Cambridge, MA to Bournemouth, Dorset is a minimum of an eleven hour journey. This takes into account getting to Boston Airport (1hr), waiting 2hrs at the airport, flying across the Atlantic (5hrs+), ‘doing’ Heathrow (1hr) and driving to Bournemouth (2hrs). That doesn’t count the two hours for someone to also drive to Heathrow to collect us. So, let’s call it at least thirteen effort-hours.
On my most recent trip I decided to do an experiment. Instead of flying to Heathrow, I’d fly to Bournemouth. I’d heard Aer Lingus had started a connecting service between New York JFK and Bournemouth, through Dublin, so I booked it (‘only’ $1000!). As it turned out, I could’ve booked Boston to Bournemouth with Aer Lingus (with a several hour wait in Dublin), but never mind.
So as to not outlay too much cash I decided I would get the Greyhound bus from Boston to New York ($25) then get the subway from Manhattan to JFK ($7.50). So, on the appointed date we left home at 10.30am and the clock started ticking.
We got the Red Line to South Station Bus Station and waited around for about 45 minutes at the Greyhound gate. The bus left on time at 12pm. However, if didn’t arrive on time, getting in at about 5.30pm (>1hr late) to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I jumped on the subway to Rockaway, but because I caught the express I had to change at Euclid Avenue station. I then got the airport train to Terminal 5, walking in the doors at about 7pm. Time elapsed: 8.5hrs.
The flight was on time and we departed at 9.15pm on a lovely, new, full-service flight. I slept. We landed at Dublin on time at about 9am, and I raced to the front of the mass of people heading for the transfer point. The Dublin-Bournemouth flight was also on time departing (10.10am), and actually arrived early to Bournemouth at 11.20am. I walked in the front door of my parent’s house at 11.45am (6.45am Boston time).
Total journey time: 20hr 15 min. Not brilliant!
And Back Again
Coming ‘home’ to Cambridge, MA was a slightly different story. We left the house, again at about 10.30am, and waited in basically no queue at all. We took off on time at 12.10pm and at about 1pm (I think) we landed in Dublin. I was the only transfer from Bournemouth which made the queues short! I cleared US Customs and Immigration in advance and we pushed back from the gate again at 3.30pm, bound for New York.
We landed at JFK at 6.10pm and after a very simple non-transit transit my Jet Blue flight pushed back at 8.15pm. I’d decided to get a flight ($150) because I knew I really wouldn’t feel like going on the subway/bus/train in the late evening, plus I wanted to be home before midnight.
So a brief flight later and we landed in Boston at 9.15pm. Since the queue for taxis at Logan was approximately a million people long I jumped on the Silver Line then the Red Line then walked the last bit and was home at 10pm (3am UK time).
Time elapsed: 16hr 30 min. Still not brilliant but better than the other leg.
According to Aer Lingus the journey Boston-Dublin-Bournemouth is about 10hrs gate to gate, plus 3hrs on the Boston side, and 30mins on the Bournemouth side for a total of 13.5hrs, basically the same as going via Heathrow…. So I guess next time I’ll be going with whichever’s the cheapest…