Avoiding delay on an Advance ticket

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by fairysdad, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. fairysdad

    fairysdad Member

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    A semi-hypothetical situation here (based on a past experience).

    Imagine you have an advance ticket which involves a connection, but the first train is delayed meaning you would miss your connection. Sitting in the platform in front of you is an on-time train going to the station you should be changing at, but your ticket isn't for that one but the next one that is delayed. Your second train is one that runs hourlyish, which means that you would be delayed over an hour and therefore entitled to delay repay (or whatever scheme is run by that TOC) (as I understand it, it is the TOC responsible for the delay who have to cough this up).

    Could you catch the earlier train instead, preventing you from being delayed, and the TOC from having to pay any compensation for said delay?
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    No. However, a quiet word with the guard (where provided) before boarding may resolve this problem.
     
  3. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    I would agree with that if you have a reservation for your first train. But if your first train is an unreserved connection, and seats are not reservable on the train that happens to be in your starting station, then I think that you could safely take that alternative to your first train.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, I would agree with that.
     
  5. fairysdad

    fairysdad Member

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    Interesting.

    Seems quite odd, yet makes sense and I guess that's the way of it.

    The situation that inspired this was a while ago when travelling between Bournemouth and Oxford, for some reason the advance fares made me change at Winchester. The first (SWT) train was listed on the CIS as being delayed on its trip up from Weymouth. Complications arise mostly in this situation because:

    • The train that I would instead have caught was an XC train that, although I'd have still changed at Winchester, the train did continue onto Oxford;
    • It was a different TOC running the first train;
    • XC trains from Southampton (where the XC train my connection was set off from) northwards are more regular than once an hour

    As it happens - and actually as a surprise to the platform staff at Bournemouth - the SWT CISs were faulty that particular day, starting with the supposed late SWT train that I did catch, and make my connection at Winchester, hence why this is actually only a hypothetical situation.

    Ignoring the fact that the early train would have gone to my ultimate destination, the cross-TOC issue though is an interesting one, given that there appears to be a de-facto ticket acceptance between SWT and XC between Basingstoke and Bournemouth when there are disruptions - I'm basing this on experience with both companies' advance tickets where, for whatever reason, I've been on a train, either XC or SWT, that has terminated at Southampton, and I've been specifically told by station staff that I can catch the next train, whether it be SWT or XC.
     
  6. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    If you are delayed once you have started your journey, you are entitled to catch the next train from the same TOC to get you to your destination.

    There is no agreement on whether you have "started" your journey if you're still sitting on the platform at your orgin station.

    As Neil said, if you ask the guard you'll often get a "yes" answer, but not always.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's long been the way. Take the example of someone travelling from Bletchley to Milton Keynes Central to catch the last train of the day from MKC to Manchester, say, with no other suitable connection that day. If the Bletchley-MKC train is delayed and they are stranded, they'd have to proceed to MKC as soon as possible and no doubt end up with a far more expensive taxi than if one were simply provided from BLY-MKC, or overnight hotel accommodation on the railway. Yet the problem could be solved with that initial taxi at a far lower cost and level of disruption.

    I suppose the "get as far as you can" policy makes it easy to decide what to do, but it doesn't come at the lowest cost nor the lowest level of inconvenience.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  8. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I had the opposite of this a couple of Saturdays ago. I had an advance on the last Leeds to London train and was starting from Bradford Interchange. But what I really wanted to do was travel down the next morning (my schedule for the Sunday had changed in the 12 weeks since I bought the ticket).

    The service to Leeds was a bit messed up and the train on my itinerary was delayed, another service to Leeds was expected just before my booked time. I waited just outside the station until a couple of minutes before my departure and strolled towards the next train to Leeds, and after checking the time, I reluctantly boarded it.

    If the train had been ready to depart earlier I would have missed it and been quite happy about it. But given that there was a train at the time I required I boarded it, If I'd had a reservation for a northern train you can bet I'd have waited for it (and feigned outrage at the lack of an 2045 LDS-KGX on a Saturday).
     
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