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Train prices Rip Off (again)

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Minio, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    For our return from Heathrow the other half just came back from the railway station today having bought 2 first class tickets from London to Diss for £128 with rail card for October.

    The ticket office advisor said that returns were cheaper than 2 singles and it was all you could get for the cheapest price.

    I've just looked on trainline.com and she could have bought 2 single first class tickets for £23.20 for this journey in October. Same time and date of travel.

    Rip off or what?

    And the advance tickets she bought are non refundable from all accounts.

    Over 100 squids down the pan I think!
  2. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    I’d be getting angry at myself for allowing that to happen.
  3. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    What he said. I use the train a lot and my default is to trust my own instincts to use the web sale sites rather than ticket office staff. It isn’t that they’re untrustworthy but they aren’t that bright and aren’t sufficiently motivated to wring the best value out of the system.
  4. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    Yep, certainly, personally p***d off as the cockup seems irreversible.

    The problem may have arisen because you can't buy singles traveling from the "other end" from a ticket office if recollections serve me from past travels. Whereas you can buy singles from wherever you like on the Web site.

    Just guessin '.
  5. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Never trust the ticket office muppets.
    Always use the websites.
  6. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    I've tried telling her but..

    Still roughly comparable to a taxi from Heathrow to home and she doesn't want that. Prefers the train.

    I'm not arguing!
  7. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

    According to whom? I have had numerous train tickets refunded (when I have bought days in advance and not travelled). I don't see how they can be non-refundable if they are for a date in future.
  8. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    The consensus on Google was no refunds on advance discount tickets. She seems to have bought a full price return though so it should be refundable. Trouble is I didn't buy them.

    And its a touchy subject!
  9. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    Standard class fare?
  10. Simon Vess

    Simon Vess pfm Member

    It is my experience that ticket office staff, often have poor knowledge of the ( excessively complex) fare structure, and I have been sold tickets which were not the most cost effective for my journey , more times than I care to recall
    Especially annoying is the structure which incorporates London Underground fares in one ticket
    On one occasion, including the underground fare raised the overall ticket price by nearly 50% which I found odd given that the underground journey was one I made on foot in a time span of 25 minutes

  11. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    £218.80 for 2 travellers without Railcard
    £144.40 with Railcard

    Ah! I've found the reason why £23.20 fare on the site is not advisable. You have to specify the time of the train you wish to catch. This might not be so easy when coming through, then from Heathrow which can not be easily estimated, time wise.

    Perhaps she who must be obeyed has a point.

  12. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    According to the t&cs when you buy advance tickets!

    Advance tkts refers to a particular type of ticket at a favourable fare not any ticket bought in advance.

  13. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    It depends on the ticket and service, Minio. You can buy advanced tickets tied to a date that can be used on any service that date - just don’t make a seat reservation. e.g. I buy adv tickets between St.P and Gatwick with a Two Together and travel on any service that day. We do have Oysters as well but AFAIK they take no account of Two Together.
    I’ve become reasonably adept at this, to the point of buying the tickets online from Toulouse airport then collecting them two hours later before boarding the Brighton-Bedford train to St.P.
  14. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    The £23.20 for 2 x First Class tickets for a 110 mile journey is a very attractive price.

    It's almost worth picking a likely departure time giving generous allowance for delay in coming from LHR etc. Worst case : lose £23.20.
    2_dive likes this.
  15. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    I do that and only lost them once. I travel between King’s X and Retford so usually book first going down and get the free food and G&Ts but just book standards at around £10 comin back in case our plane in is ultra-late and we miss the train.
    It depends what time of day you’re talking but we build in a couple of hours to take account of a late flight. If we’re on time we get a bite to eat and relax.
    Minio likes this.
  16. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    You could buy about half a dozen cheap advance tickets for different times of the day. It would be cheaper than one standard fare.

    So many things to think about when buying train tickets. It seems experienced travellers can wise up to the pitfalls.

    It's a bit hard on the occasional train users that are a bit green.
    Linds likes this.
  17. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Off to London in November for a few days theatre/art/restaurant jolly.

    Tickets from Macclesfield to Euston, bought 12 weeks in advance, with senior rail card work out at pennies over £15 each way.
  18. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Why should anyone have to buy a train ticket weeks in advance to get a reasonable price ? UK train price/quality is just a rip-off compared to Europe.
  19. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    To regulate the numbers of passengers on trains to avoid overcrowding?
    Or.. to fill potentially empty seats and, in effect, to poach customers from the competition.
  20. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    I don’t have much experience of European trains other than France where I travel frequently and their pricing structure seems similar to ours - turn up on the day and pay royally to travel.
    On TER Occitaine they have lower prices on off-peak trains but you can only get the very cheapest by going through their app. I do occasionally harvest tickets between Toulouse and Laguépie (an hour’s journey) at 1€ each, just in case I fancy a day out - walk in price is 17€ .

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