Re aircraft, even if you went from LHR there’s no guarantee your particular flight is going to be an A350. I’ll let others comment which of the JFK flights are more “certain” if flying on the A350 is important to you, but VS are well within their rights to change aircraft type for whatever reason and an on-the-day farce could see a last-minute substitution.
With MAN CH, who knows really? The reviews on here about 1903 seem positive enough.
With the drive home, I also live not far from Liverpool and did it back in June. It helped we got into LHR late-morning and had an 8hr or so flight from Barbados, so had the opportunity to get some sort of sleep. From New York, it’s only 6-7hrs or less if you get a decent tailwind. Depending what time you arrive into LHR, you could well still be on NYC time and wanting bed which isn’t advisable with a 3-4hr drive ahead of you. Might work if you split the driving and there’s plenty of services along the M40/M42/M6.
You could of course get the BA shuttle, but that would mean having to go to/from T5 and checking in again, and if one of those flights is delayed and you miss your flight by having to self-connect at LHR you’re stuffed.
mitchja wrote:Welcome to V:Flyer
As another fellow northerner, another vote for LHR for the same reasons as above plus the now unpredictable schedules from MAN.
I don't fly VS from MAN now unless I've really got to due to poor airport handling / poor lounge facilities. Earlier this year when I arrived into MAN from JFK with VS we still got a remote stand / busses which is utterly ridiculous considering the new extended T2 is fully open now.
LHR doesn’t guarantee you’ll avoid remote stands as we went on to one back in June. It depends what aircraft are on the ground at the time. With MAN T2, I believe Jet2 have now fully moved there instead of splitting ops with T1, but I don’t know whether that’s a winter thing or permanent.
At the moment for me, the sole reason why I’m increasingly finding it difficult to recommend VS from MAN at the time is, as you say, the changeable schedules. This needs to change and I hope there’s a real effort to settle things down soon. All that said, I stand by a comment I made some time ago that I wouldn’t go out of my way to go via LHR regularly unless it’s Upper or it’s to fly somewhere that I can’t get to from MAN or LPL and options locally will get first preference as far as possible.