My mum recently booked a trip to London. After checking prices, we decided to go with easyBus, as it was 10GBP return from Gatwick to central London, and we could then hop on a tube to where we'd planned on going. My experiences Thankfully our flight was on time, and we found the bus stop easily. We were waiting a few minutes when a bright orange minibus pulled up. I hadn't expected a minibus, but this is what they use for the Gatwick ? London route. Our bus was booked for 8:15am, and it was about 8:20 that the bus arrived. We got on the bus along with a few others. There was a cage for luggage and everyone's luggage was accommodated easily. There were around ten people on the bus, so there were a few free seats. The mini-bus wasn't that large and the seats were close together, so if the bus was full, it could feel claustrophobic. Each seat had belts, and we made sure that we were belted up before the journey. The driver wasn't the slowest driver I've ever experienced, and the bus wasn't the most comfortable either, but for the money we couldn't complain. While not the smoothest journey, the driver was helpful and friendly and was happy to take the time to advise where to go to get to the next destination. The driver pointed us in the direction of the tube station, and where to pick up the bus in the evening. We had arrived in London in around an hour's total drive. Late afternoon I wanted to make a start towards the airport. I was concerned that out original booking time might not give us a great deal of time to get the flight home. We decided that we would try to get an earlier bus, and although I couldn't find anything online that said you could do that, we decided to try. When the bus arrived around 18:15, we showed the driver our tickets and he welcomed us on board. The return driver wasn't as placid as the morning driver and seemed in a hurry. He also took a less direct route and it took around half an hour longer than the morning journey. My thoughts If you're looking for a cheap way to get to and from Gatwick, the buses are good value. Just don't expect a smooth ride or any frills. We did think that the location of the bus stops were very easy to find, so are ideal for people new to the city. The bus left you a few hundred yards from West Brompton tube station, so we were able to jump on the tube and continue from there. If you are interested in using the service, you can book online at http://www.easybus.co.uk/. If you're looking for something cheap that gets you into London for less, I would recommend this company. I would also recommend that you give yourself extra time for travel.
My email to easybus (there is no way on contacting them by telephone)...
"I travelled from Seville to London Gatwick today on the 25/01/12 with Easyjet. My bus connection to Earls Court was at 15.30. I arrived at approx. 15.05 and waited with other passengers (probably about 16- 20 people). The bus driver pulled up and let a couple of people on the bus, then checked everyone else's tickets. When I told him that I had a seat for this bus (15.30), he said that he was "letting people on, who had waited the longest". Bearing in mind that the Terms and Conditions on your ticket state that "A seat is reserved only for the time you have booked", I was not happy. The fact that other passengers have missed their original bus should have no bearing on this matter. He said that we should wait for the next bus (and he had no idea when it would arrive or how many seats there would be on the bus). This was not an option as one of the other passengers, a Spaniard, told me that he had already waited 2 hours in the 2 degrees freezing temperature. As the buses start their journey's at the North Terminal, I decided to check to see whether it may be easier to board there. Once again, there were 16-20 people waiting. As I had not been allowed on my original bus, I would now be at the back of the queue, behind passengers, who had "waited longer". At this point, I admitted defeat and decided to rely on Southern Rail and London Underground to get me home costing me £15.20 but more importantly, wasting my time. As I live near to West Brompton, I really liked the idea of this service (I have a house in Spain and regularly use the Faro/Seville routes). I can walk to the bus stop and avoid Victoria Station. Your drver looked under pressure, lacked customer service skills and should probably be a candidate for any upcomng anger management courses. Unlike your Airline Crew, your drivers have no name badges and this individual was unwilling to give me his name. To sum up, in my opinion, this kind of service could really damage your brand (I have had a look at some online reviews and they are not positive."
Unsurprisingly, they said that they would contact me with 10 working days but never did. A complant has now been sent to ....
easyBus offers simple transfer options from Stansted, Luton and Gatwick to central London. They use a combination of large and small busses, depending on the route.
You book a seat for a specific route and time and the prices are dependent on how popular that bus is. The further in advance that you can book, the cheaper it is.
If you find that you are ready to travel ahead of your scheduled time then you can take an earlier bus, if seats are available. The same is the case if you arrive later. However, in my experience the bus is almost always full and so you may be waiting a while if you have missed your scheduled bus.
They have a strict no drinking/no eating policy so don't turn up with a big bag of food expecting to enjoy it. Unlike easyJet the airline they won't be trying to sell you any food either :)
Whilst basic, the bus is comfortable, the only problem I have encountered is when the driver feels that the entire bus needs to listen to a badly tuned in radio station at maximum volume.
Drop off points in London are near tube stations so are handy to enable you to easily continue your journey.
Prices start at £2 per person, closer to departure they can be almost £10 and often sell out.
Luckily, if you change your plans you can cancel a booking and you are issued a credit to use for a future booking, so you don't just lose your money.
Luton Airport - Brent Cross - Finchley Road - Baker Street - Marble Arch - Victoria Station
Stansted Airport - Baker Street
Gatwick Airport - Earls Court
Services run approximately every 15-20 minutes and travel time is around an hour or less depending on the route and stop.
I never use Luton Airport, would always take a train from Gatwick and so only ever find this service useful from Stansted to London. For that I find that the cost is the main selling point for me. It's not the most enjoyable way to travel but if you're flying to Luton or Stansted then the chances are that you're motivated by saving money and that is where this service really wins.
For the cost involved, if you were to completely miss the bus and still need to take an alternative form of transport then you haven't lost much, just be sure to book in advance.