These days it’s possible to get flights around the UK and Europe very cheaply. There is an airport in Cardiff
and also Bristol
, although the cheapest flights often fly from London Stansted
Several budget airlines operate out of the UK and some of these airlines are listed below, though not all travel from all airports in the UK and you must take a look at each one to see where they fly to and from. It is worth subscribing to the mailing list of low cost airlines, as they will then email you with any special offers and events, some of which only last one or two days.
When booking your flights you must be aware that even though sometimes offers say that flights are very cheap (sometimes even 1p) there is an extra charge for airline taxes which is normally between £15-£25 to be added to each flight. Even so, if you look around and are lucky, it is still possible to sometimes get return flights for less than £40.
You should also note that the best deals are found online and you will be expected to pay for your flights immediately with a credit or debit card. Though you can book over the telephone, you will still have to pay using a card (and it may be a premium rate number so be careful to check). If you plan on doing a lot of travelling and your bank or building society has not provided you with a debit card, you might like to think about asking them if they have a different account that offers that facility or changing your bank to one that does. Otherwise, you need to ask a friend or relative to give you their card details. If it is not possible for you to pay by debit or credit card, then you must visit a travel agent who will make the booking for you. There are several agents to be found in Cardiff or Pontypridd.Additional Luggage Charges
Some airlines also charge you for any luggage that you will not be carrying as hand baggage. It is better to organise this at the time of booking as you will have to pay a higher price. (For example: at the moment some airlines are charging £10-15 per suitcase at the time of booking and double the price at the airport).
If you do decide that you are going to travel from a UK airport, you will need to think about how you are going to get there and whether you will be able to arrive at a time convenient for your flight.Get to the airport by car
If you have a car then remember to always pre-book your parking if you can. It is more expensive to pay when you arrive. All airports have links to parking on their websites. You might like to try these sites as well, as they offer discounted airport parking:To Cardiff airport by public transport
If you do not have your own transport, the easiest way to travel to Cardiff airport is to get a bus from Cardiff central station. Cardiff Bus service X91 operates between Cardiff (Central Station) and Cardiff International Airport hourly on Monday to Saturday daytime and every two hours during the daytime on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. It costs around £6 for a single ticket. You can check the bus times by calling Traveline on 0870 608 2 608. If your flight from Cardiff is very late at night or early in the morning, you may have to get a taxi or ask a friend to drive you. There are now also hourly train connections from Cardiff and Trefforest to Rhoose (Cardiff International Airport). A shuttle bus operates between the railway station and the airport.To Bristol airport by public transport
Bristol Airport offers the Bristol International Flyer shuttle bus. It connects from Bristol Temple Meads train station and Bristol bus station to the airport. It takes 30minutes and you just pay on boarding. You can check the timetable via the Bristol airport website. Buses run infrequently through the night so make sure you check that there is a bus which fits in with your flights. It is very easy to get a bus or coach to Bristol, just ask at a station or check the times and fares online through Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 or http://www.nationalrail.co.uk
To other Airports by public transport
If you are travelling from other airports across the UK then it is best to check the individual airport websites for advice on travelling. National Express operates connecting coach services between Cardiff and most airports, so check their routes, times and prices
Cardiff is also on the Megabus network, with a coach service running between Cardiff and central London. Fares start from £1 each way and have a £1.50 booking fee, so check their website
for details of routes and fares and to make a booking. (You will need a debit card to book this service.)
From central London to the London airports
It is possible to catch a National Express connecting bus between London Central and the London airports. (check for current prices) You may prefer to travel by other means to central London and then connect to the airport from there.
Some travel agents sell National Express tickets so you don’t have book online (the nearest one to the University is in the Post Office, Mill Street, Pontypridd CF37 2SN) and they will give your ticket there and then.
When choosing your flights abroad, don’t forget to take into consideration the time and money you would need to travel to the airport. A flight from London might be £25 cheaper than one from Cardiff but it could cost you twice as much and a lot of time and effort to get there. A small amount of money saved on a flight is often not worth the difference in UK travel costs, so make sure you have a good idea of the total cost of travelling before booking anything.