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Seeking the wisdom of the Flist

Especially those familiar with London airports...

I've booked a ticket to Venice from London leaving at 7:25am from Gatwick - I had all kinds of sensible reasons for doing this, but now am having second thoughts. Is this technically feasible? (I know that the first Gatwick express from Victoria leaves at 4:30, and they run every half hour thereafter). My hotel is near Earls Court station. I guess what I'm asking is how sticky are they about the time ahead - how risky is it to be later than two hours ahead of time. It's probably easier to rebook a hotel nearer to Gatwick for my last night than to try to change my airline booking (it's British Airways). And is the Gatwick express the best/fastest way to get there from where I am?

Thoughts?

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
a_d_medievalist
May. 2nd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
I would book a hotel at Gatwick. BA charges an arm and a leg to change reservations, and hotels don't.
intertext
May. 2nd, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have a feeling it would cost me almost as much as the ticket, if not more :)
oursin
May. 2nd, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
The two hours is recommended rather than a hard limit, isn't it? I've certainly on occasion arrived at airports with less time to spare (I draw a veil over the time in Barcelona when I found I had lost my passport as we were packing to leave). Particularly if you check-in online in advance it shouldn't matter if you're there a bit later.

The Gatwick Express is certainly the best way to get there from Earl's Court - and get a minicab from there to Victoria.
intertext
May. 2nd, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
The two hours is recommended rather than a hard limit, isn't it? Yes, but sometimes you really need that much time (like at Charles De Gaulle) and at others (like Victoria, ha ha), you could get away with twenty minutes. I've never flown out of Gatwick, so I wondered how busy it was likely to be.
arcana_mundi
May. 2nd, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Just as an aside, I've flown in and out of Roissy (the short/common/familiar name for CDG) six times in the last six months, and while there's often a bit of a slog going through customs on the inbound, I've never had it take more than 30-40 minutes from arriving at the terminal to making it to my gate on the outbound.

Orly, on the other hand, is made of PURE EVIL.
ellarien
May. 2nd, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
The thing about London airports is that you can easily spend an hour waiting in line to check in, at least for transatlantic flights -- I don't have as much experience with European ones. The security lines are better than they used to be in the grim days of 2006, though, and Gatwick is a bit smaller and friendlier than Heathrow.

I'd get a hotel at the airport, if it was me.
oursin
May. 2nd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
This has either got a lot better since the advent of online checking in, or I have been really, really lucky over the last few years!
ellarien
May. 3rd, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
Come to think of it, the last time I went out through Heathrow they told me to use the self-check machine, and then the line for bag-drop was only about half an hour. So maybe things are getting better.
arcana_mundi
May. 2nd, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm a huge fan of staying at the airport the night before no matter what, really. It might just be lucky socks thinking, but I feel like it makes the first 24 hours easier, and that makes the whole first week easier, and etc.
intertext
May. 2nd, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Yes. I think I'm moving towards changing my last night hotel booking for something at Gatwick. I chose the early flight to give myself more time in my first day in Venice - I don't want to spend it frazzled and exhausted!
arcana_mundi
May. 2nd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Do you know about the Alilaguna Blu line and stuff? If I can help at all with smoothing your transition in by sharing things I learned you just let me know. And are you going to be at the Marciana?
intertext
May. 2nd, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know about the Blu line, and no, I'm not at the Marciana, I'm renting a flat :) But helpful hints are always welcome!
arcana_mundi
May. 2nd, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
The Marciana is a library - as far as I know it's not an alternative to a flat. :-) I thought maybe you were on research while there like I was.
intertext
May. 2nd, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh - no, sorry (duh). I assumed you were asking about a hotel. No - I'm just on holiday :)
owlfish
May. 3rd, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
If you're looking for an airport hotel that's RIGHT at the airport:

http://www.yotel.com/gatwick
intertext
May. 3rd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Oh! Thank you :) I was reading about those just a week or so ago, and then I couldn't remember where I read it or the name. Perfect.
owlfish
May. 3rd, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
It is very small, but it's also fully featured from the accounts of the two other people I've sent there.
intertext
May. 3rd, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
I've just booked myself in at Gatwick for the London/Venice overnight, and am considering now booking one for the Heathrow one on my last night in England. It would mean I could arrive back in London quite late and have somewhere stress free to stay before leaving the next morning.
Yay! Thanks again :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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