Cheap Flights from Chicago to London
Flight information Chicago to London
Cheapest roundtrip price last month
Flights per week
Average flight time, total distance 3969 miles
Most popular airline last month
London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted and London Luton
The flight route from Chicago to London connects the busiest airport in the US with the busiest in the United Kingdom. Whether you’re leaving the soaring lakefront skyline of Chicago for business or pleasure, these travel guidelines will help make sure you know all flight options available, and are well prepared to arrive in London fresh and ready to take in the rich history and vibrant diversity of Britain’s sprawling capital.
Airline and Airport options
While Chicago and London both have multiple airports, if you want to fly direct, your option is to fly from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow. Direct flights are offered by British Airways, United and American Airlines. From June to October, you also have the option of flying with the Finnish airline Finnair, which offers seasonal flights from Chicago to London. Flight times for a direct flight are just over 7 and a half hours, and most airlines include complimentary meals and drinks in the price of your service, though it’s always worth it to check ahead with your airline, especially if you have special dietary needs.
If you don’t mind a stopover on the way, indirect flights with one or more connections are offered by a large range of US and international airlines including Delta and its partners, Emirates, Malaysia airlines, SAS and many more. In that case, you can fly out of either Chicago O’Hare or Midway. While Heathrow tends to be the typical destination for arriving international flights, keep in mind that the greater London city area is serviced by five airports besides Heathrow: Gatwick, Stansted, London City, London Luton, and Southend.
All the London city airports are well connected to the city centrenby public transport. The Tube (London’s underground metro system) will connect you from Heathrow Airport to all major destinations in central Londonr, and DLR overground trains connect from London City Airport. Mainline trains also connect to Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted or you can take the National Express bus for a cheaper option. If you’re planning on taking the convenient public transport while in London, the best option is to get an Oyster card, which can be purchased online or at most major train and tube stations. This will give you the best rate for your fares, and no matter how many journeys you take, you’ll never pay more than the price of a day ticket.
What to Expect – Time Zone and Climate
London is in the Greenwich Mean Time Zone, putting it 6 hours ahead of Chicago. If you’re travelling right around the weeks when daylight savings time begins or ends, be aware that the UK changes their clocks a week in advance of the US.
While Chicago’s proximity to Lake Michigan has perhaps contributed to its reputation as the “Windy City”, London too has its own micro-climate, but you’ll be happy to know that London’s location brings it some of the most pleasant weather in all of the UK, with temperatures on average 5 degrees higher than in surrounding areas. This means that not only are winters typically mild, but, unlike many other parts of Britain, London often experiences warm and even hot temperatures for long stretches over summer. Average highs in July and August are in the low- to mid- 70s, but heat waves into the 80s are not uncommon. In the coldest months, from December through February, highs average from 46-47 °F, and lows rarely drop below freezing, with snow only occurring on occasion. Despite its reputation for rainy weather, London is not actually that dreary, and has less rainfall than either Rome, Italy, or Sydney, Australia. However, rainfall is spread out more evenly throughout the year, so you might want to bring a water resistant coat or a “brolly” (umbrella). The main thing to keep in mind is that British weather is inconsistent, so a week of summer weather might be followed by two of cooler temperatures, rather than the distinct transition from season to season typical in the American Midwest.
Entering the UK
You will need to show your passport to travel internationally, and will go through customs and immigrations when you cross into the UK. If you’re on a non-direct flight with a layover in Europe, please be aware that you will have to go through border control at your first point of entry into Europe as well, so do leave yourself plenty of time during your layover. While the UK is a part of the European Union, it is not part of the Schengen agreement, which allows free travel between many countries in continental Europe, therefore even if you get your passport stamped somewhere else in Europe first, you will still have to go through immigrations when you enter the UK. When you do this, you’ll be asked to fill out a landing card with information on where you are staying within Britain, so it is good to make sure you know the address of your final UK destination. US citizens do not need a visa to stay in the UK for 90 days or less. For more information please see the official UK Visas and Immigration website.
Cost and Currency
The currency in London, like the rest of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is Pounds Sterling (GBP, £) which tends to be consistently quite a bit stronger than the US dollar or Euro. The cost of living is famously high in London, however, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find an affordable bite to eat or way to pass your day. If you know where to look, the price of food and drinks is often roughly comparable to that in the US, and food in chain restaurants and grocery stores costs the same in London as in the rest of the UK. Tipping in the UK is not mandatory, particularly at cafés, however it’s still traditional to tip if you’re sitting down for a restaurant meal – the main difference is that all waiting staff are paid a normal wage, so tips are genuinely an extra bonus.
If you’re looking for things to do, most of the museums in the city have free entry, so you can explore the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum, stroll through treasures of Western art in the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, or investigate the wonders of the world around you in the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Wellcome Collection, and British Library, among many others.
The of transportation varies depending on where you want to go, and when you travel. For public transportation, London is divided into travel zones, and tickets within the same zone are cheaper. For example, a trip from Heathrow Airport to King’s Cross station in central London costs £5.10 in peak travel times (Monday-Friday, 6:30-9:30am) and £3.10 the rest of the time if you purchase an Oyster card. When paid in cash, the ticket costs £6. Tickets within the same zone cost £2.30 with an Oyster card, and £4.80 without. A 5 mile taxi ride during business hours averages £15.
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.