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
You can travel in luxury, maybe....
Member Name: The_Baron
Advantages: Coaches arrive early at station, toilets included.
Disadvantages: 50/50 on having a relaxing coach ride.
National Express is a pretty big company and largely advertised. Constant deals in newspapers, TV adverts and sponsorship means it's the first option for inter-country travel. However, this can mean you overestimate National Express' services, which aren't as modern as you may believe.
Firstly, I have often had to deal with cancellations around winter time due to snow, which was handled very badly including every single coach being cancelled at one point. This was rectified with a free ticket for the next time I travelled, but it cost me a whole lot more to arrange travel once I was stuck at the station. Apart from this though, coaches have rarely been late in my experience and often arrive early with early arriving passengers being allowed on, a surprising little treat for today's rule/red tape obsessed businesses.
The coaches themselves are often mix n' match in terms of comfort. All have toilets included which of course are essential on long journeys but three times there has been no running water in the sink. The seats are usually comfortable enough, not so much room if there's someone sitting next to you but I doubt this can be helped. Above seat lighting and air con is also included which can be a big plus for longer journeys, especially those either at night or in summer respectively. Sometimes drivers will enforce the seat belt rule but not too often and eating/drinking is allowed to, with carrier bags provided on every seat for rubbish.
Drivers can be arrogant similar to how most bus drivers are, but there are more helpful coach drivers than unhelpful, and NE staff have also been very friendly and helpful in the past, even when it's been me who's screwed up like leaving my luggage on the coach...
Overall, if you're someone who is worried about punctuality National Express is a fair bet to go for, if the coaches haven't been cancelled. How comfortable your journey is, is often solely left to chance. The air con and water doesn't always work, some older coaches are a little cramped and/or uncomfortable in seating and not all coaches have any clocks on them which could be annoying if you was without a phone or watch. Sometimes though, you do travel in comfort and if you go through London at night it's an amazing ride, and the website is relatively easy for booking and prices aren't excellent but fair (you can travel a third of the country sometimes under a tenner). But, probably the worst and most irritating format of the entire National Experience is having to pay 30p to use the toilets at the coach stations. I hate that.
Summary: An easier way to travel for non-driving working class.
More reviews in the field of Transport National
- The rolling stock and your fellow passengers make all the difference
- I'm Going Underground
- Glasgow to London return in 28 hours
- Low-Cost, Low-Quality
- To Gatwick...And Beyond!
- Sorry we came we didn't use it.. ( the tram )
- London Midland
- London Euston Station
- Birmingham New Street
- Avoid at All Costs!!! Cuidado!!