One of my favorite ways to get from the US to London is via a daytime flight – a flight that leaves the US early in the morning, and arrives in London late in the evening. While the trip does consume an entire day, for some, it’s a way to help beat jet-lag. Arriving into London during the late evening, allows you to check-in at your hotel, get a decent night of sleep in a bed without turbulence and wake up refreshed ready for work or play.
Unfortunately, the only daytime flight options to Europe from the US are to London, though from London, it’s easy enough to connect onward to further destinations. I swear by daytime flights to Europe, and love them; in fact, Rick Steves reccomends them in his book Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door 2017, which I’d recommend picking up if you’re traveling abroad as there are some great tips in here.
Let’s take a look at the options (flight times are subject to change):
BA 178 Departing New York, NY (JFK) at 7:55 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 7:45 pm
BA 238 Departing Boston, MA (BOS) at 7:50 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 7:25 pm
VS 26 Departing New York, NY (JFK) at 8:05 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 8:10 pm
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UA 934 Departing Newark, NJ (EWR – Liberty) at 8:20 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 8:40 pm
UA 122 Departing Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles) at 8:30 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 8:55 pm
AA 142 Departing New York, NY (JFK) at 10:00 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 10:10 pm
AA 90 Departing Chicago, IL (ORD – O Hare International) at 9:00 am, Arriving at London (LHR – Heathrow) at 10:45 pm
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Unless you’re traveling from the west coast, most of these departures allow an early morning departure from another city with arrival into the gateway city in-time for the daytime flight departure, which is really nice.
What are the advantages of a daytime US to Europe flight?
- Usually these flights are less crowded, allowing more room to upgrade.
- You arrive in the evening, enough time to head to your hotel to sleep. Also, by traveling to London, from the east coast of the US, you only experience a 5 hour time-change vs. the traditional 6 hours on mainland Europe.
- For daytime travel to Europe, it saves a redeye flight. I hate redeye flights and having to rely on a good neck pillow.
What are the disadvantages of a daytime US to Europe flight?
- With the jet lag, you may end up wanting to stay up late into the night and not get to sleep at your hotel.
- If flights depart the US late, they risk getting canceled due to London’s nighttime noise restriction on flights.
- If you are connecting to another European city, your options may be limited depending on what time your flight from the US arrives. You will most likely have to stay the night near Heathrow and depart the next morning, though this should help recover from some of the jet lag.
- If there is no WiFi on the flight, you may lose a day of productivity and connectivity.
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