Gatwick Express Question

Jan 28th, 2009, 10:17 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,516
We had a similar bad experience on our only time to try the Southern train, too. We stood almost all the way into London, with our bags in the aisles and falling over a lot.

You also need to be aware that on the return to Gatwick the train is only making a stop. You need to be ready to exit quickly. The door closed between my daughter who got off first and me, but fortunately a gentleman saw I couldn't get it to reopen and did it for me.

We pay the difference quite gladly.
carolyn is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  #22  
 
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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.>

True words Rkkwan. I think there is a situational difference too. For my upcoming trip we're traveling in a group of six and it will definitely be a casual trip -- at least partially because the expenses multiply in a group this size -- but also because we kind of the adventure. However, if I was going with just my mom, we'd probably take the express as Mom's less likely to view standing on a suitcase all the way into London with as much enthusiasm as a twelve year old would.
Lauratg is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 11:12 AM
  #23  
yk
 
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I can tell you that one time we took the Gatwick Express (Nov 2006), the train was completely full and we had to stand the whole way into London.

For me, a £1 saved is a £1 saved. We are budget travelers, and I'd rather spend 1 hour getting from home (here in US) to the airport via public transportation and back; than spend $100 on airport parking. ditto for London.
yk is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 12:00 PM
  #24  
 
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BTW, these are my parents on the Southern. [yk wasn't on this trip with us to Sicily/Amalfi.]

http://rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p828338974/e2cb0c8a7
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 03:09 PM
  #25  
 
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Admittedly not at rush hour, we took the Southern on a Friday in August and it was fairly empty. No specific place to put luggage, but I have no interest in paying extra for the Gatwick Express so I can have dedicated luggage storage!
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 04:13 PM
  #26  
 
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sf7307: You'd likely think differently at 9:00AM on a weekday morning.

Standing for 40 minutes while jetlagged is not my idea of fun . . . . . .

It really does make a difference the time/day of the week. On a weekend I'd definitely take the local. On a weekday AM - not so much.
janisj is online now  
Jan 28th, 2009, 06:25 PM
  #27  
 
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Yeah, I figured that!
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:10 AM
  #28  
 
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Well being a budget traveler is not a bad thing, however, if you can afford something but are just too cheap to spend an extra pound or two, I don't understand it. When I arrive, after a 10/11 hour overnight flight, the last thing I want is hassle. I want to get to where I am going in a relaxed manner. If I was on a budget I would have done without something prior to the trip. Vacations and travel are meant to be fun not an exercise in frugality.
rogeruktm is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 09:57 AM
  #29  
 
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Saving money is fun for a lot of people.

I can afford all 5* hotels and limos to/from airport. But riding commuter trains with locals is FUN for me. Okay?
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 10:25 AM
  #30  
 
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Ditto what rkkwan said.
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 01:28 PM
  #31  
 
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Yeah, right. Spending money is more fun. Try it.
rogeruktm is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 01:49 PM
  #32  
yk
 
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When I arrive, after a 10/11 hour overnight flight, the last thing I want is hassle. I want to get to where I am going in a relaxed manner.

That's the way you travel and that's fine with me. But that doesn't mean everyone feels the same as you do. I personally DO NOT find taking commuter trains and the tube a hassle, even after an overnight flight from the US. I'm sure lots of Londoners who, after a trip to the US, will choose to take the Southern commuter trains over the Gatwick Express.

How I like to spend my money on my trip is my business. Since the OP is asking ways to save money, we gave him the options of GEX vs Southern trains; and we gave him our own personal experiences riding the respective trains.
yk is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 02:01 PM
  #33  
 
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I agree 100% with everything you said. That is the purpose of this forum, to provide information and to answer questions. Sorry if I got of the subject. Still, at my age, I do enjoy my comforts.
rogeruktm is offline  

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