My incredible 28 GBP ($36.40) purchase price for two tickets on National Express London airports direct bus service from London Stansted STN to London Heathrow LHR was a real deal when purchased in May at nearly 50% off the 25 GBP per ticket regular price.
The deal would have been even better if I had paid 5 GBP ($6.50 USD) more per ticket for a flexible ticket. We missed our London Stansted bus departure by 10 minutes.
Ryanair was 15 minutes late arrival, but Stansted passport control at 60 minutes was the real hold-up.
Missed our National Express 7:40pm bus departure by 10 min.
I paid 32 GBP for replacement tickets on the next bus leaving for London Heathrow at 21:15. We could expect to be at Radisson Blu Edwardian LHR hotel around 23:00.
Flexible Tickets worth the extra 5GBP at London Airports
My quick message and advice for those planning same day airport transfers between London’s many airports: LHR, LGW, LTN, STN is carefully consider paying the 5 GBP ($6.50 USD) surcharge per ticket for a flexible ticket as insurance against flight delays.
Our Ryanair flight was only 15 minutes late, but we were told after boarding the plane in Brno, CZ our flight had received a ground control stoppage from London delaying departure 3 hours.
After 20 minutes sitting on the runway, Ryanair received permission for departure. We arrived at London Stansted at 18:50. We had 50 minutes to catch our National Express bus in front of the terminal.
Two or three Border Control agents at London Stansted STN handled a line of 150 or so non-EU passport holders. We watched our luggage spinning around a mostly empty carousel as we neared passport control. Our bus departure time of 19:40 passed.
National Express Flexible Tickets for Airport Transfers
Picking a specific time for your National Express airport transfer bus service time has inherent risk factors beyond your control when airlines are flying you into one airport and you are leaving from another on the same day or going into central London.
- The cost of the flexible airport ticket is £5 per adult and £2.50 per Child each way.
- The flexible airport ticket is only bookable online through the nationalexpress.com website.
- No discounts apply to the flexible airport journey fee.
- Only purchasable on services which start at or end at an airport location.
I am not the type of traveler who buys insurance. But I will definitely consider my flight times and paying extra for a flexible ticket next time. My 28 GBP tickets for two ended up costing 30 GBP each ($42 per ticket) to transfer between London Stansted and London Heathrow airports.
And the National Express bus counter agent’s comforting words at the time she charged me for replacement tickets were, “32 pounds for two tickets is a good deal. These tickets would have cost 54 pounds.”
I would have been better off never having purchased online tickets in the first place and purchasing two full price tickets at the counter upon arrival in London Stansted.
San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)
My July in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Czechia and Slovakia July 5, 2017
Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints
Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague
Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus
Prague, Czechia: Park Inn Prague hotel review
Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique
Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay
Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd
Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay
Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay
Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay
Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer
Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary
Czechia: Impressions after 9 days in Czech Republic
Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia
Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay
Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2
Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017
Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport
London, UK: Buyer Beware National Express bus London Stansted to London Heathrow
London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review
Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel
Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today
Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold
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