Gatwick Express price ‘freeze’ not quite as ‘cool’ as you may think

Not really Frozen!OK – time for another rant!  As a frequent traveller to London Gatwick, I use Gatwick Express from time to time.

Gatwick Express takes you from Gatwick into London’s Victoria station while Southern and First Capital Connect will take you into London Bridge and St Pancras respectively.  The journey takes around 30 minutes with all operators. For a standard class ‘Anytime’ fare, Gatwick Express charge you £19.90 for the journey, Southern £10.70 and First Capital Connect just £10 – with a saving of almost 50% over Gatwick Express.

The trouble with all of this is that all of the Southern and First Capital Connect trains start from elsewhere.  This means that when I board the train at Gatwick, seats are limited.  If I try to travel during a peak -period, I know that if I want a seat then I need to pay for 1st Class or take the Gatwick Express. To make things more exciting, Gatwick Express recently started running some of their trains from stations further down the line too.  This resulted in the same experience for their key customer base – passengers at Gatwick boarding to find no available seats.

Anyway – this rant isn’t actually about the value (or lack of value) in the Gatwick Express product.  This rant is about an email that I received from them today which I feel is completely misleading.

Prices Frozen

The prices may have stayed the same, HOWEVER the discount that was offered by booking online has been a minimum of 10% for a very long time.  I was sent several promotional emails last year which gave me higher discount – up to 25% – just for being an existing customer.  The impact of the discount being reduced to 5% is (obviously?!) an increase in the price I pay.  Why would Gatwick Express draw attention to this by sending me an email, informing me that prices haven’t increased…when they clearly have?!  Someone in marketing should be fired.  In my humble opinion only of course…

What do you think?  How does this email make you feel?  Comments always welcome!

If you really want to save on the price of travelling between Gatwick and London, check out this article for some pretty cool tips.

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