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National Express Bus – Luggage Issues

Author: Bob Handford
Especially if you are from North America and even on some European airlines you may find that what is within your luggage allowance on the flight triggers luggage surcharges on National Express buses.
Early in 2012, National Express revised their luggage regulations and introduced excess luggage charges.

National Express buses are one of the cheapest ways of getting between Central London and Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick airports and also Dover and Southampton cruise ports.
They also offer the only direct public transport between Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports.

The Formal National Express Luggage Policy

You are allowed to take onto a service one or two medium sized suitcases or rucksacks (no more than 20kg per item) free of charge and one small piece of soft hand luggage. In this context hand luggage means something that is capable of being stored in the overhead rack or beneath the seat. With the exception of brief cases, no hard-shelled cases, wheelie bags or hard-framed rucksacks/back packs will be allowed on board.
We shall have no obligation to carry luggage in excess of the permitted amount or size but additional pieces of hold luggage, or ‘outsized’ items, will be permitted, subject to space being available, and on payment of a charge for each extra piece. The charges will be £10.00 single journey per item (one journey can be multi-leg) or £15.00 return journey per item.
Collapsible manual wheelchairs and folding pushchairs/buggies will be carried free of charge in the hold.
We may agree to carry, subject to available accommodation, additional luggage such as skis, surfboards and folding/dismantled bicycles, provided that they are packed in a suitable protective packaging.
If the customer pre-purchases excess luggage and there is insufficient room to take the luggage, he/she will have to wait for the next service where priority to board will be given.

The National Express drivers do not weigh your cases and for the most part apply good common sense in interpreting the formal regulations above.
However, if everybody on a bus brought 2 large cases the bus would soon run out of luggage capacity, so there is a legitimate reason for having formal regulations on luggage and enforcing them.
On the cruise ship buses that use almost identical buses to National Express for example, a common rule of thumb is that you will get about 32 cruise passengers luggage on a 50 seat capacity bus.

Loading Of Luggage Onto National Express Buses

Many visitors have concerns with the security and handling of their luggage on the buses. Visions of your luggage being stolen at an interim stop or being mishandled in an unorganised scramble when the bus arrives. The clip below should calm your nerves. It shows the loading procedure as people board the Central London bus at Southampton bus station.

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