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Old February 25th 04, 03:13 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

Was visiting UK in late January, and took a side trip to Rome on
EasyJet (leaving from Stansted airport)

Morning flight from Standsted to Rome leaves early (8am), so I got one
of the earliest trains (5:30AM) out of Liverpool St station for what
should have been a 45 minute journey (ETA Stansted 6:16AM).

This would have left me more then enough time to check in and get
through security for the 8AM flight. As it turned out, my first
experience with this service was an express ride to a missed flight.

We left Liverpool station at the appointed time (5:30AM), but had
lengthy delays at a few points on route. This "express" train arrived
1.5 hours late into Stansted airport at 7:45AM. By the time I got to
the checkin counter, the airline informed me that checkin had closed
some 30 minutes ago.

During this "express" journey, there was no effort from any of the
train crew to inform dozens of very anxious passengers about the
reasons for the delay, or if SE were going to quickly come up with
alternatives.

I took pity on the Express train's Customer Service Agent at Stansted
airport having to deal with a lineup of furious passengers, (she was
very good at telling everyone about how the problem was not their
fault) as well as airline CSR's attempting to rebook a mass of irate
people on future flights.

Lost a day on my Rome Vacation, and to be honest, I am greatful to
have made it to Rome at all.

A word of advice: If you must be at Stansted for an early morning
flight, do yourself a favor and take one of the bus services that are
available, or if you can afford it, a taxi cab. (FYI - cab fare from
London to Stansted can cost more then the airline ticket)

First and last time with this express service. Better luck to
everyone else if you decide to risk using them.

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Old February 25th 04, 09:35 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

On 24 Feb 2004 19:13:21 -0800, (Mike Delorme)
wrote:

Was visiting UK in late January, and took a side trip to Rome on
EasyJet (leaving from Stansted airport)

(Long tale of woe snipped)

A word of advice: If you must be at Stansted for an early morning
flight, do yourself a favor and take one of the bus services that are
available, or if you can afford it, a taxi cab. (FYI - cab fare from
London to Stansted can cost more then the airline ticket)

And what if the M11 is blocked because of a crash? Would you then
recommend that people never use that way of getting to the airport
ever again?

First and last time with this express service. Better luck to
everyone else if you decide to risk using them.


It always seems odd to me that people are prepared to make such strong
recommendations based on a single incident. The OP didn't say what the
problem actually was so it is not possible to guess how likely it is
to happen again. But my experience with this line is that the teething
problems caused by the modernisation are beginning to be sorted out.
Short delays are common, but major ones much less so.

But to suggest that using road services is a more reliable way of
getting to Stansted is dubious advice.

I am concerned about the lack of information given to the delayed
passengers, though. This still happens and is inexcusable, although
the Stansted services are better in this respect than other WAGN
services into Liverpool Street. One possible problem seems to be how
the trains are staffed. Talking to the hosts there seems to be some
system whereby the hosts can select what services they work on. I get
the impression that it is not just a simple employment of contract. I
may be wrong in this - just the impression I was given, mostly during
a bitter complaint (from the hostess) about the overcrowding of the
1600 ex-LS service.

On a related note - very profuse apologies from the host the other day
when two unrefurbished 317s were provided on the 2100 ex-LS. I had
never seen this before but the host said it's become common. As he
said' "(Stansted Express) is supposed to be WAGN's premier service -
and they don't even provide a Cambridge unit". (By which he meant a
refurbed 317 6xx)
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Old February 26th 04, 12:43 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

Ken Wheatley wrote in message . ..

And what if the M11 is blocked because of a crash? Would you then
recommend that people never use that way of getting to the airport
ever again?

But to suggest that using road services is a more reliable way of
getting to Stansted is dubious advice.


Uh Ken,

This journey started out from London Liverpool Street station at
5:30AM How likely do you think the M11 is to be blocked by a crash or
jammed at this time of the morning?

It's pretty likely to be a reliable choice at such an early hour.
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Old February 26th 04, 09:36 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

(Mike Delorme) wrote in message . com...
Morning flight from Standsted to Rome leaves early (8am), so I got one
of the earliest trains (5:30AM) out of Liverpool St station for what
should have been a 45 minute journey (ETA Stansted 6:16AM).

We left Liverpool station at the appointed time (5:30AM), but had
lengthy delays at a few points on route. This "express" train arrived
1.5 hours late into Stansted airport at 7:45AM. By the time I got to
the checkin counter, the airline informed me that checkin had closed
some 30 minutes ago.

During this "express" journey, there was no effort from any of the
train crew to inform dozens of very anxious passengers about the
reasons for the delay, or if SE were going to quickly come up with
alternatives.

I took pity on the Express train's Customer Service Agent at Stansted
airport having to deal with a lineup of furious passengers, (she was
very good at telling everyone about how the problem was not their
fault) as well as airline CSR's attempting to rebook a mass of irate
people on future flights.

First and last time with this express service. Better luck to
everyone else if you decide to risk using them.


I can totally sympathise with you as I have been screwed over not once
but twice by the appalling Stansted Express and I too will never, ever
set foot on it again.

The first time it happened to me, the train caught fire!

This happened just outside Harlow Mill station, so we pulled in there
and waited for another train to shunt us to Bishop's Stortford. At
this stage, had we got off the train and into a minicab, we would
probably have made our flight. However we were told that the shunting
would take "just a few minutes".

The timetable for trains between Harlow Mill and Bishop's Stortford
shows the journey takes between 7-10 minutes /normally/ let alone when
being shunted at 5mph.

In the end it took 45 minutes to get there and we missed our flight
(with all the hassle and extra money that that entailed).

The second time they screwed us was when arriving back at Stansted.
We planned to catch the 10:30 PM train to Tottenham Hale. When we got
down on to the platform we found a very annoyed driver who told us
that they'd pulled the last few trains to start engineering work
early. A coach to Liverpool Street would be provided.

"But what about getting to Tottenham Hale?" I asked him.

"Oh, you need to get to Tottenham Hale do you? Well, that's where we
tend to **** people over," he replied.

That's an exact quote and he was right.

Their idea of getting us to Tottenham Hale was to dump us off a coach
at Liverpool Street, then tell us to catch a train to Walthamstow and
take a night bus to Tottenham Hale. I asked if they would give us
money for the night bus. The answer was no!

Stansted Express/WAGN are criminally incompetent, have appalling
customer service and are definitely to be avoided at all costs.
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Old February 26th 04, 09:40 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

(Mike Delorme) wrote in message . com...
Ken Wheatley wrote in message . ..

And what if the M11 is blocked because of a crash? Would you then
recommend that people never use that way of getting to the airport
ever again?

But to suggest that using road services is a more reliable way of
getting to Stansted is dubious advice.


Uh Ken,

This journey started out from London Liverpool Street station at
5:30AM How likely do you think the M11 is to be blocked by a crash or
jammed at this time of the morning?

It's pretty likely to be a reliable choice at such an early hour.


I'm a frequent airline traveller and use all of BAA Airport Express
services.
Over the past few years I have encountered major delays on all these
services.
The so called Heathrow Express took 35 minutes instead of 15 once so
had me rushing for the flight. Gatwick Express took 1.5 hours once and
i would have missed the flight had the plane not been delayed and the
commuter trains actually beat the Gatwick Express into Gatwick. I
managed to get a refund of the train ticket but thats little
consolation.

Clearly you can't account for train break downs or people on lines and
all that sort of thing. But a bit of information is useful. Sometimes
Customer Services Agents just announce that there is a delay without
giving any information of what it is and any expected time to sort it
out.

On an airport service everyone has somewhere to go and there is
usually a deadline well within an hour or so. So a half hour delay
makes a huge difference to rushing for checkin/flights and maybe
missing planes.

ANDY
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Old February 26th 04, 11:57 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

Londoncityslicker wrote:

I'm a frequent airline traveller and use all of BAA Airport Express
services.


The only *BAA* Airport Express service is the one to Heathrow. Gatwick
Express and Stansted Express are both run by companies in the National
Express group.
--
Richard J.
(to e-mail me, swap uk and yon in address)

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Old February 26th 04, 10:21 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

In article , Ken Wheatley
writes
Anyway, the trains are also more reliable before the morning peak is
fully underway.


No they aren't! Trains at that time of day are extremely likely to be
delayed from over-running overnight track works. Happens to me at least
once a week on average.


--
Clive Page
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Old February 28th 04, 06:42 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Stansted Express Train - Express ride to a missed flight

Stansted Express/WAGN are criminally incompetent, have appalling
customer service and are definitely to be avoided at all costs.


Well maybe it's good that Greater Anglia starts soon, even though that will
be run by the same company, National Express
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