I guess you always get what you pay for. Never travelled with National Express before, so made a mistake when booking seats to Gatwick (I booked via Heathrow) I immediately realised my mistake but still got charged a re booking fee less than 5 minutes later. Now the airline has changed its return slot and another re booking fee has been paid to National Express. I suppose thats the way they make a profit, but............
Watch for an update after my trip - at the moment Im not impressed.
Just returned and the entire outward & return journey's were an absolute joy, both coaches were spotlessly clean and VERY comfortable (for a six footer).
Both drivers couldn't do enough to help with loading/unloading luggage and were extremely friendly and their arrival times were spot on. This for me, relegated the re-booking fees into total insignificance.
I am a regular customer of National Express, but only because I have to be. I have found that their ticketing system and policies are terrible. As a result I have been penalized any time I have had to amend a ticket (for any reason), I have also been left behind by a bus driver I see on a regular basis when I was unable to provide cash for a new ticket and my phone was not working.
I also had friends who missed a coach at Gatwick Airport because their plane was late and they had to buy entirely new tickets for the next service.
I will never recommend this company again.
As well, the coaches tend to be freezing cold or incredibly hot.
It seems clear that National Express does not really care about their main customer base nor do they care about providing a positive experience.
I hope that National Express updates their ticketing policies and their policies for drivers. No driver should fear being punished for helping out a regular customer.
I would recommend using another company or mode of transport.
Although I prefer travelling by train, sometimes I need to travel at short notice and this means I can only really afford to go by coach. National Express has always been my choice as I find other companies – eg Megabus confusing to book with.
Obviosully a coach would take longer then a train so keep this in mind before you book, and check how long the journey is as some journeys make additional stops etc.
In terms of the National Express website – it is very straightforward but I would say that sometimes inputting the dates on the National Express Coaches page will sometimes take you to the train bookings which is annoying! But on the plus side – you can view prices over a month so if you are flexible on dates – you can always choose the cheaper tickets, rather then checking each date.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is every now and then they will do cheap ‘funfares’ as low as £1 each way so its worth signing up to their newsletter to nab a bargain.
Truthfully though, I would only recommend using the coach if you don’t mind a longer journey and its significantly cheaper then travelling by train.
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