LNER New Fares Trial

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Furrball, 2 Jan 2020.

  1. Furrball

    Furrball Member

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    So, as expected the switch to even pricing for outbound and return removes the date flexibility on the return leg currently available on an off peak return ticket

    From Twitter

     
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  3. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Return tickets from Finsbury Park routed '+ Any Permitted' are still available and at the same price as from London Terminals....
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    For many journeys (e.g. Bradford to London) it will be cheaper to buy a combination of tickets, while for others (e.g. Wakefield to London) it will be cheaper to buy a longer distance ticket and start or finish short.

    I wouldn't trust the prices on LNER's website; I'd first check if it's cheaper to buy a longer distance ticket by comparing the fares on www.brfares.com (or ask on this forum!) and, if it isn't, then use www.trainsplit.com to see if a cheaper combination of tickets is available, compared to a through fare.

    It's rare that I actually buy a walk-up ticket with the origin and destination of where I am going from and to; it's nearly always either cheaper to buy a combination of fares or a longer distance fare and start/finish short.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jan 2020
  5. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Or London to Burley Park. It is only the direct flows between London and Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh which have been amended and not the relevant fares clusters.
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Indeed! These single fares certainly have their uses but there is a loss of flexibility. Interestingly I see only Super Off Peak and Anytime fares are offered on these flows, previously there was an (admittedly rather expensive) Off Peak ticket available.

    I assume the Super Off Peak Single is now the regulated fare on these flows?
     
  7. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    This is terrible. The right thing to do here would be to offer single tickets at 50% of the cost of the return ticket. At the same time, continue to offer the return tickets (with one month validity). That way the customer is still able to return (and break their journey) anytime within the month and those making just a single trip are not ripped off.
     
  8. Furrball

    Furrball Member

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    But surely this is just the start of the 'improved' ticket structure so logically if it continues the 1 month flexibility will be removed everywhere?

    What is has now introduced is a further level of split ticketing to maintain the 1 month return portion validity?
     
  9. trenopendo

    trenopendo Member

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    This smells like an exploratory push from Big TOC to remove flexibility and jack up prices. I don't like it.
     
  10. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Playing devils advocate for a moment.

    A Super Off Peak Single from London to Edinburgh last week cost £146.40, with a Super Off Peak Return £147.40. The return portion was valid for a month.

    Now a Super Off Peak Single costs £75.75. The return ticket has been abolished.

    The new system loses the flexibility of a months validity on the return portion (affecting break of journey)
    But it is better for single journeys and gives the ability to fix and match with an Advance or Anytime Single in the opposite direction.

    People say they want fares to be simpler....
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    During the trial period at least, we can get that ability - we just need to know what to ask for! Spread the word! ;)
    The DfT want to abolish period returns.
     
  12. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Isn't this how it's done in the rest of Europe? Aren't their fares much fairer than ours?
     
  13. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Compulsory reservations only? I do hope we're not moving in that direction.
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Let's not go there!

    That's a whole new topic: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...in-trains-plan-for-airline-style-fare.181623/

    I assume @Wallsendmag had in mind countries like Portugal or Czech Republic where the trains are all single leg pricing (and not reservations compulsory), however their fares are "fairer "because they are cheaper than ours, but again that's another story!

    Let's try not to deviate too much from the trial in this thread; we've had many threads for simplification and fare proposals before (and I'm not stopping anyone making another one!)
     
  15. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Looks good when you can't commit to a specific train for the return journey.

    I know that people here obsess about break of journey but how many travellers actually have a need for it?
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Look at it another way: how many people who have cars always just do a long distance journey as two returns with no breaks and that's it?

    Loads of people who make longer distance journeys do stop off somewhere; it's not common for short journeys but it's very common for longer journeys. This should not cost any more than it does at present, should it?!

    Why not provide both options? Right now people do have both options - providing they know to ask for a ticket from somewhere like Finsbury Park or Kentish Town, and not London Terminals. I would not support having that option unilaterally removed.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd say just make all the singles valid two days (I.e. 0429 on day three). That will cover the vast majority of cases.
     
  18. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    There's no reason why single leg pricing has to mean the abolishment of period return tickets. But they don't suit the industry; they (are perceived to) provide too great a revenue protection risk and the TOCs have greater incumbent liabilities.

    Period are admittedly part of the reason why tickets are seen as complicated, because a number of flows have day returns as well as period returns, each priced differently depending on whether they're Super Off-Peak, Off-Peak or Anytime. When combined with different routes available for certain journeys (both geographic and TOC restricted) this can lead to nearly double digit amounts of different return tickets being available for one journey.

    There isn't really any reason why it has to be this complex though - if the industry were willing to accept the small amount of revenue loss that comes through pricing Singles that currently cost nearly the same as a Return at half the cost of the Return, then there would be no need from that angle to maintain the same excessive number of different tickets for each flow. You'd just need one different ticket type for each route and time restriction. Even here there would be quite a lot of rationalisation to achieve in terms of redundant differences in time restrictions (e.g. between a current Off-Peak Day Return and Period Return).

    The loss of break of journey flexibility over several days (up to a month) could only be rectified if prices adopted a more uniform rate along a certain line of route (i.e. moving to the somewhat problematic concept of mileage based pricing). Otherwise a form of price capping using Smartcards or some form of PAYG would have to be adopted to stop the total cost of travel exceeding the current cost of the period return. The computation needed to calculate this would be quite significant I'd have thought.
     
  19. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    So in essence they have reduced the cost of a super off peak single ticket by 50%. thats impressive by any measure ;)
     
  20. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    If you look at Super Off Peak Singles from London to places like Drem and Berwick, you find there are two fares.
    One (SSS) is the Off-Peak-Return minus £1 as before, with break of journey allowed.
    The new half-price single (SSU) is also available, but without break of journey.
    The return (SSR) is still available.
    All carry the same restriction (9F).

    This is different to the Edinburgh situation where a half price SSS is the only fare offered, and allows break of journey (also 9F).
    The return SSR is not available.
    Very odd.
    Presumably the new Edinburgh tickets are also valid from Euston on Avanti.
     
  21. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Super Off-Peak Singles were purchaseable for one-way journeys entirely on LNER at (approximately, plus or minus a few rounding errors) their current price, from between when VTEC introduced their terrible new booking system back in about 2016/17, to very recently. So hardly impressive at all - just stopping an uncompetitive and likely illegal practice with some PR fanfare.

    Nothing has changed in terms of the fare types sold except for tickets between London Terminals and each of Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. All other journeys/flows are unaffected. The break of journey restriction has never been communicated to passengers through any booking engine I've seen, and it's not referred to on the ticket so it's clearly unenforceable. The SSU is like Avanti West Coast's (former Virgin's) "Saver Half" - it's only sold as part of a return journey.

    They're valid just the same as before.
     
  22. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    For years, singles costing just 10p less than returns has been complained about. In days gone by, the line was that this was to encourage people to buy and use returns.

    Fixing this was always simple: Halve the price of returns to arrive at a single.

    There's no need to withdraw returns to do that, and it doesn't simplify anything to do so.
     
  23. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Care to elaborate on this with some facts to back it up?
     
  24. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    I always thought singles were deliberately priced just below the price of a return to deter fare evasion?
    Many times at Kings Cross, the barriers to platforms 9-11 would be wide open in the late evening. Someone travelling from, say, Hatfield in the morning might who knew this might just buy a single and ‘chance it’ on the way back. But the risk/reward to save just 10p is a powerful deterrent, no?
     
  25. CHESHIRECAT

    CHESHIRECAT Member

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    So buy Edinburgh to King's x....travel from Manchester to Euston on a Peak train...simples!!!
     
  26. Terrier

    Terrier Member

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    Wouldn't be accepted seeing as the first connection from Edinburgh doesn't arrive into Manchester till 0924 so in time for the first off peak at 0935
     
  27. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    This has been a phenomeonon for a long time, even for "high peak" trains where Anytime tickets are required one way or another. Virgin simply got too greedy and inflated the Anytime Return to Manchester to a hair under four times the Off-Peak Return.

    It indeed might not be accepted, but that would be because staff on the railways are virtually never given the training to properly identify what time tickets are valid. "Rules of thumb" are passed down from generation to generation; the idea of using restriction codes to determine validity seems a positively strange concept to many. So in other words it would be incorrectly rejected, because there are no break of journey restrictions and thus you can quite permissibly start your journey at Manchester.
     
  28. Searle

    Searle Established Member

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    I really don't think it's common for people to break a journey on the London - Edinburgh route overnight. Unless you have planned in advance - who gets off a train from Edinburgh to London at York without having accommodation already booked? If you have accommodation booked, then you also have the option of using advance tickets.

    The aim of the scheme is to make the ticketing simpler, and I think it provides much better value this way - if you are only going one way then you're saving a ton of money, and if you are going both ways, then just buy two singles on the days you are travelling.
     
  29. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    SSU is not new. It's an offer which has been long standing for quite a while now (I think East Coast days) and is only available online when booked with an AP in one direction. LNER have the details here.

    The fares are still SSS and are only available between London - Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh not any intermediate stations. Drem and Berwick therefore continue to show the existing range of fares that until 02/02/2020 were also available at those three stations.
     
  30. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    What about those journey when you don't know when you are coming back? You might want to stay an extra night if visiting family and perhaps your business appointments are done quicker and you are able to come home a day earlier.

    It really is simple: price the single at 50% of the return fare. At the same time keep the period return for those who want the flexibility of being able to come back when they want. Yes, there will be some happy to buy 2 singles but that is annoying. I would rather buy one ticket and come back when I please.
     
  31. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    It might not be accepted but it should be. There is no break of journey restriction on the ticket meaning that you can start short if you want to i.e. Manchester rather than Edinburgh (you could also be resuming your journey after an overnight break). The restriction code of the the Edinburgh to London Super Off-Peak Single is 1K which prevents arriving in London before 1117 apart from specific differences at specific listed stations. Euston is one of those where there is a difference and this is that arrivals before 1005 are barred. So there's no reason you couldn't use the 0755 from Manchester which arrives at 1016 rather than the 0935 arriving at 1140.

    That is all perfectly permitted within the rules and is perfectly valid. I however severely doubt that one would have a trouble free journey as doubtlessly Avanti's staff would refuse to accept that it is valid.

    Wonder if anyone in charge of this trial has thought of the implications for Avanti's revenue...
     

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