As we work with a number of leading travel providers this increases the number of differing tickets that may be seen across the network.
If you are in any doubt as to the details or validity of the ticket, please read the details on the ticket provided, ask a member of station staff or contact the NCC team for assistance.
Adults - Anyone aged 16 or over who does not hold a discount Coachcard (see below).
Children - 3-15 years inclusive Child fare rate
Infant - 0-2 years inclusive
One child not occupying a seat may travel free, if accompanied by a fare paying customer aged 16 or over.
No children under the age of 14 will be carried unless accompanied by an adult 16 or over.
Discount Coachcard categories
Scottish and Welsh concessionary travel
All travel tickets must be checked before accepting a customer for boarding. If a customer does not already have a ticket you must issue one in accordance with the instructions in this section (with the exception of Heathrow which must be issued by the ticket office/machines).
Tickets should be scanned or entered into the onboard ticket machine for correct reporting or entered as manually boarded. Further details can be found in the ticket machine training guide.
If a fraudulent ticket is found, inform the NCC and send it into Revenue Protection at Head Office. The customer must buy a new ticket. Drivers are responsible for ticket checking and issue. You should:
Authority to travel
There are times when our coach station teams will allow customers to travel on a service without a valid ticket; for example, when travelling as a standby, after a delayed flight arrival or a last-minute arrival at a stop.
The authority to travel process will normally be done in the following ways:
If a customer can present valid authority to travel then they won’t have to pay any excess or penalty fares unless the ticket is fraudulent. Please accept the stamp/sticker and allow the customer to travel as normal.
Only National Express coach station staff are authorised to use ‘Authorised to travel’ cards and stamps. At non-manned stops, use your discretion (for example, seat availability) and seek authorisation from the NCC.
Customers holding correctly reserved tickets, showing your reservation reference, should always be given priority and allowed to board the coach first.
Customers who don’t have a valid ticket or the ‘Authority to travel’ stamp may receive a £20 penalty charge and pay the standard fare for that journey to our Revenue Protection team. Customers with open-dated tickets that have not been validated or are unable to be validated in advance should be politely asked to stand aside whilst all reserved customers board the coach.
Once all reserved customers have boarded, open-dated tickets that have not been validated and non-reserved ticket holders should be allowed to board, provided that seats are available for the duration of their journey. At peak times it may not be possible to accommodate all open-dated ticket holders on a particular journey.
If you do have to leave standby customers, make sure you explain that the seats are reserved for customers who have booked at subsequent stops. Cash customers should be allowed to board, as long as provided seats are available for the duration of their journey.
Customers should only travel on the reserved time on their ticket. If a customer wants to travel on a different service they should change their ticket (before departure time) before being allowed to travel. This can be done easily on the ‘Manage my booking’ section of our website (www.nationalexpress.com/myticket). However, at remote locations, drivers have to use their discretion as customers may not be able to change the ticket. Remember that a customer should not be left at a stop, without speaking to NCC first.
Airport customers with the “Change & Go” add-on have 12 hours past and prior to the departure time to change their ticket. After this time the customer will need to buy a new ticket. Both open tickets and Multirides are valid for three months. Other ticketing partnerships carry differing terms and conditions so make sure you are familiar with these (some of which can be found here).
If a customer is intending to travel on your service and is not in possession of a ticket, sell them one. If time permits before your scheduled departure you may send them to the Coach Station staff or self-service ticket machines.
Important information on Open Return tickets:
CRS - Restricted fare
CST - Standard fare
CFL - Fully Flexible fare
Details of the fare the customer has purchased can be shown in the important information section on a customers e-ticket.
All amendments must be made before the time of the journey the customer wants to change; no amendment can be made after the current departure time that is on the ticket.
National Express operates a Revenue Management System (RMS). This is a pricing and revenue management system that calculates prices to maximise revenue against our competitors. RMS technology will help us to grow our share of the UK travel market, deliver great value through price and highlights our investment in technology. The system works out demand against pricing, so the more demand for the route the higher price - and the earlier the booking takes place, the cheaper the fare.
Website & Contact Centre-issued Coachcard
The Customer Contact Centre (CCC) issue one general style of Coachcard (see below) for all Coachcard purchases made via the website and CCC.
The customer’s details, along with the Coachcard type (eg Young Person, Senior and Disabled) are professionally printed on the reverse.
Agents and coach stations issue the individual Coachcards (eg Young Persons, Disabled and Senior – see below) which include handwritten details - so both styles will be in circulation.
Senior cards are available to all adults over 60 years of age:
Senior cards can be used to get a discount on bookings made online, by phone, in travel shops and at agents, as well as tickets bought from drivers.
Disabled cards are available to any adult who is registered disabled:
Young Persons Coachcard
Smart Issued ATB ticketing
Coach single ticket example:
Coach open return ticket example (outward):
HM Forces tickets
Members of HM Forces are able to benefit from 60% off a National Express journey.
These are issued by most of our partner agents, NCC and coach stations and by customers booking tickets for themselves on www.nationalexpress.com.
National Express customers can buy tickets that will appear on the screen of their mobile phone as a text message.
Customers have the ability to book tickets on their own smartphones; this can be done either via their internet browser, by visiting www.nationalexpress.com or if they have downloaded the National Express Coach app.
The example here is an Apple (ios) device ticket purchased via the National Express App.
This is an example of an Apple (ios) device ticket in a wallet. Press the button at the top right of the screen to reveal the full ticket information if manually checking the ticket. The QR code should be scanned for boarding.
These are issued by various organisations (for example, the Army, Social Services, probation office) that may want to send people by coach. Check you have the white copy and that it hasn’t been tampered with.
Season tickets are available on all National Express services.
Please do not treat the customer as a standby - the Season ticket acts as a booked ticket on the services stated.
Check the customer’s four letter reference code shown in the outbound journey and return journey sections. The manual ticket works in exactly the same way as an e-ticket. You must allow the customer to keep the ticket. There is NO copy for you to collect.
Note: Hand written tickets will only ever be used when IT booking systems at National Express are not working.
These tickets are issued via the self-service machines that are situated in some bus and coach stations.
Check that all the details are correct by either scanning the QR code or manually checking the details before boarding the customer.
Please note: they may not appear on your loading chart depending on the time of your last refresh of the chart.
A Multiride ticket is valid for 10 single journeys between the two locations listed on the front of the card and is valid for three months. Each scratchable panel inside the card represents one single journey between the two listed locations only.
Driver issued ticket book
Driver issued ticket book - portion detail
Note: Cash should never be put into waybill envelopes.
Quick view table - see below for more information on each ticket type
|Visit Britain||Unreserved||Here||Visit Britain||X||X|
A number of companies and airlines (such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic) provide these vouchers for travel to London (and vice versa). These vouchers can be exchanged for a reserved time specific service, but they can also be accepted by drivers. The customer is treated as a standby customer and is boarded subject to availability.
Please note the barcode is not scannable.
Post Office tickets
Nearly 12,000 Post Offices across the UK sell our tickets.
Tickets are sold by EasyBus online who have a set allocation of seats per service (Airports-London).
Customers can book tickets via the Trainline website and app.
Get Your Guide
We work with an online tourist website called Get Your Guide (GYG) who sell National Express Airport Transfers via their website and a number of tour operators (TUI, Easytobook.com, DerTour and FTI).
Online travel agent, Expedia, sells a number of National Express transfers between airports and London. Voucher example in German:
Ryanair offer two different ways for customers to buy tickets for travel with us. The first is a transfer as part of their flight booking (referred to as ‘in path’) and they also sell them on board the flight (referred to as ‘onboard’).
Example of an ‘in path’ Ryanair ticket:
Example of an in-flight Ryanair ticket:
They can be exchanged at a National Express desk or accepted directly by drivers. They are valid for travel between locations printed on the ticket. Drivers should take customers on a standby basis. Please note the QR codes are not readable by onboard ticket machines.
Global City Cards
Global City Cards provide a voucher for customers on transfers between airports and London.
Visit Britain provides a voucher for customers on transfers between airports and London.
TripAdvisor Experiences, also known as Viator, sell National Express airport transfers via their website and through a number of affiliates and partners.
Musement provide vouchers for customers on transfers between Stansted Airport to London, Luton Airport to London, Gatwick Airport to London, and between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Klook is the largest online travel and experience provider in the Far East. They sell vouchers for National Express airport services from Gatwick, Stansted and Luton to/from central London stops (ie all 'A' services).
This is an example of the English language version of a Klook voucher; the foreign language versions will be similar and all key information will also be shown in English.
Madrid Ticket Desk
National Express’s sister company, ALSA, sell vouchers for our Airport to London Services from Madrid Airport.
Movelia provides a voucher for customers on transfers between Stansted Airport to London, Luton Airport to London, Gatwick Airport to London, and between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Booking.com City Guides
Booking.com provides a voucher for customers on transfers between Stansted Airport to London, Luton Airport
to London, Gatwick Airport to London, and between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Omio is an API partner (a third party retailer of National Express services). They produce a partner ticket with live information and subject to National Express standard terms and conditions.
Distribusion offer National Express coach travel through their various online retail partners.
Wemovo offer National Express coach travel through their various online retail partners.
Wanderu is an American coach, bus and train comparison website, wanderu.com. Based in Boston, Wanderu already works with more than 300 ground transport companies around the world, so National Express is a valuable addition to their service.
Busbud is an API partner (a third party retailer of National Express services) that produces a partner ticket with live information and subject to National Express standard terms and conditions.
Looking4 is an API partner (a third party retailer of National Express services) that produces a partner ticket with live information that is subject to National Express standard terms and conditions.
Corporate Travel Management (CTM), formerly known as Redfern
CTM are an API partner (a third party retailer of National Express services) that produces a partner ticket with live information and is subject to National Express standard terms and conditions.
Ouibus can sell National Express tickets via their website and through their contact centre.
National Express has a partnership with AccesRail to allow worldwide airline passengers to book seats on connecting National Express services; these tickets are always for confirmed National Express reservations on services to/from Heathrow and Manchester airports only.
Staff passes are issued to National Express employees and full-time partner operator drivers.
Back to top
Official Coach Supplier to Wembley Stadium
© Copyright National Express Ltd 2019