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Gatwick Airport Bus Services To London

Cheapest Transfer Option Is Bus, But Which One? National Express or easyBus


National Express Gatwick Bus At London Victoria

National Express Gatwick Bus At London Victoria

Author: Bob Handford


The Gatwick Airport Bus services to and from London are the cheapest transfer options between London and Gatwick Airport. There are two competing coach services, National Express and easyBus. National Express run into London's Victoria coach station in the centre of London with large coaches with toilets.

The other Gatwick airport bus service called easyBus runs higher frequencies in small minibuses to West Brompton Underground Station, less central than London Victoria in the inner suburbs of London.


There is no direct motorway route into Central London so progress is comparatively slow and peak hours traffic congestion can cause delays. Journey time is typically around 90 minutes at least double the journey time of the train alternative.

The only real reason why you would use the bus service between Gatwick and Central London over the train is the cheaper price.

Though it should be noted the National Express Gatwick Airport Bus runs a true 24x7 timetable running throughout the night at the same regular frequencies.

Gatwick - London Airport Buses - National Express v easyBus Comparison

Gatwick Airport to London, Buses and Train Options Compared
  • Both National Express buses and easyBus pick up and drop at both Gatwick terminals. At North Terminal the National Express coaches park in front of the terminal doors, easyBus park in a small bus station about 150 yards away. In London, National Express terminate at Victoria Coach Station in the centre of London and a major London transport hub. Victoria Coach Station is in the heart of the budget hotels in Victoria, a major hotel district. easyBus terminate close to West Brompton Underground Station (zone 2 of London's public transport system), so most people will need to take the Underground into the centre. West Brompton is a short walk though from Kensington Earls Court hotel district, a major budget hotel district of London.

  • The National Express service is broadly an hourly service running 24 hours a day. Journey time is around 90 minutes. easyBus, because it doesn't go into the proper centre of London is slightly faster by about 20 minutes, but for most people this time advantage will vanish when you factor in the longer transfer time to your final destination in Central London. It should be emphasised any vehicle based transport is much, much slower than the train option between London and Gatwick. The bus is also much more prone to disruption and delays through traffic congestion so you should give yourself much more contingency than the train.

  • easyBus have a very dynamic pricing model if you book far in advance you may be offered very cheap fares, pay closer departure and fares offered may be more expensive than National Express. The time of day you travel will also influence the price you pay on easyBus. When comparing prices do factor in the total cost of getting to your final destination, the final transfer between the London bus terminus and your hotel in London may be almost the same cost as the airport bus.

  • The National Express buses are full sized air-conditioned coaches with toilets. easyBus use small mini-buses.

  • With National Express and easyBus you book a specific schedule which you are expected to travel on, you are guaranteed a seat on that schedule. If your flight is late and you miss the schedule with National Express you can switch to a later schedule at airports only. A ticket for a new schedule is issued and there is a an admin fee, at the time of writing 5 pounds. With easyBus you may use the same ticket at no extra cost to travel on the next available bus, up to 60 minutes either side of your booked time only. In contrast the trains are much more flexible in this respect. tickets are not for individual train schedules.

  • National Express free luggage allowance is 2 cases for the hold of the bus. Neither case should weigh more than 20kg (44lbs). An item of hand luggage is allowed in the passenger cabin but only laptop/handbag size. There are steep excess luggage charges if you exceed these limits. easyBus allow one bag max dimensions H+W+L equalling 57 or less inches and weighing 23kg or less plus one hand luggage no more than 5kg

  • easyBus get very poor reviews on travel forums like TripAdvisor so you might want to research and factor in this aspect when into your decision. For that reason we have not linked to their web-site here, but of course you can Google them with no problem

  • The London terminus of the National Express is Victoria Coach Station. The large coach station has all the facilities of a small airport including left luggage and ATM's, fast food etc. The easyBus London terminus is just a bus top on a main road exposed to the elements.

Gatwick - Central London Airport Buses Ticketing

Victoria Coach Station London Video Clip

You can buy tickets at the airport or Victoria Coach Station, but not from the driver or in advance on-line. With easyBus you can purchase from the driver at the full non-discounted fare, but note these are small mini-buses so seats may not be available.


When you purchase a ticket for a National Express service or easyBus it is for a single stated departure time. You do not get an individual seat number, but you are guaranteed a seat.

It is recommended booking a service at least 60 minutes after the scheduled arrival time of your flight. So what happens if your flight is late and you miss that schedule on your ticket?


National Express customers who miss their flights due to their flight being delayed, or wish to travel on an earlier service due to their flight being early, can amend their ticket for travel on a later or earlier service, within 24 hours either side of the original travel time.

A small administration charge will apply for this facility.

This facility only applies at airports. In the reverse direction, when boarding at points that are not airports you are expected to make the schedule you have booked.


With easyBus you may use the same ticket at no extra cost to travel on the next available bus, up to 60 minutes either side of your booked time only. If you are delayed beyond this then you need to buy another ticket.


Gatwick - Central London Airport Coach Services
London - Gatwick Airport Comparison of Fares

Service

Standard Adult Fare*

One-Way

 Return 

National Express Bus To Victoria

£10.00

£16.00

easyBus To West Brompton / Waterloo

£2-£11

£4-£22

Southern Train To Victoria

£10.00/£15.00~

£20.00/£30.00~

Thameslink Train To St Pancras

£7.40/£10.00~

£14.80/£19.00~

Gatwick Express Train (Advance on-line)

£17.75

£31.05

Gatwick Express Train (Purchased at station)

£19.90

£34.90

Hotel Van Shuttle

£20.26

£40.52

Saloon/Sedan Car (2 People)

£76

£152

Small Bus (12 People)

£230

£460

* Standard adult ticket. Other promotional fares may appear from time to time.

~ Cheapest Off Peak or Advance Purchase Fare/Anytime fares

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