Avanti Advance tickets

Hi everyone,

It's another Avanti one! Just looking for some advice really because I'm sure I can't be the only person in this position. 

For work, I travel into London from Macclesfield once a week, every Tues. I pay for this travel personally - I suppose I think of it as my tax for a Southern salary, although that salary has been stagnant for a while so not sure it's quite working... 

This *should* be affordable with advance return tickets. I believe they're supposed to cost £60-70, even at peak time. (And annoyingly, I do have to travel at peak time for childcare reasons.)

But how does anyone get these rates?! I've set up alerts with both Avanti and Trainline and still, by the time I'm alerted, tickets are £140+. So have I missed the real advance tickets, or do they go on sale at this mad price? 

Any advice would be really really useful, because £500+ a month on work travel is becoming unaffordable. 

Thank you!


  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,796 Forumite
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    edited 3 February 2023 at 2:55PM
    I'd be very surprised if there are any advance tickets issued for weekday mornings - we used to live on the route when it was run by Virgin, and as I recall could only get morning advance tickets without having to change or use slower services at weekends
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,515 Forumite
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    Returns for £60-70 price are available, even with morning departures, but it always comes down to times you need to travel.

    Split ticketing may be the way to go if you don't mind a change along the way.

  • It's bonkers. A ticket for the 6.37am train on 11th April is currently £47.20. But the same train on 25th April - which I've just been alerted for - is £143.70. 

    It doesn't make any sense. Any tips on the sweet spot for booking? 
  • Oops - meant to upload this shot,

  • Sorry, still working out this forum 😊
  • I don't suppose anyone else has any wisdom to share here?

    More than anything it makes me a bit sad. The journey length isn't an issue - 5 hours of commuting is okay in a day if it's only once (or even twice) a week. But if tickets are going to continue being so prohibitively expensive (and hard to predict), then I guess fewer people will choose the 'London hybrid' option I did. So the better paid jobs will stay in the South.
  • pinkladyvenus
    pinkladyvenus Posts: 372 Forumite
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    edited 4 February 2023 at 9:03PM
    Cheap tickets go on sale about 12 weeks in advance I find you don't always get alerts in time. Also, check out some of the ticket-splitting sites Martin Lewis recommends. I also have a go at ticket-splitting myself sometimes taking a different route. Check out this site. http://www.railrover.org/index.html. I also try the same journey on various different train company websites and sign up for any offers emails. 
    Sealed pot challenge member 437
  • Thank you! Very useful. 
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