Geographical routeings allowed via Hovertravel on many booking sites

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by yorkie, 11 Jan 2019.

  1. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Anyone feeling brave enough to book this...?

    Some booking sites are offering fares via the Ryde <> Southsea Hovercraft (operated by Hovertravel) on tickets that are not specifically routed via Hovertravel, eg. geographically fares routed "via Barnham", "not via London", "Any Permitted" etc.

    I have attached an example of a search for a journey from Ryde Esplanade to Redhill, but many other examples exist. The fare offered is routed "via Barnham" in this case.

    I'm interested in hearing from retailers, data providers, and other experts regarding their thoughts on why some booking sites are not applying negative easement "300326 (published by TOC SW)
    Journeys via Ryde Hoverport must be routed HOVER TRAVEL"?

    I'm also interested in hearing from anyone who is knowledgeable in consumer and contract law: can Hovertravel charge a customer, or should they bill the retailer? If a customer is charged, are they entitled to be refunded by the retailer, or some other party?

    Could GTR be liable? The fares should be routed via Whitelink or Hovertravel. They should not be setting unusable fares! SWR route their fares appropriately, so GTR should be doing the same.

    The root cause could be considered to be GTR's data error, and the secondary cause could be considered to be the retailers not applying the negative easement? If anyone (who has relevant knowledge or experience) has any thoughts on how the liability of each party would be determined I would be interested to hear their thoughts.

    Also if anyone does try to use it, I'd be interested to hear what happens!
     

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  3. island

    island Established Member

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    I put this to a solicitor in work but she’s leaving in one minute and will come back to me next week.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Are there any Advances? For walk-ups, I'd imagine people will just be directed to the catamaran, on which tickets to the Isle of Wight with any route (other than the Hovertravel specific one) are accepted.
     
  5. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    I used exactly this - a Redhill to Shanklin "via Barnham" fare - just over a year ago. The ticket was challenged on the hovercraft on the way back, and the check in got out his book of allowed tickets (an A4 binder with all the allowed ticket types / routes in it). There were clear instructions to only allow travel for tickets marked "+ hover travel" (or similar). After some debate (all good-natured) I and my friends were allowed on board - but I would not recommend assuming the same again.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I had thought my ticket was valid:
    - it showed up on a few booking engines (including Fujitsu RIBS powered ones, as well as SilverRail powered ones)
    - I was only aware of this negative easement relating to Hover Travel at the time: 700534 Circuitous Route Customers may not travel via Southsea Hoverport on route 'Any Permitted'.

    Had I known about the other easement that Yorkie mentions I would have realised something was wrong.

    Although I'm not a lawyer, I would have thought the customer has recourse to the retailer; and the retailer has recourse to the train operator. That said, this does not explain why some retailers can get this right, yet others can't. I'll have to take a peek at the data.
     
  6. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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  7. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Although the human-readable text of Easement 300326 sounds quite simple, it's actually implemented in the data used by journey planners as a long list of banned geographic routes, specifically:

    00000 ANY PERMITTED
    00001 (invalid)
    00053 VIA DONCASTER
    00064 VIA LEEDS
    00093 VIA DUMFRIES
    00129 VIA CHESTERFIELD
    00135 VIA CAMBRIDGE
    00200 VIA LONDON
    00268 VIA BIRMINGHAM
    00275 VIA CARLISLE
    00294 LONDON DERBY
    00305 VIA HIGH WYCOMBE
    00308 VIA LEICESTER
    00312 VIA MANCHESTER
    00403 AP CARLISLE
    00405 AP OXFORD
    00420 AP GRTANG&CONCTS
    00424 AP HULTRNS & EMT
    00430 LNER & CONNECTNS
    00431 AP HULTRNS & TPE
    00438 AP SALISBURY
    00478 AP GWR/TFW &CONN
    00514 VIA LEATHERHEAD
    00556 BUS LINK
    00600 KENSNGTN OLYMPIA
    00602 CLAPHM J NOT LDN
    00603 CLAPHAM JUNCTION
    00605 VIA FAREHAM
    00612 VIA HAVANT
    00614 VIA REDHILL
    00616 SALISY NOT LONDN
    00618 VIA SALISBURY
    00635 VIA WOKING
    00637 VIA SOUTHAMPTON
    00700 NOT VIA LONDON
    00703 LONDON NOT UND
    00723 VIA GATWICK AIRP
    00759 (invalid)
    00803 EVESHAM/STROUD
    00805 VIA EVESHAM
    00809 NOT VIA WESTBURY
    00828 HONITON SHAMPTON
    00830 READING NOT LOND
    00832 HONITON SALISBRY
    00837 WESTBRY SALISBRY
    00838 VIA CRAVEN ARMS
    00954 RAILAIR WOKING


    Interestingly, "VIA BARNHAM" is missing from the list, hence why it's being allowed. The easement dates from 2008; I wonder if Southern started adding VIA BARNHAM fares in earnest only after this?
     
  8. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    It would surely have made more sense to implement this as a list of routes where one of them is mandatory (assuming that's possible in the data structure)

    Routes with "Hovertravel" in are:
    00183 SWR +HOVERTRAVEL
    00244 VIA HOVERTRAVEL
    00246 SWR &HOVERTRAVEL
    00448 ADVANCE+HOVRTVL
    00982 ANY PERM+HOVRTVL
    40902 GA VIA HOVRTRAVL
    40904 EC VIA HOVRTRAVL
    40906 TL VIA HOVRTRAVL
    40908 VT VIA HOVRTRAVL
    40910 XC VIA HOVETRAVL
    40982 ANY P+HOVERTRVL

    I don't think all are in active use!
     
  9. island

    island Established Member

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    Hi [my name],

    No straight answer to this one I’m afraid. On the one hand you can argue that whoever issued the ticket is acting as an agent of Hovertravel Ltd. (“Hovertravel”) for the part of the journey on the hovercraft, that the itinerary is part of the contract for travel, and that therefore Hovertravel should permit the passenger to travel (and then separately address the matter, and any financial implications, with the ticket seller).

    On the other, you can equally argue that Hovertravel isn’t party to the contract at all. The National Rail Conditions of Travel don’t mention it, and I was unable to find anything else that does. You then have a case where the ticket seller has misrepresented the contract to you as including hovercraft transport, where it does not. In that case the ticket seller would be liable to the passenger for the damages incurred, which likely would be the cost of the hovercraft fare they are charged.

    In practice, of course, if the passenger is refused travel by Hovertravel, they will inevitably need to pay for a Hovertravel fare and then seek a refund of this from the ticket seller.

    If the ticket seller feels they in turn were misled by some other company because of incorrect data in a system, that would be for those two companies to sort out between themselves.

    I must of course add that whilst I believe this correct I take no responsibility to you or anyone else regarding this advice.

    Kind regards,
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Or, given that I think through tickets onto Island Line are only via the catamaran to Ryde Pier Head, just having a separate destination for it i.e. Ryde Hovertravel.
     
  11. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    The likes of this flow suggest otherwise!
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I stand corrected! :)

    Can the Routeing Guide be used to do this, or is it, as I half recall, not applicable to non-rail modes?
     
  13. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    All of the Island Line come under Portsmouth Routeing Point Group, so everything there comes under the fixed links and shortest route provisions.
     

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