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Saturday, October 5, 2013

National Express Coaches

National Express is a subsidiary of National Express Group plc, which is a international public transport company headquartered in Birmingham that operates bus, coach, rail and tram services in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal and Morocco as well as long-distance coach services across Europe. National Express began life as the state-owned National Bus Company which decided in 1972 to bring together the various scheduled coach services under one brand. Initially called National, the National Express brand was first used in 1974.

national express coach, heathrow airport

National Express offers standard routes to destinations across the UK as well as shuttle and airport services. National Express coach routes often pass through several town centres, which can lengthen journey times considerably. However, shuttle services operating at least once an hour offer faster direct routes. National Express operates a number of airport services including service to East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted airports.

national express coach, heathrow airport, london, uk

National Express tickets are available in a variety of ways and different pricing schemes. Booking on line at www.nationalexpress.com is easy. Traditionally, however, tickets are sold through National Express ticket offices located at coach stations, or by third-party agents including travel agents around the country. In general, tickets are sold at the 'Standard Fare' or at 'Advance Fares' when booking in advance.

Customers looking for a discount may want to consider a coachcard. National Express currently offers four different coachcards. These include:
the Young Person Coachcard – for those under 26 or full-time students of any age. This card allows for one-third off the standard fare;
the Family Coachcard – which enables one child (ages 3–15) to travel for free with one full fare paying adult (or 2 children with 2 adults);
the Senior Coachcard – which allows for one-third off the standard fare;
and the Disabled Coachcard – which also allows for one-third off the standard fare.

This writer found the service between Heathrow and Bath to be quick (about 2 hours) and reasonably priced (around ₤30 return for an advance fare booked online). Amendable fares are slightly more expensive.

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