National Express Coach Review
We all know how bad public transport can be. If you are yet to arrive in England, Then the cost of public transport is still going to shock you. For everyone else, The unreliability of public transport might be your biggest fear. Luckily for you, the Funny Backpacker is here again to save the day from bad travel decisions and to help you decide which is the best way to travel to or from Stansted airport (London). I review the National Express as well as give other options of getting to the Airport.
Let’s start with all the negatives and give you other options for you guys that find these to big of an issue to travel with national express.
As I said in the introduction, Public transport in England is expensive, This is a fact. What can you do about this? Apart from walking everywhere, you are going to suck it up somewhere. Even for a short Journey for myself, this was the cheapest option I could find, for the times I wanted to travel.
The cost for myself was £14 each way (plus a £1 booking fee). To drive to the airport, parking was around the £49, then I had to add fuel and stress. The taxi was around £40-50 each way. Trains didn’t run at the time I needed to travel. As a solo traveler, the National Express was the cheapest option.
But unlike the other travel options, there are extra charges. I luckily didn’t op for any of these charges (like Fully refundable& flexible, printed tickets, Pick your seat, Extra luggage, and insurance)
Make sure your own weigh up the cheapest way to travel. Include the extra you might need.
The second issue I found with the service was the time. Due to the fact, this is a public service you couldn’t ask for them to pick up a certain time or wait for your airplane to land. This could make things quite awkward when looking for times of travel.
For example, I had to arrive a lot earlier than planned for the airport due to the fact the bus after was cutting it too close. When flying home, you hoped your plane wasn’t delayed as you would miss your coach.
Delays on the flight might make you miss your coach and you have to pay extra for a service that allows you to grab the next coach (The Refundable & Flexible extra). The times of the buses can be annoy meaning waiting at the airport can be rather long.
To avoid this, Private transport is your only option.
Locations of Bus stops
This one wasn’t a negative to me due to the location of the Coach/Bus Stop was right outside my house. This isn’t the case for most people, and carrying heavy luggage from one side of your town to the other could be a near to impossible task and would require a taxi. This would make the costs skyrocket. You might as well just take the Taxi all the way to the Airport.
I would now like to move on to the positive points of traveling with the National Express. This is for you people that are not sure whether it’s just easier to pay out for a taxi or a uber.
My 1st case for positivity would be the fact there are so many different locations that this coach service/and similar companies go too. The best thing about this is the fact they run through the night. Which other Public transports do not.
For example, the Coach I used went from the Airport from Stansted to Braintree to Colchester to Ipswich
The coach was itself was clean, The bus driver was friendly. You could sleep on the coach was it wasn’t noisy. The coach has a USB port to charge your phone and you could have small personal bags under your feet, Large under the coach. The coach had a lot of leg room which was nice after being on a flight with near to none.
I personally couldn’t fault the coach. On the way home, we got stuck in traffic and the driver happily updated us.
Oh, Would like to state how reliable the Service was, enough though I had this issue.
Quiet and Stress-free
This is the best reason to use the National Express service. The fact it actually is stress-free, You can put your feet up and relax once you are at your bus stop. hop on and get off right at the airport no messing around to find places to park or be dropped off. Every time I used this service it hasn’t been busy (no one sitting next to me)
When you are waiting at the Stansted airport there is a good waiting area for the coach. This waiting area keeps you warm, somewhere to sit and has lots of different refreshments for example coffees and pies and vending machines are available, perfect after plane food.
Booking the Coach
This can be done online at https://www.nationalexpress.com/
Or at Stansted airport. Both are very simple and easy to use.
My Final thoughts
I always like to review the service personally and give own opinions, just so you know I’m not selling you something or being paid to say anything. (if the National express wants to give free things for writing this, I wouldn’t stop them though.)
As a solo traveler, this is a no brainer of a service. I would recommend this to anyone traveling on there own or even a pair. But as a family, the costs would rise and with a small child and getting to and from bus stops this could be quite a challenge. I would love to see costs fall for this service or even some of the extras scraped as I feel this would bring more travelers to use it. The biggest improvement to this service would be to have a set rate and scrap non-flexible times of travel.
3.5 out of 5 rating , Would use again. ( And Have used since)
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