The Internet has been a tremendous advance giving people immediate access to information, products and services from the comfort of their own homes. While there were initial concerns about buying online and indeed the early ecommerce companies budgeted for losses, the consumer has become used to the idea of providing personal financial details through secure payment gateways to buy things that they want online.
Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the travel sector where the consumer almost automatically goes to the World Wide Web to book transport and accommodation; the High Street travel agent is being rendered redundant.
Websites have all the details
Travel companies have met the challenge of replicating the personal service that the agent used to give. The agent needed to keep route and timetable details for all the main travel companies whether by road, rail or air. The telephone was an essential tool but there were often delays in finding out about availability and hence bookings sometimes took time.
Time is occasionally something people do not have, but travel is now easy to arrange because up to the minute availability is presented on quality websites and confirmation of a booking and travel documentation comes via email by return.
That applies equally well to air, rail and coach journeys . Coaches have become increasingly popular as an alternative to driving and similarly cross channel coach journeys utilising the Tunnel in most instances now provide a very valid alternative to flying.
There are several reasons why a coach is preferable to a plane for anything other than long distance and here are a few:
- There is no need to arrive well in advance and suffer the check in and security procedures meaning a two hour wait at departures.
- Road travel allows a passenger to enjoy the journey with the differing views to enjoy as the trip progresses.
- There is plenty of leg room with reclining seats on modern day coaches.
- Luggage is easily handled and available immediately when the coach reaches its destination.
- Coach stations are centrally located within towns and cities; minimal onward travel.
- WiFi, electric sockets and personal service as standard.
Coach travel is a relatively economic way of travelling and certainly it tends to be stress free. There are delays on today’s roads but it is far preferable sitting in a comfortable seat using WiFi to sitting behind the wheel waiting for the traffic to move.
Everyone has experienced airport delays and they are no fun. Budget airlines have headline prices and there has been a move to ensure that the final ticket price reflects the headlines. Unfortunately, excess baggage charges are one detail that does not need inclusion; it is a charge that is taken on check in. That charge can be avoided of course but it is a reflection of the pressure on an airline’s profitability. There seems to be the need to add and add to the basic price.
It is about striking a balance between cost and service and when it comes to last minute travel coach companies seem to have that balance about right.