Availability of e-tickets

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Welshman

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I am a recent convert to e-tickets [I know, being dragged into the 21st century!], and appreciate receiving them within a few minutes of booking and being able to store the attachment on my phone. I usually print out the ticket too -belt and braces approach!

But not all booking engines seem to offer them, and those that do, eg. trainscanbecheaper only offer them for certain journeys/tocs, like AvantiWestCoast. So for more local journeys eg on the North Wales Coast, the only options seem to be an m-ticket, needing the app, or paper tickets on TOD.

Am I missing a trick here, or is the availability of e-tickets limited? Given that most barriered stations now have the necessary readers, and, presumably conductors of tocs not using e-tickets have some way of checking those issued by other booking engines/tocs, why can they not be available throughout for any journey?
 
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Bletchleyite

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Yes. Some TOCs don't offer e-tickets for their flows and ask other TOCs to avoid them for flows using their trains - Merseyrail and Southeastern are two of note, I don't know about others. Also they are not issued for cross-London journeys because TfL don't have readers on the gates on the Underground.

Any site that can offer e-tickets (which is pretty much all of them) should be able to offer them for all flows they are allowed. TCBC and Trainsplit (same engine) definitely issues them for any journey where they can.
 

johncrossley

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Any site that can offer e-tickets (which is pretty much all of them) should be able to offer them for all flows they are allowed. TCBC and Trainsplit (same engine) definitely issues them for any journey where they can.

Is there a reason why I can buy a Gatwick to St Pancras ticket on the EMR app but not on the LNER or Scotrail apps?
 

robbeech

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*warning, >12months out of date statement to follow, things may have changed*

GA seem to have lots of M Ticket only flows too.
 

mikeg

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It's also the case that Grand Central e-tickets can't be bought on non arriva TOC apps,such as the TPE app or the LNER app. They can however be bought on GC's own app or the Chiltern app for example.
 

SickyNicky

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It's also the case that Grand Central e-tickets can't be bought on non arriva TOC apps,such as the TPE app or the LNER app. They can however be bought on GC's own app or the Chiltern app for example.
They're available on our site and apps, so they must be available to all third party retailers. I just checked the 14:45 on the 19th, as an example.
 

mikeg

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Unless it's a case of the retailer wanting to not sell them, presumably to make travelling with GC less attractive? I actually booked a journey today for Thursday from involving a GC only single from York to Northallerton and it only offered collection. This was on the LNER app.
 

robbeech

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Unless it's a case of the retailer wanting to not sell them, presumably to make travelling with GC less attractive? I actually booked a journey today for Thursday from involving a GC only single from York to Northallerton and it only offered collection. This was on the LNER app.
What are the benefits of refusing to sell GC only tickets as a retailer? Does the same apply to Hull Trains?
I can understand a benefit of an operator based retailer not wanting to sell them although the same could surely be said for a toc specific ticket (for a different toc)
 

Welshman

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They're available on our site and apps, so they must be available to all third party retailers. I just checked the 14:45 on the 19th, as an example.
But there are annoying discrepancies.
Your site offers them for Avantiwestcoast trains from N Wales to London, but not for shorter journeys, eg Bangor to Chester, on the same train.This is presumably because TfW is not happy with them, but why not?
 
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Haywain

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It's also the case that Grand Central e-tickets can't be bought on non arriva TOC apps,such as the TPE app or the LNER app. They can however be bought on GC's own app or the Chiltern app for example.
The LNER site does sell Grand Central tickets and they are offered as eTickets. I have no idea where you get the idea that this is not the case.
 

kez19

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mikeg

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The LNER site does sell Grand Central tickets and they are offered as eTickets. I have no idea where you get the idea that this is not the case.
Because I commute from Northallerton to York on a regular basis and the app will only fulfill them as tod. I've attached an example. If I selected an any permitted ticket it offers an e ticket. Or if I select tpe only for another service it also offers an e ticket .

Edit:. It appears to affect only certain GC only flows, for example I can get a York to kings cross ticket issued as an e-ticket, but not a Northallerton to York one, yet in the grand Central app an e-ticket is offered. Used to be the case that the Chiltern app w.ould offer them too
 

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Wallsendmag

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As it's a GC specific Anytime Return it could be that they haven't enabled eTickets , they may only offer the mTickets if they are available in their apps. Again something we can check tomorrow.
 

Haywain

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The Grand Central Only Anytime Single between York and Northallerton (and v.v.) is not enabled for eTicket fulfilment. The fulfilment methods available are CCST, PRT, ToD, Self Print and Mobile Phone.

Edit: It isn't enabled in our TIS, but seems to be in others. Something very odd going on, because we would be very happy to sell it as an eTicket.
 
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Paul Kelly

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Is there a reason why I can buy a Gatwick to St Pancras ticket on the EMR app but not on the LNER or Scotrail apps?
Which ticket type? It could be the sites are selling different fares. E.g. the weekend Super Off-Peak Day Return (ticket type CBA) is available from Gatwick Airport to London St Pancras as m-ticket and e-ticket, but to London Thameslink (same price, £10.40) only as a paper ticket.
 

johncrossley

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Which ticket type? It could be the sites are selling different fares. E.g. the weekend Super Off-Peak Day Return (ticket type CBA) is available from Gatwick Airport to London St Pancras as m-ticket and e-ticket, but to London Thameslink (same price, £10.40) only as a paper ticket.

Anytime Single. So should be no ambiguity.
 

Paul Kelly

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Anytime Single.
In that case the fare to St Pancras can be issued as both m-ticket and e-ticket; to London Thameslink as e-ticket only (in addition to paper tickets of course). I don't know if that affects anything. Some of the apps may of course not be honouring the information on fulfilment in the data feeds as it's very complicated and hard to process, due to the immense data volume caused by poor design.
 

johncrossley

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The Anytime Day Single from Gatwick Airport to London St Pancras/Thameslink is offered as an eTicket by both the LNER website and the LNER app.

Ah, apologies. I meant Three Bridges to St Pancras. That only offers collect at station, but can be bought from the EMR app.
 

Haywain

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Ah, apologies. I meant Three Bridges to St Pancras. That only offers collect at station, but can be bought from the EMR app.
That doesn't appear to be enabled for eTicket, so I don't know what EMR are selling.
 

alistairlees

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Ah, apologies. I meant Three Bridges to St Pancras. That only offers collect at station, but can be bought from the EMR app.
If we are talking about the £15.10 SDS, route "Not valid for travel on London Underground services", that is not available as an eTicket so far as I can see. Just ToD and CCST.
 

johncrossley

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If we are talking about the £15.10 SDS, route "Not valid for travel on London Underground services", that is not available as an eTicket so far as I can see. Just ToD and CCST.

Yes, that's the one and I've bought an eTicket from the EMR app. Are you saying that an inspector could claim it is invalid?

What's so special about that journey that there is no eTicket enabled?
 

Watershed

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Yes, that's the one and I've bought an eTicket from the EMR app. Are you saying that an inspector could claim it is invalid?

What's so special about that journey that there is no eTicket enabled?
If a ticket has been sold then it doesn't matter whether it "should" or "shouldn't" have been sold - it's valid.

I don't see any reason why that flow shouldn't be enabled for issue on an e-ticket, after all (as per the route) it has no Underground validity.
 

Paul Kelly

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I think the EMR app is powered by Trainline? Trainline are also selling e-tickets for Three Bridges to St Pancras, although this is not enabled in the data.
 

infobleep

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I think the EMR app is powered by Trainline? Trainline are also selling e-tickets for Three Bridges to St Pancras, although this is not enabled in the data.
How is it possible to sell something that the data says don't sell?

Are they using a work around to override it or is it something far more complex than that?
 

Paul Kelly

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The data comes from a separate source to the main fares data and is incredibly unwieldy and really massive; I haven't recently checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if the data comprising the information on available fulfilment methods now takes up 100 times as much space as the entire rest of the fares database. It is a very badly designed system and as a result lots of suppliers have had difficulty working with it or have simply ignored it in the past, although this is now frowned upon by RDG. If you are interested you can read a bit more about it as one of the examples in the BR Fares submission to the Williams Review here: https://www.brfares.com/williams-review.pdf (but note that this is not really light reading!)
 

Paul Jones 88

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I was annoyed at the unavailability of e tickets on southeastern during the pandemic, we were all advised to keep touching to a minimum, however, because of southeastern's policy I still had to touch the screen on the tvm at my local station which is is unstaffed after 13.00 despite booking the ticket on my phone, there is no reason as far as I am concerned that the ticket couldn't be put on my phone.
 

yorkie

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How is it possible to sell something that the data says don't sell?
No-one is saying that.

They are selling a product the data does say to sell, but in a medium that is not enabled in the data.
 
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