16-25 Railcard and 1st Class Fares

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by penaltyfines, 9 May 2011.

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  1. penaltyfines

    penaltyfines Member

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    Just wondering why 1st class (walk-on) fares don't qualify for a 16-25 railcard discount - and whether you agree with it!
     
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  3. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    I emailed ATOC about this last week actually, and am awaiting a response.

    Personally I find it quite offensive and discriminatory that 16-25 Railcard holders can't get a discount on First Anytime fares, whereas Senior Railcard holders can.

    I've asked them to explain why the current situation exists, and if they are planning to allow 16-25 Railcards to be used on First Anytime fares in the near future.

    I will post any response I receive here.
     
  4. penaltyfines

    penaltyfines Member

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    Excellent. I can't see any explanation that isn't at least partially discriminatory based on age!
     
  5. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Why offensive?

    Family and Friends Railcards aren't valid at all in First. Is that discriminatory and offensive too?

    Why's everything so offensive to everyone these days?
     
  6. First class

    First class Established Member

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    First Class is a premium service. Students (primary target market) are supposedly meant to be being careful with money, not spending it on 1st Class Fares.

    Also consider the personality differences between students and the likes of businessmen, senior citizens etc. The way I've seen some students behave reinforces my belief that they may not be great candidates for First Class, especially with VT (and free ale).

    First Class is supposed to be an exclusive atmosphere. Unfourtunately I feel TOCs have eroded that atmosphere away with ultra-cheap First Advances that attract people who THINK they are better than everyone else and then act like a tit on board, (whilst sitting next to somebody with a £400 FOS).
     
  7. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    Businessmen have got to be amongst the most arrogant travellers there are, especially if we intend to stereotype and are more likely to act like a spoilt brat than a student. A first class advance ticket holder has just as much right to be in first class as someone who has paid £400 FOS. Nevertheless pensioners, who by all accounts need more pension money to live on, should also be prudent.
     
  8. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    On TPE I just buy a First Advance the day before as you can use 16-25 railcards with them :D
     
  9. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    I don't think the comments about students here are particularly fair: I don't see why students' consumption habits should be of anybody's business other than their own, particularly now that almost all government funding of teaching is being removed. Many a guard has come on here noting that business travellers can be as awkward as any other group. A significant number of business/corporate travellers have themselves been students, and they've all been aged between 16-25! Anyway, all groups of travellers contain their good/bad eggs.

    However, I don't see how this makes the lack of discount on First Anytime tickets for a 16-25 railcard 'discriminatory'. It provides good discounts on most tickets, but as long as the fundamental ideal of the card - providing cheap travel for a group of people who move around a lot and many of whom either cannot drive or cannot afford the high car insurance costs that youngsters must pay - isn't altered, then TOCs shouldn't be under any obligation to offer discounts on premium products such as 1st class tickets.
     
  10. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    It is "reasonable" that Family and Friends Railcards aren't valid in First Class, because you don't expect young children to be using it. There isn't a big demand from families to get a discount on First Class fares anyway.

    HM Forces Railcard's are valid on First Class fares. In my opinion, ATOC only do this to "look good", and since most people working in the armed forces get a low salary, ATOC don't expect many of them to consider travelling First Class!

    Why is it offensive for 16-25 years old? Well, why should a 25 year old not be entitled to a discount with their Railcard, when a 60 year old is? Both people want the same product - leisure travel. There are many well off people who qualify for a 16-25 Railcard, and would consider travelling First Class whenever possible (if the price is reasonable). The current situation is offensive because ATOC are effectively saying that young people are not "worthy" enough to travel First Class, whereas older people are.
     
  11. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    ATOC have already admitted that they extended the first class ALR discounts to HM Forces railcard holders in order to offset some of the bad publicity related to the introduction of restrictions and that the usage from this group was probably going to be somewhere between very low and non-existent.
     
  12. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    Well it must be even more offensive for 26-59 year olds who do not qualify for either railcard. Perhaps you should be grateful that you can get discount off some tickets with a railcard lots of people can not even have a railcard.

    Peter
     
  13. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    and some students like to use first-class to actually get some work done, ideally without the company of a bunch of loud-mouths in cheap suits who don't know what 'quiet' coach means.

    and some of the behaviour I have seen on the railway from those in the forces would put anything from a group of students to shame.

    Although I find it a little inconvenient, rather than actually offensive. As I actually have a reasonable income (unlike my grandmother), it's a nice benefit to have, even if I have to book in advance to get a discount.
     
  14. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    It is NOT called a "Student" Railcard - it is called a 16 to 25 Railcard, therefore implying that people up to 25 YEARS OF AGE are entitled to use the Railcard. Most people above 21 years of age, and many above 18 years of age, are NOT[/I] students, meaning that the Railcard covers non-students for between 5 and 7 years.

    I don't believe that students are the primary target market, as the Railcard is aimed at leisure travel, not commuting - and by this I mean leisure travel for people up to 25 years of age. As I said above, many 25 year old's have a job (well, most for this one), are fairly well off (at least to the same extent as pensioners) and would prefer to travel First Class. They act in a responsible way when doing so!

    Not all students are drunken brawls, either - I think you are being very stereotypical. When I reach 16 I would prefer to continue travelling First Class where possible, and I would behave responsibly and courteously, just as I do now.

    As you've probably guessed I am currently under 16, and travel First Class almost all the time. I am not loud or annoying, and in my opinion behave better than many business travellers who will never stop talking on their mobile phones. They make it very difficult for me when I'm trying to revise my past papers.

    Although I do travel First Class to avoid annoying, loud youths, I do not travel First Class for the "exclusive atmosphere." There is no atmosphere - a lot of the time I get an entire compartment to myself! I travel for the enhanced product (nice food, larger seats, more legroom, etc.) and to get a large table to work on.

    And if anyone ever implies that I shouldn't travel First Class, prepare to get a big mouthful from me!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You can't expect "adults" to get a discount too!

    My point is this: Why should Senior Railcard holders get a discount on these fares, when 16-25 Railcard holders cannot? Why?

    That's why I've emailed ATOC.
     
  15. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    Interestingly, I almost never travelled by train until I went to university and got a railcard. I think the train companies have done quite well out of my leisure travel!
     
  16. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    Yes, fair enough, but Advance fares are not available on all routes, particularly short distance routes - e.g. Crewe to Manchester.

    The price gap between Standard and First Class fares on this route for 16-25 Railcard holders is ridiculous - £6 Standard Class, £21.50 First Class!

    For Senior Railcard holders, though, to prices change - £6 Standard Class, £14.20 First Class. That's much more reasonable.

    If the 16-25 Railcard got the same discount as the Senior Railcard, I am sure that many young people (including myself) would considering upgrading - therefore filling more First Class seats and bringing the TOC more revenue.

    First Class on Pendolinos between Crewe and Manchester never has more than 20 people in it anyway, so adding more people would be no bad thing.
     
  17. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    But surely you're making the same argument hear that First class (this could get complicated) is making above? Why should you expect any age group to be using, or not, first class.

    Probably true but if a good thing comes from TOCs wanting better public relations, I don't see it as a problem.

    No, they're only stating that the holders of a 16-25 railcard shouldn't qualify for a discount.
     
  18. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Why should a family get a discount where someone who is single does not? Why should a gold card holder get 6 free tickets with SWT, whereas an 11 month season holder does not? Life isn't fair. Whilst it may be called a 16-25 railcard, it is primarily aimed at students who have a low income.

    Whilst you may behave courteously, sadly, the majority do not. It's the majority that create stereotypes, and the majority that get the say in a democracy.
    Why should you expect 16-25 people to get a discount?

    What some people need to realise is that there is no divine right to these things. ATOC are under no obligation to have any kind of discount system whatsoever. You should be pleased that you are in an age group where you at least do get a discount on standard travel (which is fine for the majority...)!

    Isn't your argument about F&F railcards not having it effectively saying they are not worthy to travel first class?
     
  19. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    They're certainly implying it!
     
  20. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Here's a novel idea why don't we (like DB) introduce a national railcard that is available to everyone? Seriously why not reward everyone that regularly travels by train rather than just those that fit a certain age range or have a certain job or have young kids?
     
  21. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    Good one, it's about time I heard a good joke :lol::lol:

    Absurdly high car insurance premiums precludes many from getting a car and they have to travel somehow. What's more should those under 25 ever need to rely on state benefits (increasingly likely given high youth unemployment) they will get about 20% less simply for being under 25! despite paying NICs at full rate. The media and the elderly demonise today's youth - even you've done so in your post. 16-25s deserve something back off society, a lot of it would simply appear to be jealousy.

    This has come up before albeit on various different topics, for example on Sunday working at LM. Why should we be forced to settle for the lowest common denominator?
     
  22. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    I'm a member of today's youth. And sometimes, looking around seeing the demanding attitudes today, not recognising that they're actually lucky, disgusts me.

    I pay a lot of money for the equipment for my work on a heritage railway. Perhaps I should demand a railway travel discount because of that?
     
  23. penaltyfines

    penaltyfines Member

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    Lets narrow the argument here, why do 60+ year old deserve discounted first class travel and 16-25 year olds don't?

    There's arguments to say the 16-25 railcard isn't fair, there should be an adult railcard etc - all well and good but a bit off-topic.

    I think the stereotyping is wholly unfair... every group of people have their bad eggs, but that doesn't justify treating the majority as if they've done something wrong!

    Equally, with the disparity between advance and walk-up fare discounting, are they suggesting the polite 16-25 year olds will buy the £9 first-class advance tickets and can use their railcard, and the rowdy and obnoxious minority are the type to buy the £400 walk up FORs? Of course not!
     
  24. 323235

    323235 Established Member

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    I personally am glad the 16-25 railcard does not allow a discount on Walk-On First Class Fares because it means I will never be even vaguely tempted to buy an extortionately priced First Class ticket (not that I would ever be tempted anyway) just for a bag of crisps and drink which is cheaper to buy at the shop down road from t'station and a meal which I could get from Spoons far more cheaply and comes with a vibrant pub atmosphere. I could never imagine even trying to work on a train and am quite happy to be seated in standard with all the chat,phone calls and general bustle and to be fair the silly chat and phone calls I hear actually provides some amusement on what would otherwise be a generally dull journey even if it is my favourite loco on the front,a new route or my last required East Midlands Trains Skateboard which produces extra dogbox thrash :lol:.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2011
  25. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Thinking about it, Most 16-25's would get advances anyway. sop its only a problem in some situations
     
  26. lyesbkz

    lyesbkz Member

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    That'll be the day!

    At the risk of opening up a whole new can of worms, if you really insist on stereotyping the majority then remember that adding the option of walk-up First discounts does not mean that everybody will buy them. They would still be more expensive than Standard fares.

    I would predict that the "majority" would still travel in Standard, and those planning to pay extra for 1st would have a valid reason for it (possibly as suggested to allow them to get some work done!), just like those currently using 1st Advances -- how often do you find young people kicking up a fuss on 1st Advances with YP discounts? What's to stop them anyway? How is allowing walk-up fares different?
     
  27. island

    island Established Member

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    There's been research done on it (I think by Passenger Focus) but I don't think ATOC ever acted upon it.
     
  28. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    A little bit of hsitory may be useful in this debate.

    Railcards were first introduced in the late 1970's in an attempt to boost the falling numbers using the rialway. Families, students and OAP's were seen as those who could be tempted to try the train with a discount on fares. IIRC, you had to be a student to qualify, and the age limit was lower than 25, though I can't remember if it was 21 or 23! The reasoning was that students often travelled to and from college or university, and a discount might encourage them to use the train instead of the bus or car.

    It's a bit of a strange argument to say that not all people aged 16-25 are students so they should be allowed discounts on FC walk up fares. Why would that be so if they ar enot students and working in jobs that may well pay more than someone who is 30 and has no family? Outside of the SE the latter will get no discount on any fare! (unless they have a local area discount card of course).

    I agree with those who say that there should be a national railcard instead of those we have. It would remove some of the inequalities in the present system. But until train travel discounts are assessed purely on the basis of ability to pay, there will be debates on why this or that section of the community is entitled to discounts, whereas this or that section isn't.
     
  29. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    Although we could go on and on about scrapping the current system and introducing a "National Railcard", I just think that each of the current Railcards should offer the same discounts on the same tickets, to avoid any "unfairness."
     
  30. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    That, if I've had to travel to London I've usually done it on a AP First ticket, and then I can actually get work done on the way down there, since when I'm working I need laptop, folder and books to work from.

    I'm a holder of a 16 - 25 railcard, but I'm also the holder of a 'pink licence' and my own vehicle, and I have had to rely on state benifits until recently, I got less JSA than anyone else, less housing benifit than anyone else (because I'm under 25 and live in my own house), under 25s only get 'shared room rate' for me, £45/week, less than half of my actual rent. The only benifit I get that is the same is Council Tax Benifit. Also, yes, a lot of it is jelousy, I got no end of dirty looks off of passengers in 1st class when I was in there, or whenever I was flying buisness class on an airmiles upgrade, since I'd usually be in my scruff wear for travelling.

    Also, I've heard pepole mentioning that '1st class passengers' don't show themselves up, erm, yes they do. Having been drinking with some cambridge fellows, I can tell you they get more drunk and more rowdy than anyone else I've known. Drinking and luid behaviour isn't a working and middle class problem, it's all of sociaty. Although from personal experience it's usually the aspiring middle classes and upper middle classes that tend to be the most pain.

    And, walk up fares are different, yes. I have somtimes needed to travel to London or somwhere in the South East on short notice, ie. I get a phone call and asked to be there ASAP, I don't have much choice other than to buy a walk up ticket, and I did once, (as the company was paying for it) buy a FOR from Lostock Parkway to Vauxhall, it was well into the hundreds of pounds, but I wouldn't have gotten a seat any other way, and couldn't get any off peak with 1st upgrade tickets as it was early morning peak. So I couldn't have used my railcard anyway, but if I could have done it would have saved my company nearly £120, and ultimately that would have gone into my pockets as they'd have paid me more.

    If I had to do that journey again I would proberbly end up driving as I need the flexability, witch is a shame because I couldn't fault the service in VT 1st that morning, although I could fault the anuses in the carrage with me, (Manchester - London commuters)
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2011
  31. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I'm not against the idea of allowing YPRC discounts on FC fares, and it's fine to ask ATOC for their reasoning but nothing to be offended about.

    I am also totally for a national railcard, at a fair but realistic price (say £100 per year) that gives discounts on all travel - or at least travel after xx:xx. This will reward regular travellers, but not be so cheap that you'd argue that there's no point in having one and all fares should be cut... those who travel once or twice a year by train wouldn't bother with the railcard and pay the full price.

    That would give people choices, and ATOC a way to get some money up front. It also allows you to keep high walk-on fares, but not p**s off everyone who actually needs to use the train.

    Now my £100 figure was just plucked out of thin air - so don't argue about whether that's too low or high (but I'd definitely not think it is too high)!
     
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