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Best way to book train tickets

Discussion in 'transport' started by rikwakefield, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. moose

    moose like some cat from Japan

    I signed up for email alerts with Trainline for when cheaper tickets come on sale for a return trip to London in July. Got an email yesterday about the outbound journey, so snapped up 2 tickets for £44, and expected there'd be one about the return today. But nope, they're still £120 - 250 :mad:

    However, if had booked them yesterday, still as singles, they'd have been cheaper. How can inbound singles be cheaper if you book them with outbound singles? Now I've signed up for another alert for the inbound tickets, and they say they normally release the cheap tickets 12 weeks before travel - so how come I was able to buy the others yesterday? I fucking hate this system. :mad:
     
    Badgers likes this.
  2. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    1) Why are you using theconline in the first place?

    2) Advance tickets are released weekly, so it's no no good expecting them to come out the next day.

    3) I've no idea what you're talking about in your second paragraph, because it doesn't work like that. Advance tickets are released 12 weeks in advance (but in some cases 24 weeks) and have a number of price tiers. As the cheapest tier sells out the next one up becomes the cheapest. Advance tickets are ALWAYS sold as Singles.

    4) Advance tickets are released (for 12 weeks) when Network Rail confirm their maintenance schedule, so I'm not sure else it would work?
     
  3. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    Is there a generic train ticket site worth using ?
     
  4. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    Apparently thetrainline.com is excellent. Everyone says so.
     
    A380, marty21, neonwilderness and 2 others like this.
  5. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    You can purchase tickets from ANY of the TOC's websites, for ANY journey. There is no need to use a 3rd party sites, and pay their fees. In fact some TOC's websites use exactly the same booking engine as thetrainline's own site, so even if you prefer that system there is still no need to use them.

    Sometimes it is even advantageous to use a TOC's own website, eg with Virgin Trains East Coast there is a seat selector so you can specify your exact seat.

    And I'm always on the lookout for ones that offer cashback.
     
  6. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    :p
     
  7. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    I usually just use TOC sites

    I will continue on my way
     
  8. moose

    moose like some cat from Japan

    Because i don't know any better.

    Because in my ignorance, I assumed that if I received an email alert saying:

    We are pleased to inform you that cheapest advance single tickets for your outward journey from Macclesfield to London Euston on 1 July 2017 are now available to buy on trainline.com
    The cheapest advance single ticket we found for you was £22.00. This price was last checked on 7 February 2017.
    These great value fares sell fast, so book now to save.


    then I might receive an email alert the day after about the return journey, on 2nd July. That's what happened last year, when the 2 journeys totalled £44 each.
     
  9. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Because by booking that far ahead you are taking advantage of the 24 week booking rather than 12. This works (usually) on weekdays because planned disruption is rare. The 2nd of July is a Sunday, and Sundays have the potential for engineering disruption. NR doesn't set out their work timetable that far ahead.

    It's a bit odd because it seems they are releasing them for Saturdays, looking at the calendar on their website, where as their sister company, VTEC, holds tickets for the whole weekend until NR release their schedule.
     
  10. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole 24 week booking thing. I don't want to book my tickets that early, and I'm not sure why anyone else would. And it would be simpler if tickets for all days of the week were released at the same time, at 12 weeks, as used to happen, and still does on other TOCs.
     
  11. moose

    moose like some cat from Japan

    I go to gigs/exhibitions in London a few times a year, and the cheapest is always £22 each way, so if I see the tickets for that price, I'll get them, given that I've already got the gig tickets and the hotel booked for July.
    And yes, it would be simpler i everything was released at the same time. I was taken by surprise by the outbound tickets going on sale so early, because they don't normally for a Saturday. Hopefully cheap Sunday tickets will be along at the 12 week point, otherwise I'll sack the outbound tickets and hire a car.
     
  12. OzT

    OzT Online early mornings when at work ....

    Most of the TOCs' sites are white lable sites for Trainline, only difference's you shoudln't have to pay a booking fee on TOC ones.
     
  13. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    I always use trainline. It has a handy app and the costs are pretty much the same as the train companies.
     
    A380 and Badgers like this.
  14. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    Bargain :D
     
    Badgers likes this.
  15. 2hats

    2hats

    And they say you don’t get a wide choice of fares...
     
    Badgers likes this.
  16. Lancman

    Lancman Well-Known Member

    I bought some tickets on Trainline from Aberdeen to London some time ago but then had to cancel the trip. I applied for a refund on the 20th of this month and the money was in my account on the 28th. I call that pretty good.
     
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  17. doodlelogic

    doodlelogic arbitrary message here

    Trainline fans - did you know it's now taken over the excellent Capitaine Train so you can use it to book cross-European tickets? Gives more options than either Deutsche Bahn or SNCF in my experience. I just hope they keep the site in the same shape (ok I could probably swallow a €1 booking fee).

    The user touting redspottedhanky - shame on you given they are owned by ATOS.
     
    Libertad, marty21 and Badgers like this.
  18. smee22

    smee22 New Member

    Best way to book a train... IN ADVANCE!

    (...Yeah, sorry I know that's not that helpful 99% of the time...)

    I did once figure out that Virgin gave you the fabled 20-quid-each-way return (the cheapest fare on a London-Glasgow journey) if you book precisely 6 weeks in advance of your day of travel?
     
    Rosemary Jest, Badgers and alcopop like this.
  19. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    Was impressed with the trainlines whole mobile app thing now. Thou I would recommend if you're buying the ticket on the day, do it at least an hour before it departs. I ended up buying tickets for a later train, which still ended up being an anytime return, but the barriers wouldn't open when I scanned my phone!

    People at the station said it wasn't a problem as they could see if was a valid ticket for the day, but just the ticket get's it's knickers in a twist and won't open the barrier.
     
    Badgers likes this.

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