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Oyster Card - A little confused, help please

I bought the London Pass for my trip in just over a month. I added on their Oyster Travelcard option (how they word it) for a credit of 25 pounds.

As I understand - I will be billed against that credit for the first 3 trips of the day and then no additional charges will apply that day no matter how many times you ride. I will take the train in from Heathrow on arrival so that looks like about 13 pounds as it will be off-peak on the Piccadilly line (blue). I believe all my other travel will be in zone 1 for about 2.5 pounds as I'm staying at Earl's Court station which looks to be the edge of the zone.

I tend to take a few trains the wrong way - a few too many stops - and a little confusion along the way in a new city so want to be sure I understand the rules of the card.

Posted by
21327 posts

That is how it worked for us. When you hit the daily limit there are no more charges. I also thought it was cheaper to travel after 9am. You do have to remember to tap the card before the ride and after the ride. Many times there are gates that force you to use the card but have seen newer stations were there were no gates for exit so tap the card on the post. Watch the locals.

Posted by
53 posts

Perfect! Thanks - I had to tap out in Paris but they have gates at all of those so it was easy to remember.

I thought I had finally made sense of it!

Posted by
90 posts

The system is called fare capping, the total final charge is calculated (overnight) by the zones you have travelled through, (buses are zone free)

£13 Heathrow to Earls Court doesn't sound right, how are you getting this fare?

If it's Heathrow Express, that's not convenient for Earls Court, just use the Piccadilly line directly from Heathrow terminals to Earls Court station, the TfL Oyster single (one way) fare finder shows this as £1.50 off peak or £2.80 peak. (06:30 to 09:30 / 16:00 to 19:00 )

The Piccadilly line goes deep level at EC, but if you wish, do an easy same platform change to the District line at Hammersmith, that is a shallow line and in the open air at Earls Court.

The ticket barriers show remaining credit briefly when you tap through, or you can use the ticket machines at the stations to check your Oyster or add credit.

Posted by
10251 posts

Earls Court is my "home" station so let me jump in here.

The trip via the Piccadilly line will take 40-45 minutes from LHR. Just stay on the Piccadilly line, don't change. There is a lift (elevator) at Earls Court Station to take you from train level to street level. There are two exits from Earls Court Station--Earls Court Road and Warwick Road. These are east and west of the station respectively. Make sure you take the correct lift. There will be signs.

The off peak fare from Heathrow is 1.50 GBP as the Earls Court Station is in both Zone 1 and Zone 2.

Don't think of the underground lines by their colors. Learn the name of the line you need--Piccadilly, District, Victoria, etc. Station direction signs use the lines' name not the colors.

Also don't refer to the Underground (Tube) as the "train" as there are actual trains at Heathrow and if asking directions to the "train" you may be sent to the wrong place. Refer to it as either the Underground or the Tube. This is true throughout London.

Posted by
53 posts

This is very helpful - yes the site I found was quoting fare on the Express so the lower fares are perfect and I know I won't go over that during my stay.

Thank you for the tip on exiting the station - I looked it up and my hotel is on the Earls Court Rd side (so that will save me - thank you!)

Appreciate knowing that it is by names not colors (Chicago is my base of understanding - so you get on the "red" line there). Looks like I will be on Piccadilly or District for all my destinations.

Posted by
10251 posts

If you want to name your hotel I can give you directions from the tube station.

Posted by
2181 posts

I am in the preplanning stages of a trip to London for April. Please write a quick report when you return. I am reading every trip report I can to help me with my planning. Found a Dutch restaurant I will definitively go to doing this this method.

Posted by
4 posts

We were just in London in July and pre-purchased a 50 pound Oyster Card for both my husband and I and our two children (so four total cards). We used the card to go all over London and even for the train out to Hampton Court Palace. We were in London for about 8 days of sightseeing and just used the Oyster card whenever we needed to go anywhere outside of walking distance. At the end of our trip, we had about 18 pounds left on each of our four cards. You can get a refund on unused funds, but if it's over 5 pounds, you have to go to one of the bigger train stations like Waterloo or Victoria or to the Underground station at Heathrow. On the day we left London, we just didn't have time to deal with trying to get a refund so we ended up giving our cards to some English Boy Scouts that we traveling to the US for the world wide Scout Jamboree. My husband was an Eagle Scout and my son is almost an Eagle Scout so it seemed like a good thing to do!

Posted by
506 posts

Make sure that you "tap in" and "tap out". Here is the quote from a transport guide that I have that says it all:

To make sure you are paying the correct fare, you MUST ‘touch
in’ (on all modes of transport) and ‘touch out’ (on all modes of transport
except buses) with your card on the yellow reader. Failure to do
so will result in paying the maximum cash fare.

Several years ago my wife failed to tap out, in those days you had to go to one of the manned booths and top up her card. Now you can top up at any kiosk much simpler.

Posted by
33 posts

OK...I'm going to piggyback a question onto this thread. Just checking...we fly into Gatwick and are also staying in Earl's Court area (Trebovir Hotel). I believe we can take the Southern Train into Victoria Station then the tube to Earl's Court. My question...does the Southern Train accept Oyster card?

Posted by
4538 posts

Yes all trains from Gatwick to Victoria do, the differential fare for the Express or not depending on which barrier you leave from. Depending on where in the Earls Court neighbourhood you are in ,changing at Clapham Junction for the Overground to West Brompton might be an option, although not so good maybe for the Trebovir.