Could/should/would the InterCity operators offer Advances hours/minutes before travel

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calc7

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On an Anytime Standard/First Single/Return ticket between London and the provincial cities, it's likely that the 'main' operator receives 50% or less of the revenue (eg Leeds to London SOS will be shared out such that East Coast gets not much more than half or even less).

If the operator could offer Advance-style tickets at say 70% of the "open" price hours or minutes before travel, would they? Win for the consumer and win for themselves - just a loss overall for the industry.
 
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hairyhandedfool

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Could they? - Yes absolutely, seat reservations are available upto two hours before departure from the origin station (or ten minutes before travel on XC).

Should they? - Well, the passenger is always going to say yes, it's far easier to say exactly when you are travelling a few hours ahead than it is the day before or two weeks before, but, as I will point out, there is no incentive for the TOCs to do so.

Would they? - No, Advance fares range in price upto and in some cases over the price of the walk up fares now, and the vast majority sell, so there is no real incentive for these to be added to or replaced by tickets that have a much later booking deadline. The TOCs (for the most part) won't make any extra money and, infact, stand to lose money by offering them.

I also don't think we can say exactly what percentage of fares train operators get because ORCATS is not straight forward and not in the public domain, but I rather suspect, on direct trains atleast, the intercity operators get a large share of the fare and with Advance tickets, the fare is almost exclusively going to the operator of the service.
 

calc7

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Say I buy a MAN-EUS FOS/SOS - I don't believe Virgin will get more than 70% of that. Maybe they wish they could offer Virgin Only FOS/SOS on flows they price!
 

hairyhandedfool

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ORCATS works out the probability of passengers using a certain route and gives that percentage of the remaining 90 odd percent of the fare (the amount left after commission for the seller) to that operator. For Manchester-Euston, I doubt the percentages for EMT, XC, LM, Chiltern, FGW and Northern together are even a tenth of the percentage for a three times an hour direct Virgin Trains service.
 

LexyBoy

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You missed FCC and ATW (and TPE possibly, can't remember their routes exactly) :) But yes, the vast majority wouldn't even consider taking an unusual route.
 

yorkie

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We do not know the figures, but I'd be surprised if your guesses are correct, in both cases I would expect it to be 90%+ based on what we've been told about ORCATS.
 

Simon11

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We do not know the figures, but I'd be surprised if your guesses are correct, in both cases I would expect it to be 90%+ based on what we've been told about ORCATS.
Its more like around 96+ percent, generally a monopoly on the route. If you had a anytime ticket, why would you use anyone else other than virgin given the huge time savings and frequency!

As to the orginal poster, I'm sure tocs have looked at your idea and maybe just maybe it will happen :)
 
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calc7

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I doubt the allocations are linear (in the same way Virgin probably get a chunk of a Goostrey - Heaton Chapel fare despite the only direct services being provided by Northern) but obviously some fares are much more frequent and valuable than others.
 

DaveNewcastle

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If the operator could offer Advance-style tickets at say 70% of the "open" price hours or minutes before travel, would they? Win for the consumer and win for themselves - just a loss overall for the industry.
I wonder if you've read the Department's Consultation document which informs its current Consultation on its rail fares' review?
Terms and conditions of Advance fares
151.
Passenger Focus and others have called for a change in ticket terms and conditions to allow passengers with Advance fares valid only on one specified departure who miss that departure or board the wrong train to “pay the difference” between their Advance fare and the cost of a walk-up fare to travel on the next available train (instead of having to buy a full new walk-up fare as is currently the case). The difference between an Advance and the “walk-up” fare can often be significant.
152.
Passenger Focus and others have argued that it undermines passenger confidence in the system to ask passengers to buy what could be a much more expensive ticket because they missed their booked train or boarded the wrong train by mistake (although it is worth noting that if a passenger misses their booked departure due to a missed national rail connection, train operators generally accept the original ticket on the next service).
153.
We will consider whether passengers could be allowed to “pay the difference” (potentially on payment of a fee, if this was considered necessary in order to avoid perverse incentives) without unduly impacting on other passengers. Advance fares are just one part of train operators’ pricing structures and are also unregulated, so we would like to hear how train operators as well as passengers might respond to this scenario.
154.
In the meantime, we believe train operators could learn from other online retailers and that they should do more to ensure that the restrictions on advance fares, as well as the option to change the ticket before travel on payment of a £10 fee, are communicated clearly and prominently at the point of purchase.
Rail fares and ticketing review
Initial consultation


Its hard to speculate where the incentive for this re-consideration came from and where it may go. But it does show which aspects of Advance T&Cs are being considered.
I'm sure you have already worked out what the response from all operators is likely to be to those suggestions and consequently, where this element of the Review will promptly end.
 
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