Newest Review: ... the driver to let me on as I did not have enough cash to buy a new ticket and I was unable to call National Express to buy a new ticket... more
Cheaper than the Choo Choo
Member Name: magenta23
Advantages: Cheap, on time. Huge number of destinations.
Disadvantages: Numb bum on longer journeys!
**Review on National Express COACH service only **
The first time I travelled with National Express was two years ago, London to Cornwall in a bum numbing 7 and a half hours. This was however, quicker than getting the train and a 10th of the price. Since then, I see if I can do all my long distance travelling through them. It's always cheaper than train transport I've found, but depending on where you are going you may be spending a lot more time getting there on wheels rather than tracks.
Booking with National Express is easy. You can book in person from National Express coach stops, well in advance and even on the day if tickets are still available. You can also book over the phone, or as I do online. The website is excellent and makes it very easy to plan your journey. Simply choose the date and desination at it will bring up a list of services. Some services take longer than others even for the same route, and it will show you how long each journey takes, departure and arrival times. Obviously you can't take these as absolutely accurate as traffic, weather etc may cause delays but every time I've travelled the coach has been on time.
As I mentioned, the prices are excellent. The trip I mentioned, my first outing with National Express went from Victoria Coach Station to Newquay cost just £8. This was a return ticket too! This was what they call a 'fun fare' ticket and generally you get them on trips that aren't as popular at the time you choose to travel. Cornwall in early March wasn't a full coach, so we paid a rock bottom price for it. Normal prices for this trip at peak time is more like £40, which is what we paid the last time we made the trip. That still beat the train price by 50%. They also have some journeys for just £1, the selection is limited however.
Last time I was booking a trip I also noticed an advert on the website for their saver cards. I bought my self an under 26 card for £10 which lasts a year and gives 30% off all travel with National Express. I more or less paid for itself in one trip!
Obviously, if you order your tickets in person you get them there and then. If you order online or by phone, they sent them within a week I've found. The good thing about ordering online if you have a printer that works (I don't!), is that you can print your tickets off yourself.
Travelling wise, the coaches are reasonably comfy, some more than others. Usually I manage to doze off them quite easily so can't be too bad! They do some overnight services so if you are someone who can sleep on the coach and don't want to waste precious days travelling, these are a good option.
Overall, I'm impressed with National Express for the service and value for money they offer. I will continue to use them in the future.
Summary: An excellent company,