus varying transport fees). Also, Sunday in August? Weekend during high travel season? Just saying, if it were me, I'd eat the expense.
posted by Skot at 10:25 AM on May 15, 2009

Note that if your first flight arrives late, that destroys your plan. I wouldn't do it.
posted by randomstriker at 10:26 AM on May 15, 2009

Sunday? Quieter on the Tube, but usually engineering hell. And as randomstriker says, a late arrival screws you over.
posted by holgate at 10:29 AM on May 15, 2009

It's a Sunday

Beware - entire sections of Tube and train lines can be closed for engineering on Sundays. You can look this up in advance though.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:31 AM on May 15, 2009

Response by poster: ok thanks all. going to connect thru paris instead.
posted by chickaboo at 10:40 AM on May 15, 2009

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