Originally I planned to take a train last week from Prague to Brno within the Czech Republic. Buying a train ticket online was more difficult than I anticipated. Google Maps recommended Student Agency bus as the cheapest transportation option between Prague Airport and Brno.
Student Agency sounds like a transportation service for college students and young people. Actually, the bus service is a Czech based travel company originally started by students, but anyone can buy tickets and ride. They are nicknamed ‘yellow bus’ and there is nonstop service between Prague and Brno in 2.5 hours.
The Student Agency bus stop at Prague Airport is between Terminal 1 and the Marriott Courtyard hotel, about 100 meters outside the terminal doors.
The price of a ticket was 10.50 EUR for Prague Airport PRG to Brno with travel in two segments from Prague Airport to Prague Florence bus station, then connecting to another yellow bus to Brno. There are connections at Praha Florenc to many places around Europe.
Prague is called Praha locally, if you are confused by the name change.
The cool part of the bus service is free WiFi, movies, music and games on a seat back monitor. I watched ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ on the bus trip to Prague the other morning. I had never heard of the Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock movie about a young boy, played by Thomas Horn, and the impact in the years following 9/11 after losing his father (Tom Hanks’ character) in the World Trade Center buildings collapse. Tears ran down my face and I found myself turning away to look out the bus window at the morning rain falling down over the Czech countryside.
There are several English language movies with Czech subtitles available. I tried the music channel, but it was too heavy metal for my tastes in the selection of Czech songs offered.
Student Agency online paperless bus tickets
I purchased the bus ticket online and paid with a credit card. No paper ticket necessary. You only need to know your reservation number. An attendant checked each passenger to a printout of passengers. Seats are assigned and self-selected free of charge at time of ticketing.
Under 26 or over 60 years of age gets you a 10% ticket discount.
The bus service was popular. It looked like many seats are booked within 24 hours of departure. Keep that in mind and book tickets in advance if you have a tight schedule and need a specific time. You can change bus reservations free of charge up to 30 minutes before departure.
The bus departed on time for each of the four bus segments I took, however the bus from the airport to Prague ran 30 minutes late due to heavy traffic into the city and the bus from Brno to Prague was also about 30 minutes late due to a backup on the main highway, about 30 miles out of Prague for either an accident or construction. The bus driver took back roads to bypass the traffic jam.
The delays were not an issue since I had a 45 minute break between bus departure times to Brno and an hour transfer time in Prague Florenc before my Prague Airport bus connection.
Coffee and tea complimentary with attendant service and food for sale. Headphones are provided free on the bus.
I departed Prague Airport with 32 CZK in coins remaining in my pocket, about $1.30 USD. That signals to me that I did a good job with currency exchange for my five days in the Czech Republic.