Booking office unable to sell tickets

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gingerheid

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Hello

I tried to buy some tickets at the booking office at Cambridge station as I have some delay repay vouchers from a very unsuccessful trip last year that are close to running out.

National Rail and the train operator websites all showed a choice of three early morning departures from Cambridge to Glasgow with advance singles at £52, two involving a Tottenham Hale or Finsbury Park to Euston underground transfer and one involving a slightly unusual route via Stansted Airport.

The booking office clerk and supervisor spent an hour trying to find a fare for any of the journeys, but couldn't as their system wouldn't give them the same connections. It either offered a quicker connection onto a service with no advance fares available, or if they asked for extra connection time a later train out London with a ridiculous wait. The only thing they could offer me was separate Cambridge to Tottenham Hale and Euston to Glasgow tickets that were the same price but didn't include the underground (and which I presume left me with a potential argument on my hands if the first train was late and I missed the connection).

They finally sent me away with a letter to their customer service people saying that they'd tried sell me the tickets I wanted but couldn't, and asked me to post it to them with the vouchers. I bought the tickets I wanted on my phone (using the Abellio website) and collected them from the station immediately (at the same time as I bought the return ticket from the counter using other vouchers) so they can see I definitely bought the tickets.

Should I have been expecting this sort of thing to happen, or was it unusual?

The journeys they couldn't bring up were:

0628 Cambridge
0737 Finsbury Park

0845 Euston
1403 Glasgow

&

0732 Cambridge
0829 Tottenham Hale

0945 Euston
1503 Glasgow

They could bring the following journey up, but although their website and the National Rail website had £52 advance fares for it, they didn't have any price for it at all

0739 Cambridge
0809 Stansted Airport

0815 Stansted Airport
0847 Tottenham Hale

0945 Euston
1503 Glasgow

When I asked what they could sell me they said the first train they had was something via Stevenage that I think I remember left Cambridge after 0930, and which in turn I can't find on the National Rail site.
 
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Paul Kelly

Verified Rep - BR Fares
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It could be helpful if you said what date this was for - those times look a bit strange and I can't see any trains departing Cambridge at those times on any day of the week in the near future.
 

BEF7439

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4 Feb 2012
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I've been playing around on Star (the same system used by Cambridge) and am having the same problem. The only way around it I have found thus far is to put Kings Cross as the via point. This means you will be changing onto the underground at Kings Cross rather than Finsbury Park but you would still be on the 08:45 from Euston.

Using this method does allow me to issue the £52.00 advance ticket but I'm somewhat confused as to why Star won't allow the Finsbury Park change...
 

Paul Kelly

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For the itinerary departing Cambridge at 07:32, you may be able to get it by putting in Shelford as an "avoid" location - I suspect the reason it won't come up is there is a faster itinerary departing 07:51 with the same number of changes, which connects into the same train from Euston to Glasgow. But this faster itinerary stops at Shelford whereas the 07:32 doesn't.
 

janb

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Having looked at this on Journey Planner, journey 1 and 3 come up no problem, you have to take off the routeing guide though to get any fares (0628 currently £38 advance, the other two currently £62 advance). Journey 2 comes up with the 0751 but you can retime the first journey leg earlier to get the 0732, and again untick the "use routeing guide" box to get some fares.
 

gingerheid

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2 Apr 2006
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1,123
Got a cheque from Abellio without any trouble (it actually arrived a few weeks ago, but I was away on a different trip).
 
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