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British Isles/Western Europe Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)

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  #1  
Old July 10th, 2013, 11:20 AM
K D cruiser K D cruiser is offline
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Question booking National Express coach

I'm looking for advice from anyone who knows how long it usually takes to get through Heathrow after landing.

We're flying into Heathrow and our plane is due to land at 9:45. I need to book a coach to Southampton and want to know if we would typically have enough time to catch the 11:45 coach or should I book the later coach at 13:30. We're flying in two days before the cruise, so we have plenty of time.

Thanks for any information.
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  #2  
Old July 10th, 2013, 01:52 PM
eandj eandj is online now
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With private car services, they rec 45 min to get your luggage etc. We found that easy enough. Of course this doesn't say if your flight itself is on time. And if there are any major back ups/lines in the airport. I'd say that you would make that earlier bus.

Do you HAVE to prebook the bus?
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  #3  
Old July 11th, 2013, 09:27 PM
John Bull John Bull is online now
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About an hour from touchdown to arrivals hall, up to 90 minutes on a bad day.
So you should be OK for the 11.45am.
For journeys from airports only, you can travel on a later bus by paying a small admin fee, so if your flight is seriously late or you are delayed at immigration you can switch to the 13.30

Yes, pre-booking is very strongly advised, because they do book-out.

JB
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  #4  
Old July 12th, 2013, 05:35 PM
K D cruiser K D cruiser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bull View Post
About an hour from touchdown to arrivals hall, up to 90 minutes on a bad day.
So you should be OK for the 11.45am.
For journeys from airports only, you can travel on a later bus by paying a small admin fee, so if your flight is seriously late or you are delayed at immigration you can switch to the 13.30

Yes, pre-booking is very strongly advised, because they do book-out.

JB
Thanks John Bull. You're always so helpful. We're flying in on United and will be at T-4 so will have to take the shuttle, also, which might add to the time. We're coming in on a Monday, so maybe it won't be as busy as a weekend.

I think I'll take a chance and book the 11:45.

Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old July 12th, 2013, 08:13 PM
John Bull John Bull is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K D cruiser View Post
Thanks John Bull. You're always so helpful. We're flying in on United and will be at T-4 so will have to take the shuttle, also, which might add to the time. We're coming in on a Monday, so maybe it won't be as busy as a weekend.

I think I'll take a chance and book the 11:45.

Thanks again.
No need to take the shuttle, the coach picks up on the concourse immediately outside T4.
If its the same as a random date that I picked, the coach leaves the Heathrow central bus station (for passengers arriving at T1 & T3) at 11.30, then at T4 at 11.45, then at T5 at 12 noon, then heads for Southampton, arriving there 13.45.

Assuming your hotel is in Southampton city centre, your destination is Southampton coach station.
Same applies for folk heading direct to their ship - the destination is Southampton coach station. Don't be tempted to book to Cruise Ship Terminal, this service is only offered for Fred Olsen sailings.
There's a taxi rank at Southampton coach station.

JB
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  #6  
Old July 14th, 2013, 09:48 PM
K D cruiser K D cruiser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bull View Post
No need to take the shuttle, the coach picks up on the concourse immediately outside T4.
If its the same as a random date that I picked, the coach leaves the Heathrow central bus station (for passengers arriving at T1 & T3) at 11.30, then at T4 at 11.45, then at T5 at 12 noon, then heads for Southampton, arriving there 13.45.

Assuming your hotel is in Southampton city centre, your destination is Southampton coach station.
Same applies for folk heading direct to their ship - the destination is Southampton coach station. Don't be tempted to book to Cruise Ship Terminal, this service is only offered for Fred Olsen sailings.
There's a taxi rank at Southampton coach station.

JB
John, Is this something new because on the National Express site, it explains that there is a rail shuttle between terminals. which I thought we had to take.

My husband thinks we should just book the 13:30 coach and if we do and we have plenty of time, do you know if the shuttles are still running? I did a dummy booking and put in Terminal 1 and the coach leaves from there at 13:15. Could we just take the shuttle to the Heathrow central bus station and board there or will we have to wait and catch it at Terminal 4, if that's what our ticket says.

I'm a little confused about this. Thanks for any info.
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  #7  
Old July 15th, 2013, 05:47 AM
Cotswold Eagle Cotswold Eagle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K D cruiser View Post
John, Is this something new because on the National Express site, it explains that there is a rail shuttle between terminals. which I thought we had to take.

My husband thinks we should just book the 13:30 coach and if we do and we have plenty of time, do you know if the shuttles are still running? I did a dummy booking and put in Terminal 1 and the coach leaves from there at 13:15. Could we just take the shuttle to the Heathrow central bus station and board there or will we have to wait and catch it at Terminal 4, if that's what our ticket says.

I'm a little confused about this. Thanks for any info.
The information about the transfer is because not all National Express coaches call at T4 and T5, as well as the central bus station (for T1 and 3). The service you require does stop at the other terminals, as JB explained, so just book from T4 and board there. Why slog over to the central train station and walk through to the bus station to board a coach that will stop right outside the terminal you were in to start with?

If you are not familiar with Heathrow, please note that these terminals are a couple of miles apart - it's not like many airports where the different terminals are effectively part of the same building Heathrow is more like three separate airports sharing two runways.
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  #8  
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:47 AM
John Bull John Bull is online now
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As the Eagle says, some coaches don't call at all terminals - though I don't think this applies to the Southampton route.
The Heathrow to Southampton service does have different calling points depending on the time of day - some call at Basingstoke, some at Winchester, some at Southampton University - but this makes no difference to folk travelling to Southampton coach station.

I recall that for one route from Heathrow, the website offered just one service daily from T5. And failed to mention that there were half-a-dozen other daily services to the place from Heathrow central bus station !!!
Another example of their poor website.

Don't know about their regulations re boarding at a different terminal, other than that if your ticket is from central bus station & you don't turn up there, your seat might be allocated to a stand-by if the coach is fully booked.
Or if no-one has booked from T4 the coach may simply by-pass it.
But since you have tickets from T4 & that's the easiest place for you to board, no worries.

JB

Last edited by John Bull; July 15th, 2013 at 06:56 AM.
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  #9  
Old July 15th, 2013, 02:36 PM
K D cruiser K D cruiser is offline
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Thanks John and Eagle. I found a map of Terminal 4 and I can see where to board the coach. I don't know why I've been so dense.

We did this four years ago and flew into Terminal 4 on United, but after I had booked the coach tickets. United changes our flights so we missed our original coach.

We went to the main coach station to change the tickets and wait for the coach. I remember how busy it was with lots of people and coaches going many different directions. But, neither of us can remember how we got to the main coach station. I guess we took a shuttle.

Anyway, now that we don't have to worry about a shuttle, we've decided that we should be able to get the earlier coach and will book the one for 11:45.

Thanks again for all the useful information.
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