United States

A Comparison of Direct Flights from London to Los Angeles

by Richard Gilbert Cross  |  Published September 13, 2023

With an average direct flight time of 11 hours and 15 minutes and prices as low as £402, it’s possible to travel between San Francisco and London quickly and affordably. 

LAX Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world (Photo: Unsplash)

There are currently 13 direct flights running between London and Los Angeles daily. Most flights depart from London Heathrow Airport (LHR), with one departing from London Gatwick (LGW), and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The cheapest month to travel is in October. The most expensive time to fly is in July. If you’re considering a trip to the City of Angels, we’ve researched all direct flights between London and Los Angeles, analysing flight prices, departure times, onboard facilities and value for money. 

American Airlines

American Airlines offers three daily direct flights to Los Angeles. The flights are evenly spaced out, with the earliest departing at 11.15 a.m., allowing you plenty of space before arriving in LA at 2.35 p.m. The lowest return flight we found online is £448, making it a very affordable option. However, it will push the price up if you’re looking to add a second checked bag. The onboard in-flight entertainment (IFE) system is modern with a great selection of entertainment. American also has a codeshare with British Airways, which means you can book a flight with American but still depart from the impressive Terminal 5 building on a British Airways plane. 

British Airways

British Airways offers the earliest flight from London to Los Angeles, departing at 09:45 and arriving at 13:00 local time in Los Angeles. The latest flight is 3.45 pm, even on the weekend. Flights begin from £462 if you’re looking to holiday in April and May, which is almost as inexpensive as American. However, prices can reach around the £1,000 mark in the summer. If you feel it’s worth it, British Airways is the only Skytrax 4-star-certified airline operating a direct flight from London to LAX. There is no First Class option on this route. However, you can fly Economy Basic, Economy Standard, Premium Economy or Business. BA offers excellent special meal options for religious preferences, including Halal, Kosher and Hindu, as well as many dietary preferences such as low-calorie or low-fat options. 

United Airlines

United Airlines is a good option for light travellers (Photo: United Airlines)

United currently offers two flights from London to LAX daily, with prices similar to British Airways. A ticket includes a complimentary three-course meal and refreshments including hot and cold drinks, beer and wine. There is a fee for spirits and liqueurs. If you’re travelling light, Economy Basic may be the best option for you, though you should note that Economy Basic does not include group/family seating or one free checked bag as standard. Adding your first bag will cost £60, which can offset the cheap ticket. United Private Screening allows on-demand streaming and Vevo-curated playlists, with free Wi-Fi for T-Mobile customers. United flights from London to LAX depart from Heathrow’s highly-rated Terminal 2, awarded 4.5 stars from 5 by Skytrax. 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic offers three flights daily from London Heathrow to LAX. The flights are evenly spaced out, departing Heathrow at 10.40 am, 12.45 am and 5.30 pm. Those who enjoy extra luxury can choose from Premium Economy or Upper Class, which serves as their Business Class option. There are three Economy options in total: Light, Classic or Delight. The Light option includes just one item of hand luggage with one checked bag for Classic and Delight. The Economy Delight also allows extra legroom. Any passenger with specific food requirements are given a diverse range of choice from a low-sodium meal to a diabetic meal. If you’d like to use the internet onboard, a WiFi pass is available for the full flight for £20.99. At around £1.80 per hour for this journey, it’s a great option. 

Delta Air Lines

Delta Airlines offers one daily flight (Photo: Delta Airlines)

Delta returned to the London to LAX route in March 2023 after an eight-year absence. Currently, they have one daily flight, leaving Heathrow at 4.20 pm and arriving at LAX at 8.15 pm. Pricing for this route is by far the most consistent of all the airlines. The cost of a return flight in economy for the majority of the year lies between the £450 and £500 mark, rarely surpassing £700. This particular flight is also by far the most carbon efficient with 399 kg CO2 of emissions released during the whole flight. All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary, with free Starbucks coffee onboard too.


Norse are new to the London to Los Angeles route, having launched the first-ever Gatwick to LAX route in July 2023. Norse does offer the cheapest flight price (£402), but only if you’re travelling light and don’t have plans to eat onboard. Adding a 23kg checked bag to each flight will cost £120 in total. The main and light meal you get for free with other flight carriers will add £40 to your journey each way. This is not a good option for those who like a bit of luxury. Norse only offers Economy and Premium tickets. Unlike British Airways, religious preferences are not covered in the pre-flight special food selection. However, some dietary requirements are catered for, with options including vegan, gluten-free and diabetic.