Newest Review: ... and have to actually collect your tickets upon arrival anyway. Booking directly on the Terravision website you simply print your ticket a... more
Member Name: bettyboop2002
Advantages: Good value, frequency and comfort.
Disadvantages: Stops not always easy to find
WHAT IS TERRAVISION?
Terravision is a transfer company who offer coach services from airports to various destinations. They have been in business for 10 years and you can also book bus tours through them.
They operate a route in France, Portugal and Malta. There are 2 routes in Holland and several in Italy. The UK routes are the following:
Stansted Airport - London Stratford / London Liverpool Street / London Victoria Station
Luton Airport - London Victoria Station
Gatwick Airport - London Victoria Station
Heathrow Airport - London Paddington Station
Liverpool Airport - Manchester City Centre
The last route I travelled with this company was London Victoria Station to Stansted Airport. The service was direct and took 1 hour 15 minutes which is half an hour longer than the Stansted Express train. The National Express coach leaving at the same time would have taken 1 hour and 48 minutes.
The buses leave every half an hour which I think is frequent enough for a journey of this length.
My journey cost me £15 return. The single ticket would cost £9.
Under 4's go free. 5 - 12 year olds will cost £4 single and £7 return.
This return price is less than half of the £31.50 return it would have cost to use the Stansted express train (if there are more than 2 of you travelling it's worth checking out the rail group discounts).
The same journey is a fraction cheaper at £14 with National Express coaches, I would rather save the half hour travelling time each way than £1 though to Terravision was the best option for me and appears to be the same for my next trip.
BOOKING & TICKETS
You can book online, occasionally getting good offers. When travelling abroad I would book online and leave plenty of time between landing and getting the coach, especially in an unfamiliar airport in case they are like Gatwick where you may have a half hour walk from the plane before actually getting out of the airport.
For Stansted I won't be pre-booking the tickets (when you do this you must choose a time) as it is easy to find the ticket stalls in both Stansted airport and London Victoria train and coach stations so I can just buy one when I get there and not have to worry about missing the bus. The last time I got a single which was the same price to purchase on the day as it would have cost online.
Depending on where you book the transfers through, you may just get a print out and have to actually collect your tickets upon arrival anyway.
Booking directly on the Terravision website you simply print your ticket and get on the bus.
I found the stop at Victoria coach station not very easy to find, it's a few minutes walk from the rail station and not very well sign posted.
ON THE BUS
Terravision have large buses with very large luggage holds underneath. Any time I have arrived at a stop there has already been a bus there waiting which is great, especially in the winter when you can sit on the bus waiting for it to leave rather than standing at a cold bus stop.
There is usually a person outside who shows you where to put your luggage and checks your tickets.
I found both the outside and inside of the bus to be clean. The buses have big pink Terravision logos printed all over them so they are easy to spot.
On the bus there isn't a great deal of leg room but the seats are comfortable enough and it's nice and warm. There is air conditioning for the summer and there was air conditioning when I've used them in hot countries so I found the journey as comfortable as a bus journey can be.
There are no fancy features but these journeys are rarely very long with many routes being under an hour so I wouldn't expect any.
I must admit I prefer having the space of a train but I'm not as keen on the prices.
When I got off the bus it was directly outside the airport door which was great as I didn't want a long walk with my luggage in the cold, the ticket lady and the driver both said thankyou and wished us a pleasant trip.
I have now used this company in 3 different countries (Italy, Portugal and England). I have never had a problem with them, find their prices and frequency good and overall a good service. The last time I used them was from London Victoria to Stansted airport and I will be using them again for this route in a couple of weeks. This journey wasn't much over an hour and I found the coach very warm which was good as it was freezing outside. There wasn't much leg room so I started to get a little stiff towards the end of the journey but for anything under an hour it's not too uncomfortable to put me off using them again.
I have found the staff efficient and helpful when I've had to ask them questions. I've never been late for a flight and I've never had any lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
I would recommend this transfer service.
Please feel free to skip the following opinions I have on the low ratings for this company!
I was surprised to see the overall low user rating of this company. After reading a few of the less than complimentary reviews I would give people wishing to use ANY transfer service this advice:
- Leave plenty of time to get from your destination to the airport, it is not the bus company's fault if there is traffic, roadworks or and other unexpected problems. These things happen, I usually add an extra hour onto my journey time 'to be safe' when possible. These delays happen with all companies, not just this one.
- Keep anything of value on your person. Unfortunately luggage problems can happen, of course the bus isn't going to allow you to carry your luggage with you. For safety reasons and space reasons it's just not possible to have a bus with that many people on it as well as their luggage. I've never been on a Terravision bus where any passengers have been complaining about lost or stolen luggage. It happens in hotels, it happens in airports and I'm sure it happens on transfers, including this one.
- Check your ticket before you travel! My last ticket said to make sure you present your ticket at least 15 minutes before the departure time of the bus. I actually arrived early and made an earlier bus which left only a couple of minutes after I got to the stop. They did not have to let me get on this bus and I didn't expect them too, thinking I'd have to wait for the next one. If the ticket says be there 15 minutes before, be there 15 minutes before!
- Before slagging off the staff, consider their working day. I haven't found any of the staff on these services rude or anything, occasionally grumpy. I would be grumpy if I had to listen to passengers who can't read their booking properly, have no tickets, don't want to wait for other passengers to get on the coach, don't want to put their luggage in the luggage hold and generally think they are the only people that have a flight to catch. These people get a lot of abuse for things that are very rarely their fault. The same goes for airport staff - if you're late for a flight that's not their fault!
Summary: Check their website for maps of the stops