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Old 06.01.2011, 13:27
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Commuting from UK?

does anyone work a full time just here and commute back for the weekends? is it a feasible idea in any way?
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Old 06.01.2011, 13:31
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I don't 'nor does anyone I know but a friend has been doing the w.e. commute for a few months now due to dealings with an elderly mother.

she leaves GE friday night around 5-6pm and is home in Tunbridge Wells about 8
she then reverses the commute to be at work monday morning.

not advisable over a long period of time according to her.
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Old 06.01.2011, 13:34
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Re: Commuting from UK?

We're only managing one weekend back to the uk a month - might be upping it to once overy 3 weeks now that easyjet flies direct to edinburgh. It all comes down to cost and time. the problem with the easyjet flights is that there isn't one on a sunday so need to take a day off work for travelling. If you're flying into London and have a choice of days/times that would make it easier. Also if you could manage to work from home on a Friday or Monday would make your weekends a bit more worthwhile.
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Old 06.01.2011, 13:36
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I know a few people who do it (every or near-every week-end in UK). It sounds difficult, but it depends on how you handle flights and how far away you live from the airports. If the $ is good, then why not to try.
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Old 06.01.2011, 13:47
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I've been going back to the UK almost every other weekend for a year now, leaving on a Friday afternoon coming back late Sunday/early Monday morning.

There are lots of flights at the moment because of the ski season, note after Arpil they reduce until ski season kicks back in.
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Old 06.01.2011, 13:55
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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I've been going back to the UK almost every other weekend for a year now, leaving on a Friday afternoon coming back late Sunday/early Monday morning.

There are lots of flights at the moment because of the ski season, note after Arpil they reduce until ski season kicks back in.
how do you find it? do you live near to airports in Uk etc?
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:07
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I have a friend who lives in London but has been working Monday to Friday in Brussels for a year and a half on what was supposed to be a 3-month consulting project. He seems to be coping fine, but I guess it depends on your circumstances and the reasons for going back and forth - if you value weekends in the UK highly enough to sacrifice the time and money on commuting, then why not? In his case it was an easier decision because his company paid for everything.

I've just moved to Zurich but I'm going part-time in my job in London and commuting back there 3 days per week. I think that should be a lot easier than a 5-day/2-day split, but I'm only planning to do it for a year or so. As a permanent arrangement I think it would seem a lot more daunting.
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:08
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I did it 1998-2002, and thoroughly enjoyed it, going home for the weekends was like letting go on holiday each time. After a while I started going back on Sunday afternoons as at that time only full days in the UK were counted with regards to paying UK tax. I believe that has changed.

However gradually you start staying the odd weekend, and then more...

For me it was easy though as I was a short 15 min taxi ride from London City Airport.
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:12
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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at that time only full days in the UK were counted with regards to paying UK tax. I believe that has changed.
Yes it has. Something to watch out for if you're trying to avoid being treated as UK resident.
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:36
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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how do you find it? do you live near to airports in Uk etc?
I'm lucky to be in Bern here and be able to choose to fly from either Zurich, Geneva or Basel. I live near Bristol which has a good link to Geneva via EasyJet.

A good site I to use for finding flights is www.kayak.co.uk as you can enter multiple airports to fly from and to to give the best options. Note that it doesn't include likes of Easyjet, nor will it show BA when they have a sale on.
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:43
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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I know a few people who do it (every or near-every week-end in UK). It sounds difficult, but it depends on how you handle flights and how far away you live from the airports. If the $ is good, then why not to try.
I agree with russiangeneva, particularly about the proximity of airports either side.

In the past, I commuted from London to Zurich every other weekend for about a year. Then I worked within very easy reach of London City Airport and my Zurich destination was a 10-15 minute drive max from Zurich Airport. I would fly out from LCA after work on a Friday evening and back to the UK mid to late Sunday afternoons or very early Monday morning.

It was pretty straightforward and non stressful most of the time.
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Old 06.01.2011, 14:57
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Re: Commuting from UK?

A friend of mine commutes back to Northern Ireland every weekend. He's been doing it for a good few years now, but I must say, I don't envy him at all.
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:01
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I agree that proximity to airports, both ends, is key here. For a year I was flying between Luxembourg/Switzerland and the UK every other weekend. As I was living in Richmond at the time, it was fine if I was flying into LHR, but if I got a cheapo flight to Luton it would take the best part of a day to get home!

The European bits of the journey, including the flight, were easy - it was having convoluted travel in the UK, due to engineering works etc etc on Sundays, that used to add so much time to the journey.

Good luck!
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:06
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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I agree that proximity to airports, both ends, is key here. For a year I was flying between Luxembourg/Switzerland and the UK every other weekend. As I was living in Richmond at the time, it was fine if I was flying into LHR, but if I got a cheapo flight to Luton it would take the best part of a day to get home!

The European bits of the journey, including the flight, were easy - it was having convoluted travel in the UK, due to engineering works etc etc on Sundays, that used to add so much time to the journey.

Good luck!

Agreed! Such is the case
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:27
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Re: Commuting from UK?

Hi,

I travel back to the UK three out of five weekends. I get an Easyjet flight from Geneva at around 6pm on the Friday and then fly back at a similar time from Luton on the Sunday. I really don’t mind it, my partner lives near Milton Keynes so it generally takes me around an hour once I get back to get a bus to hers. I normally arrive at her door at around 8.30pm, so still enough time to do stuff if we fancy it.

Plus Points:
  • Get to see my girlfriend most weekends
  • Get to spend my Swiss francs on cheap English goods/meals at a time when the rate is great
  • Get to do lots of reading or work on the plane and at the airport
  • A bit of time to yourself to unwind and think
  • The flights are cheap (£50 return if you book far in advance with no luggage)

Negatives:
  • Delays are going to happen, you cannot get stressed about it you just have to accept it is part of flying so often on a budget airline
  • You waste money at the airport on crap
  • You need a fairly understanding employer who doesn’t mind you leaving early on a Friday to get to the airport on time
  • You cant go skiing every weekend
  • You often end up having to talk to people who you really don’t want to talk to after a busy week
  • People always queue up super early for the flight – I think it is worth getting a priority pass thing, where you get to jump the line and be the first on the plane. This means you have space for your bag in the overhead compartment and get off the plane first
  • You are more likely to lose your passport and get stuck somewhere – I have learnt from my mistakes.

Overall it is not ideal, and I would obviously much prefer to stay in Switzerland most weekends. But if a situation arises which means you have to go home often then so be it, you just have to do it and make the most of it in whatever way possible.
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:27
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I have been toying with this idea so I'm interested in this thread. I only need to be in the office three days a week here so am thinking of flying into Geneva Wednesday and out Friday. The cost of a one bed flat new London city and a studio in Lausanne comes to the same as a two bed here. All my long haul flying is done through heathrow anyway so there are other advantages.

Baboo used to do a pre-paid ticket deal which looked ideal, but it seems to have stopped all service to London City. Swiss looks to be about £100 a week if booked ahead.

I am treated as a non-dom in the UK currently and I can't go back for more than 90 days as far as I am aware - although I work freelance there occasionally so have to pay NI. Have these tax laws changed?
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:33
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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I am treated as a non-dom in the UK currently and I can't go back for more than 90 days as far as I am aware - although I work freelance there occasionally so have to pay NI. Have these tax laws changed?
AFAIK (just did tax return for split treatment 09/10) the 90 days is still an absolute rule - exceed that and you are taxed - but HMRC can also now consider where the centre of your life is, e.g. if you have wife and kids living in the UK, or maintain a permanent home there, or frequency as well as duration of trips, or baically anything they think is relevent so they can catch and tax people who 'commute' abroad but still basically live in the UK. There is a fair bit of info on the HMRC website.
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Old 06.01.2011, 15:47
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Re: Commuting from UK?

My husband did it in the oppposite direction some years ago - worked in London and commuted back to CH on weekends. He flew out of City, making the commute much easier. In fact, he used to joke that he could be back in SZ safely tucked up at home with a nice glass of wine while his London colleagues were still sitting stuck in traffic.

In this case it was an inter-company thingy. It was simply cheaper to commute than to move the family to the UK.

Definitely do-able.
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Old 06.01.2011, 16:17
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Re: Commuting from UK?

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My husband did it in the oppposite direction some years ago - worked in London and commuted back to CH on weekends. He flew out of City, making the commute much easier. In fact, he used to joke that he could be back in SZ safely tucked up at home with a nice glass of wine while his London colleagues were still sitting stuck in traffic.

In this case it was an inter-company thingy. It was simply cheaper to commute than to move the family to the UK.

Definitely do-able.
Many thanks, I keep trying to talk myself out of it but it keeps coming back! The tax issue is worrying though - it looks like even having the bigger apartment in London could be judged as centering your life there ...
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Old 21.03.2011, 16:21
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Re: Commuting from UK?

I need to commute between Londo and Zurich every weekend, could you please tell me what airline you use for the cheapest fares.

Thank you

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Hi,


I travel back to the UK three out of five weekends. I get an Easyjet flight from Geneva at around 6pm on the Friday and then fly back at a similar time from Luton on the Sunday. I really don’t mind it, my partner lives near Milton Keynes so it generally takes me around an hour once I get back to get a bus to hers. I normally arrive at her door at around 8.30pm, so still enough time to do stuff if we fancy it.


Plus Points:
  • Get to see my girlfriend most weekends
  • Get to spend my Swiss francs on cheap English goods/meals at a time when the rate is great
  • Get to do lots of reading or work on the plane and at the airport
  • A bit of time to yourself to unwind and think
  • The flights are cheap (£50 return if you book far in advance with no luggage)

Negatives:
  • Delays are going to happen, you cannot get stressed about it you just have to accept it is part of flying so often on a budget airline
  • You waste money at the airport on crap
  • You need a fairly understanding employer who doesn’t mind you leaving early on a Friday to get to the airport on time
  • You cant go skiing every weekend
  • You often end up having to talk to people who you really don’t want to talk to after a busy week
  • People always queue up super early for the flight – I think it is worth getting a priority pass thing, where you get to jump the line and be the first on the plane. This means you have space for your bag in the overhead compartment and get off the plane first
  • You are more likely to lose your passport and get stuck somewhere – I have learnt from my mistakes.
Overall it is not ideal, and I would obviously much prefer to stay in Switzerland most weekends. But if a situation arises which means you have to go home often then so be it, you just have to do it and make the most of it in whatever way possible.
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