Gatwick Express Question

Jan 24th, 2009, 12:37 PM
  #1  
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Gatwick Express Question

I know that I can purchase a ticket online with return valid for 30 days for 28.80 pounds.

Is this the same price I would pay if I purchased the ticket onboard upon arrival in London, or is this ticket and price only available as advance purchase?
mdtravel is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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That's the full price, and you don't have to buy it online OR onboard, you buy it at the Gatwick Express desk near arrivals. However, the Gatwick Express is the most expensive train option for getting into central London. You can take the First Capital Connect or Southern trains (same tracks, takes about 5 minutes longer than the Express) for much less. I'm pretty sure you buy the ticket at the same place.

http://tinyurl.com/Gatwick-Trains
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Jan 24th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Southern Railway offers a DaySave pass good all over their network (including LGW-London) for £10. Three or four passengers can travel on a Group for £20.

There are some blackout periods on weekdays. Read about it here: southernrailway.com/main.php?page_id=189
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #4  
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Thank you. I'll check out the links provided.

But with regard to the Gatwick Express, will I pay the same amount online, onboard and at the ticket kiosks for a round trip ticket, or is one option cheaper than the others?

Also, do they take pounds onboard or just credit?

I would like to wait until I get there in case I need to cancel my trip. But if I can save money on a round trip ticket by buying in advance I will do that.

mdtravel is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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You will pay the same whether you buy in advance or not. But again, you don't have to buy on-board --- you just get it at the Gatwick Express ticket desk at Gatwick arrivals. They sell Gatwick Express, Southern and First Capital Connect tickets, and yes, they take credit cards.
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Jan 25th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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If you are going to take the Gatwick Express - IMO it doesn't make sense to queue for tickets at the window. Just get on the train and find a seat. The ticket taker will come around through your car before you get into London and you can pay from the comfort of your seat. Since they sell tickets to several trains at the station the line can sometimes be quite long.

You cannot buy tickets for the other trains on board - for those you must queue and buy at the ticket window.

You can pay £ cash or w/ a cc.
janisj is online now  
Jan 25th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for posting this question mdtravel-- I was wondering the same thing.

Robespierre -- I glanced at the DaySave info online and it says that it will post the tickets to my house. Is that true outside the UK as well or will they give me an e-ticket? I could save a lot of money with the Daysave (traveling with four adults and two children).

LauraG
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Jan 26th, 2009, 04:34 AM
  #8  
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Thank you for all of the information on this folks. My thoughts regarding lining up at the window are the same as janisji. I get in, de-plane, clear customs and immigration (ugh, long process now), head right to the tracks for the Express train and find a seat. Done. I don't run the chance of missing a train while i am in line.
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Jan 26th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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Author: Lauratg
Date: 01/25/2009, 02:25 pm

I glanced at the DaySave info online and it says that it will post the tickets to my house. Is that true outside the UK as well or will they give me an e-ticket?


They mail them to US addresses at no additional charge(!) Go directly from customs to your train.

Yes - £22 for the six of you compares very favorably to the GX! And if you're not completely knackered when you arrive, you can cruise around southeast England for the rest of the day at no extra charge. Maybe dump your gear at LGW and hop a train to Brighton ( :30 ) or even Portsmouth ( 1:30 ).

(p.s. the DaySave qualifies for the twofers at www.daysoutguide.co.uk
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Jan 26th, 2009, 07:55 AM
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If you're reading this thread because you're contemplating a Gatwick layover, please note that DaySave allows four adults to pop into London and back for £2.50 per ride. Just watch the restrictions.
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Jan 26th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Thank you Robespierre --

That was the information I needed (and what I was hoping to hear).

The DaySave restrictions should be okay since we're arriving off- peak (Saturday) and off course we're sure of the date since the plane tickets are purchased.

It is particularly nice to know that we won't have to purchase a ticket at Gatwick and can board right away.

I doubt we'll train around southern England all day, but who knows -- maybe we'll come up with a plan!

Lauratg
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Jan 27th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Wow. Maybe the Gatwick Express is the predominant train service that most of us know about because Southern doesn't seem to try at all.

I can't find train times, ticket costs, ticket options, track information, station stops...pretty much anything on their website.

http://www.southernrailway.com/main.php?page_id=93

Is there a better source to use? Waiting until I get there to figure out Southern will make the Gatwick Express the most attractice option...I'd like to save money, but man, unless I'm missing it, there is no information on this on their site.

mdtravel is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Gatwick Express is owned by Southern. Southern wants you to take the Gatwick Express, not the cheaper regular commuter trains used by, er, commuters.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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For trains schedule and fares, just use nationalrail.co.uk

And the Gatwick Airport station is pretty small - I think with 4 tracks. You will find your trains no problem.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Sorry, mdtravel, sometimes if you want to save money, it does take a bit of homework. Only you can decide if the money saved is worth going through the backwards and user-unfriendly timetable on Southern's website. Plus the aggrevation of standing in line for tickets at the ticket hall.

IIRC, the Southern train runs almost as frequently as the Gatwick Express, but I'm not 100% sure.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Something else to consider. The Southern trains are commuter trains - meaning little luggage space and LOTS of riders. What time are you landing? If it is during the morning (in towards London) commute, the extra expense of the LGW Express might be worth it. especially in a jet lagged fog.

If you arrive in the afternoon - the commute trains won't be crowded in to London.
janisj is online now  
Jan 27th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Hi mdtravel,

Try registering on the "Commuter Zone" section on the Southern website. That should be the area with the info on all the commuter trains.

I took a First Capital Connect commuter train from Gatwick to St Pancas in October. Even on the FCC website, the info can be hard to find but if I remember correctly it was in the commuter section there, too.

It's actually fairly simple to decided which train you want after you arrive at Gatwick. I bought a ticket at one of the automatic kiosks. I think it was 11 GBP. You can always just board a GEX and get your ticket on board if your not in the mood for messing about with train tickets once you arrive at the airport.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 10:18 PM
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We flew into Gatwick last November on a Thursday morning around 9:00am. We usually take the Gatwick Express, however decided to try the Southern Railway train because it was 7 or 8 GBP cheaper per person (11.10 GBP per OW ticket, I believe) and the website advertised the trains as having lots of space for luggage.

It was our first and last time on the Southern Railway service from Gatwick.

We bought tickets at the ticket machines (no line) for the Southern Railway train leaving around 10:15am. The platforms for Southern were on the lower level, down the escalator.

There was hardly any luggage space - one section by the door that was about 18" wide and maybe 10" deep. Good if you are traveling with only a briefcase. Not good if you have luggage. We each had a 22" wheeled bag and a very small carry-on.

The train was late, and the train cars were all jam-packed when it arrived at Gatwick (it's a commuter train). We had to stand by the door practically on top of our luggage for the 45-50 minute ride.

Perhaps we were just there on a really bad day, but the 15 GBP or so that we saved wasn't worth it to us. We would have gladly paid double the price to ride on the Gatwick Express on that day (and will on our future trips). The Express has never been crowded when we've ridden it.

I guess it depends on how tight your budget is, and how much luggage you have with you.





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Jan 28th, 2009, 02:35 AM
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We land at Gatwick at 9:00 on a Friday, assuming everything is on time.

Wow, that last post sure is a ringing endorsement of the Gatwick Express! Sounds like a terrible experience.
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Jan 28th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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The Southern trains are fine for what they are. And the Gatwick Express too. Again, just depends on your budget and your expectation.

To many people, traveling in the UK is expensive enough. The Southern train provided a substantial savings. And to many budget travelers, a direct train to London is fine enough, even if there's no luggage rack and even if you have to stand - it's just half a hour afterall.

The Gatwick Express is more like a substitute for taxis - as traffic is poor between Gatwick and Central London. Those who take the Gatwick Express are most likely to switch to a cab from Victoria to their hotel, while those who take Southern will be asking about tube, etc...

Two modes of transport for two different groups of travelers.
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