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Using an Oyster card

How to use your Oyster card on Gatwick Express trains in London.

What is Oyster?

Oyster is a smartcard from Transport for London (TfL) which can hold Pay As You Go (PAYG) credit, Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

You can use Oyster on all of our trains for journeys that start and finish in the London Travelcard area. Oyster can also be used between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria on Gatwick Express services.

It’s quick and easy to buy an Oyster card, top up online and add your Travelcard or season ticket.

You can use the Oyster card on buses, Tubes, trams, the Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.


Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG)

You can buy an Oyster card from any TfL approved outlet including London Underground stations, and online from the TfL website.

Oyster cards are available from London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

Top up your credit using the self-service ticket machines at London Victoria or Gatwick Airport. You can also top up at Underground stations and various shops across London as well as other National Rail stations in London using self service ticket machines.

Top up Oyster online at the TfL website and also set an automatic top-up.

As Oyster Pay As You Go is based on single fares, there are occasions when Oyster may not be the cheapest option for your combination of journey. Details of Oyster and Contactless single fares can here found here. Details of caps for extension stations can also be found on the TfL website.

If you require an open return ticket, we advise you to buy online where you can benefit from a 10% discount on the station price.

There are some important differences to be aware of:

  • Gatwick Airport is not be included in the advertised London Travelcard zones; instead it offers customers an alternative way to pay for their travel using PAYG
  • Season tickets will not be available on Oyster along the extended route. If you normally buy a season ticket you are advised to continue to buy this using the Key Smartcard or a paper ticket
  • Whilst a daily cap will apply; it is important to be aware that it will not always be cheaper than buying a return paper ticket. There will also be a weekly price cap for those using a Contactless card or mobile device; but it will still be cheaper to buy a season ticket on the Key Smartcard or paper
  • Children’s ZIP Oyster cards, London Freedom Pass, 60+ London Oyster photocard and Veterans Oyster photocard holders can NOT travel free on the these routes
  • If you’re travelling between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria, please be aware that there are two fares in operation. If you travel on the Gatwick Express you will be charged the more expensive but flexible ‘any permitted’ fare. If you travel on Southern you will be charged a lower fare. The fare charged is determined by the gateline which you enter or exit through at London Victoria. Gatwick Express services generally arrive/leave from platforms 13 & 14 and Southern trains generally arrive/leave from platforms 15 – 19. Please make sure you touch in or out at the correct gateline.

Railcards and Oyster cards

Do you have a railcard? If so, then make sure you register it when you get an Oyster card.

Your railcard will give you 34% off the price of your tickets if you’re travelling outside the rush hour.

Find out more about Oyster cards

Got a question about using Oyster on Gatwick Express? Check our frequently asked questions.

You can read more about Oyster cards on the Transport for London website.

You can also call Oyster customer services:

  • Telephone: 0345 222 1234
  • Textphone: 0800 112 3456

The Oyster Conditions of Use set out your rights and obligations when you use an Oyster card to travel on Gatwick Express or other National Rail services. They apply in addition to the National Rail Conditions of Travel.