Heathrow Express Slashes Fares

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by kevin_roche, 22 Oct 2019.

  1. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Some people got a cheaper trip into Paddington last night from Heathrow when their Heathrow Express train used platform 11 instead of the usual 6 or 7 due to a GWR train in platform 6.

    https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/PAD/2019-11-05/2131-2145?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt

    Interestingly, there appears to be a test of shorter turnarounds at Paddington tomorrow with all Heathrow Express trains scheduled from platform 7 (not that that makes for a cheaper fare).

    https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/se...7/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=HX
     
  2. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    There was a fatality on the gwml last night which probably changed the operational plans
     
  3. packermac

    packermac Member

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    I think there are some extra issues why travellers and this has included me in the past in using higher priced "airport specific" services.
    1) More likely to have multi lingual booking options eg Narita Express has an English option on the ticket machine, not easy to book a local train ticket in Japanese.
    2) Safety, after a long flight you are often not fully aware of where may be safe or not, much better with lots of other airline passengers than stop at some dodgy local station and have a load of people get on who may intimidate you. I have seen foreign nationals being abused on the Piccadilly Line for example when straight off a flight.
    3) Luggage space, having had two trips on a Southern 377 via Gatwick in the past couple of days, what a joke for a train serving what I think is one of the worlds top 50 international airports in terms of passengers. Virtually no racks for bags and if you are lucky to find one free you probably can not keep an eye on your bags anyway.

    So yes the HeX may not be the cheapest option but it does have other things going for it.
     
  4. Flinn Reed

    Flinn Reed Member

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    Why these are all true, most passengers will require onward connections beyond Paddington, which will involve a lack of luggage racks etc.
     
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    A taxi takes you to your end destination, HEX rarely does. Go look at the TripAdvisor UK forum. It's full of people asking HEX + onward tube or taxi questions
     
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Its an invalid comparison.

    Southern and GX do the same journey. Airport to Victoria.

    HEX and Crossrail won't be. Crossrail takes people into the centre of London. HEX stops at Paddington which is rarely people's end destination. Particularly for business travel, Crossrail will become the more convenient option with a direct journey to the City and Canary Wharf, as opposed to HEX requiring changes
     
  7. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Whilst these points have some validity I think the main criticism of Hex and Gatwick equivalent has been the use of "confusion marketing", so that incoming travellers do not have true and fair information to make an informed choice amongst the alternatives.
     
  8. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    But Ceossrail, whilst nominally serving "The City", still doesn't go to the doorstep of the office.

    Business users will still appreciate the speed of HEx to Paddington then the convenience of Taxi to the door.

    Same is true for many rail fares. For example, for a journey I do regularly, the best Advance fares can be found through some creative use of Via points in journey planners.

    For Air Travellers, providing full information often just adds confusion and delay, rather than clarity! People often are prepared to pay a premium for simplicity!
     
  9. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    There is a fine line between simplification and deception!
     
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    In the case of Canary Wharf it goes as close as a taxi will in many cases, likewise Liverpool Street.

    And it makes far sense even if a taxi required to get it from one of the Crossrail stations than it does stopping part away at Paddington and then get across Central London in a taxi. That makes no sense, as well as being horrifically slow
     
  11. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Are you saying that travellers into the UK at Heathrow are so naive that they dont look up their onward connections before they arrive?
     
  12. Flinn Reed

    Flinn Reed Member

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    Very true, plus Farringdon will serve the western areas of the city, with easy connections to the subsurface lines and Thameslink (e.g. for London Bridge, Kings Cross). The West End is also effectively served by Crossrail, both for business passengers and tourists.

    The only remaining advantage though of a taxi from Paddington (after using Heathrow Express), is avoiding the possible congestion that Crossrail will likely face, particularly in the core section.

    I think Heathrow Express passengers who currently change at Paddington for the tube will likely switch to the Elizabeth Line for cheaper and direct journeys, but those taking taxis to complete journeys may continue to use the Express. Either way, patronage will likely decline significantly on the express once Crossrail is running a full service. With the delays to the Elizabeth Line opening, the 2028 expiry of the express may be a suitable time to withdraw the service.
     
  13. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    Even if they do they'll probably still end up on Heathrow Express
    Screenshot_20191110-205310.jpg
     
  14. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    If this was true then they would be rammed all day long and theyre not.

    What does happen is people know thats an advert and know about our world famous undergropund and probably get that
     
  15. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I think the truth is somewhere between the two scenarios.
     
  16. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Exactly my point.
    Still wouldn't it be nice if the various options could be presented clearly and impartially to travellers?!
     
  17. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    As noble as that is....why uniquiely imposing this on airport flows?

    No other mode of transport is transparent in that way. Air fares (for example) don't say 'current price £100, but if nobody buys a ticket in the next 5 days we'll knock it down to £90 to shift a few more'.

    Or even rail generally - where split tickets ate not activelt marketed?

    Or Tesco 'it's £1 for milk today, but come back tomorrow and it'll only be 95p'.
     
  18. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    Franchised rail operators are generally required to be neutral in the way they market and retail products maybe there is an expectation that something run on public infrastructure should be neutral.
     
  19. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Because if we are serious about moving people from cars onto public transport then transport operators need to behave like grown ups.
     
  20. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Are you saying travellers to London are so naive that they'll only look at the paid-for Google ad listing, and not look down the page.

    The first proper listing is for Heathrow's website, where all options are clearly shown.

    They are on Heathrow's website, including the bus to Feltham.

    https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/getting-to-central-london
     

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