LNER Advances for short journeys

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johntea

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I joined and bought one ticket but after that I decided not to bother with it; LNER are often found to be charging more than split ticket providers in my experience and a tiny percentage back doesn't offset this

I also want a seat selector that works with all TOCs, not just LNER and I want all my bookings in one place.

I was just looking at a London Kings Cross - Castleford journey on 18/06

19:33 - £29.00

I then stuck in Stevenage - Castleford as I'm actually staying in Stevenage so may not end up in London, 19:55 which is the service above £19.70

...but I then found advances are on offer for the London Kings Cross - Stevenage leg for the service for £4.90, so where have LNER conjured up the extra £4.40 from?! :D
 
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Hadders

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I was just looking at a London Kings Cross - Castleford journey on 18/06

19:33 - £29.00

I then stuck in Stevenage - Castleford as I'm actually staying in Stevenage so may not end up in London, 19:55 which is the service above £19.70

...but I then found advances are on offer for the London Kings Cross - Stevenage leg for the service for £4.90, so where have LNER conjured up the extra £4.40 from?! :D
Advance fares between Stevenage and London? When were they introduced?

That really isn’t a good idea.
 

johntea

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lner.PNG

Pretty clear 'Advance Single' displayed there! Although looks like a LNER only job, no advances on ThamesLink / Great Northern

LNER seem to be about as desperate for customers as hotels at the minute, so maybe that comes into play slightly, as it is the odd period between Covid restrictions being lifted and the supposed June 21 wider lifting (obviously that is now still yet to be determined!)
 

alistairlees

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View attachment 96299

Pretty clear 'Advance Single' displayed there! Although looks like a LNER only job, no advances on ThamesLink / Great Northern

LNER seem to be about as desperate for customers as hotels at the minute, so maybe that comes into play slightly, as it is the odd period between Covid restrictions being lifted and the supposed June 21 wider lifting (obviously that is now still yet to be determined!)
Thanks. Looks like the normal range of LNER Advances has been extended to the Stevenage to Kings Cross flow from 16th May. The £4.90 fare is a BUS ticket type (an already existing ticket type).
 

alistairlees

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Yep. You can now get a £1.50 LNER Advance from Leeds to Horsforth, for example.
 

Hadders

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Advance tickets between Stevenage and Kings Cross really isn’t a good idea:

1. it removes quota and takes up seat reservation which in these times of compulsory reservations is best used for longer distance passengers
2. Anyone travelling between Stevenage and London just gets the first train, it’s a turn up and go service with 4 fast Thameslink trains, 2 semi-fast, 2 Hertford loops plus a couple of LNER trains. I confidently predict many passengers will travel on the wrong train, especially coming back from London. The St Pancras gateline could have a field day issuing Penalty Fares.

Don’t get me wrong it introduced all kinds of anomalies and opportunities for cheaper travel for those in the know but for the average punter it’s really not needed.

Despite the headline grabbing fares £4.40 single most people will end up paying more as you’re unlikely to find a similarly priced Advance in the opposite direction.
 

superjohn

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There has been a roll out of all levels of LNER Advances to all the statons we serve.
I stand corrected. I still can’t see the advances on BRFares. I’ve tried putting London Terminals and King’s Cross specifically.

Could this be part of a move towards LNER becoming permanently reservation compulsory?
 

alistairlees

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I stand corrected. I still can’t see the advances on BRFares. I’ve tried putting London Terminals and King’s Cross specifically.

Could this be part of a move towards LNER becoming permanently reservation compulsory?
I think brfares only shows fares that are valid today. These fares are not valid until tomorrow. I expect it will show them then.
 

Hadders

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The Stevenage to London Advance fares are in BRFares now.

The more I think about it the more I really don't think they are a good idea.....
 

Kite159

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The Stevenage to London Advance fares are in BRFares now.

The more I think about it the more I really don't think they are a good idea.....

It's a flow with many trains an hour, they are as pointless as advance fares from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Airport.
 

Wallsendmag

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That's crazy. It's cheaper than catching the bus from Leeds to Horsforth.
So people are now questioning cheap rail tickets where capacity exists? If I remember correctly I had to update roughly 1.2m flows in RCS (Retail Control Service) to enable the new Advaces for eTickets so there are a lot of new fares out there.
 

Ianno87

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Advance tickets between Stevenage and Kings Cross really isn’t a good idea:

1. it removes quota and takes up seat reservation which in these times of compulsory reservations is best used for longer distance passengers
2. Anyone travelling between Stevenage and London just gets the first train, it’s a turn up and go service with 4 fast Thameslink trains, 2 semi-fast, 2 Hertford loops plus a couple of LNER trains. I confidently predict many passengers will travel on the wrong train, especially coming back from London. The St Pancras gateline could have a field day issuing Penalty Fares.

Don’t get me wrong it introduced all kinds of anomalies and opportunities for cheaper travel for those in the know but for the average punter it’s really not needed.

Despite the headline grabbing fares £4.40 single most people will end up paying more as you’re unlikely to find a similarly priced Advance in the opposite direction.

The Stevenage to London Advance fares are in BRFares now.

The more I think about it the more I really don't think they are a good idea.....

They're not a bad idea if one is only made available for each reservation made for a journey from Stevenage to points North. I.e..filling a seat that would otherwise be empty Kings Cross to Stevenage. LNER must have count data for the number of typical Stevenage boarders - so the quota of Kings Cross-Stevenage Advances available should not exceed this.

Plus the £4.40 single is pure LNER revenue.

It's a flow with many trains an hour, they are as pointless as advance fares from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Airport.

If people buy them, then they are not pointless.

That's crazy. It's cheaper than catching the bus from Leeds to Horsforth.

And if that means people spending £1.50 to get the train (that's running anyway with spare capacity, so zero marginal cost) instead of getting the bus or driving, then that's a net revenue gain for the industry.
 
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Hadders

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The point is someone grabbing one of these ‘cheap’ Advance tickets with a compulsory reservation potentially prevents a passenger from booking a longer distance journey.

Trust me people travelling from Stevenage to London just get the first train, which is usually a fast Thameslink. I wonder what is going to happen to these passengers when they rock up at St Pancras with an LNER Advance to Kings across.

When LNER are delayed by a few minutes (often happens southbound) and a fast Thameslink turns up does the passenger have to wait for the delayed LNER or will they just jump on the Thameslink. I’m not talking major disruption with ticket acceptance, more a minor delay or an odd cancelled train.
 

Wolfie

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The point is someone grabbing one of these ‘cheap’ Advance tickets with a compulsory reservation potentially prevents a passenger from booking a longer distance journey.

Trust me people travelling from Stevenage to London just get the first train, which is usually a fast Thameslink. I wonder what is going to happen to these passengers when they rock up at St Pancras with an LNER Advance to Kings across.

When LNER are delayed by a few minutes (often happens southbound) and a fast Thameslink turns up does the passenger have to wait for the delayed LNER or will they just jump on the Thameslink. I’m not talking major disruption with ticket acceptance, more a minor delay or an odd cancelled train.
I assume that your last para is a rhetorical question as the same should happen in this case as with any other Advance ticket. Namely, unless there is a specific exception allowed by the rules, you have to take the booked train. Passengers can't take the cheaper ticket and still expect all of the advantages of the dearer one that they used to buy.
 

johntea

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So people are now questioning cheap rail tickets where capacity exists? If I remember correctly I had to update roughly 1.2m flows in RCS (Retail Control Service) to enable the new Advaces for eTickets so there are a lot of new fares out there.

Would you happen to know the answer to my other question, if I do a direct advance 19:33 London Kings Cross - Castleford I'm offered £29 but can do the same 19:33 London Kngs Cross - Stevenage for £4.90 and Stevenage - Castleford for £19.70 = £24.60 (using the LNER booking engine)

Is it just a different 'flow' of advance fares? (sorry I don't know the correct terminology!)
 

Watershed

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Would you happen to know the answer to my other question, if I do a direct advance 19:33 London Kings Cross - Castleford I'm offered £29 but can do the same 19:33 London Kngs Cross - Stevenage for £4.90 and Stevenage - Castleford for £19.70 = £24.60 (using the LNER booking engine)

Is it just a different 'flow' of advance fares? (sorry I don't know the correct terminology!)
The £29 fare is Advance tier BSS whereas the £4.90 and £19.70 fares are tier BRS (the lower the middle letter, the cheaper the tier). So clearly, there is BRS "availability" throughout, but they are blocking the sale of a through BRS fare, forcing you to go for the more expensive BSS fare.

It certainly wouldn't be the first time this has happened, although usually it's the other way around, with the cheaper tiers released for longer journeys (meaning it could be cheaper to travel from York to Edinburgh than from Newcastle).
 

Hadders

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I assume that your last para is a rhetorical question as the same should happen in this case as with any other Advance ticket. Namely, unless there is a specific exception allowed by the rules, you have to take the booked train. Passengers can't take the cheaper ticket and still expect all of the advantages of the dearer one that they used to buy.
But the point is most ‘normal’ passengers travelling between Stevenage and London will purchase the cheapest fare presented to them by the online booking site when they book their travel. The service is so frequent they will assume they can get any train.

Then once on the platform they will board the first fast train that comes along (most fast trains being Thameslink). I’d be interested to know how the St Pancras gateline will deal with these tickets....
 

Wolfie

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But the point is most ‘normal’ passengers travelling between Stevenage and London will purchase the cheapest fare presented to them by the online booking site when they book their travel. The service is so frequent they will assume they can get any train.

Then once on the platform they will board the first fast train that comes along (most fast trains being Thameslink). I’d be interested to know how the St Pancras gateline will deal with these tickets....
The booking site should warn them that there are restrictions on the ticket.

If they are lucky they will be warned the first time. If they are unlucky they will be penalty fared.
 

Hadders

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The booking site should warn them that there are restrictions on the ticket.

If they are lucky they will be warned the first time. If they are unlucky they will be penalty fared.
I’m sure it will warn them but most won’t take any notice or remember by the time they get to the day of travel.

Everyone says rail fares should be simplified but this does the exact opposite, it introduces complication that is completely unavoidable.
 

Hadders

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I thought everyone wanted cheap fares.
£4.50 is a cheap fare and passengers will be pleased when they bag one.

But - to make a real difference you need to get one in the opposite direction as well and how likely will that be. You might strike lucky but the chances are you’ll end up paying £10 or £12. Not so good but don’t worry Advance tickets are cheap.

At the weekend a flexible day return from Stevenage to London is only £12.60 but that fare’s probably hidden in the flexible fares tab. And everyone says Advance fares are cheap.
 

Failed Unit

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i don’t see it will be a problem. Remember until recently Stevenage was stop to set down only.

i really can’t see many people using it when you have a 15 minute frequency on GTR.

But whenever I have used a train heading north as Ian said a reasonable amount of people also get on to off-set the tickets they sell. They have a gap in the market, but I can’t see a big demand.
 
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