Booking Flights

28 April 2019

Like marmite, flying divides people into those that love it, and those that don’t. Being in the former camp, choosing flights was a simple process having already been away a number of times over the last 12 months.

Here’s how I picked my flights.

Luckily getting to any of the major London airports isn’t too much of a big deal for me. I live in Norwich, Norfolk and Stansted is only an hour and 50 minutes, whilst Gatwick (the furthest) is a little more than two hours and a half drive. Whilst almost three hours driving to an airport is excessive for some, living ‘in the sticks’ and only doing the trip a few times a year, I don’t mind the journey providing the roads are clear. As a result, picking flights to California was fairly painless.

I utilised all of the major flight comparison sites, including SkyScanner, Google Flights and Expedia. However to my surprise none of the comparison sites offered a better deal than going direct to either British Airways or Iberia.

I settled with British Airways who offered a connecting flight via LAX and a direct return for £690 including 23kg of luggage (a bargain if you consider each mile flown only costs £0.06p). Iberia was a little cheaper, however it presented its costs as Euros, and even with the exchange rate bringing in the total a little cheaper than BA, I was worried my credit card would add some sort of hidden exchange rate fees.

One thing to note however is that whilst searching for flights, if you see a good deal, don’t delay and book it immediately. I had originally spotted a direct flight from Heathrow to San Jose, however being the ‘deal hunter’ I decided to keep looking for better flights. Unfortunately I had pushed my luck a little too much and by the time I realised what a steal this direct flight would have been, the seats at that cost were sold out (likely by another UK base WWDC attendee who had just found out they’re attending). Next time I’ll go with my gut and buy the flights that feel right rather than trying to save a few pounds.

Flying from Heathrow, I depart the UK at 11:40am on Saturday, and eventually arrive in San Jose at 18:00 local time (the west coast is 8 hours behind GMT). It’s going to be a long boring day in the sky but equipped with offline-Netflix: I’m sure I’ll be fine.

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