Oyster and Heathrow Express

A little over 9 years after Oyster PAYG began being accepted on most National Rail services in London, the last rail service has finally joined the family.  Yes, you can now use Oyster and contactless on Heathrow Express.

Just like the Gatwick Express, the fares charged are determined by which platform you use at Paddington to touch in or out.  If it is platforms 6 or 7 then the higher Heathrow Express fares will be charged.  The single fare is exactly the same as the cash fare on the day, while if you return it will cost more than cash.  There are also very reasonably priced advance tickets available from the Heathrow Express website.  Thus just like Gatwick, Oyster is very much provided for convenience and not value for money.

Adult fares are charged for standard blue cards, Student, Jobcentre, Apprentice and zip 16-18 Oyster cards.  Holders of both 5-10 and 11-15 zip cards are not charged, in line with the Heathrow Express policy of not charging kids.  These fares do not count towards any caps and travelcards are not taken into account.

6 thoughts on “Oyster and Heathrow Express”

  1. When Oyster was introduced, we were told that cash was very inefficient to process and paper ticket prices were increased dramatically to persuade people to use Oyster. Now, increasingly, we are being persuaded to use cash rather than oyster by making the oyster fares more than cash. Were TfL lying about the economics of cash collection?
    Also, it used to be a simple message – use Oyster and you will always be charged the cheapest fare. Now you have to research each individual journey to see if this is the case.

    • Hi Robert,

      No, TfL were not lying about the economics of cash collection. Cash in this case also includes credit cards of course. The simple fact is that outside zones 1-6 TfL do not set the fares. Well they do on their services, but not those controlled by TOCs. Thus Heathrow Express are responsible for setting the fares for their services (yes, even though Heathrow is in zone 6, the express bit trumps the zone). GTR are responsible for setting fares to and from Gatwick to Mertsham, Southeastern for Dartford/Swanley and HS1, Greater Anglia for Shenfield and Broxbourne to Hertford East and LNWR for Watford Junction.

  2. Thanks for this news! More Are the fares discounted for Railcard-enabled Oyster cards?

  3. GWR trains are now using platform 6 at Paddington. The barrier between the platforms 2-5 and 6-7;gate lines has been removed. It’s unclear whether the platform 6-7 gates have been reprogrammed.

    • Hi Matt,

      My contact at TfL tells me that passengers for GWR trains on platform 6 will be ushered through the platform 2-5 gates while HEx passengers will use the platform 6-7 gates as they always have. If Reading passengers use 6-7 and then use the Underground they will be charged for two journeys.

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