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Another Oyster question

Atlanta, Georgia
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Another Oyster question

We were in London last November and had such a good time, we've decided to return this November. Last year, we visited many of the main destinations, and took advantage of the 2-4-1's, so we purchased the rail tickets with our pre-printed pictures; not an Oyster card. We also used the buses everywhere in the city, using the Tube only once, for travel to London from Heathrow.

This year, we'd like to primarily use the buses again, only using the Tube for travel to and from the airport. We don't need to take advantage of any of the 2-4-1 offers. So, the question is:

Can we use an Oyster card for travel on the buses?

Can we buy a 7-day Oyster card at Heathrow?

If so, how much extra should we put on the cards to travel to and from the airport? (Staying in Soho, near Green Park station.)

Will we need to bring pre-printed passport pics?

Anything else you feel I should know that I've forgotten to ask?

Thanks in advance for the help.

London
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1. Re: Another Oyster question

You can use Oyster for buses and no you don't need passport photos. You could just put PAYG on and top up if needed. But if you're here for 7 days I would put a 7 day travelcard on plus some PAYG -about £10 for out of zone travel. You may find you need the odd tube journey* (or DLR or rail) which the travelcard allows and as 7 days costs roughly £4.60 a day for everything and Oyster caps bus only travel at £4.40 anyway you might as well.

(* not in any way influenced by falling down the steps of a bus today and requiring a trip to A&E...!)

London, United...
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2. Re: Another Oyster question

If you're primarily using buses consider a 1 week Bus Pass (£19.60) rather than a Travelcard. It can be loaded on to Oyster at a tube station with some PAYG for the Heathrow and random tube journeys. Not sure if you'll save much.

Hope plw is 100% again soon.

Southampton
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3. Re: Another Oyster question

An Oyster card is for life (or until you return it to get the deposit), not just for 7 days!

Oyster is a method of payment. Just a piece of plastic. You can put money on it to pay as you go, or load a travel card for 1 or 7(or more) days. Or you can do a combination of both.

Sounds like what you want is a 7day zone 1-2 travel card loaded on to Oyster, plus a little bit extra money for going to and from the airport and any out of zone travel you might do.

You have to pay a £5 deposit for the card, and you need one for each traveler. You can buy the loaded oysters from the Heathrow underground stations.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Another Oyster question

I too prefer buses, but buy Travelcards rather than bus passes. The option to use the Underground, DLR and other services is valuable as if your travel plans change or you make an on the spot decision to go to X you may do so without having to consider how to pay for the journey.

Akkarin is right, an Oyster card is for life (not just for Christmas), and since it can hold the necessary seven day Travelcard and PAYG money for out of zone journeys, it will give you flexibility and lowest fares for your journeys.

Should you need to top up the PAYG balance, it is easily done by touching in at a Tube ticket machine and following the on screen instructions. Top up at a ticket window has a £5 minimum, but you may add any amount from 20p at a ticket machine.

(plw - ouch. Hope whatever needed attention will heal quickly)

Edited: 04 November 2013, 18:54
Alicante, Spain
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5. Re: Another Oyster question

We have just returned from a trip to London. We didn´t use the Oyster card we just purchased the off peak travel cards which are 1, 3 or 7 day. Off peak is after 9:30 Mon to Fri and you can travel anytime on the weekend. This covers you for tube, buses and Dockland Light Railway (DLR) and maybe some trains but I am not sure about that point. Hope this helps. You can buy these at tube ticket offices.

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Another Oyster question

Thanks for the quick responses; love this board.

So upon arrival at Heathrow, I'll purchase two Oyster cards, asking for a "7-day Zone 1&2 travelcard plus an extra £10 on each" to get to and from the airport. No need to respond if that sounds correct.

Thanks again!

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Another Oyster question

Just for clarity, the only Travelcards that are sold as peak / off peak varieties are one day cards. Seven day and longer cards have no time of day constraints and may be used from start of service.

Three day cards have not been available since 2010.

All Travelcards allow unlimited use on the Underground, Overground, National Rail and DLR services in the paid for zones plus buses in all six zones.

London, United...
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8. Re: Another Oyster question

Correct. Although saying "£10 Pay As You Go" will make it clearer to the clerk.

London
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9. Re: Another Oyster question

Thanks jd and TP. Nothing broken (apart from pride after pinballing off the bus partition at the bottom of the stairs and landing like an upturned turtle on my back on the lower deck floor. Just a badly twisted thumb(!) and bruised, um, posterior.....Could have been far worse:)

dan - that's pretty much it. You can top up the PAYG if required(shouldn't need to really) at any tube station or lots of small grocery stores/newsagents.

Advice to any lurkers using buses - wait till bus stops at stop (not red light as I habitually do) before trying to go downstairs if using top deck and hold both rails. If it's slippy you can go flying rather easily......:)

10. Re: Another Oyster question

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