Changes to FGW Advance fares from 17th May 2015

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by gareth950, 25 Apr 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gareth950

    gareth950 Member

    Messages:
    539
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2013
    I've noticed that there are changes to FGW Advance fares from the start of the summer timetables on 17th May. FGW Advance fares have been unavailable from the National Rail website over the last few days and buying tickets directly from FGW's website shows some advance tickets have gone up, with others coming down.

    I'll be booking tickets soon for a XC/FGW trip in July so this has come as a surprise. How common is it for TOC's to completely change all advance fare prices half way through the year, rather than just when fares usually change in January?
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  2. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,479
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    There are three fare rounds in a year: January, May and September. Not all fares change in January, eg. off-peak fares in the West Mids area normally change in September, and rises are not limited to once per year.

    Changes are also possible outside the normal fare rounds, although it doesn't occur as frequently.

    In addition, Advance fares are not regulated, so there is no reason why they cannot change from week to week if the TOC wishes.
     
  3. gareth950

    gareth950 Member

    Messages:
    539
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2013
    So it's just Anytime and Off-Peak fares which are regulated and can only rise once per year, usually in January?

    Thanks for the information
     
  4. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,479
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Some Anytime and Off-Peak fares are regulated, depending on the flow.

    Even regulated fares can rise more than once a year, but more often than not, the overwhelming majority only do so once a year in January.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,944
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    What do you actually mean by 'wholesale changes'?
     
  6. gareth950

    gareth950 Member

    Messages:
    539
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2013
    FGW Advance fares on the routes I've been looking at the last few weeks have all changed recently. Mainly FGW routes from South Wales to London, to Bristol and on routes in the South West. Not sure on their other routes. Perhaps I exaggerated slightly using the word wholesale, I've now edited the post to account for that.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  7. TEW

    TEW Established Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    Joined:
    16 May 2008
    There are wholesale changes to FGW advance fares. The old ticket types have been replaced by new ones, with a far greater number of tiers of Advance tickets. The reason these are showing as unavailable is that in doing this FGW have uncovered a bug with the National Reservation System. It is unable to search for fares where more than 99 ticket types exist for one flow. These new Advance fares mean that for some flows there are now more than 99 ticket types. A fix has been worked on and Advance tickets should be available normally soon.
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,944
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    That sounds entirely reasonable to me. I suppose more tiers mean price can be more closely matched to demand. Something like this could also have been anticipated given the reduction in First Class capacity and the shake-up of walkup restrictions on some lines.

    Hopefully it will also mean the prices of empty trains currently can go down.
     
  9. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    15,533
    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Location:
    0035
    I noticed this the other night and was going to post something but thought it was just me because I had been doing so many searches! I was looking over a couple of days at travelling from Paddington to Parkway (Bristol) and had to buy it from www.fgw.co.uk as all other WebTIS websites were only offering walkup fares. theTrainline sites were however functioning correctly.

    I personally find FGW's yield management usually works in my favour; trains I regularly wish to travel on I can usually buy the cheap tickets for Second class travel at quite short notice, although admittedly the lower tiers are usually a few pounds expensive compared to similar distances with other Intercity operators. Cheap First class travel has been quite a challenge in the last few months though, even when booked the week tickets go on sale!
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,992
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    *99* ticket types?! Really? How many tiers do they need? I'd have thought 20 or so would be the most you'd even consider needing, then add maybe 20 walk up fares at most. Which ones have got over 99 and how on earth have they managed it?
     
  11. TEW

    TEW Established Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    Joined:
    16 May 2008
    99 seems pretty excessive to me too. There's probably a reason the bug has never been discovered before, because 99 is such a large number of ticket types for one flow. These changes introduce 34 new Advance ticket types. So on some flows which have AP routes both FGW Only and AP Slough this has pushed them over the limit.
     
  12. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    1,848
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    London - Exeter must be pretty close to the limit, given you've got two routes for walk-up tickets (Honiton and Taunton), three for daytime Advances (SWT only, FGW only and AP Slough) and one for the Sleeper.
     
  13. gareth950

    gareth950 Member

    Messages:
    539
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2013
    Does this bug also apply to buying advance tickets over the counter from station booking offices? If so I hope it's resolved in the next 2 weeks, as by then I've got Rail vouchers to spend on buying FGW advance tickets for a trip to the South West in the summer. :|
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2015
  14. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

    Messages:
    2,847
    Joined:
    28 Oct 2010
    Thanks to this thread I booked some 1st Advances for July last night, having been checking every day for these on other sites without any luck.

    I selected a station in England for collection, but tried today at Dundee as I was there, and it said it didn't have them. Definitely put the right ref in (tried twice) but no good.

    Is there a problem with selecting either English or Scottish stations for ticket collection? I thought they would be interchangeable as they are all listed.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Edit: Ignore this, got tickets from Virgin machine at Aberdeen. Must be the Scotrail ones it won't work with.
     
  15. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    4,700
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Cashier five, please
    Not sure, would report it to Scotrail as probably a communications issue from the TVM as there is absolutely no difference made whatever station you choose. I don't even know if the station is stored anywhere in the ToD database after you choose it; it is just to ensure you choose a station which actually has TVMs/counters to pick them up from!
     
  16. Greeby

    Greeby Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2011
    So why not just have AP Slough then?
     
  17. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    4,700
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Cashier five, please
    Presumably FGW only is slightly cheaper for stations where you don't need to use another operator!
     
  18. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    1,848
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    FGW only is generally a pound or so cheaper, but AP Slough is more flexible in terms of excesses as it's a geographic restriction rather than a TOC restriction.
     
  19. DEE-DE

    DEE-DE Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    25 Oct 2014
    Did anyone notice some anomalies when looking for Underground Zone 1 stations. I had a look for Euston to Penzance for both before and after the timetable change. This only concerns 1st Advances. Before the timetable change the extra for the tube is about £2 which is reasonable. After the timetable change this increases to more than £10. I suppose this isn't supposed to happen. If this isn't resolved until next week and I decide to travel 1st I'll have to split the whole journey into two parts, one for the Caledonian Sleeper, one for the tube and then Paddington to Penzance.

    I also noticed, looking at the 10:06 Paddington to Penzance service, that when adding the tube journey sometimes the FGW website doesn't offer the Super-Off-Peak single. This happens when you select St Pancras, probably because of the restriciton "Not valid to depart LONDON ST PANCRAS 0230–1025 on any tOC". But I suppose this shouldn't apply to London Underground. This is independent of the fare changes though. And it can be bypassed by using National Rail Enquiries, even when buying through FGW.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

    Messages:
    5,964
    Joined:
    7 Jun 2014
    Bring back King George I , all is forgiven.

    Perhaps FGW are seeking to do a promotion with a tea company.
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2015
  21. TEW

    TEW Established Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    Joined:
    16 May 2008
    It did originally but the fix was being applied gradually across all channels late last week. It is planned to be resolved within the next 2 weeks.
     
  22. hangus78

    hangus78 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2013
    I noticed the trainline was at one point just neglecting to show any tickets that needed a mandatory reservation, without any sort of warning. So I assume any time NRS is down buying from the trainline is even more expensive!
     
  23. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,944
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    I bet it was London Terminals to Hereford that did it.

    The existing AP SLOUGH NEWPRT, LDN MIDLAND ONLY and relative newcomers VWC & CONNECTNS, all for First & Standard Advance, plus ANY PERMITTED, LDN MIDLAND ONLY, WARMSTER-SALSBRY and VIA EVESHAM singles and returns. They have now added GREAT WESTN ONLY First & Standard advances, and probably something like AP SLOUGH EVESHAM to cater for travelling via Evesham but using LM as the connection west of Worcester. That could easily have come to more than 100.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Another one for you to ponder over here Neil is Cambridge to Manchester stations. Advances come in routes as follows but where was it intended that you travel with each:

    CHESTFLD&EMT&CON
    XC ONLY
    AP XC EMT & CONS
    PETERBORO & EC
    ✠VWC & CONNECTNS

    Tell me that is not proliferation of variety!

    Answers on a postcard please :p
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  24. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    1,848
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    Reading Stations to Sheffield is another good one:
    • ✠ via Chesterfield (00129)
    • ✠ AP EMT & Connections (00486)
    • not via London (00700)
    • XC & Connections (00439)
    • XC Only (00024)
    • AP XC Only DBY (00488)
    • ✠ Any Permitted (00000)
    • ✠ EC & Connections (00430)
     
  25. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    4,458
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Location:
    North of the rivers
    But a smartcard ain't one.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page