LNER Considering Requiring Passengers to Check-in Before Travel

squizzler

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I wonder if the recent trip by Margaret Ferrier, the MP who made an excursion by train from Scotland to London so as to address the Commons whilst unwell with Covid has had any bearing on this debate? I understand she started from Glasgow so presumably travelled Avanti, but LNER is the main route between the two nations' capitals. Have any fellow passengers yet been contact traced and asked to quarantine themselves?
 
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Tallguy

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This plan is unworkable. Trains are for the most part turn up and go. Yes the longer journeys do see more bookings. So what if I buy a ticket and the train doesn’t have any free seats under the current COVID seating plan? Do I get denied boarding and my money back? Say I book from Stevenage to KX in London but the train is full of people who have bought turn up and go tickets and I’m denied boarding due to no one getting off the train? Hopeless unless the train is made of prebooked tickets only. As for me ‘checking in’ on some third party app, I don’t think so. Whilst I use Facebook and Linked In I don’t always have my phone with me and frequently place it in a lead lined pouch if I want to drop off the grid whilst on holiday Etc. What are the rail companies going to do with my data? Who will have access to it? Total non starter in my book.
 

Hadders

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Regarding the check in confirmation email, when will I be sent one for an upcoming trip on Monday?

I booked this on the GWR website as my journey is Croy to H665 (Tyne & Wear Metro All Zones) as the LNER website does not recognise H665 but only recognises the Central Zones (my actual destination is Whitley Bay) or Airport/Sunderland area stations.
There is no need to check in, this is just a proposal. You do need to have a reservation to travel with LNER at the moment. That said I've never had mine checked, in fact yesterday I obtained a very last minute reservation for the 17:33 from Kings Cross to Stevenage. My seat was in coach J but the train was shortformed and there was no coach J so I was directed to sit in coach C by the Train Manager. I do wonder how it is possible to obtain a reservation less than 10 minutes before departure for a seat in a coach that was non-existent on the train.

This plan is unworkable. Trains are for the most part turn up and go. Yes the longer journeys do see more bookings. So what if I buy a ticket and the train doesn’t have any free seats under the current COVID seating plan? Do I get denied boarding and my money back? Say I book from Stevenage to KX in London but the train is full of people who have bought turn up and go tickets and I’m denied boarding due to no one getting off the train? Hopeless unless the train is made of prebooked tickets only. As for me ‘checking in’ on some third party app, I don’t think so. Whilst I use Facebook and Linked In I don’t always have my phone with me and frequently place it in a lead lined pouch if I want to drop off the grid whilst on holiday Etc. What are the rail companies going to do with my data? Who will have access to it? Total non starter in my book.
With LNER you must have a reservation to travel. No reservation and in theory you can't board. So if you're making a journey from Stevenage to London you just travel on Thameslink where no reservation is needed.

I'm not saying I agree with this approach, but this is the current policy. That said I'm yet to experience a ticket check when travelling with LNER since all this started.
 

Tallguy

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With LNER you must have a reservation to travel. No reservation and in theory you can't board. So if you're making a journey from Stevenage to London you just travel on Thameslink where no reservation is needed.
So will the person in the ticket office at Stevenage ask which TOC I want to travel on if I just turn up And buy a ticket? Or will my ticket state that I can’t travel on LNER?
 

yorkie

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So will the person in the ticket office at Stevenage ask which TOC I want to travel on if I just turn up And buy a ticket? Or will my ticket state that I can’t travel on LNER?
The ticket is valid on LNER.
If you do not have a reservation, LNER staff may ask you to make a reservation online if you are able to, from the next stop. If unable to, you may be asked to leave the train.
If your destination is London or Peterborough then you will be leaving anyway.
 

CBlue

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This plan is unworkable. Trains are for the most part turn up and go. Yes the longer journeys do see more bookings. So what if I buy a ticket and the train doesn’t have any free seats under the current COVID seating plan? Do I get denied boarding and my money back? Say I book from Stevenage to KX in London but the train is full of people who have bought turn up and go tickets and I’m denied boarding due to no one getting off the train? Hopeless unless the train is made of prebooked tickets only. As for me ‘checking in’ on some third party app, I don’t think so. Whilst I use Facebook and Linked In I don’t always have my phone with me and frequently place it in a lead lined pouch if I want to drop off the grid whilst on holiday Etc. What are the rail companies going to do with my data? Who will have access to it? Total non starter in my book.
Who realistically books from Stevenage to Kings Cross? I thought LNER was set down only for Southbound trains through Stevenage anyway?

I travelled by train today for the first time since March and bought a moble ticket on my phone ten minutes before boarding the train. What's the difference between that and booking a reservation for the train you're already on barring possible availability via a mobile app? Pretty much none.

Good luck by the way entering most places in London for example without checking in on your phone in some manner for Track and Trace - even if you don't have the NHS app everywhere I visited today expected me to scan a QR code and fill out a web form.
 

yorkie

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Who realistically books from Stevenage to Kings Cross?
Not sure what you mean by "books"; anyone who uses the cheapest fare will travel with LNER, but I agree they won't normally expect to have to book a reservation.
I thought LNER was set down only for Southbound trains through Stevenage anyway?
Nope
I travelled by train today for the first time since March and bought a moble ticket on my phone ten minutes before boarding the train. What's the difference between that and booking a reservation for the train you're already on barring possible availability via a mobile app? Pretty much none.
Several trains have been "full" between Stevenage and London and yet I only counted a double-figure number of passengers on a 9 car train. This happened numerous times.
Good luck by the way entering most places in London for example without checking in on your phone in some manner for Track and Trace - even if you don't have the NHS app everywhere I visited today expected me to scan a QR code and fill out a web form.
It's not mandatory to have a phone to visit places; see the relevant thread in the appropriate forum section
 

Hadders

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So will the person in the ticket office at Stevenage ask which TOC I want to travel on if I just turn up And buy a ticket? Or will my ticket state that I can’t travel on LNER?
The ticket offices at Stevenage should ask you which operator you are travelling with as there are cheaper 'LNER only' tickets between Stevenage and London at certain times of the day. At the moment they should only sell an 'LNER only' ticket with accompanying reservations. There are posters at the station stating that you must have a reservation to travel on an LNER train.

I travelled by train today for the first time since March and bought a moble ticket on my phone ten minutes before boarding the train. What's the difference between that and booking a reservation for the train you're already on barring possible availability via a mobile app? Pretty much none.
Buying a ticket 10 minutes before departure doesn't necessarily mean you have a seat reservation. Normally if there are no seats available you can choose to stand. Currently LNER require you to have a seat reservation as well as a ticket to travel on their services to maintain social distancing.
 

Tallguy

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Good luck by the way entering most places in London for example without checking in on your phone in some manner for Track and Trace - even if you don't have the NHS app everywhere I visited today expected me to scan a QR code and fill out a web form.
If You want your personal data going here, there and everywhere feel free to keep giving it out. I can easily point my phone at a QR code on entry and pretend to register without actually doing anything. And many people do exactly that. there is a very valid argument that says I’m being selfish and putting myself and others at risk by failing to register but I simply don’t want my data going where I can’t control it whenever possible. Not everywhere requires track and trace and I’m not aware of any law requiring me to take part in such a scheme At today’s date.

The ticket offices at Stevenage should ask you which operator you are travelling with as there are cheaper 'LNER only' tickets between Stevenage and London at certain times of the day. At the moment they should only sell an 'LNER only' ticket with accompanying reservations. There are posters at the station stating that you must have a reservation to travel on an LNER train.



Buying a ticket 10 minutes before departure doesn't necessarily mean you have a seat reservation. Normally if there are no seats available you can choose to stand. Currently LNER require you to have a seat reservation as well as a ticket to travel on their services to maintain social distancing.
None of this makes any sense.

So I need a reservation to buy an LNER ticket at a ticket office window? How do I make a reservation to buy a ticket at a station ticket office? I don’t believe you can. if you need a reservation to travel on LNER Then the ticket office shouldn’t sell LNER tickets unless they can access the LNER reservation system and allocate you a seat etc. If you can’t get a reservation before buying an LNER ticket at a ticket office then the ticket office shouldn’t be able to sell you a ticket.....

Thank God my local TOC is Chiltern who don’t have these stupid policies.

No wonder so many people drive.....
 
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DanNCL

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What a ridiculous idea. They're trains, not flights. You shouldn't have to check in for any train journey, but especially not a short journey like Newcastle - Durham.
If this idea ever gets implemented then LNER will likely lose most of my custom. As someone who often only knows their travel plans at the last minute I'm simply not going to pay a premium fare (as LNER are often more expensive at the last minute than the other two operators on the Northern half of the ECML) for a train that I have to check in for like an aircraft and an allocated seat that more often than not isn't socially distanced when there's many alternative options that are cheaper and less of a fuss. All this'll do is put more and more people off train travel and instead onto aircraft and into cars.

yesterday I obtained a very last minute reservation for the 17:33 from Kings Cross to Stevenage. My seat was in coach J but the train was shortformed and there was no coach J so I was directed to sit in coach C by the Train Manager. I do wonder how it is possible to obtain a reservation less than 10 minutes before departure for a seat in a coach that was non-existent on the train.
I've had the LNER website reserve me a seat in coach G on a service that was always planned to be a Mark 4 set (hence no coach G), and indeed it was a Mark 4 set that turned up. Seems to be a fairly regular occurance. If LNER want to enforce compulsory seat reservations it needs sorting out - they can't keep reserving people in coaches that they know at the time the reservation is made won't exist.
 

Hadders

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So I need a reservation to buy an LNER ticket at a ticket office window?
You need a reservation to travel on an LNER train. You may not be able to board if you do not have a reservation.

To support social distancing and to  ensure a safe number of customers can travel on each of our trains, we have reservation-only travel in place.

If you've booked an Advance ticket you'll have a seat reservation as standard. If you don't have a seat reservation with your ticket you must make one to travel. It's free and easy to do, here's what you need to know:

  • If you have a flexible Anytime or Open ticket or you have a Season Ticket you can make a free reservation online.
  • Reservations can be made up to 5 minutes before a trains' scheduled departure.
  • If you've made a seat reservation with your Flexible or Season Tickets but can no longer travel at the time you've reserved, please cancel your reservation in your account area and simply make another reservation.
  • If you need to reserve a bike space as well, please call 03457 225 333.
  • If the last trains is full don’t worry, station staff will use alternative transport to get you to your destination.
How do I make a reservation to buy a ticket at a station ticket office?
A ticket office can make a reservation or you can obtain one online. They are available up to 5 minutes before the train leaves the station you're departing from. They are free of charge.

if you need a reservation to travel on LNER Then the ticket office shouldn’t sell LNER tickets unless they can access the LNER reservation system and allocate you a seat etc.
They won't, but many tickets are available on other train operators trains as well which don't require reservations

If you can’t get a reservation before buying an LNER ticket at a ticket office then the ticket office shouldn’t be able to sell you a ticket.....
They won't but many tickets are available on other train operators trains as well which don't require reservations
 

Tallguy

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You need a reservation to travel on an LNER train. You may not be able to board if you do not have a reservation.

A ticket office can make a reservation or you can obtain one online. They are available up to 5 minutes before the train leaves the station you're departing from. They are free of charge.
Well it’s good news that the ticket office can make the reservation for me at the same time they sell me the ticket. Wonder if the ticket machines can also do that?

Where on the LNER website can I make a reservation without buying a ticket? I don’t think you can - you have to buy a ticket at the same time.

So I rock up at Stevenage and buy a one way ticket to KX. I’m not asked which TOC I want to travel with Or I buy a ticket from the machine which doesn’t give me the option. The next train in is an LNER and I board it without a reservation. Unless there is someone checking reservations at every door to the train this won’t work..... What if I buy a ticket from my local station at Princes Risborough to Stevenage via Kings Cross. How does the ticket clerk or machine know which TOC I want and the time of the train I will catch?

LNER can say what they want, but the current systems do not support what they wish to achieve.
 

800001

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[/QUOTE]
Where on the LNER website can I make a reservation without buying a ticket? I don’t think you can - you have to buy a ticket at the same time.
On the Home page of the lner website in Green, and on the home page of there App in Orange, no hunting around it's there straight away, and takes less than a minute to do.

Can do it after you have bought a ticket.
 

Tallguy

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On the Home page of the lner website in Green, and on the home page of there App in Orange, no hunting around it's there straight away, and takes less than a minute to do.

Can do it after you have bought a ticket.
[/QUOTE]
Now that is interesting, thanks for pointing that out, have now seen it. However, this doesn’t get around the problem of me buying a ticket from Princes Risborough to say Stevenage, not knowing about the reservation policy and turning up at KX to board the first available train which happens to be a LNER service without a reservation. And unless there is someone checking reservations at every door to the train or closing the doors and holding the train whilst everyone on board gets their ticket and reservation checked it becomes futile and unworkable. Even if the guard or similar comes and checks my ticket once the train is moving, all they could do is ask me to leave at the next station which would be my destination. Although this does bring into question if my ticket is actually valid without a reservation under the conditions of carriage. This is becoming more complex......
 

Robertj21a

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The ticket offices at Stevenage should ask you which operator you are travelling with as there are cheaper 'LNER only' tickets between Stevenage and London at certain times of the day. At the moment they should only sell an 'LNER only' ticket with accompanying reservations. There are posters at the station stating that you must have a reservation to travel on an LNER train.



Buying a ticket 10 minutes before departure doesn't necessarily mean you have a seat reservation. Normally if there are no seats available you can choose to stand. Currently LNER require you to have a seat reservation as well as a ticket to travel on their services to maintain social distancing.
I've just remembered why I vowed to give up travelling by train.
 

clagmonster

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Even if the guard or similar comes and checks my ticket once the train is moving, all they could do is ask me to leave at the next station which would be my destination. Although this does bring into question if my ticket is actually valid without a reservation under the conditions of carriage. This is becoming more complex......
Could they not report for prosecution under byelaw 19:
" 19. Classes of accommodation, reserved seats and sleeping berths Except with permission from an authorised person, no person shall remain in any seat, berth or any part of a train where a notice indicates that it is reserved for a specified ticket holder or holders of tickets of a specific class, except the holder of a valid ticket entitling him to be in that particular place. "

As the train is reservations compulsory, then the entire train is reserved for ticket holders with reservations. Not sure if that would work or not as I am not a legal expert.
 

Tallguy

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Could they not report for prosecution under byelaw 19:
" 19. Classes of accommodation, reserved seats and sleeping berths Except with permission from an authorised person, no person shall remain in any seat, berth or any part of a train where a notice indicates that it is reserved for a specified ticket holder or holders of tickets of a specific class, except the holder of a valid ticket entitling him to be in that particular place. "

As the train is reservations compulsory, then the entire train is reserved for ticket holders with reservations. Not sure if that would work or not as I am not a legal expert.
I suggest that it depends upon the conditions of carriage. If the ticket holder who hasn’t got a reservation is occupying a non reserved but available seat under the LNER COVID restrictions, is their ticket still valid as they didn’t have a reservation?
 

Hadders

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On the Home page of the lner website in Green, and on the home page of there App in Orange, no hunting around it's there straight away, and takes less than a minute to do.

Can do it after you have bought a ticket.
Now that is interesting, thanks for pointing that out, have now seen it. However, this doesn’t get around the problem of me buying a ticket from Princes Risborough to say Stevenage, not knowing about the reservation policy and turning up at KX to board the first available train which happens to be a LNER service without a reservation. And unless there is someone checking reservations at every door to the train or closing the doors and holding the train whilst everyone on board gets their ticket and reservation checked it becomes futile and unworkable. Even if the guard or similar comes and checks my ticket once the train is moving, all they could do is ask me to leave at the next station which would be my destination. Although this does bring into question if my ticket is actually valid without a reservation under the conditions of carriage. This is becoming more complex......
Trains that are 'Reservation Compulsory' is nothing new, they existed under British Rail, and I think GWR have done something similar on trains between Paddington and Cardiff on match days at the Millennium Stadium. LNER making all of their trains 'Reservations Compulsory' is a bit different.

At LNER stations there are posters advising that reservations are mandatory and that you must sit in your reserved seat. The posters tell you how to obtain a reservation if you haven't got one. Although I've not experienced a check prior to boarding I'm sure they do happen on busy trains and people without a reservation would not be allowed to board. This is to allow appropriate social distancing to be maintained during the pandemic. I do hope it doesn't continue once the pandemic is over.
 
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185143

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Well it’s good news that the ticket office can make the reservation for me at the same time they sell me the ticket. Wonder if the ticket machines can also do that?

Where on the LNER website can I make a reservation without buying a ticket? I don’t think you can - you have to buy a ticket at the same time.

So I rock up at Stevenage and buy a one way ticket to KX. I’m not asked which TOC I want to travel with Or I buy a ticket from the machine which doesn’t give me the option. The next train in is an LNER and I board it without a reservation. Unless there is someone checking reservations at every door to the train this won’t work..... What if I buy a ticket from my local station at Princes Risborough to Stevenage via Kings Cross. How does the ticket clerk or machine know which TOC I want and the time of the train I will catch?

LNER can say what they want, but the current systems do not support what they wish to achieve.
LNERs machines certainly can.

I've also made reservations (admittedly just a counted place) on a CrossCountry service on the day (although a few hours earlier rather than 15 or so minutes earlier) from a Northern TVM back in July as well. The machine seemed to know I had to have one.
 

riceuten

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I thought LNER was set down only for Southbound trains through Stevenage anyway?
Nope. I live in Stevenage and regularly used to catch the LNER (and GNER, and VTEC) trains to London around 9am. And occasionally had my ticket checked.

Good luck by the way entering most places in London for example without checking in on your phone in some manner for Track and Trace - even if you don't have the NHS app everywhere I visited today expected me to scan a QR code and fill out a web form.
Not sure how you can enforce something like this if people don't have smartphones and/or the app. Who wants to turn away customers who don't?
 

northernbelle

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I downloaded the app, registered and booked two seats in about 90 seconds on Friday night - at about 2052 before boarding the 2100 Kings Cross - Peterborough.

I think folk just need to do their bit and get on with what they're being asked for the greater good. It shouldn't need enforcement if people realised they have to take responsibility for societal benefits.

Had I had no phone, I could've asked the ticket office to do it for me, or boarded a GTR service instead.
 

greyman42

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I think folk just need to do their bit and get on with what they're being asked for the greater good. It shouldn't need enforcement if people realised they have to take responsibility for societal benefits.
Every LNER service i have used since we went into lockdown has been largely empty so making reservations was pointless.
 

yorkie

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I downloaded the app, registered and booked two seats in about 90 seconds on Friday night - at about 2052 before boarding the 2100 Kings Cross - Peterborough.

I think folk just need to do their bit and get on with what they're being asked for the greater good. It shouldn't need enforcement if people realised they have to take responsibility for societal benefits.

Had I had no phone, I could've asked the ticket office to do it for me, or boarded a GTR service instead.
But I've been on trains that were full between Stevenage and London which had plenty of spare seats.

In some cases you can only book from York to London if you use a site such as Trainsplit, which looks for slower alternatives; I had an itinerary that involved a change at Stevenage for that reason, but due to there being plenty of spare seats, I stayed on the train.
 

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But I've been on trains that were full between Stevenage and London which had plenty of spare seats.

In some cases you can only book from York to London if you use a site such as Trainsplit, which looks for slower alternatives; I had an itinerary that involved a change at Stevenage for that reason, but due to there being plenty of spare seats, I stayed on the train.
Now I'm confused - they were full but had spare seats?
 

yorkie

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Now I'm confused - they were full but had spare seats?
I have not been on LNER very recently but see reports in the Trip Reports section; I and others provided passenger counts or observations on many trains, some of which were 'full' from a booking perspective and yet many spare seats were observed.

Edit: here are two examples
1002 yrk to kgx between Stevenage and kings cross:

Coach A: didn't walk through
B: ditto
C: 13
G: 23
H: 36
J: 31
K: 13 std /11 1st
L: 12
M: out of use

This train was "sold out" for this section between Stevenage and London.

Edit: As stated below, there may have been more people on this train than there would normally be, due to disruption the previous evening
My morning train from York to London was not busy, yet was purportedly fully reserved. Bizarre.
 

alistairlees

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Now I'm confused - they were full but had spare seats?
Probably means full in the reservation system, but had spare seats. It’s not a new thing, because of the way the reservation system works and because not everyone travels on their intended train anyway.
 

northernbelle

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I have not been on LNER very recently but see reports in the Trip Reports section; I and others provided passenger counts or observations on many trains, some of which were 'full' from a booking perspective and yet many spare seats were observed.

Edit: here are two examples
I wonder if 'short hop' reservations are blocked once a certain quota has been reached to preserve space for potential longer distance travellers? Especially as alternatives exist along that section of route
 

Haywain

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I wonder if 'short hop' reservations are blocked once a certain quota has been reached to preserve space for potential longer distance travellers? Especially as alternatives exist along that section of route
They are not.
 

sheff1

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I think folk just need to do their bit and get on with what they're being asked for the greater good. It shouldn't need enforcement if people realised they have to take responsibility for societal benefits.

Had I had no phone, I could've asked the ticket office to do it for me, or boarded a GTR service instead.
Can you enlighten me as to what benefits to society are achieved by queuing at a booking office to get a reservation for a 20 min journey on a train which is around 25% full ?
 

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