Guide to Finding the Cheapest Flights for London and UK Travelers

If you live in the United Kingdom, this guide is for you. Find out how to get the best airfare deals from London, Manchester, Edinburgh and beyond. See the video below.

LISTEN: FareCompare’s airfare expert Rick Seaney helps you find the best deals from the United Kingdom.

Finding the Cheapest Flights from the UK

A good, overall rule to find the cheapest flights to any destination is to be flexible. Another way to put it is fly when most don’t want to fly.

  • When to Fly

Cheapest days of the week: Typically these are midweek days, often Tuesdays and Wednesday – and sometimes, Saturdays.

Cheapest seasons of the year: Few surprises here but note that the start/end dates for seasons can vary by destination and airline.

  • Winter – cheapest: Starts mid to late October, ends in mid to late March
  • Fall – next cheapest: Starts mid to late August, ends mid to late October
  • Spring – slightly more expensive than fall:  Starts mid to late March, ends late May to early June
  • Summer – most expensive: Starts late May to early June, ends mid to late August

Summer months are typically the most expensive times to fly in the UK and much of the rest of the world as well. Perhaps the very cheapest time of year to fly is in January after the New Year’s holiday crowds have returned home.

  • How to Shop

Don’t buy tickets too early or too late: Purchase your flights at least 30 days before departure and for peak season flights in summer and popular holidays, consider making purchases six weeks in advance. Don’t buy too early, either: About five months in advance is the maximum lead-time for most airline ticket purchases.

Compare prices: It’s rare that one airline always has the lowest price so visit a fare comparison site. Compare airline prices and compare prices from different airports because some may offer cheaper fares than others. London, for example, has a wealth of airports and you need to know which ones to look at.

  • London City (LCY): Near the city’s financial centers, the airport offers flights throughout Europe and New York City.
  • London Gatwick (LGW): This British Airways and EasyJet hub features a wide range of airlines and charter with flights throughout Europe plus and smattering of routes to Asia and the U.S. [the latter beginning in summer 2014].
  • London Heathrow (LHR): One of the busiest airports in the world offers service on global carriers of six continents, flying to Europe and most of the world.
  • London Luton (LTN): This airport is a base for no-frills airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair and offers flights throughout Europe.
  • London Southend (SEN): Located in Essex, EasyJet has a base here and Aer Lingus Regional offers flights to Dublin
  • London Stansted (STN): Another large base for Ryanair and other low cost airlines with flights throughout Europe.

Other sizeable UK airports include Manchester (MAN), Edinburgh (EDI), Birmingham (BHX), Glasgow (GLA), Bristol (BRS), Newcastle (NCL), East Midlands (EMA), Liverpool (LPL), Belfast (BFS) – and you can find more here.

  • Where to Go

Destination suggestion: For getaways where you have no particular place in mind, look for hub-to-hub or base-to-base routes with numerous flights per day for generally “good value” flight deals.

  • Click the city name to search for flights from your departure point.

Popular destinations, close by:

 

Amsterdam Hamburg
Athens Malaga
Barcelona Malta
Dublin Paris
Edinburgh Rome
Florence Venice

 

Popular destinations, farther away:

 

Abu Dhabi Los Angeles
Bermuda Miami
Cancun New York City
Chicago Vancouver

 

Exotic destinations:

 

Bali Istanbul
Bangkok Manila
Dubai Sydney
Fiji Tehran 

VIDEO: Tips to find the best flights from London or anywhere in the U.K.

Author:

Updated: November 13, 2014