What 'grinds your gears' about coach travel?

I’m Joe and I work for Snap.
As a regular Snapper between Cardiff and London, I wish coach travel was consistently more comfortable than train travel. Maybe one day it will be, and we want to revolutionise coach travel for good, but to get to that point we need to know what it is you DON’T like about coach travel. Then we can figure out whether we can change or improve these things.

I know USB ports are important to everyone and we’re giving financial incentives to operators to really try to improve this, but what other things annoy you?

Maybe it’s

  • The fact that there’s no ‘quiet zone’ on a coach like there is on trains, or
  • That some drivers are much more heavy on the brake than others, or
  • That awfully loud rattle you get sometimes that sounds like a panel is loose or something (what is that!?)

Maybe there’s a way that we can change these things? And if there’s one thing in particular that all Snappers find especially annoying, then we can make that a priority to fix by telling operators how important it is to you all and then working out realistic solutions with them.

So let us know what ‘grinds your gears’ about coach travel!

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Great topic Joe!

I’ve got a few personal pet peeves - dirty toilets are a big one. Also when sitting at the front of the coach, on a dull cloudy day with no bright sunlight when the driver has the sun visor pulled down. It’s quite nice to be able to see out the front!

I had one AWFUL experience with one service provider… who I won’t name (it was a transfer between London Hackney and Stansted airport as a clue) to catch a flight in October. I admit we ended up cutting it quite fine, getting to the stop 3 minutes before the coach was meant to depart as our taxi was delayed getting us. Lo’ and behold the coach had already left, early, without us! Last thing you need at 5am on a wet London morning.

Waiting for the next one would have meant a high chance of missing the flight, so we had to fork out £50 for a last minute taxi. Trying to get any compensation was like blood from a stone. Their reasoning was that their policy is that we should leave something insane like 4 hours before flight departure time so they can put us on the next coach.

So leaving a pick up point early and disregard for passengers time (I’m not getting up at 3am for an 8am flight incase your driver doesn’t do their job properly!).

Rant over :wink:

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@joebanfi one thing that annoys me is that the seats on coaches can be too close together. I realised a lot of the coaches that Snap use can have the seats adjusted to have a bit more space! :relaxed::bus: seats

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Indeed, love this feature… some friends and fellow passengers looked at me in awe last time lol :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I find coach journeys where air conditioning is either too hot or too cold really uncomfortable, and it makes quite an impact on my experience for that journey. Though I appreciate that it is difficult to find a happy medium that works for everyone, but the extremes of one or the other isn’t great. I haven’t experienced this issue with Snap so far (I hope), but I thought it’s definitely a gear grinding offence to mention anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

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I totally agree with @mikacurt about the air conditioning. The buses are usually too cold and it makes our journey -especially for me- uncomfortable. I have experienced this with Snap as well but I’ve never mentioned this to the drivers :slight_smile: Maybe next time.

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In terms of comparing train travel and coach travel, temperature extremes definitely seem to be more common on coaches. We need coaches to be as consistent in temperature as train carriages.
In my experience, the two responses passengers usually receive when they tell travel companies that the coach was too hot/cold are:

  1. Ask the driver to turn the heating up/down (but drivers seem to not have access to these controls whilst driving - https://www.facebook.com/NationalExpress/posts/dear-national-express-stop-freezing/1018946948129346/)

  2. Something along the lines of “You can’t please everyone - what some people call too cold, others call comfortable”… If this was true, then the problem would be equally bad on trains, but it isn’t. Train carriages seem to find a happy medium for everyone, so we need to get to the bottom of why coaches can’t do this too.

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I think coaches have their own microclimates, and less sophisticated air conditioning systems compared to trains. It will be warm at the front of the coach, and freezing cold at the back.

The driver will be sitting at the front with cold air blowing on the windscreen, or with the sun beaming down on them, and will be relatively warm or cold. Not to mention a slightly toasty engine sitting beneath the passengers.

The coach driver is also going to struggle to be able to get up and check whilst the vehicle is in motion - they’ve got quite an important job up front!

I think it really comes down to the coach manufacturers - but the driver also needs to know to double check the temperature is set at the right level. 21 - 23° is the standard.

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My biggest pet peeve is no quiet zones. I was on a competitor coach travelling from Cardiff to London yesterday evening and 2 passengers had a very loud conversation for 3 hours, while the rest of the coach was silent. It’s so rude when people are trying to sleep/read/relax!

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@jayne1826 thats one off them I hate the most when people are talking loudly and they have there phone on SPEAKER TONE ( whitch you can hear everything what they the other person talking bout​:grimacing::scream::cold_sweat:

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I actually had no idea about this feature, until one passenger pointed it out - guess i’m so used to the old ways I did not realise this was possible . On my next trip to Nottingham OR Bristol (which ever one comes first) I am totally going to give this a try.

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Most people still don’t know anything bout this company. I know that it’s still very new on the scene- even thp it’s been going for a for a few years now @Akinyi

@Taddyracked121 hehehe mind you, I started using snap late 2017 when a friend told me she found a way - on facebook - to go to London from Nottingham for £2 (I obviously told her it was a scam or a crappy, beat up coach and she had a shoulder to cry on when she figured that out herself) long story short, almost 2+ years in and I’m still finding new things out. Granted I am now working for the company as well.

Wow £2 from Nottingham to London in 2017 I wouldnt even think it was that possible catching a catch for that price :scream:

@Taddyracked121 Funny thing was her tram was delayed so she missed it and had to book it again (think it was £3 for the one way)… She made that one, but was cussing the tram driver for making her lose out on the ultimate bargain. But times have changed, now if you refer some friends to snap you can save quite a bit (especially if your trip is originally as little as a £5).

I haven’t use a snap coach at the moment but I have my account details on the website and most day trips are bout £10 or less plus I have the code( whitch will give me 10% off as well :blush::slight_smile:

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Not quite grinds my gears but noticed the Snap coaches often don’t have plug sockets, so that would be a nice change :slight_smile:

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Hey Jayne,
It’s definitely a big blind spot by some passengers isn’t it! I’ve got noise-cancelling headphones and sometimes they’re not even enough lol.

Maybe it’s a case of the driver including in his or her welcome aboard message something like “Please be aware that the front half of the coach is a quiet zone, and in terms of noise, please do be considerate of other passengers who may want to sleep or relax.”

For me, something like that would make Snap feel more premium than other coach companies.

Have you got any thoughts on solutions?

I’ve just arrived in Bristol from Birmingham by snap. David from Oxford bus company did one of the best onboard announcements I’ve heard. Personal, professional, and put everyone onboard at ease, and one of the things he included was be mindful of other passengers with noise.

We like the announcenents to not be scripted as its more personal, but having a checklist of things to say is a great idea

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Please please make this standard on Snap coaches. That would make my day. I take at least 2 coach journeys a week.

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