How would you rate
"I've been using National Express coaches ever since university days but more frequently when the railways were privatised and became a "privileged" mode of travel. Been rather contented with NE's service overall until my next journey booked months in advance from Brighton to Gatwick return. Just before my date of travel, got a text msg from NE stating due to timetable rescheduling, my booked and paid for journeys have been axed due to time table rescheduling, options offered to me meant; having to get to Gatwick an over an hour before check in time but worst of all, on my return journey, only giving me 45 minutes from landing to go through immigration and luggage, custom and to board the coach.
I could accept the outward bound trip but not the return option as I've missed coaches before and had to repay for a new ticket etc. The only other option offered is to take a later coach which involves over an hour change over in South Terminal resulting in a total journey time of approx 2.5 hours to travel from Gatwick to Brighton! I believe, the cyclists in the London to Brighton did their trip in less time! Furthermore this will result in getting into Brighton in the little hours of the morning after midnight which means increased taxi fare too. No compensation was offered except a discount % for next journey which at the ticket price would work out to be a couple of quid!
It is ridiculous for NE to expect us to believe a considerate business would suddenly reschedule their time table and axe services already filled with booked customers? It's common sense to slowly phase in a new time table by axing future services before they're populated with bookings unless of course, customer consideration is NOT in their business model.
Personally we feel that NE is adopting the same "Profit before customers" attitude akin to the low cost airlines where they offer attractive discounts to entice early bookers to book in advance, to ensure their high take up of their seats BUT should there be a surge in last minute bookers who obviously pays more, the carriers dumps the early bookers in favour of the late bookers, simply for the profit. This offers the carriers a win - win situation for them at the expanse of their customers.
Such carriers have no consideration for the sudden massive inconvenience and extra costs imposed onto their customers by their selfish unprofessional commercial practices. At such last minute, it's hectic enough tying up loosed ends at work and at home prior to a vacation, not having the added hassle and costs of now trying to find alternative transport!
It's high time, even coach operators like airlines and railways be forced legally to pay compensation should they fail to fulfill their ticketing contract with their customers.
Personally, I will from now on wards be actively seeking to use alternative coach operators first, in order to support them so that they will start to provide healthy competition against NE's unacceptable practices and attitudes."
"Sunday early morning at 4.30, no traffic at all and you managed to arrive late. I lost my flight because of that. Terrible customer service as well as the driver assistant was repeatedly rude with other passengers, can't understand how you're still in business. Also on travelpilot there aren't 3 bad reviews we all wrote while we were on the bus so don't trust travelpilot reviews website."
"Worst customer servoce ever, they openly hate passengers."
"I won't travel with National Express again!! We had to fly back from London, after a nice couple of days of vacation. The bus arrived at the right time, as noted on our tickets, to take us back to the airport. The bus was empty. Because this bus was the actual bus BEFORE 'ours', we couldn't get it. This bus was 40 minutes late. Without any hesitation, empathy or whatsoever... the bus driver told us that 'rules are rules' and left us standing there. With my printed tickets (allready paid in my home country, same exact price!!!) and luggage. 'Your bus will arrive shortly'. EHM, I don't think so. I can't help it that you're delayed!! Our bus was also 40 minutes late, plus 40 minutes of traffic... Result; we missed our flight!! The doors of our plane allready closed. We had to rebook tickets and I had to call my boss to tell him I won't be able to come to work. 1,1/2 hours away from the centre of London... our next flight was TWO DAYS later!! We had to pay for new tickets, plus two extra nights in a hotel. This has cost us more in total than the entire trip! I understand that bus drivers like to 'stay in control', but this was the rudest thing ever. We would've been home that evening if he'd let us in. Therefore I'd like to suggest; leave with national express 5 hours before your flight departures, or go by tube. You'll get better service there. It was absolutely ridiculous."
"Overall a disappointing experience. Booked our return tickets and had more time than anticipated. Asked the driver if we could take his bus rather waiting an hour and was told to buy another ticket.
Disinterested, just wanted to set off in an empty bus."
"Awful company. The bus never showed up, the people who worked there had no information about the bus and the customer service is abysmal. Still trying to get my money back weeks later."
"There isn’t customers service
Only interested to make money
When I traveling Heathrow to Cardiff I was reach one hour early I asked staff can I catch early bus they ask me to pay extra but bus was half empty"
"For our return journey from London Victoria on Sunday National Express decided to lay on a bus from an outsourced Coach Company. The Coach was extremely shabby and dirty inside. The toilet, in the middle of the coach stank. Not nice when you have to sit by it for three and a half hours. The driver had to stop in the Services for half an hour as he said that he had run out of hours. Hopefully, this was a one off and normally receive a good standard of service from National Express."
"The bus broke down on the way - got flat tire. One of the other travelers said it was second bus in the same day that had this issue for him. This only points to horrible technical staff of the vehicles. Your buses should be regularly checked for technical state. We didn't get alternative means of transportation to the airport in reasonable time (not even over an hour after the accident), resulting in most of people being forced to take taxi and pay much more additional money for the transport to the airport and several even missing the flight.
Communication from the driver was horrible.
We were stuck at the side of highway which felt like endangering the safety of the passenger. I filed the refund request and I really hope it will at least be processed.
Overall the transportation to the airport is not reliable and I will not ever take it again or recommend it to anyone."
"I had to to wait an extra 40 mins of my expected departure. I was told it was going to be late fair enough, but no explanation as to why that was the case. Absolute disgrace!"
"Just don’t bother contacting the customer don’t care service,and to claim your refund you have to call them and by the time they answer you have paid for your ticket again shameful,get an automated refund service,useless never again."
"My experience was horrible. My coach was meant to leave at 17.00 h. and I was there punctually at 16.45 h. However, in the middle of the boarding process, we were forced to go back inside in order not to block the way out for some departing coaches.
The employee assured us it would be a couple of seconds, but shortly after the coach departed, half-empty. When we complained, we were told that the coach had to pick other passengers on the way and that there was another coach right behind.
This turned out to be a lie, as the next coach did not arrive until 17.35 h., and departed even later, which meant that I had to wait for a full hour since I arrived and I almost ended up missing my flight, as the coach had many stops on the way to the airport.
I feel really hard done by and I think they did a terrible job. How on earth is it possible that a coach departs the station half-empty while passengers with tickets are refused to board??? The explanation by staff that other passengers had to board at other stations is simply pathetic, it means that they sold more tickets than seats available, which is really aggravating.
Just to make things worse, staff was particularly unfriendly, did not keep us updated and felt outraged that we even dared to voice our discontent.
"We must name Mr Russell who was our coach driver from the London Victoria Coach Station to London Gatwick North terminal on 24/02 Saturday 09:00 departure time.
He is a great asset to the company and a lively person making you feel immediately welcome. He is a very professional person at his work.
When we arrived at the terminal, we asked for his name to write this review for his excellent and professional service."
"Seats are so painful for anyone above 6 ft. Lower back pain an hour into my 3 hour journey and after another 30 mins the pain was unbearable. Would've stood up of I didn't have to fight the seat belt every inch of movement ."
"Bus not there
No information on the board
No one available to ask
Tracking facility didn't work
Be aware of that as no refund available -Called customer service and no refund
Terrible and awful experience"
"My bus (the 707, 12:10) didn't show up. While I was waiting I called National Express three times (at a cost of 13p per minute). Each time, I was told a completely different story about the bus. The first 'advisor' told me the bus was stuck on the M25 and would be at my stop 'in 15 minutes'. One hour later I called again and was told that my bus had broken down and a replacement would be sent. Another hour later, I called a third time and was told that my bus never existed and I should wait for the late-running 14:10!
When another National Express bus arrived I asked the drivers for information, he turned his back to me, threw both hands in the air and said 'I don't know, I'm not driving that bus'. THREE HOURS stood at a freezing cold bus stop with no information whatsoever. I finally got on a 707. The driver could barely speak English and we couldn't understand a word he was shouting at each of the stops. Luckily, our stop was the last stop so we didn't have to try to understand.
Luckily we had the rest of the day free, but if we had a connecting bus or a flight we would have been screwed. This is the second time I've used National Express and both times my bus didn't show up. Also, both times the customer service was terrible.
I'll never ever rely on them again. Such a stressful, horrible experience."
"Okay so I've been using National Express coach services for 4 years and never before have I had a problem with them, until now.
A problem that caused me to lose my flight. A problem that in my opinion should be illegal, perhaps, it might actually be.
Here's what happened. I bought my coach ticket online a few hours before its departure, 3:18pm, and everyone that have used their services before, should know that the seat is guaranteed for the respective coach reservation. Anyway, I'm not much of a queue type of guy, because it simply makes me anxious to be there waiting and waiting, so as usual, I sit in a cafe shop not more than 20 meters away and from which I have total visibility to the coach stop. And there I was again today. I saw the coach arrive and obviously everyone started queuing up, approximately around 25 people. So I let majority get onboard and then finally I make my way to the coach while there was still people getting onboard and queuing. Some of these people were buying tickets in the moment, but never I would imagine that National Express would sell my seat, which by terms and conditions is reserved and guaranteed to me, to other people buying at the coach door. I realised when for my surprise the driver goes "we are full", I was like whaaat???!!! So I tell the driver that I had done my reservation hours before and it is not fair that other people who didn't, got priority to board before me, but he said, it's "too late now bus is full", I insisted and he gave me attitude, oh well. What else could I do? I felt like punching him in the face, because what happened to me should be sincerely illegal, you pay for your seat and then they go and re sell it to someone else? I mean wtf?? I couldn't believe it. The coach departed, and then I ran to their shop across the road to ask information about the next coach and to make a complaint, but unfortunately it wouldn't arrive on time for my flight. I called a cab. In the meantime they offered me refund but I refused because being denied boarding could costed me a flight, which turned out to be the case, because next taxi available was 30 mins wait. So I logged a complaint and I will take matters legally if I have to, I feel that I was treated wrongfully and caused me much financial and moral damage to me and my family that I haven't seen for long time. I got to the airport and managed to get another flight for 100£ in two days, but to another city in same country. So yeah I'm really pissed off and hopefully it won't happen to anyone else. Make sure to stop people from buying tickets in front of you if you already have your ticket, because in the end you might just lose your seat like I did."
"Now you want me to write the whole thing again?"
"Quite frankly, I am utterly appalled by the service I received yesterday on board the 737 service from High Wycombe to Hatfield and on the return leg from Hatfield to High Wycombe. The fact that there is no clear location to lodge complaints on the website either, just shows how poor National Express is in dealing with complaints. As a customer who has been using the service for the fifth consecutive year, I have totally lost all confidence in this company.
Let's start with the outbound journey (High Wycombe Town centre to Hatfield- 07:30-09:40). We got to Luton Airport and were told that the coach had a flat tyre so wouldn't be able to continue the journey to Hatfield with the coach. We were told that alternative arrangements were being made, but that was the only update we received. Instead of being allowed to stay on the bus, we were asked to disembark and wait in the cold for over 30 mins, only to be told that I would be sharing a taxi with two other people. Whilst most other passengers got on the 787 service to continue the journey to Stanstead, I was the only one on my coach who was told that I would have to get a taxi; although would need to drop off two other passengers to two completely different locations, none of which were close by. So whilst waiting for the taxi, we were thrown about from person to person at Luton, as not even the rude staff knew what taxi was taking us to our destinations and when it would be coming....even animals are treated better than we were. Even though I got to my destination, albeit late for an important meeting, I thought this was a one off and allowed myself to excuse the matter as I understand breakdowns can happen.
However, I was utterly disgusted as to how I was treated on the return leg of my journey (as if my journey with NE couldn't have got any worse!). On the return leg, (737 Hatfield to High Wycombe Town centre- 12:50-14:45), my journey was nothing short of a nightmare. I arrived at the coach stop outside the Galleria at 12:25, so well in time of the suggested 10 minutes before scheduled time of departure (which is both clearly stated on the ticket and on the company's website). By company policy, the coach is not allowed to leave before the scheduled time of departure, if all passengers booked onto that service are not there....(otherwise someone please explain to me what the point of booking a ticket is?!). So I continued to wait for the coach to arrive at 12:50. Now obviously because I was aware of what happened earlier that day, I was expecting some delays with the coach service. Bear in mind, I had not moved from the coach stop, and neither had the two other passengers waiting for the service. It got to half 1, still standing outside on one of the coldest days of the year so far, and still no sign of the coach. I then decided to ring the National Express customer service line and spoke to a middle aged woman, asking if the service had been cancelled or whether a replacement service was in use. She advised me that (in her own words) 'No we will never cancel a service and instead put out a replacement minibus. The driver is running slightly late but will definitely stop at all the stops published for this route. He will also get out of the minibus and shout for any passengers for the National Express service, so please keep an eye out for that.' So then I waited for this replacement coach service to arrive. An hour and half passed, and still no sign of this replacement service. So i re-rung the helpline, where I spoke to a lady called Sarah. Sarah informed me that after checking the system, the taxi, not minibus, had definitely passed from there and had picked up all passengers. So I was transferred onto the next service. Clearly, what I had been told was a blatant lie, as neither a replacement coach service had turned up and the coach service for 12:50 had been cancelled. If I had been standing there since 12:30, clearly I wouldnt have missed the taxi. Either that or the company did not follow its own policies about leaving only at scheduled times. Why can I say this? Because I was not on my way home until the next coach service at 14:50 ( exactly two hours later). In these two hours, I was told to wait outside, with no information screens about when the replacement minibus/next coach was expected, no sign of a replacement service and clearly the people on the other end of the phone were just covering the companies back.
I am utterly disgusted by the service, and will not be using the service again in the future. I have completely lost my trust in the business and will be using other companies who will profit from years of service in the future. I expect a full refund for the disruption that was caused to my journey; I can understand if its just the one journey, as this has happened several times before where we have been stuck in traffic for hours, but when two journeys are severely disrupted in the way they were, this is completely unacceptable. The way I was treated with on the phone was completely undermining and Sarah who put me on the next service sounded like she was doing me a favour; no you were not doing me a favour, instead this is my statutory right as a passenger who has been disrupted for reasons that are not my problem. I have never felt so undermined as a commuter in my life and demand this to be looked into immediately. If this is not resolved, I am most certainly ready to take this up to a higher level."
"i've been charged from my card 19 pounds for a ticket i never got confirmation for, so I had to buy another ticket from the bus ticket checker"