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Is an Oyster Card appropriate for our 1 night itinerary?

Is an Oyster Card appropriate for our 1 night itinerary?

Feb 11th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2
Is an Oyster Card appropriate for our 1 night itinerary?

I know that there have been countless posts on the Oyster Card but I have to admit that I am totaly confused as to what will be best based on our itinerary -- to purchase or not to purchase?

Our trip details:
We will only be spending 1 night in London before flying to Dublin. We arrive at Heathrow at noon on Saturday, May 26th. Our hotel is near St. James's Park. While in the city we will be doing the hop on/hop off bus tour, a London Eye flight, and whatever else we can squeeze in that tickles our fancy. Sunday afternoon we will make our way back to Heathrow for our 4:50 p.m. flight to Dublin.

Your suggestions are always most helpful, so I wanted to go straight to the source for your suggestions based on our itinerary.

Thanks for your help!
taylorl979 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,730
Given that any use you make of public transport is over two days rather than one, the option of (paper) travelcards isn't much help. So your choice is between Oyster pay-as-you-go or taking the hit on cash fares, which are deliberately set very high to get people to use Oyster instead of cash.

Hard to know whether you'd be likely to make much use of regular public transport in the time you've got available between the other things you've planned (not a lot, I would guess), but Oyster PAYG would save you a fair bit on the fares to and from Heathrow alone - and anything else you spent on either day would be capped at the maximum for a one-day travelcard.

So I'd say go for an Oyster and put £10 on it. All you're purchasing is the (much reduced) cost of the trips you make. You can leave any unused value on it for another trip, or surrender it and get a refund.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Feb 12th, 2007, 03:39 AM
Original Poster
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Posts: 2
Perfect, thanks Patrick!

taylorl979 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 50
Like so many other posters, I am completely baffled by the various options for using public transportation while in London. We are coming into Heathrow on wed. morning and leaving on Sunday. We'll need to get back and forth from airport as well as getting around the city. Can someone put us out of our misery and just tell us what to buy (Oyster pay as you go or three day travel card or are they the same thing? ) How do we include the cost of Heathrow Express? I'm wondering why London transporation felt the need to cause so much consternation among tourist! The website could not be less helpful!
theresac is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,354
theresac: The Heathrow Express is not connected to the Oyster in any way. You need to pay for it separately.

Now, IF you take the tube into London instead, that is different - you just add the cost of the heathrow extensions to your oyster.
janisj is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 104
oyster and not travel card. You can get back all balances stored in your Oyster (inc. the deposit) when you return the oyster to the counter
firedrago is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Oyster is not an alternative form of tariff. It's an alternative to cash.

For theresac: if you're likely to use public transport a lot in your three days, go for the three-day travelcard(£15.40 for zones 1 and 2, which is all you're likely to need). If not, then Oyster pay as you go.

£15.40 = just over 15 bus rides or 10 tube rides on Oyster PAYG over the whole three days, plus you get a discount on boat rides too.

If you use Oyster pay as you go, your expenditure in any one day is capped at the one-day travelcard rate (£6.60 a day = a maximum of £19.80 over three days; to reach that maximum, you would be taking just over 6 bus rides or 4 tube rides in a day).
PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 6th, 2007, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 50
Thank you all for taking the time to explain this - Patrick , I think your advice of the three day travel card for 1 and 2 is the way to go. The most economical thing for us to do would be to take the tube from Heathrow to our Bayswater stop. Is there a tube stop at terminal 4 or do we need to get over to one of the other terminals? (I'm having a hard time getting the tube maps to load on my PC here at work) Lastly, I'm assuming I can buy the travel card or even Oyster at the airport, correct?
Again - thank you all for your patience!
theresac is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,730
Yes, Terminal 4 has its own tube station and since the trains loop there, you can't get on the wrong train.

Yes, you can get your tickets there. They will be used to people asking for zones 1 and 2 with the add-on to get into zone 2.

The stair-free route to Bayswater is to change first at Hammersmith (cross the platform for the District Line eastbound), then Earls Court (wait on the same platform for an Edgware Road train: you could get one to High St Ken and wait there for either District or Circle to Bayswater).
PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 6th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 50
Patrick - yet again you have given me the advice that I didn't even know I needed . I'm traveling with a friend who has early stage muscular dystrophy, so being able to avoid stairs whenever possible is a great help. Thank you again for taking so much of the stress out of our trip. If you ever need help with Washington DC area - I'm your girl!
theresac is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
A one-day Travelcard for Zones 1-2 costs £5.10 - so the Oyster cap is £4.60 per day, because caps are 50p less than the day Travelcard.

Therefore Oyster PAYG for three days caps at £13.80 (off-peak only).
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,730
I stand corrected. The balance of advantage depends on whether you think you would take in one day fewer than four tube trips or six bus trips (if you start riding before 9.30) or three tube trips or five bus trips (if you start riding after 9.30). If no, go for the three-day travelcard; if yes, PAYG may well suit. But the difference in price is less than the price of a sandwich, or the discount on a boat ride to Greenwich.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 455
Clear as mud, you all.
Margo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 50
I agree - I was more concerned with understanding how Oyster card related to the three day travel cards and how to work in the LHR to city connection. Any small price difference isn't worth worrying about at this point!
AGain - thanks to all!
theresac is offline  

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