Online booking with National Express: prices change arbitrarily

I don’t get this. You go online to book (or check prices) at National Express.


Hmm, that 13.00 looks a good deal at £9.00. But maybe I’ll go earlier. Click Show Earlier Coaches.


Oops! Not only are all the prices more for the earlier journeys, but the 13.00 is now £10.70. What if I now go back with Show later coaches?


Bad new – the 13.00 is still £10.70. Good news – the 16.00 which was £14.00 is now only £12.70.

What if I clear cookies, or revisit the site in a different browser?


Yes, it’s back to the old prices.

My experience is that price reductions are rare. They almost always go up. And that simply closing the browser and starting a new session is not enough to make them go back down. In the worst case, a £19.00 ticket went up to £30.

The behaviour is too consistent to be caused by other factors, like other customers booking or cancelling trips.

A bug? Or does National Express like to play games with its customers?