Comparison of advance purchase plane tickets with 'Anytime' flexible train tickets

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by joshfog, 2 Jun 2015.

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  1. joshfog

    joshfog New Member

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    The age old chat of expensive rail fares. But honestly would you not rather drink French wine, or dine in Alpine ski chalets than drink a pint of warm brew in a Yorkshire pub. Both areas have a language barrier but with a cheaper Euro exchange to me it's more appealing going to the mountains.

    Its cheaper to fly to Geneva TWICE than train to Yorkshire ONE-WAY and after doing a quick google search myself its factually correct. Ski chalet in Morzine vs Cottage in dales. I know the wine is better...

    mountainmavericks.com/blog/its-cheaper-to-fly-out-to-morzine-from-london-return-twice-than-get-a-train-to-yorkshire-one-way/

    Linked here with EasyJet or Swiss and I see the benefit straight away. What will National Rail do with local services to rectify this issue becoming even more of an issue in the future? Surely it hurts the local economy no matter what improvements need to be made to lines..

    www.easyjet.com/EN/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Jun 2015
  2. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I'd go for the warm pint in Yorkshire every time, but I'm very biased.

    And my guess is that you are comparing a fully flexible single train ticket (costing £1 less than a return) with a pair of tickets on a specific flight.
     
  3. postye

    postye Member

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    That's not comparing like for like though is it, If I look for a single to Harrogate on 3 July (the dates quoted in the article) I could get to Harrogate for £32.

    The fare quoted is for walk ups which are generally not available on flights that have to be booked in advance
     
  4. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    And the point of signing up to make this comparison which is regularly flogged by the press despite being nearly irrelevant is what exactly?

    On a point of order:
    1) It is not cheaper, I checked Skyscanner which showed the cheapest flight from London to Geneva today as £125 single (plus any extra costs, airport travel), whereas a return to Leeds is £103.30.
    2) Switzerland does not use the Euro, and is far from a cheap country.
    3) I would prefer the pint in a cosy Yorkshire pub (despite the language barrier).

    I am all for cheaper walk-on fares and making rail more competitive for medium and long distance journeys, but using disingenuous comparisons does not help.
     
  5. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Are you trolling or actually serious?

    National Rail aren't going to do anything with local services because
    a) they couldn't anyway
    b) there isn't an issue.

    Hurts the local economy? :lol: That people regularly fly off to Geneva instead of having a pint down at the local?
     
  6. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    Isn't the point that if you travel as a day return in one direction at peak and the other direction off-peak, then splitting the ticket into two singles can save money as you aren't paying for the peak in both directions?

    FGW tries not to permit off peak returns to be used at peak times on the fast trains to Reading, even where they are valid.
     
  7. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Are you a journalist or a blogger by any chance? There are often comparisons made in the press between rail fares here and flights to somewhere abroad. They never compare an advance fare on the train with the last minute walk up fare by air, it's always a cheap advance ticket on the plane, and a last minute walk up fare by rail. I suppose there isn't much of a story in comparing the same tickets.
     
  8. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Regarding the unfair comparisons with flying, it is worth mentioning airline credit cards that let you earn airmiles for your normal spend. I recall wanting to get to Yorkshire from London, booking the day before, and flying worked out cheaper when factoring in these airmiles, even when adding the cost of the connecting trains at both ends.

    If a TOC had a similar credit card scheme, they could become more competitive
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2015
  9. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    But then you'd get people who'd find ways to accumulate points and rinse it. With the airlines, I'm well on my way to a free First Class return to Barbados (plus taxes) thanks to those credit cards.

    Besides, Clubcard points can be spent on Red Spotted Hanky and there is a Clubcard credit card. Wonder if many people actually take this avenue to save on rail fares.
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Absolutely.

    It's pointless comparing and advanced plane fare with an anytime train ticket but:

    • Many walk on fares are un-competitively expensive for longer distance journeys
    • If TOC's really are paragons of innovation as some like to suggest, there's a lot more that they could do to encourage increased leisure travel. Railmiles, National Railcard - none of these are particularly groundbreaking frankly.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    All things being equal, a pint of ale in the Dales for me, I'm afraid.
     
  11. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Wouldn't a better way be something like a Santander 123 credit card which gives 3% cashback on travel purchases.

    And wouldn't the fees RSH charge eat into the savings made?
     
  12. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I thought I'd come back and give one slight concession to the OP:

    Fares from London to Harrogate are over priced. Presumably because the residents of Harrogate can afford to pay a little more.

    Walk-up fares are more expensive than those to Leeds, between £2-£10. Yet it's on a valid route to Leeds (via York).

    Advance fares are significantly more expensive, and with the new Northern advance quotas for LDS-YRK my guess is many people will buy walk-up tickets in advance when it would be far cheaper to split at Leeds or York.

    East Cost really do milk people from Harrogate.
     
  13. Dent

    Dent Member

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    That wouldn't be a fair comparison.

    Comparing an advance rail ticket with a walk on air fare wouldn't be comparing "the same ticket", it would be a meaningless invalid comparison.
     
  14. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    I could buy a rowing boat and row to France than less than the cost of an airline ticket...
     
  15. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I could swim to France at less than that cost... :D
     
  16. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The cost of your rescue however would be quite considerable for the tax payers! :lol:
     
  17. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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  18. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  19. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    Virgin Atlantic on VTEC travel.
     
  20. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    It's the other way around - with that you earn flying miles when you buy train tickets :)
     
  21. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    This post is merely advertise the OPs business interests by misleading comparisons.

    National Rail Enquiries is £39.10 for 2 advance singles when I looked just now for a random week in August.

    The OP is a blogger for the linked site though and as it describes him there: Running the marketing for Mountain Mavericks you'll see regular updates on social media and weekly events in the hotel and chalets.

    "I saw this online" is actually "I blogged this myself"

    No conflict of interest there then in presenting an unequal comparison.

    [/RANT]
     
  22. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    123 only gives back up to £9 a month on travel though, but still, better than nothing!

    RSH's booking fee would take around 33 Clubcard points I think but still worth using.
     
  23. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Travelling on the same dates as the blog suggests for the flights (3 July outward and 10 July return) I can travel from London to Harrogate for £80 return which is, in fact, less than the flights that they were proposing (£87). But that's comparing like with like and pre-booking as well as restricting yourself to specific trains/flights. I wonder what it would cost to go to Gatwick tomorrow and fly the same day on a flight to Geneva and doing the same back to Gatwick?
     
  24. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    You could book now on Expedia to fly tomorrow Gatwick to Geneva with Easyjet for £78.99 (4 possible flights) or £9 more if you want to go on the 13:45 departure.

    I was expecting it to be more, especially as they are the only airline flying direct from Gatwick to Geneva.
     
  25. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a fairer comparison but the fairest surely has to be going to Gatwick Airport tomorrow morning and buying a ticket for the next flight that day. That is what the railway ticket allows you to do.
     
  26. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    It's about time that airlines had to pay for the maintenance of their permanent way - the atmosphere.
     
  27. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    German railways are too expensive! Looking tomorrow, the cheapest ticket for Frankfurt to Berlin is €106. But if I book two months in advance I can go from Liverpool to London for £7.90 with a railcard! :lol: :roll: :lol:
     

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  28. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    In fact the railway in Switzerland is too expensive as well! Look how much it costs to go from Geneva to Berlin at 5am tomorrow, €200. I could travel from Liverpool to London and back 25 TIMES on tickets booked eight weeks in advance. It's stupid. Imagine how much the economy of Geneva must suffer :(
     

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  29. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    True. It could depend on how many seats they have left on the aircraft though. In addition to taxes, they would prefer to take a few quid from you rather than leave the seat empty.

    I once got a cheapish Easyjet flight at Amsterdam Airport after I asked if they had 10 seats left for a flight leaving in 3 hours time. They said yes, so I asked what I could get one seat for rather than leave all those seats empty :)
     
  30. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I bought a day return from Leeds to Bridlington and it was shockingly well over thirty pounds. When I commented that this was rather expensive, the booking clerk mentioned that it was difficult to get to - as if it was somehow the passengers fault that any direct routes had been closed!

    I'm afraid that on too many occasions the railway seems lazy and overpriced to me.
     
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