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Member Name: rackerss
Advantages: cheap, generally reliable
Disadvantages: confusing train and bus system
I've used Megabus a few times now - mainly to get between home and university (in York). I've also used it to get to Download Festival (see my review of the festival on the specifics of that journey).
Megabus is a budget travel company that connects cities in the UK. They also have operations in other countries in Europe, but I have not used these. The whole concept is no-frills and basic, but that's why the prices are so low.
Although the name is MegaBUS there are some routes (such as routes into London St Pancras) which also use a train service for some or all of the journey. On these journeys you are given a train ticket when you present your ticket reservation to the Megabus driver.
There are luggage restrictions very similar to most airlines (one piece of hand baggage and one larger piece of luggage), but they don't seem to enforce it quite as much as an airline (probably because they're rarely full).
The main positive of Megabus is that it's very very cheap. A single from York to London is almost always under £10 and less for concessions. Comparing this to a standard train fare of £30 and over it's a real bargain.
They have always been on time when I have got them and they seem to be pretty reliable. They're usually clean and have toilets. Another thing I've noticed is that they're not too loud; many busses and coaches sound really loud especially when you're going fast down a motorway, but these aren't too bad.
The booking process online is simple and easy. You simply select when and where you want to go and it gives you the options. For my particular route the options are very early in the morning, but it depends where you start your journey.
Changing between bus to train and vice versa on some routes is inconvenient and confusing at first. When I booked I didn't actually realise the journey was part train which lead to a mad panic at St Pancras station looking for the bus station when I was actually meant to be going to a train platform. When I asked a member of staff I was pointed in the right direction, but it would be nice to have it in big letters on my ticket to avoid confusion!
As I've said it is no-frills and this is apparent when getting on the bus: you have to load and unload your bags yourself and the seats are a free-for-all. On some journeys I have been incredibly cold on the bus and unable to warm up without taking clothes out of my bag and putting them on.
Currently you have to print out your ticket, but hopefully soon you'll be able to use e-tickets because this seems like a waste of time and paper.
Although these are negative points, I feel you can't really complain at the low prices they charge. You simply get what you pay for!
I also think the list of destinations isn't very extensive. You have a fairly limited amount of cities to go to from your start point meaning it's not possible to get to exactly where you want to go. Luckily for me my route is always available, but depending on where you live and where you want to go, it might not be the best option.
I give Megabus a 3/10. It's not luxury and it's certainly not convenient. But if you need to get across the country for a very small price it's a great option.
Summary: good if you're on a budget and need to get from A to B