Comfort and services on the coach

Which features are offered on the bus?

CheckMyBus Support ComfortAre you looking for more information about the comfort and services available in the coaches? Do you want to know if WiFi or electrical outlets are available to use? With CheckMyBus you’ll learn all about the amenities available in the Intercity bus – from the air-conditioning to restrooms, to leg-room and accessibility.
Is there a Media Center available? Are snacks and drinks available to purchase and is a seat- reservation possible?
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Service and Comfort on the Coach

Inexpensive intercity bus travel is no longer a new topic today. Due to myriad market campaigns and promotion tools from the UK bus providers, such as National Express and megabus UK, the image of inexpensive intercity coach travel has been rooted in most people’s mind. However, a common question that goes hand in hand with low price is quality. In order to create a positive image, most of the major UK bus companies are making strenuous efforts to steadily enhance their service quality and comfort by adding a variety of attractive facilities aboard the coach. Apart from the free luggage policy and convenient on-board restroom, some great features like power sockets, extra leg room, soft reclining seats and most importantly, free and fast Wi-Fi are waiting for you! CheckMyBus gives you an overview over amenities aboard the intercity bus. Let’s take a look!

What Facilities can be Found on the Coach?

A coach can take you from city to city, as well as from country to country, and it might take some time before you reach your destination. Thus, on board amenities hugely influence the comfort and satisfaction of passengers’ intercity bus ride. As price is no longer the only factor that drives the intercity bus industry, most of the coach providers in the UK have already realized that service quality is an indispensable element for every coach trip.

Comfort and services on the coachTherefore, they have enhanced the service level of the intercity coach itself. A lot of UK bus providers use modernised coach models. The newer buses share some great characteristics: a longer coach body increases on-board space, ensuring XXL legroom and higher flexibility of the reclining seats. Moreover, the enlarged compartment area allows you to take some luggage items in the cabin. Bulky luggage, such as bicycles or skis can be stored on the bus as well, however most companies will ask you to register oversized items when booking your ticket.

National Express, for instance, uses six bus types, among which Caetano Levante, the model exclusively used by National Express, is operating on the main coach lines and is the size of 12.6 m with 8 m³ of free luggage compartment. The Oxford Tube, among other coach providers, operates double decker buses which offer passengers a greater view of London and Oxford. Besides, it has specified space for wheel chair devices and low floor step free entrance, which provides great convenience for disabled passengers when getting on board.

With all these features granted, lighting system and air conditioning above your head included, travelling by coach can be as agreeable as resting on your couch at home! Moreover, major bus providers always attempt to bring passengers clean and safe coach travel experiences by maintaining the cabinet and on-board restroom clean and fresh. On top of that, children booster seats are frequently applied on the buses of National Express, making sure that passengers will have a comfortable and secure coach journey!

Are Entertainment and Wi-Fi Available?

The major UK bus providers consider passenger experience an essential advantage that they will make every effort to achieve in order to maintain ridership. Providing a pleasant coach experience, however, also means constantly adapting to the customers’ needs, which might change over time. Nowadays, for instance, entertainment is one of the major concerns of the bus companies.

One simple way of catering to modern passengers’ wishes is to have free, reliable and fast Wi-Fi on board. Nowadays, there are 40 million people in the UK using internet on a daily basis and over 60% of them use their mobile devices to access online content. Hence, most of the coach providers in the UK are devoted to equipping their buses with standard 4G/3G Wi-Fi network. This includes megabus, National Express and many others.

With this crucial feature on board, passengers will definitely know how to make the most of their travel time. No matter if it is to socialize on Facebook or Twitter, stay in touch with friends or family, watch favourite online videos or TV series as well as take photos and upload on Instagram – free Wi-Fi helps them stay entertained and turns the entire intercity bus trip into an enjoyable experience. The coach providers offer a reliable network throughout the journey and save passengers unnecessary cost that might occur when using their own mobile network.

Moreover, this free service offers a big advantage to students and business travellers as they can continue with their work before they reach their desired destinations.

An even more entertaining feature can be found on some of the continental buses, which are going to London. The German coach company FlixBus, for example, offers a Media Centre on board of their coaches. This allows passengers to access a wide array of tv shows, film, music and e-books, which can be easily streamed on the customer’s own smartphone or tablet. Thanks to this feature, taking the coach is basically as comfortable and enjoyable as going by plane. A similar feature can be found on some National Express coaches as well. In November 2016, the coach company launched VUER (short for View – Unwind – Enjoy – Relax), an infotainment system, which gives passengers access to films, tv shows magazines and even Sky Sports News.

Concerned about consuming all the battery before reaching your destination? Free power sockets on board keep passengers’ devices 100% charged during the whole trip so that you can sit back and enjoy, footloose and fancy free. All in all, free Wi-Fi service combined with charging facilities are the perfect combination for making every coach trip as enjoyable as can be.

Can I Bring Food and Beverage on Board?

In order to simplify the service and deliver more flexibility for the bus travellers, the major UK bus providers allow them to take their own food and drinks aboard. Plus, bus providers like National Express normally make stops at service stations during a long distance trip, where passengers can purchase food and beverages. In spite of this availability, passengers must be aware that the food they bring on the coach should be cold and not emit any smell that might disturb other passengers on board. In addition, hot drinks should have a lid and the general beverage must be non-alcoholic.

What Other Special Services are Available on Board the Bus?

For passengers who travel at night, megabus UK has recently brought out a new overnight sleeper coach between London and Glasgow. This new night bus service travels usually between 23:00 and 8:00 on seven nights per week. Buses are equipped with bunks for each passenger, which have a reading light, curtains, pillows, quilts as well as blankets. In addition, the sleeper coaches also provide passengers with access to an on-board restroom, free Wi-Fi, food and beverages. There is also an overnight pack available that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bottle of water, an eye mask and a luggage label, guaranteeing for a sound sleep while travelling from city to city.

38 thoughts on “Comfort and services on the coach

    1. Dear Pam,

      Thank you for your message. We can see that the ferry company that provides that route (stenaline) allows small pets to travel as long as they are enclosed and secured for the duration of the crossing in a pet carrier case (max. size: 80cm x 52cm x 52cm). Please also notice that pets cannot be taken out of the container anywhere onboard (including the outer decks). We also recommend you to contact the ferry-bus company you are going to travel to Scotland and confirm this information with them directly.

      We hope you have a great trip to Scotland!
      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support Team

  1. I have a medical condition and need the toilet facilities. I recently travelled from London city centre by coach and the next stop was at Corley Services 3.1/2 hours later
    Granted there was a toilet on board but it was difficult for me to use.
    We passed services on the way but the driver did not stop.
    what is the rule in time whereby the coach must stop to give passengers a comfort stop. I would hope for no longer than 2 hours.

    1. Dear Michael,

      Thank you for your message. After driving more than 4.5 hours, a driver must take a break of 45 minutes. However, different coach companies have different regulations regarding this. To know for sure how long the coach will stop at a rest station, we suggest contacting the bus provider you plan to travel with directly. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support Team

  2. Dear ChechMyBus – Support,
    In July we are planning on travelling from Vilamoura to Lisbon using one of your bus services. I was wondering during this journey you get a toilet break?

    1. Dear Sarah,

      Thank you for your message. Many of the bus connections from Vilamoura to Lisbon have a change-over, where you should be able to use the toilet in the rest room. The trip’s duration is about 3.5 hours and many of the buses also have a toilet on board for emergencies. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  3. Hi, I am planning to make a trip from Halifax to London in May 2019 by National express. I will have my 6 year old son traveling along with me. I may be taking a night service from Hx, reaching London at around 6AM, the next day, would the coaches provide reasonable comfort for sleep? Also, do they mandate carrying car seats for 6 year olds??

    1. Dear Divya,

      Thank you for your message. National Express boasts having comfortable seats with leg room and air conditioning. Six-year-olds are not required to have car seats. However, if you do need a booster seat, you should be able to receive one from the driver. In this case, we suggest getting in contact with National Express prior to your journey. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  4. I will be traveling to Plymouth from London on the 7th of April 2019 with National Express, will there be wifi and am I allowed to take food onto the coach with me? Thank you

    1. Dear Crystal,

      If you are travelling with a big coach company, such as National Express or megabus, there should be free wi-fi and generally you can bring cold food, such as sandwiches and crisps as well as lidded drinks, such as coffee. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  5. Please let me know what is the price to birmingham for day trip and what time does it run from morning and the cost where to catch the bus from coventry

    1. Dear Assia,

      Thank you for your message. It costs about £4.00 to travel from Coventry to Birmingham, and there are regular connections between the two throughout the day. Morning connections depart at 8:15, 945, 10:35 and 11:05. Buses depart from the Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station on Fairfax St. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  6. I am planning a bus trip from London to Norwich in June. The journey takes over 3 hours and I wonder if there will be any stops long the route, and if so, where and for how long?

    1. Dear Cherry,

      Thank you for your message. Please note that CheckMyBus is an intercity bus price comparison portal and doesn’t operate buses directly. We suggest contacting the bus company, such as megabus or National Express directly to see when bus stops are for the journey.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  7. I am planning a trip to London travelling by National Express coach from Swansea. What is the best seat for legroom on these coaches.
    I am prepared to book a premium seat but do these have extra legroom?

    1. Dear Ian,

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, premium seating is exclusive to select connections between Bristol and London at this time. You should be able to reserve your seat for trips to London, however. Typically, the first row of seats tends to provide the most amount of leg room for passengers. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  8. We are planning a trip from London to Cardiff on December 26,2018 and return on December 30. Since we couldn’t find a train at this time of year and we are seniors, our questions are:
    1- How comfortable the Express bus is since the trip is around 3 hours;
    2- How many stops are planned for this trip?
    3- Which stop will be the best one as we will be staying at Radisson Blu Cardiff City Centre.
    Thank you,

    1. Dear Elisa,

      Thank you for your message. Depending on which coach you plan to travel with, there are a variety of amenities that will make your journey as pleasant as possible. With companies, such as National Express, you can book a premium seat for an extra fee to have a table as well as extra legroom for maximum comfort. The connection between Cardiff and London is generally a direct connection with no changes for the duration of the trip, however again this may vary from company to company depending on which you book. If you are staying at the Radisson Cardiff City Centre, than the closest station would be the University of Cardiff, which is just a fifteen minute walk or a short taxi ride again. The Cardiff Coach Station also isn’t too far and is a roughly 25 minute walk away, and is also easily accessible via taxi. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Gaz,

      Thank you for your message. Local disabled bus passes generally don’t work outside their area and many intercity coaches, like National Express, sell their own Disabled Bus passes which work exclusively for their coaches. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  9. Hello. I’m travelling on the National Express overnight coach from London to Penzance. Which seats are the best for leg room please?

    Regards Hetty

    1. Dear Hetty,

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, National Express’ premium seat reservations are currently unavailable. For an added fee, these tickets allowed you to book the first three rows on the top deck, which had extra leg room and a table. Generally, the front seats have the most legroom and it should still be possible to book these with standard booking, if you book fast. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  10. What chance is there that I can ask for a front seat so I can see out of the windscreen. I get coachsick or feel very queasy, but this is the most straightforward way for me.

    1. Dear Cheryl,

      Different bus operators have different policies about reserving seats. On National Express, you can reserve any seat in the first five rows by paying an additional £2 per person. To know whether or not you can reserve a specific seat, it’s best to check with whichever bus company you plan to book your trip with.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Deborah,

      Thank you for your message. Most bus companies, such as National Express and megabus UK do allow certified guide dogs on board provided that they have the proper certifications and are on a leash. There are also a variety of discounts available for disabled passengers which vary from company to company. To find out what’s available for you, we suggest contacting the bus company you’d like to travel with directly.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  11. Hi,

    Am looking at 10.00am on 10/06/18 from Stratford to Norwich UEA station. Where can I find the direction maps for both locations.

    Next, I have one big luggage with 20kg and a small bag approximately 5kg, do I need to buy for heavy item because luggage size is slightly bigger than allowed size.

    Your prompt reply is highly appreciated.


    1. Dear Josephine,

      Thank you for your message. You can generally find the maps for each of the stations on either the company’s website, or on the CheckMyBus webpage, when you search for the route, the address and map of the stations will be displayed. Also, when you book your tickets, the exact address of both stations should be on them.

      As for your luggage, this will depend on the company you booked with and usually the dimensions of your luggage are also taken into consideration as well as the weight. If the size of your luggage exceeds the company’s maximum allowance, you’ll have to pay an extra fee to bring it. In this case, it’s best to contact the company directly in advance to let them know so that the driver can prepare for the added luggage space. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  12. What are the rules for travelling with Children and babies under two years old? Do I need a car seat, can I book one on the coach?

    1. Dear Leanne,

      Thank you for your message. In the UK, minibus and coach drivers are not required to provide child seats for their vehicles. This is considered the responsibility of the individual parents, so many bus companies do not offer them. While on the coach, a child can travel without one if there isn’t one present. With this said, different bus providers also have their own rules, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to contact the provider directly to see what is acceptable.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  13. My daughter is planning to travel from Tarragona to Barcelona airport by bus with her nine month old son. Are there any restrictions regarding child seats etc that we should be aware of. She was hoping to be able to avoid carrying a child seat with her as she will already have a pushchair and suitcase to contend with.

    1. Dear Duncan,

      Generally, it should not be a problem for you to take a child seat on board. However, this could vary from provider to provider, so we suggest getting in touch with the bus company you booked your ticket with to make sure it’s alright. We also recommend showing up early to your bus stop and giving the coach company some notice about your situation, such as sending an email with the items you’d like to take on board. This is the best way to make sure there’s enough space on the bus and that you won’t encounter any problems.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Peter,

      while intercity buses on longer distances are equipped with toilet facilities, companies might use more standard buses on shorter services or airport connections. We recommend getting in touch with the provider Bus Éireann directly (customercare(at) in order to make sure that there’s toilets on every bus used on this route.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus-Support

  14. Coming on WestJet from Canada arriving 10 am Oct 12 and want to know how to get self and luggage onto bus from the airport. Also think there is a bus leaving for Derby at 11:50 am when our plane arrives at 10. Is it realistic to be to clear customs, get luggage and then try to find our way to the National Bus from the North Terminal at Gatwick? Is there a shuttle from the airport to the buses? Where do you catch that? I am concerned about hauling luggage around to make connections and then haul if not onto a bus. Will want to repeat this when I return Nov. 2 from Derby to Gatwick. At that time my flights leaves at 10:35 am. What bus should I catch in Derby to get to Gatwick, clear customs and be on time for my flight? Please send information and helpful tips to:

    Kathy Lea [Canada]

    1. Dear Cathy,

      National Express operates direct connections from Gatwick to Derby. Unfortunately, there is no bus to Derby at 11:50 am but there is one at 12:55 pm, which will get you to Derby by 18:30. Since you arrive at Gatwick at 10 am, you will have plenty of time to get your luggage and to clear customs. Even if your flight is a bit delayed, you should be able to make the bus. The bus to Derby departs at Gatwick North Terminal: You can find the bus stop on the lower level just outside the international arrivals gate.

      For your return journey, you can get the National Express bus from Derby at 02:25 am. The bus will arrive at Gatwick North Terminal at 8:25 am, which will give you two hours to check in.

      You can find all the information and every available bus trip from Derby to Gatwick and back on our main page. Simply enter your points of departure and arrival as well as the date of travel and pick the option which suits you best.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus-Support

  15. Hello checkmybus, can you tell me if Wifi is available? Want to travel from milano – munich (bavaria) fri – 06/02/2015. thank you

    1. Dear Giovanna,

      We’ve checked availability for you on Friday, 06th Feb 2015. Actually, you may travel with Baltour or MeinFernbus. The last-mentioned one is offering WiFi on board, free-of-charge.

      Best regards,

      Your CheckMyBus-Support

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