East Coast Rewards Ticket Expiry - booking or usage?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by SandsofEss, 3 Jun 2015.

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  1. SandsofEss

    SandsofEss Member

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    I have two quick questions about the four single East Coast rewards tickets that I obtained when I redeemed my points back in March:

    1) My account states "Points used for Rewards Leisure First Class Single Ticket - Expires on 01/09/2015". I want to use them for a journey in late October. Provided the journey is booked before 1st September, will I be ok to use them for a journey after this date? The VTEC call centre staff said yes, but I didn't get the impression they understood my query!

    2) Are rewards tickets likely to be available for journeys during the October half term week? I know that Easter and bank holidays are often excluded, but couldn't see any published restrictions for October. I'm hoping to get weekday FC seats on the London to Inverness direct service, which probably doesn't help with availability.
     
  2. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The expiry date refers to redemption/booking of the tickets, not the date by which travel must be completed. There was a similar question not so long ago but I can't remember the thread title.

    Regarding your second question, there should be some (even if limited) availability. You will want to book quickly, as soon as the dates become available, if you want the best seats :)
     
  3. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    In terms of becoming available, Virgin Trains East Coast advances on their own trains on Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays) are now generally available on their website 24 weeks ahead of travel (although sometimes not on late evening trains that have the potential to be affected by engineering work). This is despite the website saying (last time I looked) that the 24-week availability only applied to London/Newcastle and London/Edinburgh (although that was initially the case). That said, I haven't had to test whether Rewards tickets on those journeys are released at the same time as Advances.
     
  4. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Unless you put in an arrival or departure station of Edinburgh or Newcastle, you may not then pick dates that far forward on VTEC's site.
     
  5. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I can't check at the moment as I'm typing on my phone but there are certain blackout periods where you can't use East Coast Rewards - check on the terms and conditions. These are certain holidays. I know Easter was excluded.

    Rewards redemptions the last time I checked were subject to the usual 12 weeks rather than 24 but that may have changed.

    If you can't find the blackout periods or have any other questions please contact me and I will check when I'm on my computer.

    Either tweet @SaveECRewards or our email address is under the contact section of http://saveecrewards.co.uk/
     
  6. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    I agree that was originally the case when 24-week booking was introduced, but so far as I can see this morning it is now possible to book 24 weeks ahead on any weekday journey wholly on VTEC (subject to the exception for late evenings and bank holidays) so long as one of the origin and destination is London Kings Cross, and the other of them is Northallerton or anywhere north of Northallerton on the lines to Glasgow/Inverness/Aberdeen.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
  7. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I'll admit I was trying out Leeds trains and York/Doncaster as possible locations - advance tickets are *not* generally available from these locations 24 weeks in advance.

    This seems a fair extension - as otherwise these places will have all their advance allocations eaten up by people booking to/from Newcastle or Edinburgh. People from York and further South (and on the Leeds branch) will have other trains with their own allocations to use up.
     
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