I’m very excited because it looks as though my good friends from Chicago are actually going to be able to make it out to visit us in Cardiff this summer. They’re looking at flights at the moment, but were slightly bewildered by the lack of flights to Cardiff airport (as are we all, but that’s another story…)
They’ve found an option that goes via Dublin; I’ve suggested looking at KLM via Amsterdam. Can anyone else who has made the trip (perhaps US-based Bootcampers?) suggest any other options to look at?
This has the potential to take up my entire day now, as I have an essay due in soon and I am in full-out procrastination mode…
TIA, lovely SSiW friends!
I don’t know from direct experience but have shared bootcamps with a lot of international SSiWers and I think each one has used a different route so I would say it would depend on price, availability, ease, etc. Sorry, no help but a little research is needed.
When we travel to the US on business (ooohh, look at me the international jet-setter ) we always go Manchester-Atlanta and then onwards because of the variety of connections. I’m not sure how this suits a Chicago-Cardiff journey, though. I’d imagine Manchester to Cardiff (and the return) by whatever method might end up being the most stressful part of the entire journey!
Actually, it seems fairly straightforward: https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/cardiff-central-to-manchester-airport
Putting in random dates gives me a return fare of around £85
Yes - Manchester might be a good idea. I know my family in the Gogs tend to fly from there (but of course it’s fairly close to them). I’ll suggest it - thanks.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions - keep 'em coming, and I can pass them on for my friends to use to shop around the routes
If I had to choose between the Cardiff-Dublin and Cardiff-Amsterdam flights, I’d choose coming in via Amsterdam. Schiphol airport is easy to navigate and from my experience the KLM flight is a slightly nicer plane and journey. I have no idea of the cost comparison though.
If they arrived in Manchester Airport, the journey from Manchester to Cardiff, either by car, bus or train (Arriva!) would probably be the most stressful (and most likely to be delayed) part of the journey. Also Manchester is about to start on major renovation work to its Terminals, which will cause all sorts of disruptions. Would Bristol airport be a possible alternative to Cardiff?
Hi, Sara, I live near NYC. The two times I have been to Wales, I went via Dublin and loved it. Dublin airport is calm, clean, and people were so friendly. The first time, I took the ferry across to N Wales, but the second time, I caught a connecting flight to Cardiff within two hours of landing in Dublin. I would travel via Dublin again.
Thanks so much - I’ll pass both those suggestions/recommendations on.
Coming a little late to this party, but we generally fly from Chicago to Manchester and then drive. (Our local airport currently has only two destinations, but one is Chicago.) As you said, easy hop into North Wales, but Cardiff is a bit farther. Sounds like Dublin is a good alternative for Cardiff as well.
I’ve often flown through Amsterdam, and one thing that’s nice, although it’s a major airport and all, you don’t have to do passport control there, but only in your designation airport. It’s been a few years, though, so maybe this has changed.
One additional thought - once when headed to Cardiff, I actually flew Amsterdam to Bristol - which is a lovely airport - then took a bus to Cardiff. You can also take a train, but that’s more expensive, and I found the bus ride to be quite nice. I assume I did it that way because of price, so it might be an option to consider.
I’ve found Heathrow to Cardiff to be an easy bus ride, and driving from Cardiff to Heathrow to be no big deal either. So if fares to that airport are good, it’s worth considering.
Me! This year it’ll be Jackson MS, to Atlanta Ga, to Dublin (my first time ever in Ireland! Eire go bragh! ) and then a ferry ride across the sea to Caergybi…then a train ride to Bangor and a lifft in a car to Talysarn. Next day…off to the Eisteddfod.
It’s been some time since I’ve traveled to the UK (maybe it’s time to go again!), but the last time I flew from Chicago to Europe, we got a good deal by going through Toronto. Just a quick search seems to indicate that it is substantially less expensive to fly into London than into Cardiff (roughly half the cost), but sometimes the convenience may be worth it.
And if you book via a train company website (any train company, doesn’t have to be Arriva), you can usually save yourself the credit card fee / TheTrainline commission!
(If they’re feeling adventurous, they could try split ticketing through e.g. TrainSplit - https://raileasy.trainsplit.com/main.aspx - as it’s often cheaper to travel with various tickets back-to-back rather than a through ticket, and depending on your options may not even reduce your flexibility significantly. I did that when I went to Wales in March.)
My family in the US and Canada invariable travel via London Heathrow and then either rent a car or catch the train.
For the train, there are two approaches
- Take the Railink bus from Heathrow Central Bus station to Reading Railway Staion and then catch a train to Cardiff (this all counts as a rail journey)
- Take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and then take the train to Cardiff.
The cheapest transport is probably the bus from Heathrow to Cardiff (National Express).
From what I remember, the issue with both Cardiff and Bristol airports was that the runways were too short for fully-laden transatlantic flights, but that might have changed.
I generally get to Cardiff by flying from Washington DC (Dulles airport) to Heathrow on the daytime United flight (leaves about 9 in the morning DC time, arrives about 9 pm London time). I stay overnight in a Heathrow airport hotel that I’ve booked through Hotwire or Priceline; there are so many Heathrow airport hotel rooms that you can generally get a nice hotel on a very good deal. In the morning, I get up, have breakfast, and either (a) go pick up a rental car from an airport location, or (b) go back to Heathrow and catch the long-distance coach to Cardiff from the Heathrow Central Bus Terminal.
Here’s why these are my preferred options:
- Cheaper to get to Heathrow than anywhere else in the UK from the US, in general
- Not a great idea to fly overnight and then get immediately into a rental car, especially for driving on the “other side” of the road
- Coach from Heathrow to Cardiff is comfy and direct (well, sort of . . . goes via Newport and Swansea). Much cheaper and less hassle than first going into London!
I’ve also flown into Manchester, but in that case I picked up a rental car after a night in the city and drove into north Wales. I haven’t tried public transit from there.
goes via Newport and Swansea
Does it go to Swansea before Cardiff, D?
That was my question as well!