Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wings to Manchester

I've been keeping my eye on air fares for my September trip to England. I wanted to wait a bit, hoping that the fares would drop - but as gasoline prices have been jumping higher and higher I figured it might be time to commit to a flight.

I didn't consider many of the flights that are available; I refuse to head west over North America to fly east to Europe. Oh, and I only wanted one flight change. There are no non-stop flights between here and Manchester, but there are 2-flight options. With those two strong requirements I headed off to search for flights. The last time I looked it appeared that I would either be taking American Airlines through New York, or British Airways through London. All of the other flights headed in the wrong direction before crossing the Atlantic.

OK, one more search... and I found another option, an option for less money. Continental Airlines flies to Manchester via Newark. I started looking at flight schedules and found some flights. The outbound flight had a 1 1/4 hour connection in Newark. At first that seemed fine to me, but then I saw a clickable "see on-time performance". Yup, I did click, and I found that the flight I was looking at had a 20% on-time performance. Ouch. That didn't make me very comfortable. I even went so far as to call the airline to talk to a reservation agent. She assured me that it was a legal connection, but suggested taking an earlier flight into Newark if the lack of connection time made me nervous. I had her check the flights for today & yesterday. Today's flight was only 15 minutes late, but yesterday's? Five hours late! Yikes!

Then I realized there was a flight that leaves Boston a little over an hour earlier. Yes, I may have too much time in Newark, but that means less worrying for me.

Done! I have plane reservations and a rental car. All I need to do now is decide where I'm going to spend the four days before my photography seminar. Should I spend the entire time in the Lake District, or should I wander into one of the other national parks in the area?