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I'd like to use National Express but the reveiws are scary. Has anyone used them?

We are staying near Victoria Coach Station so it seemed like the perfect plan... until I got on TripAdvisor. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
21709 posts

Unless you provide something to response to, we cannot. I have used the National Express buses several times over the past few years with absolutely no problem. So I have no idea what the scary reviews say. It got me to when I want to go and close to on time.

Posted by
993 posts

I used it from Heathrow to my hotel close to Victoria Station and had no issues. I bought my ticket when I arrived. Didn’t want to reserve in advance because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get thru passport control. The bus wasn’t posh but it was clean. The driver loads and unloads your luggage for you.

Posted by
19 posts

I’ve used National Express bus to and from Heathrow and Victoria coach station at least twice a year for several years. The drivers are friendly, helpful and above all good drivers. The buses are clean, not posh but decent. Price is excellent and booking on the online app is very easy. What is your concern?

Posted by
3491 posts

I have used National Express buses extensively for many years when traveling through the areas they serve and have never had any issues. I buy my ticket at the station right before getting on the bus. Ride is comfortable and a step up from the regular city buses.
Drivers always seem knowledgeable and friendly enough if I have any questions. Last trip to London I was walking with a cane due to minor surgery and the driver for my bus helped me up the steps and took my carry on bag back to where I sat even though I really didn't need any assistance. Thought that was nice him.

So what are the problems you refer to?

Posted by
11 posts

Wow, I can’t thank you all enough.

The reviews talked about the buses not being there on time, about them smelling of the restroom or vomit, about rude drivers, air conditioning not working, WiFi not working, you name it. There would be a good review and then 6 DO NOT USE reviews.

After hearing from you all I think I will go ahead and go with this company. I would love to buy tickets on site because I have no idea how long it will take us to get through customs (we arrive at 6:45am), but with a party of seven I don’t want to end up in a situation where there isn’t a seat for all us.

Again, my sincere thanks to each one of you for your time and effort.

Posted by
9685 posts

Are you just taking it from Heathrow to Victoria Coach Station? I’m not sure I’d worry about it being full. I’ve taken it a number of times and it was never even half filled.

Perhaps the longer distance coaches build up smell but these just go back and forth to Heathrow all day.

Very few people bother to review transport services unless something goes wrong.

Now, coach travel via National Express is not glamorous, and Victoria Coach Station is a far cry from the big London train station in terms of facilities (it’s a bustling place full of people from all over the world arriving on long-distance coaches as well as from the UK).

But if you’re travelling city to city in the UK they’re absolutely fine. I wouldn’t rush to use the onboard toilets but the coaches are clean & comfortable. A big advantage is that the driver stows your luggage underneath so you don’t have to carry heavy bags with you.

My mother in her 80s uses National Express frequently on her own and prefers them to trains.

Posted by
11236 posts

If there are seven of you, you might want to check on an the cost of a car service. It might not be too much more but is direct to your door.

Posted by
331 posts

My go to way of getting from the South Coast to and from Heathrow. I've done it numerous times - never had an issue.
National express has a "change and go" option at airport arrivals. £5 extra allows you to get the next available bus if you are delayed (or an earlier bus should you be lucky enough to arrive with plenty of time to spare).

As mentioned above, for larger parties, a prebooked car will almost certainly work out to be very competitive.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you again! I think a car might make sense. Thanks for bringing me in to your community.

Posted by
3681 posts

"Coaches" -- that's a "bus" in the UK -- tend to have less leg room and do not invite moving around like you can on a train. Drivers on the long-distance runs may insist that seat belts be fastened (a plus in my book). Those inter-city buses may be much taller than your common city transport, leaving room for luggage. And the view may be better than from a train window. Trains dig through hills in trenches and often have thick tree growth in hedgrerows obscuring the scenery. In a high coach you can get a sweeping panorama across the farmlands (or maybe a better view of advertising signs.) National Express represents a variety of transport companies so generalities about service may not hold true.

Posted by
3990 posts

Coworkers have used it on numerous occasions from Cheltenham to London with no problems, other than unpredictable traffic, weather, etc.

Posted by
168 posts

Ours broke down between Bath and Heathrow, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen often...:-)

Posted by
1 posts

Yikes, Terri! I trust you made it to your flight on time despite the breakdown? We are planning to take the same bus, as we will be finishing up
our trip with a stay in Bath before flying home from LHR. Fingers crossed for an uneventful ride!