Today I’m going from Heathrow T5 to Gatwick, ready for a flight tomorrow. Usually I’d get the Underground Piccadilly line up from Heathrow and then get a train to Gatwick from Blackfriars with Thameslink all using Oyster. However, since it was early morning that would mean that the prices to do that would cost getting towards £20 and it would also take a couple of hours.
I checked the National Express price, and that remains at a ridiculous £26 for a single journey. Although it’s a convenient service to take, I find it unfortunate that a company price gouges like that, it’s not a great image for tourists. The price is so ridiculous that for any group of two people, it’s just as cheap to take an Uber.
Fortunately, the wonderful Megabus have taken an interest in this route. If booked ahead this ticket can be under £10, although mine was £15 booked just before the journey. This is more expensive than going from Norwich to London with Megabus, but at least it’s a chunk cheaper than National Express and I’m sure they have some high overheads to operate to and from airports.
The bus arrived on time, at 10.00, with a scheduled journey time of 70 minutes. It was clear from the ticket details where to wait for the bus, although the actual information at the bus stop could be clearer as it was nearly all for National Express. I was confident that I was in the right place though and there were Heathrow staff nearby to offer assistance to anyone who wanted it.
The driver looked at the ticket on my phone seemingly confused, although he must have seen hundreds of them before. He looked at his watch, looked puzzled and so perhaps he thought it was a different time of the day to what it actually was. Who knows…. The driver didn’t exact engage like the American Megabus drivers, but that’s not unexpected.
I got the seats at the top and there were plenty of working power outlets and there was also wi-fi available.
I had a lovely view of the sweeping countryside. Well, the motorway.
This photo doesn’t really show it, but there were an alarming number of chips and cracks on the bus’s windscreen. I can’t imagine that it’ll last too many more journeys. The driver seemed competent though and his driving was professional and smooth throughout.
Anyway, the bus arrived into Gatwick early, so the journey took just 50 minutes. For the price I think this is a really decent service and hopefully it’ll take some trade away from National Express who I think are over-charging quite heavily for such a short route with such a captive market.