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

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 24/7 timetable running throughout the night at the same regular frequencies.


Gatwick - Central London Airport Coach Services

Gatwick - London Airport buses v train - what if your flight is late?

One of the key differences between airport buses and airport trains that you should be aware of before making a purchasing decision is the comparative flexibility of tickets.


The standard train ticket sold is flexible, your ticket is not tied to a particular train departure at Gatwick. A standard return train ticket is valid for any train coming back to Gatwick within a month.


By contrast with the airport buses you have to state a specific timed schedule for your ticket. With National Express you can pay a fee to give you some flexibility if your flight is late/early.


With easyBus if you miss your bus you can board another bus if there are seats available within an hour of the original departure time of your ticket, more than an hour and you have to buy another ticket.

National Express v easyBus

National Express Gatwick - London Bus Route
  • 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 Earl's Court hotel district, a major budget hotel district of London.

     

  • The National Express service is broadly every 30 minutes 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.

     

  • 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 - London Transfers

National Express Fares - The key points

Remember: With National Express you book a seat on a specific bus schedule


National Express Fare Types

National Express have two standard fare types:


Standard Ticket: The cheapest fare. Amendable (for a fee) but not refundable

This ticket is not refundable but the journey date and time can be changed prior to your current departure date and time. Amendments must be made prior to the journey. An amendment fee will apply.


Fully Flexible Ticket: Unlimited amendments and refunds allowed before travel

Unlimited amendments can be made anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee.

In order to claim a refund, you must cancel your ticket at least 72 hours in advance of your journeys.

 

The Airport Flexible Add On - The flexibility to switch schedule if your flight is early/late -

For peace of mind if your flight is early or delayed with this add-on you may board any available coach 12 hours before or 12 hours after your original departure time you have selected on reservation.

You can amend your ticket to a new departure date as well - free of charge.

You can obtain a refund on your ticket up to 24 hours before departure.

You add the Airport Flexible Fare Add On during the booking process, not at the original selection screen where you select your schedule and fare. The option comes up on a subsequent screen with other supplemental options like excess luggage and travel insurance are offered and before payment.


National Express Group Discount (for 4 people or more) -

If you're travelling on the National Express services in a group of four or more, you can obtain 25% off passenger one-way fares.

To take advantage of this offer, simply book your seats at least three days in advance.


Luggage supplements

The National Express coaches come with a free luggage allowance of 2 cases for the hold of the bus. Neither case should weigh more than 20kg (44lb). 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.


Extra case supplement - £8 on-line, £10 on day

Book 1 extra bag making 3 in total.

3 extra cases supplement - £16 on-line, £30 on day

Book 3 extra bags making 5 in total.


Gatwick - Central London Airport Coach Services
London - Gatwick Airport Comparison of Fares 2018

Service

Standard Adult Fare*

One-Way

 Return

Bus/Coach options

National Express Bus to Victoria

£5-£10

£10-£20

easyBus to West Brompton

£2-£11

£4-£22

Train options

Southern Train to Victoria (Train Ticket)

£12.00/£16.20

£24.00/£32.40

Southern Train to Victoria (Oyster)

£8.30/£14.70~

£16.60/£29.40~

Southern Train to Zone 1 (Oyster)

£10.60/£17.00~

£21.20/£34.00~

Thameslink Train to St Pancras (Train Ticket)

£9.00/£10.70~

£18.00/£20.50

Thameslink Train to St Pancras (Oyster)

£8.30/£14.70~

£16.60/£29.40~

Gatwick Express Train (Ticket on day)

£19.90

£36.70

Gatwick Express Train (Advance online)

£17.80

£32.70

Gatwick Express Train (Oyster)

£19.80

£39.60

Gatwick Express Train (Web Duo online)

n/a

£45.50†

Shuttles & Private Cars/Coaches

Hotel Van Shuttle

£32

£64

Saloon/Sedan Car (2 People)

£73

£146

Small Bus (12 People)

£240

£480

* Standard adult ticket. Return leg within one month.

† Online only return ticket for 2 adults.

~ Cheapest Off Peak and Anytime fares
Off Peak at any time except journeys Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930.

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