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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 5th Oct 10, 10:09 AM
    • 1,218Posts
    • 3,554Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    Cheap Train Fares guide discussion
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:09 AM
    Cheap Train Fares guide discussion 5th Oct 10 at 10:09 AM



    Hi, we've written a Cheap Trains guide to help you play the train ticket system with hidden tricks. You can also check out the latest travel offers, vouchers and discounts on our Cheap Train & Coach Deals page.

    If you've tried the techniques mentioned in the guide, were you successful? How much did you save? Is there anything you'd add?

    Thanks for your help

    MSE Jenny
    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 08-03-2013 at 2:11 PM.
Page 53
    • SallyD
    • By SallyD 13th Jan 17, 10:11 PM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    SallyD
    Thank you. I get it now.Appreciate the web links.
    SallyD
    • metron
    • By metron 26th Jan 17, 4:35 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    metron
    Wanting to travel from Lincoln to London and back, out AM 10 May and back late PM 11 May.

    No evidence of any cheap (say £13) seats on the Virgin East Coast site (£36 each way) but the following message comes up before you go through to the prices:

    To help you get the best deal for this journey, you can book up to 24 weeks ahead (rather than the usual 12). Your booked train times may change very slightly, but in the unlikely event that this happens we’ll let you know well in advance and be happy to change or refund your booking with no fees.

    Does anyone happen to know whether the cheap seats have come and gone already, or if they're still to be released at the 12 week point? VECs a little unusual in allowing you to book at all that far in advance, but it does leave me wondering at what point they release the cheaper seats.
    • miller
    • By miller 26th Jan 17, 10:23 PM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    Try putting in Retford or Newark North Gate. I think the problem is VT East Coast services are limited to Lincoln so you are seeing EMT prices.
    • metron
    • By metron 26th Jan 17, 10:47 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    metron
    Try putting in Retford or Newark North Gate. I think the problem is VT East Coast services are limited to Lincoln so you are seeing EMT prices.
    Originally posted by miller
    Thanks! I see what you mean - so the only way of booking at the moment would be to get separate tickets from Lincoln to Newark, and Newark to London. Much appreciated.
    • miller
    • By miller 28th Jan 17, 11:47 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    Thanks! I see what you mean - so the only way of booking at the moment would be to get separate tickets from Lincoln to Newark, and Newark to London. Much appreciated.
    Originally posted by metron
    Yes, the extra cost of that leg probably makes it worth waiting for the traditional 12 week window to open.
    • danielledisco123
    • By danielledisco123 28th Jan 17, 4:10 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    danielledisco123
    Hi all,

    I have looked into splitting my tickets for a journey London to Manchester and have been able to do this, however, for the splits I remain on the same train but have been given different seats? Is this the norm and would I need to switch to the other seat for the 2nd leg (Stoke to Manchester)? - Virgin Trains

    Thank you
    • metron
    • By metron 28th Jan 17, 4:49 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    metron
    Yes, the extra cost of that leg probably makes it worth waiting for the traditional 12 week window to open.
    Originally posted by miller
    That's the plan now - just hoping that when it does there'll still be availability of the cheap tickets.

    VEC's ticket release policy is odd - you can book beyond the 12 week point, but it's difficult to tell whether [even] cheaper tickets will still come on sale at 12 weeks. I'm guessing they will.

    Redspottedhanky and various other sites simply won't allow you to book them at all beyond 12 weeks, though Trainline does.

    All adds to the confusion that is rail travel in the UK.
    • metron
    • By metron 28th Jan 17, 4:52 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    metron
    Hi all,

    I have looked into splitting my tickets for a journey London to Manchester and have been able to do this, however, for the splits I remain on the same train but have been given different seats? Is this the norm and would I need to switch to the other seat for the 2nd leg (Stoke to Manchester)? - Virgin Trains

    Thank you
    Originally posted by danielledisco123
    The change of seats is normal, and you needn't worry about it. You can sit in any unreserved seats you like - but you'll probably have to move to the 'new' seats if the 'old' ones have a reservation on them, which they may well have.
    • danielledisco123
    • By danielledisco123 29th Jan 17, 7:47 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    danielledisco123
    Perfect - Thank you
    • miller
    • By miller 30th Jan 17, 9:58 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    Hi all,

    I have looked into splitting my tickets for a journey London to Manchester and have been able to do this, however, for the splits I remain on the same train but have been given different seats? Is this the norm and would I need to switch to the other seat for the 2nd leg (Stoke to Manchester)? - Virgin Trains

    Thank you
    Originally posted by danielledisco123
    I was able to pester Virgin via their live chat and get some seats booked a while back. They gave me a booking reference and it spat out a zero fare ticket with the reservation I wanted. You could ask for the same seat(s) as one of your existing reservations.
    • miller
    • By miller 30th Jan 17, 11:02 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    VEC's ticket release policy is odd - you can book beyond the 12 week point, but it's difficult to tell whether [even] cheaper tickets will still come on sale at 12 weeks. I'm guessing they will.
    Originally posted by metron
    At the moment the traditional window is up to 21 April. I tried for 19/20 April and could get 2 x £13 fares. I would keep your powder dry and wait!

    VTEC have an email alert service, whether you trust it or not is another thing (there seemed to be some technical disclaimer when I looked)
    https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/travel-information/cheap-ticket-alerts/
    or alternatively check the National Rail booking horizons page:
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/44703.aspx
    or keep trying your journey until the fares are released.
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 30th Jan 17, 10:01 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    yorkie2
    Hi all,

    I have looked into splitting my tickets for a journey London to Manchester and have been able to do this, however, for the splits I remain on the same train but have been given different seats? Is this the norm and would I need to switch to the other seat for the 2nd leg (Stoke to Manchester)? - Virgin Trains

    Thank you
    Originally posted by danielledisco123
    Did you book manually or through Trainsplit? Trainsplit tries to get the same seat, but is not always successful. Taking your tickets to a booking office may see a possibility of the seats being changed, though this is not guaranteed.

    Technically you have to switch seats, however in practice you are OK to sit in the same seat subject to the seat not being required by other passengers.
    I was able to pester Virgin via their live chat and get some seats booked a while back. They gave me a booking reference and it spat out a zero fare ticket with the reservation I wanted. You could ask for the same seat(s) as one of your existing reservations.
    Originally posted by miller
    If you give them the details of the tickets, including the ticket numbers and reservation details, they may be prepared to issue replacement reservations. (they would not be happy issuing additional reservations in addition to the existing ones)
    Last edited by yorkie2; 30-01-2017 at 10:03 PM.
    • miller
    • By miller 31st Jan 17, 10:24 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    If you give them the details of the tickets, including the ticket numbers and reservation details, they may be prepared to issue replacement reservations. (they would not be happy issuing additional reservations in addition to the existing ones)
    Originally posted by yorkie2
    Maybe I was just lucky then, because I got them issued without question (I quoted my existing advance ticket which already had a reservation)
    • Benno963258
    • By Benno963258 21st Jun 17, 4:28 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Benno963258
    Sneaky wording to sell on your data
    just a word of warning, Thetrainline use misleading wording about selling your data on, that could be easy to miss if you were in a hurry:

    "thetrainline would like to send you information relevant to your booking, cheap train fares and other special offers. If you would prefer not to receive this information,
    please uncheck this box.

    Selected partners may want to send you special offers and exclusive discounts or information about their products and services. If you would like to receive this information,
    please check this box.

    Selected partners may want to send you special offers and exclusive discounts or information about their products and services. If you would like to receive this information,
    please check this box.

    View our privacy policy and terms and conditions

    View our privacy policy and terms and conditions
    Please tick this box to confirm that you accept our terms and conditions".

    Obviously interchanging "check this box", "uncheck this box" and "tick this box" to be intentionally confusing.
    So annoying that companies will effectively steal your data to sell on to cold calling companies.

    If nuisance phone calls annoy you, you should get annoyed with the companies that sell your data
    • dekkard
    • By dekkard 14th Jul 17, 10:55 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    dekkard
    Expedia are now selling train tickets.

    Visa Debit seems the only way to pay without a card charge. But 3% cashback available through Topcashback and Quidco.

    This isn't mentioned in MSE's Cheap Train Fares guide though.
    • JohnTheGuard
    • By JohnTheGuard 14th Jul 17, 4:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    JohnTheGuard
    Day Returns
    If you are travelling out and back on the same day to a destination over 50 miles away check day return fares to intermediate stations. Day returns can usually be purchased for stations up to 50 miles away and are usually only a few pence more than the single fare. Multiple day returns can be much, much cheaper than one return to a distant destination. For instance, my wife often travels from Derby to Bristol and back for work. An Anytime return is £151, but this price can be more than halved by purchasing Derby to Birmingham, Birmingham to Cheltenham and Cheltenham to Bristol day returns. The latter is particularly cheap, especially as an off-peak ticket is valid by the time she gets there. The same is true for Derby to Cardiff, Oxford, Peterborough and presumably many other destinations.
    • miller
    • By miller 17th Jul 17, 11:30 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    miller
    ...and flipping to the reverse side of that if you wanted to stay overnight during the week using a Network Card e.g. Southampton to Bournemouth 2 x Off Peak Day Single = 2 x £12.30 (can't use Network Card as £13 minimum during the week) = £24.60. Extend to Poole for a Network Card discounted Off Peak Return £18.70 and finish short/start short at Bournemouth.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 17th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
    • 1,794 Posts
    • 644 Thanks
    Stoke
    I'm still waiting for the compensation for my utterly shambolic journey in December and have since refused to pay. I've been getting very cheap fares ever since.

    As soon as I get my compensation (only £16), I'll be a good citizen and pay again.
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