Travelling to London by Plane – is it worth it?


When considering a business trip to London there are often only 2 main transport options considered, train or car.  However there is one other mode of travel which is often overlooked, flying.  Interestingly, a quick online price comparison based on travelling from Leeds to London (neither plane nor train tickets were based on advanced fares) gave the following results:

  • By train the cost was approximately £100 return, with a total journey time of 4 hours 30 minutes.
  • The cost by plane was approximately £140 return with a total journey time of around 2 hours.
  • To drive the mileage is approximately 400 miles which would cost between £40 and £60 in fuel depending on the efficiency of the vehicle.
  • Congestion charge is £10/day and total travelling time would be around 7 hours (longer in traffic).

It can be seen above that there is actually very little difference in the cost of all three modes of transport.  The choice as to whether to fly or go by train or car will depend entirely on individual circumstances.  If there is an early morning meeting, an option would be to fly in the morning as this will be a shorter travelling time.  Alternatively the journey could be driven the night before and the difference in the air fare and the petrol cost could be used for a stay and dine package in Paddington.  This would allow time for a shower and hearty breakfast before attending the meeting.

There is no right or wrong way to travel.  The best advice is to analyse the needs of the trip and select the best options based on this, rather than for example simply getting the train because that is the most commonly used form of transport.

You should also take into consideration personal preference.  The main objective for most business travellers is to arrive at any meeting fresh, well rested and prepared.  Rushing around to save a few pounds will not seem worth it if the meeting is a failure and so the best way to save both time and money, and to ensure a stress free trip, however you choose to travel, is to book tickets well in advance and to make use of any deals or offers that can be found.