Planes, trains and automobiles…so ran the Steve Martin comedy but don’t try getting to Vegas by train. Yes, a railway line runs straight through it but there’s no station or terminal, Amtrak or other, it’s strictly goods only. Sure you can drive (see Driving to Vegas) but this post is all about the flight from the UK.
I first travelled to Vegas in 2000, I stupidly let a friend book the trip and we flew into Los Angeles, rented a car and drove the rest of the way. Firstly, you fly pretty much over Vegas to get to LA and I for one don’t like overflying my destination only to come back on myself again. Second, getting Eastwards out of LA by car is usually awful and, third, why not fly direct when you can and for roughly the same price?
Once upon a time you could only fly direct from the UK to Vegas by Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick. Then, in 2003, along came Maxjet and for four glorious years you could fly business class only from Stansted. That business model didn’t work and in 2007 Maxjet went bust. Fortunately British Airways saw how well Virgin was doing from its effective route monopoly and decided to join the party. Now we’re spoiled for choice.
Virgin still flies direct to Vegas from Gatwick. It added a direct flight from Manchester and has even tried a direct scheduled service from Glasgow. I recently asked Virgin whether they have plans to extend the Glasgow service but they say they have ‘no knowledge of’ plans to do so at present.
BA flies direct from both London Heathrow and Gatwick.
There are a myriad of other ways of flying to Vegas from London which involve stops and transfers via Chicago, Charlotte, Orlando, Dallas and many other US hubs but the fare is usually higher than flying direct so why would you?
You can choose Virgin or BA so please follow the link to whichever you prefer (or both if you have no view) and I’ll tell you lots more which should help you choose. Given recent developments – Virgin Atlantic at it again! I would avoid Virgin for the time being. The cost is likely to be similar whichever you choose because both companies operate remarkably similar pricing structures with the exception of BA First Class which has no equivalent at Virgin. Virgin Upper Class is similar to BA Club / Business.