Heathrow Express Slashes Fares

JonathanH

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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
 
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matt_world2004

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

packermac

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If you've had a long flight, I think a lot of people at most airports would consider the fastest train regardless of cost. Maybe they shouldn't, but from the passenger numbers it's obvious they do. [What they then do when getting to Paddington is another matter].

And the people selling tickets all over the airport are very quick to upsell to first class if they see anyone that looks smart. Rather like McDonald's upselling by saying 'Was that a large meal?'.

Whether people are being ripped off is subjective. That's the price. Nobody is being charged above the advertised cost so in that respect it's fully transparent.
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.
 

Flinn Reed

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

Mountain Man

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15 Jun 2019
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People say HEx is mugging off passengers and tourists would know better - there are still loads at Victoria who ask about the GX services depsite being only 5-10 mins faster than the equivalent Southern (and the first to get cancelled). They're still doing a pretty rousing trade on these services with unsuspecting (or in many cases specifically asking!) foreign tourists.

I doubt HEx will see a significantly decreased trade due to Crossrail, but this may be one to "wait and see" including how well both get promoted and what staff at Paddington start to routinely advise.
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
 

Djgr

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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.
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.
 

Ianno87

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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
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.

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.
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!
 

Djgr

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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!
There is a fine line between simplification and deception!
 

Mountain Man

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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.
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
 

Clip

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

Flinn Reed

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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
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.
 

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Even if they do they'll probably still end up on Heathrow Express
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
 

Ianno87

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

matt_world2004

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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'.
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.
 

Djgr

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

Tetchytyke

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Even if they do they'll probably still end up on Heathrow Express
View attachment 70335
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.

Still wouldn't it be nice if the various options could be presented clearly and impartially to travellers?!
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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