Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
Page 2
  • ticketcollector
    Only reason that martin links to them is that he gets commission on them. He doesnt get such a commission on the other 'no booking fee' companies.
    Ex-Employee of a Train Operating Company.
    Ticket routing and rules expert.
    Been Penalty Fared on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you win your appeal.
    Been sent a summons on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 14th Jun 08, 2:23 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Only reason that martin links to them is that he gets commission on them. He doesnt get such a commission on the other 'no booking fee' companies.
    Originally posted by ticketcollector
    The above is a nasty slur and incorrect.

    The reason they're linked to is that in many ways they provide an easier alternate route for researching tickets. The article very specifically and deliberately says that the cheapest way to book is via going direct through local ticket agencies and recommends people do that... I quote from the guide...

    "Don’t pay unnecessary booking fees

    Booking direct at a station or via the rail company’s own website is usually cheapest as there’s no booking fee; plus you may also find some extra online discounts.

    If you're using the booking sites, the Trainline charges a flat £2.50 fee on credit card payments; though it does also add £1 travel insurance by default, so do un-check the box if you don't want it. Raileasy, on the other hand, charges a £1 booking fee on every purchase, plus a 50p debit card fee and 2.5% for credit cards.
    Overall this means of the two, the Trainline is cheapest for debit card bookings or credit card payments over £60, whereas Raileasy wins for credit card bookings under £60."


    Why are they in ?

    The revenue gleaned from those affiliate links is frankly negligible - and even if it wasn't, as on all things on the site I don't recommend things for revenue reasons. Many people use those sites - and like them - they are thus included. More importantly by including them I get to EXPLAIN the costs of them and that you are paying more.

    More importantly we are in the midst of pushing and trying to work with some of the booking companies to try and get a split ticket generator - this is impossible by ourselves and is something i think will generally help everyone. By keeping the ticket agencies in the article is useful for maintaining influence and weight to push that project along.

    Within the 'main tricks' section - they're only mentioned (which is rare) when they provide an easier way to find the discounted tickets...

    What about the 'First Great Western same as trainline'

    Thanks for thsi... we're looking at it the idea that it provides the same service as the train line but no fee' agencies - the problem being that when we try it some of the cheaper ticket routes seem to not be included when they are on the trainline.

    I've got questions in with FGW but sadly a derailment this week means the press office is slow to coming back to us and I await finding out exactly how it works, before adding it into the article.

    As a general note, when we publish a new article (as this is, its a rewritten reresearched guide) one of my priorities is to read people's feedback and suggestions; as we want to make it as good as it can be. I've done that here... and thank you for the many good suggestions - I am slightly pee'd off though at some of the notes above which try and attack the work we've done to try and help people rather than improve it.

    Martin
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 14-06-2008 at 2:36 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • u2o
    Dear oh dear. shame on you MSE! not for the debate above - but suggesting Megatrain for Manchester to Edinburgh? If you do a little bit of research by clicking on the link that you took time to copy and paste from their website, you'll clearly see that this route is discontinued - and has been so for a long time!

    Also, you need to be clear that in Trick One: Advance tickets beat returns. Yes, but not like for like comparison. If you need flexibility, you need to pay more. If you buy the advance ticket and miss your train, you have to pay the walk up fare thus costing you more money - you can't upgrade or pay the excess with these tickets. (Sorry, just realised Caliston already mentioned this!)


    On another note. You should suggest rail operator websites for their discounts.

    -National express east coast as already mentioned, 10% off.

    -First Transpennine Express: 16-25 railcard holders get 50% off travel instead of usual 1/3. again, no booking fee. you can book their advance ticket for Edinburgh to manchester as cheap as £4.95 single!
    Last edited by u2o; 14-06-2008 at 2:53 PM.
  • Dave2012
    Thanks for your reply and clarification Martin,

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave2012; 14-06-2008 at 3:34 PM.
    • caliston
    • By caliston 14th Jun 08, 8:18 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    caliston
    Thanks Martin for the explanation. I hope I didn't come over unduly adversarial. It's just this article annoyed me a bit:
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/47978/Lunacy-of-Britain-s-rail-fares

    No doubt the journalist has failed to understand your press release, but it was the "rip-off Britain: 48 ticket overpriced to 257" angle that got me. By all means educate people as to the different ticket types and the best ways to buy them, but don't claim they're the same when they aren't.

    I do agree that all the various time restrictions need simplifying, or at least printing on the booking confirmation. But simplify them too much and you'd end up with one of two scenarios: an all-tickets-are-valid-on-all-trains model, where fares would have to be set so high as to prevent casualties on rush-hour trains, or the every-seat-must-be-prebooked model where you'd lose all flexibility and people would switch to their cars in vast numbers.
  • ticketcollector
    Heres an idea, as caliston has said. Why dont we have two types of tickets.
    Travel anytime and thus stupidly expensive.
    Or book your travel and get it cheap, restricted, like current advance tickets.
    THATS IT.
    Is that how simple people want it? Because it seems to be going that way.

    As for getting copies of the relevant ticket restrictions this is easy. Just ask for a copy of the NFM at the ticket office.

    Its articles like this that make me happy to work for the Railway and therefore do not have to pay for tickets.

    When we do have to pay for tickets which is rare we pay 75% off, railway staff children get 88% off.
    Ex-Employee of a Train Operating Company.
    Ticket routing and rules expert.
    Been Penalty Fared on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you win your appeal.
    Been sent a summons on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you.
  • Merrywidow
    Thanks everyone, whew - what a lot of great information. Keep it coming.
  • u2o
    Heres an idea, as caliston has said. Why dont we have two types of tickets.
    Travel anytime and thus stupidly expensive.
    Or book your travel and get it cheap, restricted, like current advance tickets.
    THATS IT.
    Is that how simple people want it? Because it seems to be going that way.

    .
    Originally posted by ticketcollector
    nah. that would compromise anyone who needs flexibility but dont need to travel in the peak time. imagine not being able to buy "cheap day returns" when popping up somewhere for a day for shopping or something - or if, like me, want to pop over to friend's for a nightout thats been decided last minute and thus buying saver returns. so unless the rail operators scrap the peak-time and therefore everything is cheap off peak (which won't happen), we need the current (or to-become) 3 fare system: Advance, Off-Peak and Peak and quite frankly i like it!
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 15th Jun 08, 9:15 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    Is it just me or has the change in the ticket structure (having just three types of tickets) made prices go up?...
    Originally posted by SussexMan
    There appears to be some confusion here. The change that has just occured harmonised conditions for advance purchase tickets, which are all given the same name, "Advance". The reality is that there are many price levels of Advance but as they all have pretty much the same conditions they are all called the same name.

    For example I went from Crawley to Sandwell for 14 just before the changes. If I look on websites now booking well in advance, those cheap ones have all gone and the cheapest one for the same train is 72.50!
    Originally posted by SussexMan
    It sounds like there are not any advance fares for that journey. If it is well in advance, perhaps they are not on sale yet.
    Some fares have been 'simplified' upwards, though ATOC claims that there haven't been increases across the board.
    Originally posted by caliston
    Again we have confusion. Only Advance fares have been subject to ATOC's "simplification".

    However Arriva took over the CrossCountry franchise (who operate Gatwick-Birmingham direct trains) from Virgin in December, so these fares revisions have been their first opportunity to change things. They've banned Cheap Day Returns on peak trains, so it wouldn't surprise me if they've also reduced the quota of cheap tickets. Reducing quota is a price rise by stealth, but the quotas are never published so it's hard to find out.
    Originally posted by caliston
    I dislike Arriva's anti-CDR policy but all the evidence is so far that, if anything, they may have increased Advance availability as they are aiming to move toward a more 'airline' style model of people booking in advance, even for mid-range journeys of 50 miles or so.
  • ticketcollector
    nah. that would compromise anyone who needs flexibility but dont need to travel in the peak time. imagine not being able to buy "cheap day returns" when popping up somewhere for a day for shopping or something - or if, like me, want to pop over to friend's for a nightout thats been decided last minute and thus buying saver returns. so unless the rail operators scrap the peak-time and therefore everything is cheap off peak (which won't happen), we need the current (or to-become) 3 fare system: Advance, Off-Peak and Peak and quite frankly i like it!
    Originally posted by u2o
    But it is not going to be that simple!
    As far as I am aware, the restrictions are going to be as they are now. Its just the ticket names that are changing.
    So you will buy a Off-Peak Day from company A (which you can travel on trains departing after 0930) but on Company B an Off-Peak Day will only be vaild on trains arriving after 1030. However on Company C you can use the Off-Peak Day on trains arriving before 0600 and trains arriving after 1100.

    So its not going to change anything.
    Ex-Employee of a Train Operating Company.
    Ticket routing and rules expert.
    Been Penalty Fared on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you win your appeal.
    Been sent a summons on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you.
  • cytokitty
    Having just been reading the posts regarding the train fares thought some of you may find this one interesting............

    I want to travel from Swansea to Bristol Temple Meads on the 5th July return on the 19th July, the journey is via Cardiff and Newport.

    Saver Return Swansea to Bristol 25.90


    but get this !

    Swansea to Bristol 5
    Bristol to Swansea 5

    yet,

    Swansea to Cardiff 5.20
    Cardiff to Swansea 5.20

    half the journey on the same train costs you more :confused:

    prices from Trainline
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 15th Jun 08, 11:36 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    The 5 (each way) tickets are advance fares, only valid on the specified trains. At that price, providing you can be sure that you will get those trains, you should grab that bargain while you can!

    The other prices you mention are all walk-on fares and 5.20 is the cheap day return fare from Cardiff to Swansea valid for walk-on travel.
  • u2o
    But it is not going to be that simple!
    As far as I am aware, the restrictions are going to be as they are now. Its just the ticket names that are changing.
    So you will buy a Off-Peak Day from company A (which you can travel on trains departing after 0930) but on Company B an Off-Peak Day will only be vaild on trains arriving after 1030. However on Company C you can use the Off-Peak Day on trains arriving before 0600 and trains arriving after 1100.

    So its not going to change anything.
    Originally posted by ticketcollector
    yup nothing is going to change (except the name) - hence i think the current system is perfectly adequate. all im saying is we still need cheaper option for off-peak. the best solution would be for all train companies to standardise what "off peak" means and set on the same times!
  • ticketcollector
    yup nothing is going to change (except the name) - hence i think the current system is perfectly adequate. all im saying is we still need cheaper option for off-peak. the best solution would be for all train companies to standardise what "off peak" means and set on the same times!
    Originally posted by u2o
    That would be wonderful but is never going to happen.
    Ex-Employee of a Train Operating Company.
    Ticket routing and rules expert.
    Been Penalty Fared on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you win your appeal.
    Been sent a summons on the Railway? PM me and Ill try to help you.
  • Frances K
    Frances K
    HELP!! Hello???
    I logged in for the first time this morning to get help on finding the cheapest way to get to Penrith from Oxford - Virgin is offering me 88.45 for a first class ticket, with Senior Railcard. I sent a message, but who knows where it went. Si I an trying again

    I am trying really hard ( a full hour already) to get to the right forum place to get help with this one, but I need help even to get to the right site.

    As a first time user, I would welcome any advice. I may be in my sixties but want to do this right!
    Like, how do you get back to a thread you have found? I seem never to get back to where I want.
    Many thanks
    • Billy-no-Money
    • By Billy-no-Money 16th Jun 08, 3:09 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 341 Thanks
    Billy-no-Money
    Consider 'Rangers' / Preston-area
    Rangers
    These get a mention, but only brief. There are some real bargains out there if you can find the anomalies.

    For example the northern boundary of the West Midlands Day Ranger is, surprisingly, Crewe.

    This means that you can get a day's travel across a large area for £15.40, when a return ticket to a single destination (e.g. Crewe-Hinckley) is £30!!
    The only downside is it's off-peak only (all day weekends) and doesn't cover Virgin Trains (but does cover Cross Country).

    There are Rangers for other conurbations such as Manchester, worth looking into if you're ok with getting off the train at the boundary.

    Preston-area to/through Birmingham
    For anybody in the North-West around Preston, cheap fares via Birmingham available through Virgin appear to have dried up - probably because Cross-Country no longer serves Preston.

    Instead, consider going via Manchester as Arriva Cross-Country does serve the city - but use the www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk site. I've managed to find a Bristol-Manchester return for £37, (outward £16, return £21), to which you'd need to add a tenner for the leg to Manchester, total £47.

    (The Duo ticket makes for a further saving on the Manchester leg for a couple, or you could set off from Chorley and use a Day Ranger which only costs £3.80!!)

    The equivalent direct fare starts at £68.40.

    For some reason it doesn't work if I ask for Bristol-Preston via Manchester, so you might need to buy the Preston-Manchester ticket separately.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Billy-no-Money; 16-06-2008 at 3:34 PM.
    Long-haul Supporters DFW 120
    Debt @ LBM (October 2007): 55187
    Debt Now (April 2014): 0
    Debt-free-date: July April 2014
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 16th Jun 08, 4:11 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    Instead, consider going via Manchester as Arriva Cross-Country does serve the city - but use the www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk site. I've managed to find a Bristol-Manchester return for 37, (outward 16, return 21), to which you'd need to add a tenner for the leg to Manchester, total 47.
    Originally posted by Billy-no-Money
    It doesn't matter which site you use (as long as you avoid thetrainline.com itself) as they all offer the same fares, but NXEC's site does make it easier to find the good deals, it uses a different system developed by Atos Origin which is better than thetrainline-powered sites that all other companies use.

    www.nationalexpresseastcoast.co.uk
    • Billy-no-Money
    • By Billy-no-Money 16th Jun 08, 4:35 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 341 Thanks
    Billy-no-Money
    Well, b****r my boots!

    I've bee buying tickets for years now and never realised how much better that National Express site is - it's not just a bit better, it's streets ahead.

    Thanks v much - I'd seen the posts about it but it didn't register until I went on there and entered some typical journeys I regularly make.



    Regarding the Preston-area tip, I think it can still sometimes be cheaper to buy a ticket to Manchester (esp a Duo or Ranger) and combine it with a ticket from Manchester to the destination, it's just a bit more effort and takes longer.
    Long-haul Supporters DFW 120
    Debt @ LBM (October 2007): 55187
    Debt Now (April 2014): 0
    Debt-free-date: July April 2014
  • hazseljord
    Glasgow to Portsmouth
    Can someone tell me the cheapest way to get from glasgow to portsmouth be it by train, plane or coach. Looking to travel on wednesday this week 18th june give or take 5 days. and return 4 or five days later.

    Your help would be mostly grateful.

    Thanks in advance
  • veggie4life
    Hi there!

    Could anyone help me ? I'm a bit lost!I need to travel from london to norwich on the 4th July leaving at 07:30 and returning at 17:30. Does anyone know the cheapest fare for this route ?
    Merry Christmas MSE!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

499Posts Today

5,006Users online

Martin's Twitter