No, all tickets can be purchased on the day of travel.
When you have completed your booking, you will be e-mailed your booking confirmation within a few minutes. This e-mail will have your journey details as well as your unique booking reference number. This will be your e-ticket. Print this e-mail and hand it to a member of staff when boarding. Please keep your e-ticket for the duration of your journey.
If you haven't received your email ticket in your inbox, please check your spam folder.
As an extra measure you have the option to resend your email ticket: Log-in to the website using your username and password, and within the My Orders section (Hover over your username to access this menu) select to view your order and there is a resend ticket button at the bottom of the page.
When booking an e-ticket online or via our First Bus app, you will be able to select a return travel date within 31 days of the outward journey. If you try and choose a date beyond 31 days, the system will stop you from proceeding and ask you to re-select. If you are using our First Bus app, please activate just before boarding the coach and note that only one ticket per device can be activated.
No, just turn up and go. Our customers prefer this, as flights can be delayed etc.
If you wish to make any amendments to the travel dates on your e-tickets, please contact us through the Contact Us form on our website at least 3 days before travel or alternatively contact us on 0345 646 0707. Please note, we cannot make any changes to e-tickets if you contact us after the date of travel has passed.
Sunday service operates on Bank Holidays. For Christmas timetable information, please check our social media and news section nearer the time.
Concessions are only available to holders of valid 16-25, 26-30, Senior, Disabled and HM Forces Railcards. To purchase a railcard please click here.
Yes, on all of our coaches.
Q. Can I just turn up without booking?
A. All of our coaches are equipped to carry 1 wheelchair user at a time with no booking in advance. To make sure there is space available on your selected time please inform us of the date and time of travel. Please contact us on 0118 957 9425 at least 3 days in advance of travel, as each coach can only carry one wheelchair user.
Q. Can I remain seated in my wheelchair?
A. Yes, your wheelchair will be safely secured in the vehicle, allowing you to remain in their wheelchair for the duration of the journey.
Q. Do you accept the Disabled Persons Railcard?
A. Yes, the Disabled Persons Railcard is accepted and you will save a third on all RailAir tickets. Please bring your Railcard with you when you travel with us.
Q. When I arrive at Reading or Guildford are there facilities for wheelchair users?
A. Yes, the RailAir lounge at Reading is fully accessible and there are toilet facilities for wheelchair users also. Reading and Guildford Train Station is also fully accessible.
Q. Can I sit in a regular seat even if I board using the wheelchair ramp?
A. Yes, providing you can safely get into a seat or have a helper with you who can provide assistance if needed. Your Wheelchair must fold away neatly and be able to be stored safely in the luggage hold below. Please be aware that owners of larger wheelchairs, particularly motorised wheelchairs should check before booking that we can accommodate your wheelchair type by calling RailAir on 0118 957 9425.
Q. What types of wheelchairs are accepted on RaliAir?
A. We accept standard and motorised wheelchairs however they must not exceed 75cm from the front to back (including battery) and no more than 65cm in width. This is to ensure that it is safe to operate the wheelchair access lift and that the wheelchair can be safely positioned on the coach. Unfortunately we do not accept mobility scooters.
The total maximum weight to be carried onto the wheelchair lift is 300kgs including wheelchair and occupant.
RailAir between Reading and Heathrow is not classified as a local bus service and therefore free passes for over 60s or eligible disabled are not accepted. However, we do accept Senior or Disabled Railcards for discounted travel (see www.railcard.co.uk).
Yes, free passes for over 60s or eligible disabled are accepted. You can use your English concessionary pass after 9.30 am Monday to Fridays and anytime at weekends and public holidays.
We advise that the luggage you carry should not exceed normal airline allowances. Any item that cannot be lifted easily in and out of the coach's under-floor compartment by our member of staff may be refused on grounds of safety. Sharp objects should be covered and bicycles will be accepted so long as they are suitably packaged (wrapped or boxed) to prevent damage to other passenger property.
Sorry, BritRail Passes are not accepted on our service.
We do not provide tax receipts for our online e-ticket as VAT is not applicable on RailAir. Your e-ticket and payment confirmation, both e-mailed to you after making your booking, should be sufficient in lieu of a receipt.
Early Bird tickets at a special discount can be purchased a minimum of 2 calendar months in advance of travel. These tickets are non-refundable. However, amendments to travel dates are permissible so long as at least 3 days prior notice to the booked travel date is provided and the change does not contravene the 2 months in advance requirement. Contact details are printed on your e-ticket. Please note that Railcard discounts are not available with Early Bird tickets. Early Bird tickets are only available on our RailAir 1 Reading service.
Buying tickets is easy! Tap the mTickets button in the app, choose a ticket category, select your ticket from the product catalogue and then simply choose a payment method.
Your selected First Bus region/area is shown on the First mTickets screen; if you need to change it, tap on the area name to choose a different area.
There is no minimum purchase. You can simply buy the ticket you want in advance of your journey or buy several at once.
All of your purchased tickets are automatically put in your wallet and stored there until ‘activated’ so you’ll always be ready for your bus journey.
We have a whole range of tickets available, these vary depending on the area of travel. Check the tickets in your local area to see details:
Yes! You can active multiple tickets at the same time, on the same device.
This feature is available in the First Bus App version 4.5.0 or above, so please make sure you have the latest version.
You can pay by card (Mastercard or Visa Credit or Visa Debit cards), PayPal, Apple Pay (on iPhones), Pay by Google Pay (on Android phones). Sorry, we don't accept Maestro or Electron cards.
To set up a payment card, click on the payment methods screen, select the 'Visa / Mastercard / PayPal' button. Enter the details of your card. Once entered, your card details are then encrypted and stored securely by the system so you can reuse the card without having to enter the details again. The next time you make a purchase, the most recently used card (or PayPal account) is presented as the default option. If you want to use a previously entered card or enter a new one, select 'Change Payment Method'.
On the payment methods screen, select the 'Visa / Mastercard / PayPal' button.
On the next page select 'PayPal Check Out' and the PayPal login screen will be shown.
Enter your PayPal email address and password. If you want to be able to make future PayPal purchases on our app with this account, click the 'Stay Logged in for faster checkout' tickbox. Then select the card you want to use via PayPal and press Continue. The next time you make a purchase, your PayPal account will be presented as the default option. If you want to use a previously entered card or enter a new one instead, select 'Change Payment Method'.
On the payment methods screen, select the 'Apple Pay' button. On the Apple Pay panel, select the card you want to use (of those stored in the Apple Pay wallet) and unlock your screen with your password or fingerprint. The transaction will complete in a few moments.
Receipts are sent to the email linked with the account at the time of purchase. If you're going to need your receipt, we would recommend double checking your account details are correct before making a ticket purchase.
Please note that this purchase receipt is not valid for travel, and you will need to show the driver your active mTicket displayed on the app.
We can only provide refunds for un-activated tickets; any activated tickets are non-refundable. However, if you have an annual or long term student ticket, then we will listen to your particular case and see if we can help you. Please contact the mTicket support team on:
email@example.com (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays)
03300 947 577. (7am – 10pm, seven days a week)
The First Bus App supports versions above and including iOS 10.1 and Android 5. Google Play Services support for 4.0 ended in February 2019. Unfortunately, the Windows operating system is no longer supported; Microsoft discontinued updates for Windows Mobile in 2017.
You need an internet/data connection to purchase an mTicket. A weak phone signal when you board your bus should not be a problem. However, the First Bus App does need to communicate with our system on a regular basis to keep itself up to date when you're out and about, so long periods without connection may cause an issue.
Please note the app is not designed to work with Wi-Fi only devices such as tablets and iPods.
If you have GPS location services enabled on your phone and for the app, selecting this will display your closest First Bus areas.
To change area on the app, please go to the mTickets area on the app and then select the area that you’re wanting to travel in.
Once a ticket is purchased and downloaded, it will appear in the 'wallet' of the mTicket section of the app. Tickets in this section are listed from the oldest at the top to the newest at the bottom.
When you want to use a ticket, select the one you want and then select 'Activate Now'.
You'll then be informed of how long the ticket will be active for, before confirming that you want to activate this ticket. We would advise reading this carefully to avoid activating unwanted tickets.
Once activated, the app will generate a moving ticket image on your phone's screen and a QR code. This will stay active for the remainder of the ticket's validity and will include the time and a four letter 'word of the day'.
You'll need to scan the QR when you board the bus.
As long as you have purchased a valid ticket for each person travelling and have version 4.5 (or newer) of the First Bus App you can activate multiple tickets at the same time from the same mTickets account.
Yes, but you need to ensure you have version 4.5 (or newer) of the First Bus App and you have purchased a valid ticket for each person travelling.
Generally, mTickets will stay in your virtual wallet for 90days, with the exception of some Airport tickets that are 30 days unless stated within the ticket details on the app.
The validity of single tickets varies across each First Bus region. For the most part, single tickets will remain valid for either 5 or 15 minutes once activated. The app will remind you of this before activating one.
Customers can send tickets to a child or young person by using the sharing feature on child and young person tickets. As it stands, this function is only available for child tickets – adult tickets cannot be shared. Please visit our ticket gifting page for more information.
The First Bus App is only designed to work with one device per account. However should customers purchase a new handset, or lose or damage their current device, they will be able to transfer their tickets over.
To do this:
1. Log off from your mTicket account on your old phone (if possible).
2. Download the app and login to your mTicket account on your new phone
3. Check the Ticket Wallet screen. You should find a green panel containing a button to start the transfer process.
If the button is not visible, please ensure you have a data connection and refresh the app (on an iPhone tap the screen three times, or on Android select Refresh from the menu button).
Customers are able to complete the above process twice a month but further requests are subject to approval by a member of our mTickets team. Please don’t attempt to share your ticket with anyone else.
If an inspector asks to check your ticket, please show them the active ticket in your mTickets wallet as you would do the driver. For those who boarded using a single ticket which has since expired, the inspector will still be able to see this under the 'expired' tab in your wallet.
No; while you don't need an internet connection at the point you ‘activate’ an already purchased ticket, a regular internet connection is required by the app to keep content up to date and secure.
The validity of mTickets is similar to paper tickets. This means a day ticket is not valid for 24 hours, but rather the remainder of the day on which it is activated.
For example, typical validities are as follows:
- FirstDay – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated
- FirstWeek – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further 6 days
- FirstMonth – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further number of days in the month less one
- First4Week – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further 27 days
We also include a period of grace past midnight, so if our services end at 2am locally, the period 00:00 to 02:00 forms part of the previous day and the hours & minutes countdown shown on the mTickets screen reflects this.
Please note that any expiry date shown in words on the ticket screen is the last full day of the ticket, and does not reflect the period beyond midnight. This is so customers do not wrongly believe they have an additional full day's travel.
Problems with mTickets
Missing tickets are generally caused by your mTicket account becoming logged out, or a prolonged loss of internet connection. To restore your tickets, please make sure you have a good network connection and refresh from the Options button (iPhone) or Menu button (Android). All tickets in your account should reappear after a few seconds.
If your QR code is not being picked up by the scanner, don’t worry, your ticket is still valid, just show the ticket to the driver.
Take a look at these hints and tips which should help with this:
- Make sure you are using the correct ticket for the bus services and zones for your journey.
- Make sure your phone's app and operating system are updated to the latest versions.
- Turn up the screen brightness if possible.
- Through the settings on your phone, ensure the time on your phone is set to automatic.
We do not issue paper copies of mTickets. You will receive an email receipt when you make your purchase, but this will not be valid for travel.
With mTickets, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure a working mobile phone is available to show the driver the ticket screen. If there is a problem with the system, please let us know and we'll do our best to help.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your phone has enough battery power to be able to show a valid mTicket to the driver and any inspector throughout your journey. If you cannot do this, you will need to buy a ticket from the driver using contactless or cash.
If you are still experiencing difficulties please contact the mTicket support team on:
firstname.lastname@example.org (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays)
03300 947 577. (7am – 10pm, seven days a week)