In message , at 17:53:50 on Sun, 3 Nov 2019,
Interesting, I wondered how HEx would respond. But it sounds like the
cheapest tickets will only be available a long way in advance.
I do not understand anything of the prices for this train.
"peak contactless fare"?
"off-peak fare"? (I think I understand this, but do not know the
How do you explains this to foreigners arriving at Heathrow?
Just charge them the most expensive fare, as they won't know otherwise
(if they've researched it in advance, they'd know). It's a privately
owned airport service, competing with taxis not with other forms of
scheduled public transport.
That's no longer the case when Crossrail is fully open. Any local, and most
visitors, will be better off using Crossrail: quicker, fewer changes, hgher
frequency, cheaper. Only people travelling from Paddington itself to T5
might have a slightly faster journey using HEx; everyone else will have a
more convenient journey on Crossrail.
The market is more segmented than you suggest. Visitors will be
conditioned to seek out the "Airport Express" service, which they know
will shield them from the complexities of the local commuter services.
(Even though sometimes, like Stansted Express, the operational
difference is wafer thin)
Clearly, many of the people using HEx today aren't heading for hotels or
business meetings (or even onward rail transport) in the Paddington
area, so they'll continue to use Paddington as the railhead, and let's
face it the facilities for travellers there are far better than
Tottenham Court Crossrail.
Similarly, on the way back getting to Paddington is "safety" as it's in
effect an airport annex. If using Crossrail, people won't feel
completely comfortable until they've got to the Terminal.
Bearing in mind, always, that their audience is people who would
otherwise have got a taxi from the airport, not those adventurous enough
to take the tube or Heathrow Connect.
The fact that they're suddenly providing all these new discounted options
proves that HEx lacks your deep insights into airport express services.
On the contrary, news of these price cuts are unlikely to make their way
through to their main target market, who will continue to pay the full
price. Meanwhile, in the UK some gullible people might be persuaded that
HEx isn't as expensive (as a commuter service, which isn't its target
market) after all.