Travelling from London, UK to Montana
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Aug 28, 2012 6:57 PM Last Post By: carracar
Aug 28, 2012 4:34 AM
Looking at staying in a working ranch near Helena (can also fly to Great Falls). I'm trying to do a bit of research, and all I've found so far is that I can fly from London to Billings (with either one stop at Minneapolis, or two stops), and then the best options seems to be to drive to the ranch (approx 4 hours), as a flight from Billings to Helena will include a stop to Denver (8hours).
I just want to check that this is correct, or if there are better options.
Thanks in advance
Aug 28, 2012 4:52 AM
Aug 28, 2012 7:21 AM
Aug 28, 2012 7:37 AM
3Why fly to billings at all? Why not just fly to Denver (a hub airport) and then connect to Helena. Was there a reason to fly to billings?
Aug 28, 2012 7:38 AM
4I don't know what you consider "close." In Montana, I'm sure "close" has a different meaning than it does in UK.
A quick search on Google for scheduled airlines serving Helena MT provided this list. You can reach Helena from Denver, Minneapolis, or Salt Lake City International Airports. Those three airports should not be hard to reach from UK. You may need to change carriers, I know it's a hassle, to reach Helena but sitting in an airport for 8 hours is a hassle too.
Simply find the flight with the fewest stops, shortest layovers, and lowest cost. You seem to have already done most of this.
I'm certain that you will still have to rent a car and drive for a while to reach your dude ranch. That definition of “close” again.
There are enough options in air service to Helena MT that there is no "correct" way to do it. I'd take the opportunity to drive to Helena from Denver or Salt Lake City if it were I. You will see some beautiful country on the way.
Enjoy your visit.
Aug 28, 2012 8:35 AM
5Thanks for the great advice and suggestions.
So far I can only find a flight to Montana and that's from London to Billings. It did cross my mind to fly to Seattle - although I would want to stay there for a few nights if it's worth it.
Thanks Aruv for suggesting Denver > Helena, basically from London the only stop is Billings, then there's a flight from Billings > Denver > Helena which seems pointless as it's quicker to drive (that's if we don't get lost!).
zeldasdad - the Minneapolis > Helena would make sense, and hopefully will be a cheaper option. It did cross my mind to hire a car, just need to look at the logistics and costs.
Definitely not one of the cheapest places to travel to from the uk, and I'm from Wales so need to get to London also!
Aug 28, 2012 9:58 AM
Aug 28, 2012 10:01 AM
Aug 28, 2012 10:19 AM
8I dont know why your are saying London to Billings? This depends on what airlines you fly to US and their alliances might put you in Billings and not Helena.
The cheapest and most frequent flights are from London are to Chicago/NYC. From Chicago you can not fly to Helena direct, you would need to fly to a large regional airport, Denver, Salt Lake City are the most popular. From Denver or Salt Lake, you can get a flight to Helena
The flight choices will depend on what airline alliances are with your inbound flight to the US on a search. But from Denver or Salt Lake to Helena or Billings, for a non stop, will be at least $400. These are small regional jets on this route as well, and is about 48 seats per plane.
From Minneapolis, a non stop is $600.
You can fly from Denver or SLC with a connection, though its a long out of the way flight.
You can fly from Chicago to Denver as low as $75 on Southwest, though its not Ohare, its from Midway, there is a shuttle between them, allow 1.5 hours minimum to connect via shuttle.
Aug 28, 2012 10:20 AM
9Hi ref_traveller, yep been looking at other places, I was initially looking at flights direct to Montana, but stopping off at other cities seems to be the better options anyway (price and shorter flight times)
Aug 28, 2012 10:21 AM
10British Airways flies nonstop from London to Seattle and Denver. (And also to Vancouver and Calgary, but getting to Montana from Canada is more problematic.)
BA's partner Alaska Airlines flies directly to Missoula, Helena, and Great Falls from Seattle. (Helena is served by the same plane that stops initially at Great Falls.) By comparison, service from Denver to those cities is somewhat less frequent, and Denver-Helena seems very expensive for some reason.
When is your trip?
Aug 28, 2012 10:25 AM
11Thanks for the info SoloHobo!
gardyloo2 - was looking at either April or June/July next year. There is a company in the uk that I can book the ranch with and they are able to arrange the flights for an additional fee, but I'm a control freak so would like some idea if it will be cheaper if I organise the flights myself (usually it is!), but they do have deals with the airlines.
Aug 28, 2012 10:51 AM
12April in that part of Montana can easily be more a winter holiday than a summer one. Be sure you're aware of the altitude of the ranch - there's a lot of high country thereabouts. Of course April can also be great from a ranching/livestock etc. point of view.
Watch out for airline "deals" arranged by tour companies. Often they use "consolidator" fares that are very difficult to work with in the event something comes up that leads to plan changes.
I would certainly also try to leverage a visit to Yellowstone National Park out of the same trip (again, arguing more for June/July than April.) It would be a shame to be that close and miss it.
Aug 28, 2012 11:07 AM
Aug 28, 2012 12:47 PM
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