Travel around London is becoming increasingly expensive; including to the airport. Over the past 12 months alone, ending Dec 2019, rail transport costs rose by an estimated 3.2%. This amount is significant, especially when taking into account that yearly increases at the beginning of the year have been the norm in recent years. It is no surprise either that as trains become increasingly expensive, more people are turning towards alternative modes of transport, with buses being a preferred choice.
Despite the already lower ticket prices compared to train and air transportation, bus ticket prices can be snapped up for even lower prices, if passengers travel during off-peak times and less busier days in the week or weekend. Although taking the train may be faster than the bus, this is not true for all routes. The savings made by taking the bus means extra spending money to use upon arrival.
So—how can you save money while planning to travel by bus to the airport in the UK?
Read our Airport Transfer Money-Saving Tip
Book Your Travel with Omio
The time immediately after your flight arrives at Heathrow, or any other of UK’s Airports, can be the most confusing, and frantic. A lot could go wrong when you don’t have prior plans, one how you will proceed from the Airport and into the city. So, why not avoid all this by booking your bus ride well ahead with Omio? This service will ensure you spend less both in terms of time worrying about how you will get from the airport to your eventual destination, and money spent on finding suitable means to take your journey’s end. With the Omio service, you can also get to quickly compare prices that are updated in real-time, while also choosing from the different routes and public bus services that operate routes to your destination. This service promises to be your ultimate travelling companion when in the UK, as it accomplishes all the research you need on the UK’s public transport service, to find the best, fastest routes, with the best prices to your destination.
Take Advantage of Hopper Fares
Hopper fares promise you two bus journeys for the price of one, but there are a few conditions you will need to meet. Firstly, you must pay and start your second ride within 60 minutes of paying for the first journey. For example, if you board your first bus at say 12:00 noon, then the second ride must be boarded before 13:00 hrs for it to be a free ride. Secondly, a commuter must use the same card for both bus rides whether contactless or Oyster. One must also not use their card on a train service in between the two bus journeys.
Be Informed about the Price Caps
Both contactless cards and their main alternative, the Oyster Card have in place various price caps that commuters can take advantage of to save money on their travels around London. Daily bus caps are set at £4.50. If you are in for a prolonged stay, then acquiring a card is more economical as the daily price cap set is much cheaper than the cost of purchasing a daily bus pass. As well, also take note that there are weekly caps set for both contactless and Oyster Card users to exploit. With this weekly cap is set at £21.20 for both cards, contactless subscribers get to enjoy train services over tram and bus services too. Oyster card users, however, can only enjoy this weekly cap on buses and tram services. All these caps are worth considering, and to exploit them fully, a commuter should ensure they use the same card consistently with all their travels while in London.
Take Advantage of Free Passes
There are freedom passes commuters can take advantage off, provided they live in certain London boroughs, and are within a certain age and disability criteria. These free passes are supported by the UK government. To check whether you qualify for any of the free passes, have a look at the set eligibility criteria. Furthermore, Oyster Card also has a free pass program labelled the 60+ Oyster Photocard. Under this program, all senior citizens above the age of 60, and living in any of London’s boroughs get to travel for free across the city’s public transport systems including bus and rail.
Seek out Discounted Rates
Discounted rates are another way too, to save money with your travels in London. There are various programs through which these discounts can be provided. Two such program is the Apprentice and Jobcenter Schemes, through which holders can save anywhere between 30% to 50% on their travel costs when using public means. Children under the age of 11 get to travel at zero cost with most of these programs too, so carry your child along, let them marvel at the sights of these great city as well.
Join the Commuter Club
From the airport, are you planning a prolonged stay in the city? If yes, joining a commuters’ club has the potential to save you plenty of money with your travels. These societies promise their members discounted rates by travelling under their society for a standard monthly rate payable to the club. These clubs work for their members to get the best travel rates across public means including bus and tram. However, the strength of any commuter’s club only extends as much as the size of its membership. For this reason, find a club with a sizable membership, and one serving the geographical areas you shall be prone to travelling. In this way, you’re likely to get the greatest benefits out of your subscription.
Although bus routes are widely regarded as slower compared to train services, the extra time fractions spent on the bus are more than covered by the money saved in the process. Should you be savvy shopper, that enjoys discounts on your expenses, then bus transportation will be well worth the few minutes added onto your travel times. So, go through the suggestions above again, and start taking advantage of the bargains within your sights immediately.