1 ticket left at this price - I want it + another one

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by trainophile, 30 May 2015.

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  1. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Just had a bit of a panic as I was booking two Advance 1st TPE ticket Manchester Picc to Middlesbrough, and noticed that other trains that day had cheaper prices, so I amended my request to 1 person, and sure enough there was one ticket left at a lower tier. I bought this, along with some other tickets to make up a 3-part journey, thinking I would then buy a second ticket for the MAN-MBR leg, albeit at a higher price than my first one.

    However, the VTEC (:oops: force of habit) site would not allow me to do this, and kept telling me to chose a different service as the train I wanted was full. I knew it wasn't, as originally I'd been allocated a different seat because I'd forgotten to select my preferences. Even after completing the first booking and re-entering my request on VTEC as a new order, it still wouldn't let me buy a second ticket.

    Panicking a bit now, I went on the ATW site, and managed to get my required ticket with no problem whatsoever - it even allocated me a seat facing my first one! Doing it this way saved me about £5 compared with buying the two in one hit.

    Is this a bug in the WebTis (is that right?) system that prevents two tickets being sold on the same website at different prices for the same service, even as completely separate orders?
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
  2. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I've had this exact same problem with the London Midland website when booking an Advance (last one at one price and other one at the next tier up).
     
  3. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    Could it be the seats are timed out for a certain period before reappearing for sale, by this I mean each time you look at a certain seat and choose it ( even if you do not buy) it takes it from sale for x time, before it reappears.
     
  4. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    From my experience in TPE 1st, I'd be highly surprised if even half of the 15 seats were already reserved for a date a month away, but I suppose that's one possibility.
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Yes, when you put it in your basket it is removed from sale for (I seem to recall) two hours.
     
  6. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Which is especially annoying if it's in the basket, but you haven't signed in yet, and accidentally navigate away/refresh/close the page. The ticket disappears into limbo!
     
  7. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Actually that theory doesn't bear out, as I was initially allocated seat C12, then changed it to C10, and the seat I was given by the ATW site is C13, so unless someone else was doing exactly the same thing at the same time, there were at least three seats available to start with, and still at least one of two following my first purchase, even if the other one was in limbo somewhere.

    I don't think it can cope with selling two tickets on the same train to the same account holder at different prices.
     
  8. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've bought tickets at different price tiers for the same service through the VTEC site previously.
     
  9. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Well you must have the knack then :lol: . It wouldn't let me proceed beyond the second screen, even when I left all the seat preferences as Any. It kept coming up with a long-winded message in red, to the effect that there were no seat reservations available, and to please select a different service.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
  10. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    This has happened to me too a few times, and I've had to wait until the point 2 hours after I would have originally added it to the basket...

    WebTIS is just a pile of...
     
  11. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I think 2 hours to too long for a ticket to be able to be blocked out for. 15 minutes would be more reasonable.
     
  12. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Way too short 15 minutes if buying multiple tickets.
     
  13. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree. 15 minutes is nowhere near long enough. All sorts of interruptions can occur, from internet connectivity breaks to something as simple as having to answer the phone or the door, without even buying multiple tickets as you say.
     
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    What do you think would be a reasonable time then? 30? 60? I think the current system allows people to hold back tickets for too long really.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    and have unfair advantage.

    If you delate it from your basket though, does the 2 hour wait still apply or will it be offered to others straight away again?
     
  15. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    That is a good question. As I understand it, removing a ticket from your basket will free it up again, but I'm not 100% sure about it.
     
  16. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the current system is fine.
     
  17. hangus78

    hangus78 Member

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    Removing a ticket from a basket will free up the quota immediately as calls can be made to NRS to free up the seat.

    But as no doubt most of us do, typical Internet behaviour is just to close the window.
     
  18. SouthStand

    SouthStand Member

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    I agree with the OP, 2 hours is far too long. For all but the most complicated bookings, 30 minutes should be sufficient. A change may annoy the odd person Greenback, but benefit far more!
     
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