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National Express - on occasions
Member Name: tangoman84
Advantages: Great value, comfortable and modern coaches, professional service
Disadvantages: One bad experience but an explanation offered up
Living in Scotland and having married someone with family down in Birmingham on occasion we will go down for a visit with her family which we used to do by plane but following on from a couple of bad experiences my wife is no longer the biggest fan of flight and with the trains expensive for these journeys we began to use coaches to carry out this journey. Previously we were using Megabus but when an offer came available for a cheap trip with National Express we decided to give them a chance and here is what we have found.
National Express is a very large scale coach company which means that if you do have issues with any coach tecnical problems they are able to bring in contract coaches which I have now used on about 2 or 3 occasions when travelling with National Express. This was something that concerned me at first but they do try to ensure that you are still getting a good quality of coach and the same level of service as you would on their own coaches.
The coach trips themselves are very long meaning that comfort is important and National Express do give a fairly comfortable journey with good leg room and leather seats as standard meaning that you are able to try to relax and just enjoy the journey. This added to the person air blower and light above your seat make it so that you have some tools to try to make sure you are as comfortable as you can be.
The fleet of coaches I have experienced have all been modern and well maintained with little noise and comfort something focussed on. The coaches all have a toilet on board also meaning that you can be on the road for hours without the need for the coach stop every hour for toilet breaks.
The drivers are very courteous and professional and will keep you upto date with what is going on so if there are going to be delays then it is something they will be honest about and tell you (this is from personal experience from when we were stuck in a traffic jam due to a death on the motorway where the driver advised us of the alternate route he would take and how much time he believed this would be adding to the journeys).
Extra coaches if needed. We have on a couple of occasions now turned up at the coach station and been told our coach is going to be on the left as they have decided to lay on a coach from Glasgow straight to Birmingham rather than needing to go via all other stops. This is something I like and whilst it does not always get us there quicker it is nice that I don't have people banging into me as they clamber on with all of their bags in their hands trying to find their magazine.
Overhead space allows for you to put your coat and bag with your juice and magazine out of the way if not required and therefore allows you much more comfort for those times you wish to sleep or just look out of the window.
I have so far had a good experience with National Express punctuality and where there are any delays the driver does apologise and you do have an explanation offered.
Many deals offering good value for money make this an excellent option for your cross country travel needs.
Easy to book tickets using the website which is very well designed and simple to operate.
I have been on a National Express coach between Birmingham and Glasgow where the air conditioning was broken and the driver was advised to continue on leading to temperatures being over 30 degrees in the coach which was almost unbearable. This is something I found to be very disappointing but again we did have an apology and explanation from the driver.
Overall I would highly recommend using National Express for your cross country journeys as they offer up great value for money, comfortable and relaxing travel with the stations being in places easily accessible (not like Megabus who leave you in the middle of nowhere in Birmingham city centre and can't provide you a postcode for someone to pick you up).
Summary: A great company offering up value for money and modern travelling with ease of use
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