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national express coach from Heathrow

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Kingston, Canada
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national express coach from Heathrow

I asked a similar question a couple of months ago and never received a reply, so I'm trying again.

We are planning on taking the National Express coach from Heathrow to Paignton on Saturday May 7th. I was planning on purchasing the tickets at Heathrow after we arrive, but am unsure as to what is best. Do we buy tickets in advance in order to ensure we have a spot on the coach, or do we wait until the day in case our plane is late? The coach seems to depart every 2 hours, so it'll be a long wait if the first coach is full. If we purchase in advance, are we stuck (as we would be if we purchased advance train tickets) with taking the specific coach time we booked, or can we take a later coach if our plane is late?

Thanks.

ktown

Skipton, United...
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1. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Well normally with National Express, to get their cheaper tickets, you would book them before you travel, not on the day you travel. If you book on the day, there might not be any seats free.

Watford
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2. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

In this instance you should certainly book in advance. if your flight is delayed then you will placed on the next available coach which hopefully will be the next one to depart but if you don't book and they are full then you might get stuck.

Kingston, Canada
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3. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Thanks so much adamhornets. I'll go book it now.

rooster92 - Since this trip originates at Heathrow, there seems to be no price advantage to booking early. To ensure a seat though, I'll book ahead.

Thanks to you both.

ktown

Somerset
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4. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

I go on this coach when I go on holiday. Its a good service.

This is on their website - "If you miss your coach, your ticket will no longer be valid and a new ticket must be purchased if you wish to travel on a later service."

Happened to me once, I was tired and livid.

But there is no way round it as you need to get a seat for the one you want..........so its just bad luck if the plane is late.

Kingston, Canada
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5. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Oh great...I've purchased it now. Missing the coach and not getting my money back was a risk I didn't want to take. I see that it says they may try to put me on a later coach if one is available, but I may pay an amendment charge. I've been reluctant to book this and now I know why. Oh well, hope for the flight to be on time with no difficulties.

I've actually learned my lesson and will spend my first night in London for now on. Much more inexpensive to do that and then head out on an advance rail ticket or funfare coach ticket the next day.

Anyway, thanks again for all of the help.

ktown

Somerset
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6. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Can;t be avoided - I think you were right to book, its busy right now with all the hols.

Don't you just love travel!

Watford
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7. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

I think Sue was unlucky or travelling at a very busy time. From my limited experience the staff do make an effort to get people on the next available service.

The key word is "may", an all purpose word which covers everything from letting you on without extra payment to charging full fare!

Somerset
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8. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

You're right adam. going to Heathrow then Gatwick i dithered about booking the connection to get the airport early enough. The Gatwick drivers said I could get on their busses 'that's where I'm going, there's seats',but it was not meant to be. depended on the drivers.

Trouble is the Paignton bus doesn't go so often and what added to my exasperation after delayed flight the coach was there getting ready to depart and I was being sent to the office to queue to buy another ticket from a really grumpy saleswoman! Wondering if it whould have departed by the time I got it.

Mostly found the drivers are great, they've even taken the time to show me where to get a coffee when the bus station shop was closed.

I always allow time for a coffee and chill out now - seems to have worked.

Edited: 30 April 2011, 10:29
Kingston, Canada
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9. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Thanks.

We've got almost 2 hours from our scheduled arrival time to when the coach departs, so if all goes well it should work out fine and not be rushed. I too like not to be rushing from one thing to the other, but we'll see how it goes.

ktown

Wisconsin
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10. Re: national express coach from Heathrow

Is the National Express coach to Victoria more or less likely to be unavailable? Gvien the vagaries of travel, I prefer not to book ahead. Will this probably work?