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Changing a Standard Advance to a First Advance

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I am making a work trip to London (from Edinburgh). We are only permitted to travel standard class and I can buy the cheapest std advance and claim the cost back or have the ticket bought for me through a travel agent.

As I am due to travel back north on a Friday afternoon and as the train is likely to be busy, I was considering options for traveling first class - at my own cost.

Can I upgrade a std advance before travel to a first advance by paying the difference in fares available and the £10 change of advance ticket fee? And would I get to keep the original ticket to claim the std fare?

I plan to travel on the same train that I am booked on in std.

Many thanks for advice.
 
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causton

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Yes, you will be able to do that for the difference in fares and no £10 admin fee applies. You do not have any right to keep the old ticket anyway, so your company is more than evil if they require the original ticket to be shown as it could be withdrawn at the end of the journey! But yes, the new ticket is stapled (where practical/possible) to the old one so you will still have the old one. If you ask nicely and explain your reasoning they may not staple the tickets so you can give the originals back to your boss and forget you ever travelled in 1st :P
 
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yorkie

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See the Advance Fares FAQ, a copy of which is included in our Fares Guide.

Where the customer joins the correct train and wishes to upgrade to First Class on board, or wishes to upgrade at a station beforehand between Standard and First Class on the correct train on which their Advance ticket has been reserved, this is not classed as a change of travel plans.

Weekdays: All TOCs allow upgrade to First Class in the above circumstances. As with other ticket types, charge the difference between the fare already paid and the appropriate First Single (dedicated or inter-available) fare for the journey. No £10 fee should be charged for doing this (except on XC trains)

That said, I am unsure if the "no £10 fee" is only applicable if you are upgrading to a flexible ticket, the wording seems to suggest such a fee might apply if you are upgrading to an Advance ticket.

Where did you book the ticket? and where are you thinking of amending it?
 

causton

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Yes, but there is no £10 admin fee.

My mind went blank there - correct - I have never excessed a Standard to First advance before so I forgot it was different as I always say to myself "Don't forget the admin fee"!! :lol: Corrected!

Edit: Looking at the quote Yorkie posted, it is more than likely the £10 fee will be charged if the wording is that vague. I would call it a "change of travel plan" personally, and a clerk (if they even know how to do it!) will probably charge it.
 
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yorkie

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My mind went blank there - correct - I have never excessed a Standard to First advance before so I forgot it was different as I always say to myself "Don't forget the admin fee"!! :lol: Corrected!
Easily done! It took me a moment to remember to check! But now I am not 100% sure if it applies when amending to an Advance...
 

bb21

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Depending on the TIS and local instructions, there is a small possibility that you may not get to keep the old ticket, and the transaction done as a refund + new issue. I have certainly had this happen before. YMMV.

If your company accepts a photo rather than the actual ticket then taking a photo before doing the excess should suffice.
 
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Many thanks for the advice

I haven't got the ticket yet, but plan to buy it on the VTEC site and then change it online there or I can take it to station ticket office. I though that would be easier than trying to change a ticket bought for me through a travel agency.

Sadly I definitely need the std ticket, incredibly even a receipt showing the cost and journey made isn't acceptable, it's led to some past discussion with gateline/barrier staff though they have always been happy to allow me to keep a ticket.
 

yorkie

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Let us know if the VTEC site charges you an admin fee then. I suspect it won't, but it would be interesting to find out...
 

ScottishIain

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Not sure if it will have changed now it's VTEC but when it was East Coast before the franchise change I upgraded from std to 1st class on advances online & was charged the £10 admin fee.


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Starmill

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I was charged an admin fee by the VTEC site for doing this in November 2015. I am still trying to get it back...
 

hairyhandedfool

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....That said, I am unsure if the "no £10 fee" is only applicable if you are upgrading to a flexible ticket, the wording seems to suggest such a fee might apply if you are upgrading to an Advance ticket....

I wouldn't have thought twice about doing a First Advance (for the same train) without a fee, but I'll see what it says in iKB tomorrow, just to be on the safe side.;)
 

Haywain

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The VTEC website will charge a £10 fee, as it is processed as a change of journey. However, a ticket office should not charge the fee as it is not intended to be applied to Advance tickets in this situation (change of class on the same booked train). I believe that VTEC issued a briefing to their staff to this effect - however, it is unusual so many of the staff may not remember.
 

bb21

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I was charged an admin fee by the VTEC site for doing this in November 2015. I am still trying to get it back...

Don't forget your interest, should they eventually pay out. ;)
 

janb

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The VTEC website will charge a £10 fee, as it is processed as a change of journey. However, a ticket office should not charge the fee as it is not intended to be applied to Advance tickets in this situation (change of class on the same booked train). I believe that VTEC issued a briefing to their staff to this effect - however, it is unusual so many of the staff may not remember.

Yes, its also in the iKB under Excess Fares, Transfer to First Class accommodation. Not something that I would expect to be widely known though unless it was proactively briefed.
 

premier01

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On Tuesday I went to the ticket office at London Euston to request this type of amendment.

I had a London Liverpool Street to Norwich Standard Advance for the next day and requested to amend the ticket to First Advance for the exact same train.

The difference was £14 but I was charged £24-so £ 10 change of journey fee.

Having challenged this at Leeds a few weeks back and receiving an E-mail apology from the Retail Manager there (£10 fee wasn't charged after much deliberation) that included an explanation and extract from the fares process, I showed this to the Retail Manager there, after 15 mins no less than 4 staff were crowding round deliberating this..mainly having none of it.

Eventually they printed off a wider section of the extract, showing that £10 fee is chargeable in this situation-while the extract cited here is contradictory, it seems that may well be aimed to cover upgrading from Standard Advance to First Anytime.

It remains very unclear but I accepted the charge and will be seeking clarification again from the TOCs and ATOC but I doubt it will male much difference to the continuous conflicting rules that set fares processes etc!
 

hairyhandedfool

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On Tuesday I went to the ticket office at London Euston to request this type of amendment.

I had a London Liverpool Street to Norwich Standard Advance for the next day and requested to amend the ticket to First Advance for the exact same train.

The difference was £14 but I was charged £24-so £ 10 change of journey fee.

Having challenged this at Leeds a few weeks back and receiving an E-mail apology from the Retail Manager there (£10 fee wasn't charged after much deliberation) that included an explanation and extract from the fares process, I showed this to the Retail Manager there, after 15 mins no less than 4 staff were crowding round deliberating this..mainly having none of it.

Eventually they printed off a wider section of the extract, showing that £10 fee is chargeable in this situation-while the extract cited here is contradictory, it seems that may well be aimed to cover upgrading from Standard Advance to First Anytime.

It remains very unclear but I accepted the charge and will be seeking clarification again from the TOCs and ATOC but I doubt it will male much difference to the continuous conflicting rules that set fares processes etc!

I've had a read of the Excess Fares section of iKB because I wanted to be clear what is or is not right.

So, the general principles for "The Excess Fare to charge before travel, or on board the train when there was “no opportunity to buy” before boarding" says....

General Principles

The Excess fare to charge is the difference between the price of the ticket held and the price of the cheapest ticket(s) available for immediate travel on the chosen service.

The cheapest available ticket(s) suitable for the journey being made may vary, depending on the specific train, time of day or day of week on which customers wish to travel. The cheapest ticket could be an Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak ticket. It will never be an Advance ticket.

Normal discounts apply to children (aged 5-15 inclusive) and Railcard holders.

After that we get a small passage that says....

National Rail Conditions of Carriage, Condition 39, allows a customer holding a ticket for travel in Standard accommodation to travel in First Class, on payment of an Excess fare. General principles for Excess fares are:

Single tickets

The difference between the price of the Single ticket held and price of the First Class Single ticket, available for immediate travel, for the journey being made.

Advance = difference to First Class Single plus a £10 administration fee.

When we get to the 'simplifiers'......

Advance (travelling on correct reserved train)

Charge the difference between the fare already paid and the appropriate First Single fare for the journey. No fee is charged.


Advance (not travelling on correct reserved train)

Charge £10 admin fee plus the difference between the fare paid and the appropriate First Class Single fare available for immediate travel on the journey being made (provided the time of the reservable leg has not yet passed).

However, there is a further note at the bottom of the page that reads as follows....

Reference to 'appropriate fare' means the Single or Return fare available for immediate travel on the chosen service. The excess is based on the Standard and First Class fares with a matching route code, e.g. a Standard Class route “Any Permitted” would be excessed using the First Class route “Any Permitted” fare. Between Milton Keynes and London Terminals (& vice versa), where First Class travel is to be made on Virgin Trains services, the excess may exceptionally be calculated using the Standard “Any Permitted” and First Class “Virgin Trains Only” fares.

So, from my reading of it, and to try to put it simply;

  • You should not have been charged an admin fee if you stayed on the same train.
  • You should not have been given an Excess Fare to a First Advance fare.
  • Any Excess Fare should have been to the First Off-Peak Single (if available/valid) or First Anytime Single fare.
  • There are no First Off-Peak Single or First Anytime Single fares with the same route code.

Therefore, trying to make sense of it all, I think the 'most correct' way of issuing the Excess Fare, in your case, would probably have been......a new First Advance Single fare.

I think I preferred the rules before I checked them.......:oops::roll::lol:
 

premier01

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The copy they gave me of what I thought was an extract the fares manual or equivalent has an example-please refer to attchment.

I have never been refused an upgrade from a Standard Advance to a First Advance-just sometimes charged £ 10 when same train sometimes not.

I think the ' appropriate fare' means you wouldn't be able to excess to an Advance while on board the train-obviously.

There have been other threads on the subject also:-

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=126333

There is an FAQ in the same extract called

' Can a customer upgrade to 'First Advance'?

but the answer doesn't seem to be on my print out-anypne got access to check this?
 

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janb

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The other relevant section of the Advance FAQs would be, bold sections my emphasis,

Q11 - Can customers upgrade to First Class?
A: In most cases, yes.
1) Remember that changes to travel plans can only be done at a station before departure of the first booked train, so once on board, either the ticket is valid on that train, or it is not.
2) Where the customer joins the correct train and wishes to upgrade to First Class on board, or wishes to upgrade at a station beforehand between Standard and First Class on the correct train on which their Advance ticket has been reserved, this is not classed as a change of travel plans.
Weekdays: All TOCs allow upgrade to First Class in the above circumstances. As with other ticket types, charge the difference between the fare already paid and the appropriate First Single (dedicated or inter-available) fare for the journey. No £10 fee should be charged for doing this (except on XC trains).

So my interpretation would be regardless of ticket type changed to, a fee wouldn't be charged. But as ever in the rail industry things are written in such a way that other staff may have a different interpretation.
 

snail

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When we get to the 'simplifiers'......

Advance (travelling on correct reserved train)

Charge the difference between the fare already paid and the appropriate First Single fare for the journey. No fee is charged.
That's pretty much what the National Rail website now says. Sadly, I would concur that 'appropriate First Single fare' doesn't include First Advance. Last time I asked about it (in circumstances similar to those of the OP) I was told a £10 fee would apply if I bought a First Advance. That was at Liverpool Lime St and Wigan North Western.
 

premier01

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I would be particularly interested to read the following section from the knowledge base:-

' Can a customer upgrade to 'First Advance'?

I can't find this referenced anyhwere on this forum-can anyone post this?

It may well provide (probably not however!) more clarification.
 

hairyhandedfool

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There is an FAQ in the same extract called

' Can a customer upgrade to 'First Advance'?

but the answer doesn't seem to be on my print out-anypne got access to check this?

I've looked through another part of the FAQs and have seen where that comes from. The actual question is about changing the date and/or time of the journey rather than changing from Standard class to First class, hence the £10 fee applying.

I would be particularly interested to read the following section from the knowledge base:-

' Can a customer upgrade to 'First Advance'?

I can't find this referenced anyhwere on this forum-can anyone post this?

It may well provide (probably not however!) more clarification.

It appears, from the FAQs, as though you can do it if you do not remain on the same train (and a First Advance is available), so a £10 fee would apply, I'll double check this with iKB when I get to work tomorrow.

So can someone explain how you do this on STAR then please? As its not something that I've ever come across.

Would you simply non-issue the original ticket by the original MOP, then simply sell the new 1st Class ticket, charging no admin fee?

Standard practice for non-issues will always apply, so in the vast majority of cases, no you do not non-issue it. Further instructions may vary by TOC, so seek advice from your line manager or training department. Colleagues in another ticket office might also offer further advice.
 
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Let us know if the VTEC site charges you an admin fee then. I suspect it won't, but it would be interesting to find out...

Just sorted the ticket out. I checked with my local (Scotrail) station but they didn't think the class could be changed, though that may well have been my failure to explain clearly what I wanted.

I then bought and changed the ticket on the VTEC site - it charged the £10 change of ticket fee. I have got what I wanted though, thanks for all the advice.
 

yorksrob

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It's amazing. The railway claims to be all modern and innovative, yet just doesn't seem to understand how the 21st century works.

Surely it's reached the upper echelons of the industry that no one's allowed to book 1st class for work anymore, and that they could probably make a pretty penny by allowing people with company tickets to upgrade for the difference in cost.

No, we get the usual confusion of rules and determination to put obstacles in the way, like a pointless ten pound charge.
 
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