Buying tickets where part of journey already covered by Oyster season ticket

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Catriona

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I have an annual London Oyster zone 1-2 season ticket. When I travel out of London by train from Waterloo, Victoria etc, it seems to me that I should only pay a fare from the outer boundary of zone 2. If I queue up at a rail ticket office I can buy a ticket from "Boundary Zone 2", but to buy online I have to specify a departure station, and ticket machines at stations only sell tickets from that station. So I can only get the fare I should be paying by queueing in person at a ticket office. Is this right?

As an annual season ticket holder I get a free Network Gold Card - is this to make up for paying twice when I buy a train ticket from zone 1?
 
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RJ

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I have an annual London Oyster zone 1-2 season ticket. When I travel out of London by train from Waterloo, Victoria etc, it seems to me that I should only pay a fare from the outer boundary of zone 2. If I queue up at a rail ticket office I can buy a ticket from "Boundary Zone 2", but to buy online I have to specify a departure station, and ticket machines at stations only sell tickets from that station. So I can only get the fare I should be paying by queueing in person at a ticket office. Is this right?

As an annual season ticket holder I get a free Network Gold Card - is this to make up for paying twice when I buy a train ticket from zone 1?

The Gold Card is a reward/incentive for buying an annual ticket. You shouldn't need to pay twice if you obtain a ticket from Boundary Zone 2, unless you're traveling somewhere far away out of the South East.

With regards to the sale of Boundary Zone 2 tickets, you can buy them from ticket offices, telesales and ticket machines operated by Southern.
 

yorkie

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Can you give any examples of the sort of journeys you'd be making?
 

LexyBoy

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As RJ says, you can't buy Boundary Zone tickets from most ticket machines. If you buy online you can specify the last station in Zone 2 on the route you'll be travelling; you don't need to take a train which calls at this station as you're using one season ticket and one non-season ticket (your train does need to go through that station though).

You can buy your BZ ticket in advance at a quieter time or another station though, if that's of any use.

This might be a silly question but you know that as you're using Oyster you don't need a paper Boundary Zone ticket if you're only travelling within the Oyster area (Zones 1-9 plus a few extra bits)? Your Oyster card will automatically deduct the correct fare (from the boundary of zone 2) when you touch out (you must be sure to touch in and out for this to work). This may be what yorkie was getting at (or maybe not - in some cases the fare from a named station or the relevant London station is cheaper than the BZ fare).

TOCs love ticket machines, they mean ticket office staff numbers can be cut and as an added benefit people buy more expensive tickets than they need - either because they can't buy the ticket they actually want (as in your case) or are unsure whether a ticket is valid so buy the more expensive option.
 

Catriona

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That's useful about Southern, but when I tried online selecting Boundary Zone 2 to some of the stations I often go to, eg Haslemere, Sevenoaks, Fleet, it doesn't work. These may not be stations served by Southern trains - I don't usually know or care which train co I'm travelling with, I just buy online through one of the sites which does all routes with no booking fee eg Virgin.
Thank you all for trying to help! It does seem like a lot of people are paying twice.
PS yes I know about using Oyster PAYG on trains but I'm usually travelling beyond zone 9 (I think), also I believe it doesn't take into account the Gold Card.
 

clagmonster

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I believe it doesn't take into account the Gold Card.
If you take your Oyster card and your Gold record card to an Oyster capable booking office, the clerk should be able to load your gold card discount onto your Oyster card, thus giving you gold card discounted Oyster fares within zones 3-9 and out to Watford Jn and Grays.

You are correct that you must buy a paper ticket to travel out to Haslemere, Sevenoaks or Fleet. I have no idea why the Southern machines are not offering fares to these destinations, there are certainly fares in the system.
 

MikeWh

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That's useful about Southern, but when I tried online selecting Boundary Zone 2 to some of the stations I often go to, eg Haslemere, Sevenoaks, Fleet, it doesn't work. These may not be stations served by Southern trains - I don't usually know or care which train co I'm travelling with, I just buy online through one of the sites which does all routes with no booking fee eg Virgin.

It's not the trains that Southern serve that's important, it's the TVMs that they operate at their stations that have the ability to sell tickets from alternative origins. No online website will sell tickets from a boundary zone, including Southern's website. You either need to use a booking office, a Southern TVM or phone telesales. The latter option will then allow you to pick the tickets up at any Ticket-On-Departure enabled TVM.
 

LexyBoy

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The fares from Boundary Zone 2 to Haslemere and Fleet are the same as the fares from Clapham Junction, and all trains go through CJ so there's no problem with booking these online. I expect most SWT destinations would be the same.

For Kent it's a bit more complicated as there are several routes - for Sevenoaks for example, the fares from Lewisham are similar to the BZ fares (few pence more or less depending on the ticket type), but the fares from Herne Hill are more expensive than the BZ fares. In this case, where there are several routes, I'd recommend getting the BZ fare as it gives you more flexibility. There will be Southern operated TVMs at Victoria (in the other half of the station from the Southeastern services), otherwise it'll be ticket office or (!) telesales.

You can check all fares including for Boundary Zones on brfares.com - it's can be a bit confusing but just keep an eye out for the fares you need (typically "CDR" and "SDS").
 

MikeWh

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In particular, not all Sevenoaks trains (and none of the fast trains) actually go through Lewisham, so a ticket from there would not be valid for the whole route.
 
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