Buying a childs ticket using Friends and Family Discount after I've bought my ticket

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by baggie-ade, 25 Jul 2012.

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  1. baggie-ade

    baggie-ade New Member

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    Hi

    I would be grateful if someone could provide their opinion on a problem I have.

    I have purchased a Saturday Travelcard from Manchester to London for £36.70. You can't use railcard discount with this ticket and there are no child reductions.

    I want to take my daughter now and we have a Friends and Family Railcard.

    I went to the station and asked to buy an Off Peak Return from Manchester to London which is £14.10 with the railcard discount and £37.10 without the railcard discount.

    I was told there that it is not possible for me to have the discount on her ticket because my ticket does not have a discount applied to it.

    I rang Virgin when I got home and was told that it is not possible because it was not bought at the same time as the other tickets.

    I know the answer I got on the phone to be untrue as I have previously added an extra child onto an existing booking and received the railcard discount.

    http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/buy-family-friends-railcard/faqs/eligibility

    http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/buy-family-friends-railcard/railcard-terms-conditions

    I have read both the above links to the terms and conditions and neither of them back up the reasons why I can't have a discounted ticket for my daughter. The both say the named cardholder (me!) must travel with the people who have received the discounted rail ticket.

    Neither of the links say my ticket must have received the railcard discount and they do not say I must have bought all the tickets at the same time.

    Point 1 of the 1st link says I must travel for the entire journey with any passengers who have been bought a discounted ticket. This will happen.

    Am I reading this wrong or have I been told incorrect information?

    Thanks

    Ade
     
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  3. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    This is a slightly unusual situation; it looks to me like it's one of those things that is allowed, because there's no rule to say it isn't.

    This strikes me as somebody just making things up that sound reasonable, without looking at the rules...
     
  4. CarterUSM

    CarterUSM Established Member

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    Minumum number of people the discount can apply to is one adult & one child. Or it certainly used to be.
     
  5. snail

    snail Established Member

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    It comes down to the interpretation of 'Group'. If you take this to mean everyone travelling with the railcard discount then it has to be at least one adult + one child: your group must contain at least one named cardholder and at least one child aged between 5 and 15 years.

    If you interpret 'group' in its natural sense, as the OP has done, then it may be any number of persons travelling together. Sounds, therefore, like the OP is correct but taking that definition on, the second part of the validity condition: The maximum group size is up to four adults (aged 16 years and over) including the named cardholder(s), and four children (aged 5-15 years) would be breached, say, if more 5 adults + children were travelling together, even if one had bought a non-discounted fare.

    I think the OP would struggle getting an RPI to accept his interpretation of the conditions but a court could well accept there is ambiguity and side with the natural definition.
     
  6. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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  7. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    There is a documented facility to buy discounted child tickets with full price adult tickets, usually where the child is only going one way (eg to/from school).
     
  8. baggie-ade

    baggie-ade New Member

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    they did say at the station today i could buy two single tickets but i couldn't buy a return. This wasn't much help as an off peak
    single from manchester to london is more or less the same price as an off peak return.

     
  9. island

    island Established Member

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    I don't know if a TIS will allow you to sell just a CHFAM ticket on its own, although you can probably put 1 adult 1 child and delete the adult.
     
  10. baggie-ade

    baggie-ade New Member

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    I've thought about this some more and still can't understand why it is not possible.

    In the past I have bought advance tickets from Manchester to London for me and the kids and their friend wanted to come after I bought the tickets and this was done without fuss.

    Another time we bought off peak day returns from Manchester to Liverpool and an adult friend decided to come after we bought the tickets. Again there was no problem. All I had to do was show the tickets I'd already bought. This proves that the tills will allow them to sell an adult ticket without a child ticket being purchased and a childs ticket without an adult ticket being sold.

    Admittedly I am asking for to buy a ticket for the child that is not the same as the ticket I currently hold but as I said earlier the person with the discounted ticket will travel at all times with the named cardholder so it meets the eligibility criteria.

    Even today bizarrely they were prepared to sell me two single tickets but not a return.
     
  11. snail

    snail Established Member

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    Having read the other thread and the replies above your post it is clearer that the industry manual allows a discounted child fare and undiscounted adult ticket in exceptional circumstances.

    Here, the normal F&F discounted fare for your journey would be £63.10. Your fare combination would be £50.80 with discounts or £73.40 without (based on 2x travelcards, no child discount). To me, it's a simple either/or: take one offer or the other; you can't mix them, even if it's to your advantage to do so. I would buy a second travelcard, as you could face a £10 fee if you tried to refund the one you have bought and buy fresh tickets.
     
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