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Question - Nat'l Express Coach

Canyon Lake, Texas
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Question - Nat'l Express Coach

We'll fly into Southampton from Dublin on June 1, and sail out on June 3. Since time is limited,but we're close to London, we plan to go up to London and use one of the Hop-On/Off Buses to see at least a bit of London.

After checking alternatives, National Express Coach seems the best bet, but I'm left with a couple of questions not answered by their website-

We're both over 60, so eliible for the senior discount, even tho not UK residents - correct? (the only benefit of getting older)

We can either book return tickets or "open" return. I'm inclined to the "open" return for flexibility, but not sure how flexible it really is or how to use - can I book the same day, just before boarding, etc.? My concern is that if we miss a booked return, the ticket is void and we have to purchase new tickets at full fare . For ease of mind, should we just book the return for the latest possible time and leave it at that?

And of course any other advice or insight will begreatly appreciated.

Thanks

Southampton
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1. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

I have only used the National Express coach a couple of times from Southampton to London, and both times it was fully booked so those people with open tickets did not get a seat. They had to wait for the next service (or the next, ore the next, until there was a space).

Do you need to buy some kind of senior discount card to get a reduction? I don't know, but you should check. If the card costs £20 each, it's not going to be worth it for one journey. Only a good deal if you use it all year. This is the case for train travel, where i know you have to purchase a senior railcard to get a discount. Not sure about National Express.

Rather than National Express there are also Greyhound coaches running from Southampton to London. I have never used then personally.

I would always use the train for this journey in future myself. It takes half the time the bus does in heavy traffic, is much more comfortable and there are 3 services an hour from Waterloo.

Cotswolds
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2. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

Age is the only qualification for the National Express coach discount - citizenship is irrelevant.

Edited: 13 March 2011, 16:07
Brussels
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3. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

< We're both over 60, so eligible for the senior discount, even tho not UK residents - correct? >

Yes. nationalexpress.com/coach/Offers/Over60s.cfm

< (the only benefit of getting older) >

Don't be so pessimistic !

Brussels
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4. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

< I'm inclined to the "open" return for flexibility, but not sure how flexible it really is or how to use - can I book the same day, just before boarding, etc.? >

www.nationalexpress.com/bp/b2.cfm…

"Returning: Open dated

You must call 08717 818181 to confirm your return journey. You will not be charged a booking fee.

An open dated return ticket is valid for 3 months from the date of the outward journey."

Canyon Lake, Texas
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5. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

Thanks for all the quick replies

The "over 60" question is clear - all we need is our i.d.- great

As to the other question, while I feel better about booking an OPEN return, I didn't consider possibly being bumped - so I think I'll just book a really late return - again thanks for the advice.

BTW, I would prefer the train also, but the cost is between four and seven TIMES the cost of senior coach rate - and we'll travel off-peak (traffic) times. I checked the possibility of "special" train fares, but while competitive, they leave too late and/or return too early to give us anything close to a full day in London. So Coach decision made easier. Oh, and I was just joking about the being over 60 thing.

Thanks fo helping to clarify

california
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6. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

I checked the costs of a return ticket by train,an it was only 37 pounds. Is this realy that much more than a coach.? Me, at my age (70), my days of cheapest is long behind me.

Edited: 13 March 2011, 19:01
Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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7. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

"BTW, I would prefer the train also, but the cost is between four and seven TIMES the cost of senior coach rate - and we'll travel off-peak (traffic) times. "

Don't know where you are looking but the off-peak day return train fare is £26 to Victoria, a few pounds more than the coach fare.

You could also check Megatrain but5 they won't have tickets for sale yet for June

London
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for London
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8. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

I would do train - off peak return to London (Waterloo, not Victoria which requires 2 changes) is £36.80 for June. And that's for trains through most of the day (not just very early/late) and you still have some flexibility.

Canyon Lake, Texas
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9. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

I just double-checked Coach priing and it would be 16 GBP for both of us at the senior discount rate - when I convert that into USD the difference in cost is substantial, for @ 1 hr in add'l travel time.

If i read the pricing correctly, rail round trip for two is 136 GBP The 37 GBP mentioned is for 1 person in 1 direction. That would be a diff of 120 GBP, in USD of @$190 - I like trains, but not that much

Guildford, United...
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10. Re: Question - Nat'l Express Coach

An of peak day return from So'ton To London is £36.80 each. For a day trip I would always take the train for speed and convenience.

The tickets will also make you eligible for the 2 for 1 offers at attractons.