First the mad scurry to get to the Champions League in Madrid and now both Chelsea and Arsenal have made it to the final in Baku on Wednesday 29th May 2019. Cue airfare meltdown.
Unfortunately, Baku isn’t going to be quite as easy as my deep dive into cheap ways to get to Spain. But let’s see what we can do here, pals.
Before I crack on, if you find that this helps you at all, feel free to help a gal out by giving me a follow on either YouTube, Instagram or Twitter and I promise even more top money saving tips when it comes to your future travel.
In this post, I’ll be exploring the following. Either scroll through or click on which bit applies to you:
- Where is Baku and will I need a visa?
- Direct flights from London from £604
- Cheapest 1+ stop flights from the UK from £451
- Fly from just £289 one way by DOING IT YOURSELF
First Things First
Where the bloody hell is Baku? And WILL I NEED A visa?
Baku is ‘the capital and commercial hub’ of Azerbaijan. A place I literally only know of due to their yearly inclusion in the Eurovision. But if they’re in Eurovision, surely we can all jump in our cars and embark on an epic road trip, right?
I mean, if driving 60 hours is your kinda ‘thing’, then go for it pal. But just remember that you’ll need to get an eVisa sorted for scurrying through Turkey.
Speaking of visas, you will need an eVisa to get into Azerbaijan but fortunately, it’s a simple process that you can do over the internet that will set you back around £20. Make sure to select ‘Europa League Final’ in the ‘purpose of visit’ and give yourself at least three working days to get it sorted.
On to the flights…
DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM LONDON TO BAKU
This section should otherwise be named, ‘let’s all have a big laugh, shall we?’
Direct flights are as good as gone, unless you fancy a 12 day trip to Baku for £609 instead:
Seems a bit of a hassle.
The next best thing I could find was this weeklong schlep with one direct flight for a cool £764.
It is worth saying that airlines are obviously aware of the demand and so may put extra planes on. Sure, they’ll hike up the prices, but if you really need get there and back in a sharpish manner, it may be worth keeping an eye on Azerbaijan Airlines.
CHEAPEST 1+ STOP FLIGHTS FROM LONDON
Remember – if you’re not flying direct, you may have to re-check your bag and even go through security again so make sure there’s enough time. My top tip would be to not check in any bags at all to make this as simple as possible for you.
Tues 28th May – Thurs 30th May
Let’s pause for a moment here to rinse our eyes out with bleach.
£1566 for a NOT EVEN DIRECT FLIGHT to Baku? Get a grip, love.
Unfortunately, these really are the cheapest flights you’re going to find that don’t involve 15+ hours with multiple transfer. But, because we don’t have many options here, let’s take a look at these too:
TOP TIP: when searching for a flight that needs to get me into somewhere for a certain time, I always search on Momondo as they allow you to filter by landing time.
Weds 29th May – Fri 31st May
With the game kicking off at 11pm Azerbaijan time (thanks to @Mattswfc1 for pointing this out on Twitter 🙈) the following flight might just work… But it would be tight!
Tues 28th May – Fri 31st May
One stop only is still a sickening mess at £1463:
Whack in a few more stops and you only need pay £704! WHAT A BARGAIN! (Please sense my intense sarcasm).
Tues 28th May – Sat 1st June
One stop from £1276:
Two stops from £695:
Can you tell I’m getting bored of the repetitive high prices yet? Okay, what’s it going to take to find a sub £500 ticket? WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?!
Mon 27th May – Mon 3rd June
A week off and a change in Stuttgart, Ankara and Riga, that’s what!
And what about for a sub 10 hour leg and a sub £500 ticket?
Sun 26th May – Tues 4th June
Yeah. I couldn’t actually find one in the timeframe/lost the will to live. FFS BAKU!
Right, let’s try doing it ourselves instead.
HOW TO FIND YOUR OWN CONNECTING FLIGHTS FOR LESS
Search engines like Skyscanner and Momondo are good, but they can’t always show you every single possible connection. So this is a little trick may be useful now, and worth holding onto for the future too.
To do this:
- Open a new browsing tab – we’re going to call this tab one – and go to Skyscanner and in ‘From’ type in your departure airport
- Next, in ‘To’, write ‘Everywhere’
- Select the date you’d like travel on
- This will bring up a list of countries in price order – leave this open
- In a new tab – this will be referred to as tab two – again, go to Skyscanner but this time, write ‘Baku’ underneath the ‘To’ box
- In the ‘From’, you’re going to look back at that list of cheap countries in tab one
- For a European city (I used this tactic to find super cheap flights for the Champions League final in Madrid), I’d usually go through the list one by one but for Baku, we know that not many places are going to fly there. So whilst we may find a cheaper fare from these places listed (and therefore they may be worth checking) it’s likely that they’re going to be pretty gnarly flights.
- Therefore, I’m going to now head over to the Baku arrivals page to see where may be a good place to invest my efforts.
- Straightaway I’m getting Turkish vibes so I scroll through the list of cheap countries listed to me in tab one and find direct flights from London to Turkey for £53 on Tuesday 28th May
- Next, I head back to tab two and enter ‘Turkey as my departure country to Baku and hit search
- Unfortunately Antalya’s one flight is really early in the morning but there are a few viable options for Istanbul, so I head back to tab one and see what’s available from London to Istanbul on Tues 28th May:
- Now, there are cheaper flights with Pegasus but these fly into Istanbul SAW airport which is the other side of the city. HOWEVER – I have actually had to travel between SAW and IST airports in rush hour before and it took around 1 hour 45 minutes and just £35 in a taxi using their app, Bitaksi – BUT, you would have to buy an eVisa for entering the country so I guess it all adds up!
- Heading back to tab two, I see if any of the flights from Istanbul to Baku work and they do!
THE BORING BUT IMPORTANT PART:
- As you are booking two flights separately, it will look like to Turkish Airlines that you are ending your journey in Istanbul and therefore they are well within their right to check that you have a Turkish eVisa before allowing you to board the flight. It may be that by showing them your next booked flight they accept that you do not need it, but PLEASE CHECK THIS WITH THEM DIRECTLY BEFOREHAND. It’s only $20 and is a quick process online, but check before you turn up to the airport.
- Secondly, whilst 2 hours and 25 minutes sounds like more than enough time to connect to your next flight, each airport has a different process and whilst you may not want to leave the airport, you may be obliged to go through immigration and re-check in to get onto your next flight so again CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINES!
Update: Joe who has family in Turkey has done us a solid and given his first hand experience of all of this!
- I would definitely recommend not checking in a bag so that you won’t have a reason to leave the airport!
If you can indeed stay in transit then that 9 hour trip for £289 is a pretty sweet deal (and just £306 for a longer, but much less risky journey) – especially when you look at the one way options that Skyscanner offer up. That’s a saving over over £661.
Now, you just need to do the same trick for the flight back and believe me, finding it and knowing you’ve saved hundreds of pounds is half the fun!!
I hope this has helped you find a flight that works for both your budget and your schedule. If you end up booking something, let me know so I can holiday vicariously through you!
And if you’ve found this useful, give me a follow over on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for even more cheap travel tips.
I have used affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies – and make me feel better about spending my Saturday morning in bed researching this!! For total transparency though, I’ll have you know my post about the Champions League directed thousands of clicks to sites and I made £6 from it. SIX POUNDS. And that bad boy took me 8 hours to write up 🤣🤣🤣