Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here]. Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
August 20, 2018, 05:37:42 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[106] What the Dickens?
[105] IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent pe...
[94] How wide do you define "London"?
[56] Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption el...
[34] Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since Septemb...
[30] London to Reading, London to Heathrow, service patterns under ...
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Thoughts on Heathrow Express in-flight advertising  (Read 8534 times)
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 21309



View Profile WWW Email
« on: November 27, 2016, 12:00:43 pm »

Flying from the USA into London's Heathrow airport from Thursday through into Friday afternoon last week, I was subjected to an advert for Heathrow Express at the start of each and every video I watched during the flight.  I won't post spoilers about the films and TV show reruns in case you've not seen them yet ... but I will pass comment on the video.  Which I saw enough times to start thinking about, and then to photograph the screen so that I can comment later!


So much is given away by the marketing lines ...

* "No Stops" ... well, this looks like an acknowledgement if ever I've seen one that Heathrow Express gets priority over all other traffic into Hayes and Harlington and up to Paddington!  HSTs may be brought to a crawl or stop before airport junction, but it seems that HEX are pretty sure they won't be.

* "No Traffic" ... err ... as I recall there's somewhere around 15 trains out of Paddington on the down main in peak hours, only 4 of which are headed into Heathrow.  And as I recall some of those other trains can be quite busy?  Of course, with the absolute priority that HEX seems to get, the airport passengers won't notice the other traffic.

* I love the scenery out of the windows. That is a typical example of what you'll see from a HEX train, right?  As far as I can recall, the journey's urban most of the way.

* "No Hassle".  Agreed - easy to purchase tickets.   And especially agreed if you compare it to the hassle that can be involved in getting walk up tickets to other destinations than Paddington.  Indeed, I would suggest that you can "pay through the nose" for this contrast in hassle, which seems almost designed to maximised income for HEX.



I grabbed the photos above even before my experiences on arrival. And I would challenge any newcomer to the UK to get the best value onward walk up rail ticketing to their final destination station.

I landed at Heathrow - intercontinental at around 3 p.m..   Due to the scatter of arrival times on such flights (occasionally early, sometime late, even a day late sometimes) and mixture of taxiing, unloading, procesing and luggage times, I hadn't pre-ticketed to Melksham.   Options were train, or the direct daily coach at 18:15 which is quite attractive with a 21:05 arrival into Melksham, and a five rather than 20 minute walk back to base with luggage.  I could probably also have considered rail-air link to Reading, or coach to Chippenham and local bus from there.

A failed skybridge was just part of the longest elapsed time I can remember from touchdown to being clear of customs. Still over 2 hours before the coach, so I decided on the train ...
 
What I should have been able to do was ask for the best value to Melkham with a senior card from the chap who was selling train tickets at the ticket office. And by my calculation he should have sold me tickets totalling 22.40, with a cauution that I needed to change at Hayes and Harlington and Didcot (or if I changed at Reading to ensure I was on a train that then called at Didcot) and Swindon. That's the sort of advise and help I would hope that would be delivered to new arrivals in this country looking to complete their journeys by train.

But he declined to serve me, and sent me to the machine opposite which was only offering pickups of preorders, and popular destinations.   And whilst Melksham's popular with me, it isn't popular with the people who programmed the machine.  Furthermore, I happened to know that I would have been charged 50.55 rather than 22.40 without a Didcot split, as the off peak Heathrow to Melksham (and Reading to Melksham) services have evening restrictions that I would hit, but both Heathrow to Didcot and Didcot to Melksham's off peak restrictions are morning only ones.

I did manage to get to a keyboard where I could enter "Didcot" - you select "popular destinations" then the button that was popular destinations changes to "other destinations", but I couldn't find a facility to get the second part of the journey ticket, so made to with just the Heathrow to Didcot, to purchase the remaining part pior to leaving Didcot.

And puchasing the second half was harder than it might sound. I asked the lady on Heathrow Connect if she could sell me an onward ticket and she said yes, but then declined when I told her what I wanted.

I went to the excess ticket window at Reading, but it was closed so went through the barriers on my Heathrow - Didcot and queued for what I wanted; lady in the ticket office reluctant to sell me a ticket from Didcot and questioned me about it even through I was precise in what I required.  Thank goodness the Red Dragon was a couple of minutes late and I managed to get back through the barrier and over the bridge (and with all my luggage coming back from my intercontinental trip, remember) just in time.



So - yes - I agree that Heathrow Express is "No Hassle" and "Low Commotion" when compared to the much lower priced alternatives!
Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
TaplowGreen
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3813


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 03:38:18 pm »

 "No Traffic" ... err ... as I recall there's somewhere around 15 trains out of Paddington on the down main in peak hours, only 4 of which are headed into Heathrow.  And as I recall some of those other trains can be quite busy?  Of course, with the absolute priority that HEX seems to get, the airport passengers won't notice the other traffic.


- to be fair I think this is drawing a contrast with going by road and the possibility of getting stuck in traffic?  Smiley
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 21309



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 03:45:30 pm »

- to be fair I think this is drawing a contrast with going by road and the possibility of getting stuck in traffic?  Smiley

I'm pretty sure you're right.  But I would have thought you of all our posters, TaplowGreen, will have been stuck in rail traffic between the approach to Airport Junction and Paddington  Grin Grin
Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
TaplowGreen
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3813


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 04:12:34 pm »

Looking at the situation between Paddington and Reading today, I'd be grateful just to be moving anywhere! Stay on the plane!!!  Grin
Logged
patch38
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 453


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 09:43:54 am »

Careful what you suggest TG - next thing we know, Graham will be organizing a campaign to turn MoD Lyneham civilian and renaming it Melksham International Airport  Wink Grin
Logged
Oxonhutch
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 469



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 01:41:34 pm »

That will be Melksham London Airport.
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 21309



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 03:34:34 pm »

Careful what you suggest TG - next thing we know, Graham will be organizing a campaign to turn MoD Lyneham civilian and renaming it Melksham International Airport  Wink Grin

Hmmm ... more clever to open a runway at Kemble or Hullavington as Wiltshire Airport.  Hullavington's just 1.5 km from the railway line to Cardiff that is being electrified and 1.5 km from the M4 junction that already exists.  And Kemble isn't far from an existing station (at Kemble!) and they already land 747s there.   Not sure if the runway's long enough for them to take off again, mind you!

In reallity, airport access from Wiltshire is best by rail - future enhancement linking Swindon to Westbury, Westbury to Salisbury, and Salisbury on to the Romsey six. Makes good use of existing trains on all three sectors of that route and provides other flows for them too.   And avoids Thames Valley engineering problems ;-)
Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
patch38
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 453


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 03:37:03 pm »

They don't need to take off again. They land and then somebody saws them into little bits!
Logged
TaplowGreen
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3813


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 05:00:01 pm »

Careful what you suggest TG - next thing we know, Graham will be organizing a campaign to turn MoD Lyneham civilian and renaming it Melksham International Airport  Wink Grin
.......I doubt it, the Melksham locals have only recently stopped crossing themselves and diving under haystacks when "flying machines" pass overhead, God knows what would happen if one landed!!! Cheesy
Logged
chrisr_75
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1019


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 05:36:44 pm »

Careful what you suggest TG - next thing we know, Graham will be organizing a campaign to turn MoD Lyneham civilian and renaming it Melksham International Airport  Wink Grin
.......I doubt it, the Melksham locals have only recently stopped crossing themselves and diving under haystacks when "flying machines" pass overhead, God knows what would happen if one landed!!! Cheesy

Please see previous post for details of the fate of any flying machines which mistakenly land in Wiltshire...  Grin
Logged
patch38
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 453


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 10:39:59 pm »

Please see previous post for details of the fate of any flying machines which mistakenly land in Wiltshire...  Grin

Ah, now... (and here we can get into a real pedant-fest)... runway at Kemble is 08/26 and as prevailing wind is SW, most landings will touch down in Gloucestershire, roll into Wiltshire and then taxi back into Gloucestershire to be scrapped.

I would get out more but my anorak is being dry-cleaned...  Grin
Logged
Chris from Nailsea
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 17406


I am not railway staff


View Profile Email
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 11:09:20 pm »

I remember seeing the Red Arrows operating out of RAF Kemble, as it was then, from the perimeter fence (they were based there, from 1966 to 1983)  Wink

Logged

William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
chrisr_75
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1019


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 11:00:56 am »

I remember seeing the Red Arrows operating out of RAF Kemble, as it was then, from the perimeter fence (they were based there, from 1966 to 1983)  Wink

On a similar theme, I recall going for a job interview in Tetbury, early 2000's, and being rather impressed at the sight of a B52 shortly after it had taken off from Fairford, as I recall it was observed from the train somewhere between Kemble & Stroud.
Logged
4064ReadingAbbey
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 332


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2016, 07:59:24 pm »

As I understand the requirements on ticket offices they are required to sell the best priced ticket for the end-to-end journey in question. In this case it would be a Heathrow - Hayes - Melksham ticket with the Railcard discount. The ticket offices are not obliged to offer split tickets, but they have to sell them if asked.

However, I don't know what regulations cover ticket sales at Heathrow. Is it a 'National Rail' ticket office or one that belongs to Heathrow Airports Ltd?

PS. I have never had any problems in the past in buying split tickets at Reading.
Logged
bignosemac
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 15800


Question everything.


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2016, 11:01:53 pm »

The impartial retailing rules do not apply to Heathrow Express sales outlets. They only apply to DfT/Transport Scotland awarded rail franchises/concessions, and to the lead operator at National Rail stations.

So, for example, GWR at Paddington have to be impartial. HEx don't.
Logged

Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants