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Heathrow Express and Young People

Heathrow Express began accepting Oyster and contactless last month. As with the Gatwick Express, convenience is the word rather than value for money. The fares are the same as walk up singles. If you plan ahead then advance fares can be significantly cheaper. Heathrow Express has always operated on a kids go free basis, so there is no charge to holders of zip 5-10 or zip 11-15 photocards. The problem comes with zip 16+ photocards.

Holders of zip 16+ photocards travel at half the adult rate almost everywhere in Oysterland. For this reason you can’t add a 16-25 railcard discount to a 16+ zip photocard because you are already getting 50% off. Unfortunately Heathrow Express decided to charge adult fares to 16+ zip photocard holders on their services. This means that whilst adults and 18+ students get 1/3rd off off-peak if they have a railcard added to their Oyster, railcard holding zip 16+ photocard holders can’t.

It’s undoubtedly an oversight, and quite understandable, but I hope someone somewhere comes up with a solution. In the meantime it’s getting added to the When not to use Oyster page.

PS. The Epsom story (part 2) is still coming, very soon.

2 Responses

  1. centraluser

    A similar problem is that a Senior (or Disabled) railcard cannot be added to a Freedom Pass. Consequences are that it is not possible to buy railcard discounted extension tickets by touching on the Oyster readers on the large LUL ticket machines.

  2. Hi Centraluser,

    I agree it’s an issue, but it’s a much more complex problem than the HEx one. The issue is that the freedom pass is only an off-peak ticket on many National Rail lines so it would be just too complicated to program what fares to charge. This is why you also can’t add PAYG credit. The good news is that you can buy tickets from Boundary Zone 6 to your destination from National Rail ticket offices (and some National Rail ticket machines) using your railcard, and then use those in combination with the freedom pass. The train doesn’t need to stop at the boundary station.

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