Advance more expensive than walk-up

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Zoe, 26 Oct 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    I have just looked up a ticket price from Exeter to Paddington on Friday and for the 09:57 departure it is offering a £42 advance single. What's the point of this advance fare when the walk-up single is only £40?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,526
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    To earn more money?
     
  4. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    4,460
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Location:
    North of the rivers
    This is quite common; FGW probably only worry about the number of cheaper AP tickets to release for each train, and use the same number of the more expensive ones for all. The £42 ticket would be good value when the walk-up fare would be an Anytime.

    Also, they will sell at least some of them! Bonus for FGW.

    edit: You could also choose Advance singles at £57.50, £73 or £89.
     
  5. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Joined:
    16 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Reading
    £40 is the super off-peak single. An advance at £42 might be desirable on earlier trains where the super off-peak single isn't available, but it looks like the booking engine isn't intelligent enough to hide it for this particular train (where obviously there is no point in buying it).
     
  6. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    What's interesting here is that when I have said walk-up fares are too expensive I've been told to just book in advance. It seems that you have to book some time in advance though to get a significant saving on the walk-up fare. Some trains have the advance single at exactly half the price of the walk-up fare even when booking two weeks in advance.
     
  7. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    7,398
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle (unless I'm out)
    Its such an arbitrary market, though, that even the experience of finding Advances at a higher price than a 'walk-up' fare cannot be consistently assured across those flows (or operators).

    It would be facile to dismiss these incidences of 'expensive' Advances as the hazard which any consumer faces when buying without due care and attention to the details of the product; I say that because going to work or visting a relative are what the consumer is doing, the journey is just part of the means of achieving that as much as choosing the appropriate clothes.
    But spendng time examining the minutiae of the offers available on the same train between A & B before travelling is tiresome enough, to have to expect that the advertised cheapest tickets might not be the cheapest is really asking too much of the casual or local traveller.

    There are other anomalies with Advance pricing (which have been discussed to death on here) but the sad fact remains that they all persist.
     
  8. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,044
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    I've previously suggested getting a Priv - reduces the walkup fare to somewhere between £15 and £27!
     
  9. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

    Messages:
    4,999
    Joined:
    17 Feb 2011
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/advance.html

    I note that ATOC are very careful to never mention that Advance fares are always cheaper than walk-up fares, but it is definitely implied that Advance fares will save you money. If they don't in all cases, I think a complaint to the ASA is justified! (If it hasn't been done already.)
     
  10. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,044
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    Good luck with that, do let us know if they take you seriously!
     
  11. graham43404

    graham43404 Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    21 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Bolton
    I always find it funny with Virgin Trains when from time to time First Class advance is cheaper than standard.
     
  12. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

    Messages:
    4,999
    Joined:
    17 Feb 2011
    They have - to my great surprise - taken similar complains seriously in the past. You never know! :)
     
  13. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    7,398
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle (unless I'm out)
    Would you like my opinion?
    (No, I thought not. You know already.)
     
  14. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

    Messages:
    4,999
    Joined:
    17 Feb 2011
    But that does actually make sense - kind of - when you consider that on my trains Standard Class is often full while First Class is almost empty. When that happens, it seems sensible to sell expensive Standard Class tickets and "cheap" (cheaper) First Class tickets.
     
  15. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    You only get 75% off an Anytime fare though, not Off Peak fares.
     
  16. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

    Messages:
    4,999
    Joined:
    17 Feb 2011
    If you don't ask you don't get. ;)

    I don't know what they could actually do, apart from forcing ATOC to implement a better system of displaying fares, so that customers are not mislead (as much).
     
  17. Simon11

    Simon11 Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2010
    I don't see how it is such an issue. If anything its a bonus for passengers.

    The most likely caused is that there has been a huge amount of people wishing to travel on that train or a large group.

    This means the lower tier bands of advance are skipped to a more expensive fare. This encourages passengers to travel on other trains to spread the loadings, reducing overcrowding.
    If you wish to travel on this train the off peak would be cheaper, but I would bet a few later trains offer a better deal.
    As said many times previously, the cheapest advance fares go online around 12 weeks before departures.
    For thoughs over 55, have a look at the club55 promotion!
     
  18. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,044
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    I'm not particularly fussed to be honest, if there is a real issue here then it'd be more productive to tell someone who has the power to change it.
     
  19. graham43404

    graham43404 Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    21 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Bolton
    It does, in a twisted sort of way :lol:
     
  20. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    It's a bonus that a passnger has paid £42 for a train specific advance fare when they could have paid £40 for a ticket they could use on any off peak train?
     
  21. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,044
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    It might be if that train is full, you have a seat reservation with the Advance ticket. You might have to pay £5 for that privilege if you didn't reserve a seat when buying the ticket.
     
  22. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    Or you could just pay £40 for a walk-up fare and get a reservation at the same time and still have the ability to choose a diffrent train.
     
  23. richw

    richw Established Member

    Messages:
    7,723
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Liskeard
    My thoughts also,

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
     
  24. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,044
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    Assuming they're still available - reservations can easily become booked up days before the train goes. And no, Advance quotas and general reservation quotas are not taken from the same pool.
     
  25. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    Why not? Do the TOCs see people with advance fares as more deserving of a seat? I think there is a case here for making more general reservations available and not an excuse for getting people to buy a more expensive advance fare just so they can get a seat.
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2011
  26. Olympian

    Olympian Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    12 May 2009
    I agree, and sometimes advance fares are considerably more expensive than walk-ups. Try Preston to Wigan on 1058 train on 8th November. First Anytime Day Single £9, First Advance Single.....£56.50!! Oddly this is only shown on Trainline-powered sites, with WebTIS ones not showing this fare but giving slightly cheaper First Advance Singles at a mere £35 on some other journeys that day but not this one. According to WebTIS the first advance tickets range from £25.50 to £44, all more expensive than the walk-up fare. Crazy.
     
  27. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    But if you read above, there have been suggestions that having walk-up fares more expensive than the advance fares is actually helpful to the passenger as they can use the advance fare to get a seat whereas this wouldn't be done with the walk-up fare.
     
  28. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

    Messages:
    4,999
    Joined:
    17 Feb 2011
    :roll: Poppycock. I'm sure someone would love to pay over £40 for the privilege of having a seat reserved for them in FIRST CLASS between Wigan and Preston. :roll:
     
  29. richw

    richw Established Member

    Messages:
    7,723
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Liskeard
    Book a walk up fare in advance....you can then request a reserved seat when you book.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
     
  30. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

    Messages:
    5,905
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2008
    See above though, the reservations for walk-up fares are taken from a different pool to the reservations for advance fares and there may not be any reservations available for walk-up fares by the time you book. I didn't realize this until it was posted earlier in the thread.
     
  31. richw

    richw Established Member

    Messages:
    7,723
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Liskeard
    I've always managed to get a reservation buying a walk up the night before, to travel next morning
    Assuming this is the case majority of time,

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page