Advance Fares FAQs

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by hairyhandedfool, 7 Jul 2011.

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  1. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Note: You can download the latest version of the Advance Fare FAQs extracted from The Manual in the Fares Guide - it's a PDF attachment at the bottom of this post. - yorkie

    The Manual (FRPP) now has a section called Advance Fare FAQs (under ticket Validities). I thought I would share the often asked ones on here for the benefit of everyone, others are basically acknowledged as the case anyway and have been edited out. It was added on 30/06/2011.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Advance fares FAQS - From the Manual (FRPP)

    ....

    Q4. Can a customer buy two advance which join together and form one journey? e.g. ticket for A-B plus ticket for B-C, to travel throughout journey A-C?

    A.
    Yes, provided the train calls at B.

    Note 1. Where a passenger buys multiple tickets in this way, if they then have to change their booking, it will also cost them multiple amounts of £10 fee.

    Note 2. Where multiple train companies are used A-B and B-C with a change of train and ticket at B, it is still classed as a through journey in the event of delays provided they were booked in accordance with the minimum connectiion times for the station. For example, a passenger travelling Cambridge-Peterborough 'XC only' and Peterbourgh-Leeds 'EC only' is allowed to take the next East Coast service in the event of delay on the Cross Country service causing the connection to be missed.

    ....

    Q6. Are refunds or changes allowed with these tickets?

    A.
    Once booked the ticket is non-refundable. Passengers will be entitled to refund in the event of a delay or cancellation as per condition 25(A), 42 and 43 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage.

    Upto the departure of the first reserved train (not "suggested" connecting services) the ticket may be changed onto any available service. The excess is upto the next available ticket, walk-up or advance purchase, plus a £10 fee per single ticket. If a change is required after the departure of the first reserved train, the ticket has no further value and a new ticket must be purchased.

    Q7 If passengers are found to be travelling not on their booked train (but on the correct day), what fare will they be require to buy on the train?

    A.
    Train Companies policies are as follows

    [A table here shows all train companies are the full Anytime fare except First Hull Trains, Scotrail, Southern and Virgin Trains who require the fare available immediately before travel.]

    ....

    Q9. Can someone buy an Advance ticket, then excess it to an "Any Permitted" ticket and then use it on another operator's train service?

    A.
    No, they must stick with the operator shown on the original ticket.

    ....

    Q12. A passenger has an Advance ticket but would like to change their seat allocation. Are they able to do this at the station in advance?

    A.
    Yes, but this counts as a change as it takes retail time and therefore incurs a £10 fee per single ticket (some TOCs e.g. Virgin Trains may waive this and will inform [staff]). Seat preferences should be detailed when making the booking, not later. The 'Conditions' show that the ticket is only valid in the seat shown and this is the message to get across. however, tell [the passenger] that onboard staff may allow them to move if space allows.

    ....

    Q15. A passenger holds a standard advance ticket from station A to station B. but no return ticket. Can they upgrade it to a Super Off-Peak Return by paying the difference plus a £10 fee?

    A.
    Yes - Maximum flexibilty for the ticket holder before the train departs.

    Q16. A passenger holds a standard advance ticket from station A to station B and one for the return B to A. They miss the outward train from station A and so the outward portion is now invalid. As these tickets can upgrade to any other walk up fare, can we upgrade the (still valid) B to A advance single to a Super Off-Peak ticket from A to B?

    A.
    Yes, - Maximum flexibility before the train departs.

    In this case it is permissible to upgrade the return hourney to become the return leg of the Off-Peak ticket. That way the customer atleast gets some credit for the return journey. Only one lot of £10 needs to be paid. If done in advance of the outward travel, the passenger would have to pay two lots of £10 fees, but they would also be getting credit for both legs of the journey.

    ....

    Q22. Can a passenger travel on any other service than the one on which they are reserved, without changing the booking?

    A.
    the following principles apply.

    1) Start of the Journey. It is the passenger responsibility to turn up at the start of the journey in time for the departure of the first train. If they miss it due to parking problems, taxis not turning up, etc, they must buy a new ticket,

    2) Once the journey has begun. If the passenger is delayed and the train company or it's partners [are] at fault, which should be check by [staff] control office, change to a train of the same company is allowed to get them to their destination with the least delay. This is irrespective of the combination of rail tickets held. Examples are:

    Included: are passsengers on valid:

    Through domestic or international tickets. e.g. Brighton-Scarborough route TOC X & connections;

    Through rail and partner tickets for which there is a through bus, tube, ferry or metro fare, e.g. Zone U12-Leeds, Wisbeach coach-York, Ryde Pier-Hull, etc;

    Combination of rail only tickets.

    e.g. Rail season ticket Skipton-Leeds and Advance Leeds-Peterborough, or adjoining advance fares;

    Combination of rail and partner tickets.

    e.g. Brighton-Zone U12 plus advance London-Manchester, or;

    e.g. Advance ticket Bristol-Paddington plus tube single ticket, plus advance ticket Kings Cross to Hull;

    All Zones Travelcards, PTE-products (where rail is included) plus advance fares, etc;

    Combination of Eurostar tickets into the UK and then either advance tickets from London terminals or "London Intnl CIV" or Lndon Eurostar CIV;

    Not included for the avoidance of doubt, are:

    Non train company travel on separate tickets, e.g. tickets that begin on bus-only, tube-only, ferry-only or metro-only tickets. (this includes "PlusBus", which is a local day-rover bus ticket not compatible with a medium/long distance advance single ticket, so are kept as separate tickets), or;

    Tickets that cannot be read on-train e.g. smartcards (allowable where electronically checked, verified and advance ticket endorsed in travel centres).

    Please note that there is no change to :

    a) Any other rules e.g. trains stopping where tickets join together (NRCoC 19), nor;

    b) The need to verify that a train has been delayed on route and ticket endorsed, nor;

    c) Any other passenger entitlements as defined by the NRCoC or CIV conditions, nor;

    d) General ATOC disruption guidance

    e) [Staff] discretion in extreme circumstances.

    ....

    Q23. Can a passenger travel on a TOC X train if they are booked on another TOC's advance dedicated ticket?

    A.
    No. Dedicated TOC tickets (="TOC X only") do exactly what gthey say on the ticket. However, during times of disruption, retail and on-train staff should use their discretion, as advised by their control offiice.

    Q24. Can a passenger travel on a TOC X train if they are booked on another TOCs Advance ticket e.g. "TOC Y & connections"?

    A.
    As a connecting TOC into the main TOC shown in the routeing on the ticket - Yes.

    As a replacement of the main TOC shown on the ticket - No. (However, during times of disruption, retail and on-train staff should use their discretion, as advised by their control office.

    Please note that "TOC & connections" tickets are not the same a s'dedicated' tickets and should be treated differently. TOC & connections simply meas the majority of the journey should be made on the TOC shown and local connections. Unfortunately not all journey planners understand the meaning of "the majority of", and sometimes the 'majority' might be a relatiively small portion of the journey. But it works both ways as all TOCs can be affected and it all balances out.....

    Q25. Can passengers on an advance ticket travel on earlier connecting trains?

    A.
    Yes if it is non-reservable, no if it is reservable.

    An exception that benefits customers: Where East Coast is a connecting TOC from Stevenage via London and vice versa e.g "AP London Reading" or "VWC & connections", East Coast waives the need for travel on the exact East Coast train booked on this relatively short journey Stevenage-Kings Cross, even though retail systems will force a reservation to be made.

    ....

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope this clears up many questions in regard to these tickets (regardless of who was 'right' or not)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Jan 2014
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  3. Mike395

    Mike395 Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice to see some of these debated issues finally cleared up - I especially welcome the note about multiple Advance tickets being treated as if it was a through journey for the purposes of connections, and I also welcome confirmation that passengers can travel on earlier connecting trains to on 'TOC+Connections' tickets :)
     
  4. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Thanks for sharing this. Q4 certainly takes a lot of the uncertainty out of split ticketing and is very good news. Q25 still leaves a lot to be desired, as in how does the passenger standing on the platform know whether the train they are about to get on is reservable or not? It is interesting that it groups together AP London Reading and VWC & Connections thus suggesting that they both take the conditions attached to & Connections.
     
  5. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Thanks for that hairyhandedfool.

    Perhaps Q25 should be at the top since it's the one that has probably given the most heated discussion in the past! May I ask how someone is to know whether a service is reservable, and more importantly where this rule is documented in the public domain? Most people understand that they must take the reserved service, but think that they may use any train to connect to this.

    Am I the only one who thinks the answer to Q9 contradicts Qs. 6, 15 and 16?
     
  6. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    That is a fair question, however I do feel that at most stations where there is a choice of reserveable or not, there are staff around to ask. that said, the majority of travellers will just stick to the times they know.

    I think you are reading it wrong, I did at first I confess. It states that from Stevenage to London and London to Stevenage only on tickets not routed "[TOC] only", you can use any EC service even if you have to reserve one.

    It is implied and not specifically mentioned otherwise that I am aware of.

    Think of it this way, if you travel on a reservable train (not 'rte X & connections) you would have a reservation for it, that is proof that you are on the correct train. If you don't have the reservation, it is proof that you are not booked on that service.

    Equally, as you don't get a reservation for a non-reservable service, it would be impossible to say which non reservable train you are booked on.

    I think it is actually the other way round, we already know from excess fares rules say that you can't excess a TOC specific fare to use another TOC's service. Q9 simple confirms that and essentially confirms that you can't excess it for any reason for use on another TOC.

    For example, travelling from Edinburgh to Doncaster on a "rte XC only" ticket, you couldn't "over-distance excess" it to Edinburgh to London "rte any permitted" and use a direct EC service.

    [Those routes are examples and may not exist]
     
  7. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Thanks for posting this, hairyhandedfool. Your editing has generally improved clarity, for example in the version I have seen the answer to Q22 implies that in Leeds we now have an Underground system with at least two Zones!

    But the editing has introduced an ambiguity in Q25. The version I have seen states:
    The edited version states:
    The version I have seen is clear that this EC concession applies in both directions. The edited version suggests it may apply Stevenage-Kings Cross only.

    I agree with MikeWh that It is interesting that it groups together AP London Reading and VWC & Connections thus suggesting that they both take the conditions attached to & Connections. If geographical tickets such are not to take the conditions attached to & Connections tickets, then their status is not specifically defined. In that case, we must rely on the Introduction to the FAQ:
     
  8. blackfive460

    blackfive460 Member

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    Would it be a good idea if this were a sticky? Perhaps with the complete FAQ?
     
  9. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    That is very useful information. :)

    Why is it that members of the public (such as myself) can't access this useful information? It seems like ATOC is trying to hide it from us!
     
  10. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Without wishing to argue about the definition of "booked" again (which I note doesn't appear in the FAQ), I understand the reasoning but think it's not something which is at all transparent to the average punter, who sees only a reservation for the main part of the journey. I doubt many people are even aware that some trains may be reserved and others not, or how to find out whether the train on the platform is reservable or not. (As you say, most people will take the trains suggested by their booking or a journey planner query).

    Your statement that "If you don't have the reservation, it is proof that you are not booked on that service" doesn't chime with the answer to Q25 which is that travel on an earlier train is permitted (as long as it's on a non-reservable service). I'm not saying that the statements are not compatible, but there's a rather different tone in them. If the intention were to prevent travel on a non-"booked" service then couldn't the answer be that it's only valid on services suggested by Journey Planner?

    Just a thought - is this something to do with where revenue is allocated? For example, a VT&Conns ticket might give the "&Conns" revenue to Northern, so if (reservable) TPE were used they wouldn't get any revenue. (examples off the top of my head).


    I see. But a London-Manchester AP ticket could be changed to a London-Manchester Off Peak ticket if the passenger wanted to travel at a different time - and since there's no "Virgin only" SVR available, there would be nothing to stop the passenger using different operators? (again, hypothetical examples)
     
  11. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Oh I see what i did, sorry, I was copying from one PC to another and put "to" instead of "via", I'll edit it in a minute or two.

    I don't think it suggests any such thing, it certainly doesn't say that is the case. As I read it, it is just confirming that the exception is for both the geographic and "& connections" routes rather than just the "& connections" tickets where it is normally allowed.

    The conditions of the tickets are quite specific on the matter, only "& connections" tickets are for any connecting train (shown on a travel itinerary). This is an exception to that rule which allows any train from Stevenage to London Kings Cross on geographic routed tickets.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Well, in my experience, people tend to stick to the train times, unless they think they are right to do differently. Those that are unsure tend to ask if its okay first.

    If you read what I said....

    ....you will see that I was refering to a reserved train in the previous sentence, the statement you picked out was in the same situation. Perhaps I should have added to the beginning "On that reservable service....".

    The paragraph after then states that as it is impossible to confirm which non-reservable service you are on you could any of them, but not a reservable service.

    It started when Virgin had their "Virgin Value" range of tickets. Originally there were only 'rte Virgin Trains Only'. However they made agreements with local operators for a range with 'rte Virgin Trains & Connections' tickets, in an attempt to rid their fares of 'Super Advance' and 'Apex' tickets.

    Those 'rte Virgin Trains & connections' tickets had a list of whose services the connections could be and IIRC no other intercity operators were listed.

    The routes changed to 'rte VXC & connections' or 'rte VWC & connections', for which both VXC and VWC were added as connecting services. I seem to recall journeys like Birmingham to Glasgow actually had both routes available.

    The excess is only valid with the original ticket, the original would show the TOC restriction.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jul 2011
  12. wibble

    wibble Member

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    So is this a case of Any Permitted not actually meaning 'Any Permitted'?!?! :lol:

    If someone holds and 'XC Only' ticket between Doncaster and Edingborough, XC would receive all the revenue. When the fare is excessed to an SVS (for example), it will allocate to XC and East Coast - so East Coast gain the revenue benefit without carrying the passenger! (not sure how the revenue is split on this route!)
     
  13. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    I'm not entirely sure how the allocation works with excesses, but I would imagine that if it was an equal split for the 'Any permitted' fare, XC would have more revenue (because of the advance) and EC would get money 'for nothing', both TOCs win, but if EC had to carry the passenger I think they would be losing out by a proportion of the Advance fare.
     
  14. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    @HHF

    What I was getting at was that the FAQ makes it sound as if it is permitted to get an earlier connecting service as a convenience for the passenger, rather than just because it's impossible to know if it's the "correct" one if reservations are not available. But maybe that was just the way I was reading it :)
     
  15. island

    island Established Member

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    No, because TOC-specific tickets are routed [TOC] ONLY, not ANY PERMITTED.

    However, there are journeys where ANY PERMITTED doesn't actually mean ANY PERMITTED; if a more expensive route-specific fare exists. I remember seeing a fare once where ANY PERMITTED was cheaper than NOT GATWICK EXP...
     
  16. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    But if they only available walk-on fare were routed “Any Permitted” then surely the excess would be to that fare, and thus the route printed on the excess coupon/ticket would be “Any Permitted” rather than “[TOC] Only” (I would think…?).
     
  17. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    I feel this thread is quite a historic one after the endless endless debates about AB BC what if A is late advance ticket options!

    Someone should sticky it or give it it's own plaque or something!
     
  18. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Maybe it is how it reads, although I didn't read it that way, but then I'm sure some staff do think it is only on the "suggested" or non-reservable service that was 'booked', it really wouldn't suprise me.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The route printed on the excess would be Any Permitted, but the second of those two words could be key.
     
  19. FGWman

    FGWman Member

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    OK can someone give the defintion of a reservable as against non reservable train. To me it is a train which a seat is reserved for you on.

    But some companies such as SWT no longer allow you to reserve a seat. Does that mean you can travel on any SWT train with an advance ticket. Or does the coupon issued with the train time on it count as a reservation even though you have got a reserved seat ???
     
  20. Mike395

    Mike395 Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    A reservable train in the context of Advance ticket is quite simply the train(s) on which it is compulsory to travel for that leg of the journey, regardless of whether an individual seat reservation is held. The reservation coupon with the train time on still ties you to that specific train. :)
     
  21. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    This bit was the most interesting to me! Not least because of the informal way in which it is written. But why do they not withdraw ATOC approval from journey planners that don't apply the "majority of the journey" rule? Is it because this rule isn't defined anywhere and is therefore unenforceable?
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2011
  22. csilke

    csilke Member

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    Maybe it's because not all people who set fares understand the meaning of "the majority of"? For example, Peterborough to Weymouth route East Coast and Connections. According to Network Rail that's 76.25 miles on East Coast and 142.75 not on East Coast.
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But that is 76 miles on an important inter city main line plus s connection into a 'network area' commuter line .

    Did Network South East do advance tickets ? I don't think so.

    It's s historical thing.

    And I wouldn't bring extreme examples to ATOCs or TOC pricing managers attention
     
  24. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    That's a very good point about the TOCs who set the "&CONNECTIONS" fares. Perhaps that is what the informal tone is getting at, that TOCs are partially to blame for anomalies with these fares too and it's not just the journey planners. Also interesting historical perspective about the Virgin Value fares earlier in the thread.
     
  25. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    A reservable service is one for which it is possible to get a reservation (noted with an 'R' in the national passenger timetable).

    A non-reservable service is one for which it is not possible (at any time) to get a reservation.

    I believe the SWT (and similar) reservations guarantee you a seat on the train, but it can be any seat as it is not defined.

    If I read that correctly, as a general rule that is correct, the exception is as noted in the FAQ for EC and for tickets routed '& Connections', where a reservable service may be used, as a connecting service, without a reservation being held (Q24).
     
  26. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    So, they are still insisting Plusbus is not compatible with advance tickets !

    When I book an advance ticket from Sheffield I am always offered a Plusbus to use prior to the booked train. If Plusbus is incompatible with the train ticket, why am I being encouraged to purchase one ?

    In fact, Plusbus can only be purchased with a train ticket - you cannot buy it without one, unlike other bus, tube, ferry, metro only tickets.
     
  27. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    That bit about PlusBus is to be found in Q22 of the Advance Purchase FAQs. Which covers the reasons when a passenger holding an Advance Purchase ticket may or may not travel on a later than booked train.

    In regard to Q22, PlusBus tickets are not compatible with Advance tickets insofar as combining to make one journey. Therefore if you are delayed on the bus and you miss your booked AP train, you are not entitled to travel on a later service.

    There is, however, nothing stopping you buying PlusBus tickets at the time you purchase an AP. Just be aware that a delayed bus is not an allowable reason for travel on a later than booked train.
     
  28. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Okay so how does this apply to me using Southern Advances (to London Victoria), then a tube ticket/ oyster, then an Virgin Advance?
     
  29. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Yes - see the answer to Q22 under 'Combination of rail and partner tickets'.
     
  30. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    You would be covered as if holding a through ticket.
     
  31. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Might it be worth a reminder that, (although it isn't explicit in those FAQs), you'd normally be expected to have allowed the correct cross London transfer time?
     
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