Best way to book train tickets

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

  1. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    I use the ScotRail app. Better interface than Thetrainline IMO, also remembers by card details, network card etc, and no booking fee.
  2. kenny g

    kenny g Totally Aware.

    Has anyone mentioned using topcashback when buying tickets. I get a few percentages back buying through Virgin.
  3. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    I already did a while ago, but no one was interested as they are all obsessed with thetrainline.

    As a matter of fact one used to get 6% with Southern. Now the best deal is with Red Spotted Hanky as one gets between 1.5% and 2.02% (it keeps going up and down), and this combined with RSH's own loyalty points scheme gives the most back.
    marty21 and Badgers like this.
  4. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    Red Spotted Hanky you say? why have you never mentioned them before? I could have saved loads of money by using them and not
    marty21, neonwilderness and Badgers like this.
  5. _pH_

    _pH_ .

    I've just noticed that in the google map at the top of this thread, there is a link to I hope this means that editor has done an advertising deal with them - that means I can buy my cheap train tickets from them as usual and contribute to the server fund at the same time.
  6. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    I've just spent £130 with Southern, looks like I'm going to be spending around £75 a week most months for the next couple of years. Do I need an account to use thetrainline? Not tried the app yet but it sounds like a must have, given it's an Urban Approved service.
  7. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    This shit isn't funny you know?
  8. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    I really am buying lots of train tickets for the foreseeable future, and looking for the thriftiest/easiest way to do that. The Southern site accepts my network railcard for the booking but I bet it makes no difference on direct trains London-Southampton. Are there any sites that help understand split ticketing?

    eta. When I said Southern I meant South West trains. I need help with this, and pfft has brainwashed me :( Just registered on the topcashback thingy too, since Bungle mentioned it.
  9. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Sorry, them lot keep goading me about thetrainline.

    If you're happy using SWT why would you want to switch to theshitline? They won't offer you anything extra, except for taking more money out of your wallet.

    My personal, preference is for Red Spotted Hanky as you can get cashback on TopCashBack (varies between 1.5 and 2%) plus they have a Rewards scheme were you earn points which you can redeem against future rail travel (amongst other things).

    East Coast do a Rewards scheme too, but the restrictions are greater on non-EC tickets than RSH.

    Funny you should mention Southern, as they were offering 6% cashback earlier in the year, which was great! But they stopped that a while ago. :( They offer a "Rainy Day Guarantee" too, which means you can get a full refund if you decide not to travel, even on (Southern only) Advances.

    Bear in mind that all these sites will sell you exactly the same tickets for the same price; the exception being cases like East Coast where if you book their own tickets directly through their website you may get an up to 10% web discount.

    There are various websites that will look for splitting opportunities, like this one: but I don't know which is best, as I haven't used one because most of my journeys aren't cheaper with splitting, or I already know where to split. Bear in mind with split tickets the train must stop at the station where the tickets split (except in certain exceptions) or it's not valid.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  10. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    And Southampton is well within the former Network Southeast area so you will get a Network Railcard discount on trains from London to there, subject to that cards restrictions.
  11. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    The one negative thing I would say about RSH though, is that I don't like their new booking engine. The other sites that use their system though (Southern, Southeastern and others) are still using the old one, for some reason, which I prefer.

    They do do frequent voucher give-aways though.....if you can get hold of one.
  12. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Thanks. The Network Southeast info is helpful. I saw your free tickets thread earlier too.
    Megatrain does London-Southampton on the same South West line but very quickly goes up to a tenner each way and I can get an off-peak day return with the network railcard for £24 so reckon it's best to have a proper ticket for the sake of 2 quid each way, especially if I can do cashback/vouchers etc (I heard they can deny megatrain tickets if the train is full).
  13. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    I can't see how. Aren't Megatrain tickets similar to Advances in that you are booked on a particular train? And they won't know which ticket you're on until they come round to check them. Haven't used them myself though.
  14. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Not a proper ticket I think. Just a printout so you have to be let through the barriers by a person wielding a clipboard. I'll probably try them when I can get one for £1 again, maybe with an open return in my pocket just in case.
  15. Badgers

    Badgers Mr Big Shrimp!

    Just booking up some tickets for London Euston – Coventry in November
    colacubes likes this.
  16. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    I'm going up to town loads during the end of nov and dec...... trying to work out if its worth booking online or not?

    I live in redhill (surrey)

    28th nov - going to see nitro circus at earls court
    6th dec - want to go to that warp thing at the tate
    7th dec - drinks for another forum I use, gotta get to holborn
    13th dec - Gogol Bordello at brixton o2
    20th dec - bangface in elektrowerks islington (coming home on the 21st though).

    Is it worth booking online? its short journeys from where I am into london (about 40 mins).
  17. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Why do you want to book online? Just buy day Travelcards on the day at the station.....unless you're interested in a points scheme (and/or cashback) like RSH's.
  18. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    Trying to save money mainly..... each one of those trips will cost me £17 for a travelcard.

    The 20th dec one will cost £34 as I need to go on friday and come back saturday.
  19. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    If you're looking at getting Southern Advances, then book through their website because they have a "Rainy Day Money Back Guarantee".
    sim667 and editor like this.
  20. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    Apparently I should be able to get my freind who's got a gold card to get me a network rail card for £1...... I might have to pretend to be his boyfriend though. If I can that will save me 1/3

    He wants to get his wife one though and the idea is that is a 'Partner card' so I doubt they'll sell him 2.

    I need to find someone else with a gold card.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  21. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    So, with redspottedhanky I get 1 point per pound spent, which seems to be generally redeemable at equivalent of 1p per point. I appreciate it's 1p off in the long run but that will work out to roughly 1 free bonus trip per year. Unless I'm doing something wrong.

    I never got a refund from megatrain when advised against travel on stormy Monday. But I realise I don't really need super advance travel for my regular journeys.

    I recover the cost of the network card in less than a fortnight. This gold card deal sounds good. Any commuters willing to help me get a £1 network card deal too?
  22. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    If you sign up to one of the cashback sites - I use Top CashBack - you get cashback on top of your Red Spotted Hanky loyalty points. Currently that's at 1.51%, but now and again it goes to about 2%.

    As for Megatrain, just found this in their T&Cs:

    This is probably a reason not to use them - at least I wouldn't - as with a normal rail ticket if your train is delayed or cancelled and you decide not to travel you can get a refund, even on Advance tickets. You also get compensation on most TOCs if you do travel and your train is delayed (by enough time).
  23. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Yes, I signed up to Top CashBack on the advice of this thread, but I've missed something about how to link up the purchases. Would be good as RSH don't cover the hotel chain I seem to be using most.

    And I've deffo learned my lesson re Megatrain. First and last time of using that.
  24. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    You need to find the RSH page (just type it into the search box), then when you get to it there will be a huge button labelled "Continue to Merchant". This will the take you to the retailer's website and you shop as normal. Soon after that you should get an email from TCB saying a transaction has been tracked, and it will appear in your account on the site. It takes quite a long while before you can actually get the money though.

    You will probably need to remove the "Don't track me" option from your browser if you have it set, or the system won't be able to track your purchases. If you do have one that doesn't show, you will need to put in a missing cashback claim.

    I would say that there seems to have been some kind of problem with RSH cashback recently, with a lot of mine not changing to payable even though they should have months ago! I contacted TVB about it, and in the end they just changed them all to payable manually for me.
    mango5 likes this.
  25. brix_kitty

    brix_kitty minority of one

    Are there any websites which figure out the best split fare price for a ticket? Or can suggest something other than the most obvious route?

    I'm travelling from Birmingham to Newcastle next month, and the best advance, direct, one-ticket price is £39.90 (Cross Country).. I can get that down to £33.20 just by splitting the ticket at York, both legs still Cross Country, and can knock off another pound if I change to an East Coast service at York. But I can also do it for £29.50 if I go via Carlisle, on Virgin and Northern Rail, and I think I got it under £25 at one point by splitting it into four legs but I lost track.

    So yeah, just wondered if there was an alternative to spending several hours trying out all the different possible combinations?
    Greebo likes this.
  26. xenon

    xenon Radical efficiencies

    This is all bollocks. Who wants to spend the afternoon working out secuatous routes from A to B to get round the byzantine pricing structures.

    Renationalise the fucking lot anyway.
    Libertad, Greebo, T & P and 1 other person like this.
  27. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    There's this one:

    Never used one myself, as usually for me splitting offers no saving, or I already know where I can split for the few journeys where it works out.
    brix_kitty likes this.
  28. brix_kitty

    brix_kitty minority of one

    Greebo likes this.
  29. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    When's the best time to order tickets? I'm travelling to London 19th August so I'm thinking sooner the better.

    Also, considering travelling back on the following Friday, but would coming back on the Saturday be cheaper/less hassle?
  30. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Advance tickets are released 12 weeks before the travel date, so you may already have missed the best deals, if it's a popular route.

    As for travelling on Friday, it's only more expensive if you travel in rush hours. Stay off the train between 0700 and 0900, and 1600 and 1800 and you'll be ok. If you're buying Advance tickets, you won't be offered Peak services anyway.

    Whichever day you travel on, you only get the real savings by booking tickets for specific times. If you need your journey times to be flexible, you may as well just walk up on the day and buy an off-peak return.

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