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LNER split ticketing "Smart Save"

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Hadders

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I think their contract committed them to carrying those passengers from London. Of course, what was in the franchise agreement with VTEC isn't very relevant now, but the Department presumably mandated it because there wasn't enough space on alternative services at that time.
Given that LNER recently introduced 'LNER only' fares between Stevenage and Kings Cross it does suggest that they don't want their services to be pick/set down only at Stevenage.
 
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johntea

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I think the only reason a workplace that hasn't got money to burn may choose not to use Trainsplit is if they want a corporate account with invoicing, and that sort of thing.

The tickets are all issued on one PDF (where e-tickets are available, which is nearly all journeys I make these days) which is as good as one ticket for accounting purposes, if the tickets have to be submitted for reimbursement. It's no less convenient than being issued with one ticket really; it's just multiple pages on a PDF instead of one page.

At my workplace these days we don't even have to fork out for travel and accommodation then claim the expenses back later, just email HR 'right I'm on a training course in London for a week travelling X returning Y staying at Z' and they just pass that on to a local travel booking company who sort out all the logistics / financials and the tickets and bookings magically land on my desk a few days later!

Business expenses can be a weird and wonderful world, they don't really seem to care that much if your ticket is £40 or £400 as long as you're not pushing your luck by travelling in First Class and staying at the Ritz!
 

Hadders

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At my workplace these days we don't even have to fork out for travel and accommodation then claim the expenses back later, just email HR 'right I'm on a training course in London for a week travelling X returning Y staying at Z' and they just pass that on to a local travel booking company who sort out all the logistics / financials and the tickets and bookings magically land on my desk a few days later!

Business expenses can be a weird and wonderful world, they don't really seem to care that much if your ticket is £40 or £400 as long as you're not pushing your luck by travelling in First Class and staying at the Ritz!
With my employer you don't even have to email HR. All I have to do to book rail, air or hotels is log onto the travel and book (just like any web site). Only flights and hotels 'within policy' are shown. With rail you are expected to use the cheapest option but the system will allow a more expensive ticket to be booked with an appropriate explanation.

Once the tickets have been booked I get the eticket or ToD details emailed to me immediately and my line manager gets an email detailing what I have booked. The cost is directly charged to our departmental cost centre.

Simples.
 

father_jack

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Back on the actual topic, has anyone any advice on what to do when a customer comes to the counter asking for a ticket from A to Q costing £xx.xx and flashing an app, but the app has formulated the ticket as a multi split A-E E-H H-M and M-Q. And has not specified the splits.

Strictly speaking the ticket office is still guided by the combination of tickets rules in the Knowledgebase so should you start trying to dissect the journey (and probably still never get the same price !!!).

It's already causing conflict especially when customer only has cash to pay with or a voucher to use up. The other more worrying aspect is that you're eventually left to say "well buy it on the app", another nail in the ticket office coffin.
 

Starmill

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Back on the actual topic, has anyone any advice on what to do when a customer comes to the counter asking for a ticket from A to Q costing £xx.xx and flashing an app, but the app has formulated the ticket as a multi split A-E E-H H-M and M-Q. And has not specified the splits.

Strictly speaking the ticket office is still guided by the combination of tickets rules in the Knowledgebase so should you start trying to dissect the journey (and probably still never get the same price !!!).

It's already causing conflict especially when customer only has cash to pay with or a voucher to use up. The other more worrying aspect is that you're eventually left to say "well buy it on the app", another nail in the ticket office coffin.
If the split ticketing service won't reveal what the splits it's offering are, there's nothing you can do. Although a bit of local knowledge will mean that you can have a very good guess based on where the person is going. For example if the customer is travelling one way from Birmingham to Manchester, there are only a handful of places the split could be, and the overwhelmingly most likely are Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.
 

paul1609

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Back on the actual topic, has anyone any advice on what to do when a customer comes to the counter asking for a ticket from A to Q costing £xx.xx and flashing an app, but the app has formulated the ticket as a multi split A-E E-H H-M and M-Q. And has not specified the splits.

Strictly speaking the ticket office is still guided by the combination of tickets rules in the Knowledgebase so should you start trying to dissect the journey (and probably still never get the same price !!!).

It's already causing conflict especially when customer only has cash to pay with or a voucher to use up. The other more worrying aspect is that you're eventually left to say "well buy it on the app", another nail in the ticket office coffin.
Realistiically the LNER split save is the death call for ticket offices unless they are going to offer the same fares. Its only a matter of time before a consumer group takes them to task. At the very least there should be warning notices on the windows that LNER offer cheaper tickets online.
 

Deerfold

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Back on the actual topic, has anyone any advice on what to do when a customer comes to the counter asking for a ticket from A to Q costing £xx.xx and flashing an app, but the app has formulated the ticket as a multi split A-E E-H H-M and M-Q. And has not specified the splits.

Strictly speaking the ticket office is still guided by the combination of tickets rules in the Knowledgebase so should you start trying to dissect the journey (and probably still never get the same price !!!).

It's already causing conflict especially when customer only has cash to pay with or a voucher to use up. The other more worrying aspect is that you're eventually left to say "well buy it on the app", another nail in the ticket office coffin.

And, following on from that, I'll repeat my earlier question - are other providers permitted to offer splits as just one ticket?
 

Wallsendmag

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And, following on from that, I'll repeat my earlier question - are other providers permitted to offer splits as just one ticket?
To be honest knowing how we do it I can't see any reason why they counldn't. Although they may not want to. Virgin West Coast were looking at a very different way of doing the same thing but I don't know what's happened to that since the Franchise change.
 

MikeWh

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I think the more pertinent question is "does the one ticket say where the train must call?"
 

Starmill

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You could argue that a split that's only available for Advance tickets and only with the same TOC isn't really a split in the conventional sense at all. All that's really happening is the pricing model behind the Advance ticket tiers is gaining increased granularity for where a cheaper tier is available in part but not all of the customer's journey on that train.

It never made any sense in the first place for an Advance to be available only at the lowest tier that was available for the customer's entire journey on one train. It stymied operators enormously by making tickets for long journeys very very expensive if the quota was sold out on a short 20 minute segment, or blocked the sale of an Advance entirely on a train which had large numbers of empty seats for a high proportion of its journey, but no quota remaining for a short segment, causing them to remain unsold when only a very high Anytime Single price was offered. It only got done that way because of the product types inherited from BR (who even used to require outward and return quota to be available on Advance Purchase Excursion products).

To continue with my example of the 1730 from London to Edinburgh, LNER will be able to offer one ticket at the rate of almost the Anytime Single price from London to Peterborough plus a much lower Advance from Peterborough to Edinburgh, thus better matching supply with demand.

Of course, if LNER are permitted to keep mandatory reservation long-term, they will likely try to use this to deny boarding of large numbers of low-yield season ticket holders. Alternatively they might be permitted not to accept Seasons at all in future. You can be certain that, however it's achieved, LNER will want to offer first refusal to high-yield customers.

I suppose if there was disruption, you'd still need to know as you'd need to take alternative trains that stopped at the split points.
Has it been confirmed that a ticket once issued actually tells the customer what the split points are?
 
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Deerfold

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I suppose if there was disruption, you'd still need to know as you'd need to take alternative trains that stopped at the split points.
Presumably, if the ticket doesn't tell you that, in times of disruption you don't need to stick to them.
 

MikeWh

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You could argue that a split that's only available for Advance tickets and only with the same TOC isn't really a split in the conventional sense at all.
From the OP:

What you need to know


LNER Smart Save is eligible on;

  • Fares for LNER journeys purchased on the LNER website or mobile app
  • Advance and flexible tickets (off-peak, peak and open singles and returns)
  • eTicket only. Simply print it at home, or show onscreen on your mobile.
 

paul1609

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You could argue that a split that's only available for Advance tickets and only with the same TOC isn't really a split in the conventional sense at all. All that's really happening is the pricing model behind the Advance ticket tiers is gaining increased granularity for where a cheaper tier is available in part but not all of the customer's journey on that train.

It never made any sense in the first place for an Advance to be available only at the lowest tier that was available for the customer's entire journey on one train. It stymied operators enormously by making tickets for long journeys very very expensive if the quota was sold out on a short 20 minute segment, or blocked the sale of an Advance entirely on a train which had large numbers of empty seats for a high proportion of its journey, but no quota remaining for a short segment, causing them to remain unsold when only a very high Anytime Single price was offered. It only got done that way because of the product types inherited from BR (who even used to require outward and return quota to be available on Advance Purchase Excursion products).

To continue with my

Of course, if LNER are permitted to keep mandatory reservation long-term, they will likely try to use this to deny boarding of large numbers of low-yield season ticket holders. Alternatively they might be permitted not to accept Seasons at all in future. You can be certain that, however it's achieved, LNER will want to offer first refusal to high-yield customers.
The problem with that is that Peterborough has season tickets that are any permitted and GN/Thameslink only. I wouldnt mind betting that LNERs split of the any permitted seasons as a whole pre covid considerably out weighs the sale of London to Newcastle advances on a couple of peak trains. Theres not a huge Peterborough advantage to LNER anymore to a number of destinations since the thameslink handover and thats only going to become worse once crossrail opens.
 

Starmill

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The problem with that is that Peterborough has season tickets that are any permitted and GN/Thameslink only. I wouldnt mind betting that LNERs split of the any permitted seasons as a whole pre covid considerably out weighs the sale of London to Newcastle advances on a couple of peak trains.
Not a very good bet. An annual ticket between London and Peterborough is £8,224, or just £17.72 per journey. After TLGN have taken their share as, I suggested, LNER likely to be under £15 per person. Even a 7 day only yields £20.56 to be split between the two. Wheras an Advance to Newcastle is easily £60 - £90.

From the OP:
I thought that, but then it was suggested that the ticket was only valid on the booked train. So I don't know.
 

Deerfold

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Not a very good bet. An annual ticket between London and Peterborough is £8,224, or just £17.72 per journey. After TLGN have taken their share as, I suggested, LNER likely to be under £15 per person. Even a 7 day only yields £20.56 to be split between the two. Wheras an Advance to Newcastle is easily £60 - £90.

I can't see TLGN getting a lot. Except for very late in the day they are almost always overtaken by an LNER service.

It's been a while since I got an advance between London and Newcastle but when I did, they were regularly a lot less than that. There's usually a lot of footfall at Peterborough.
 

Watershed

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I can't see TLGN getting a lot. Except for very late in the day they are almost always overtaken by an LNER service.

It's been a while since I got an advance between London and Newcastle but when I did, they were regularly a lot less than that. There's usually a lot of footfall at Peterborough.
Also notable that it takes just 2 peak-time return journeys a week - or 1⅓ averaged over an annual season - for a season ticket to be worthwhile.

Therefore a season ticket holder might only make 2 or 3 journeys a week - and so the effective fare paid per journey could easily be twice what @Starmill calculated.

There is also the guaranteed nature of season ticket income to consider.
 

Starmill

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Therefore a season ticket holder might only make 2 or 3 journeys a week - and so the effective fare paid per journey could easily be twice what @Starmill calculated.
You wouldn't actually be able to plan for the capacity this created though because the customer could travel on any train. You would need to look at the average number of London to Peterborough travellers by day of the week and week of the year. In the future, if season ticket holders cannot travel without reserving in advance, or cannot travel at all, the calculation is much changed. But given the sales of monthly or longer season tickets for routes as expensive as Peterborough to London might never recover, an entirely novel approach may well be justified here. Wakefield to Leeds will be a much tougher one. In my experience large numbers of travellers were entirely happy with standing accommodation on LNER services for this journey, as it's not such a hardship and is meaningfully better than having to wait for the next train (on which you were also very likely to be standing if the LNER service didn't have any available unreserved seats).
 

Watershed

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There was.
Yes, true, but I am considering the case of actual season ticket holders vs putative passengers with Advance tickets. Even if the office only becomes a part-time affair in future, many Peterborough commuters will still find season tickets their best value option - particularly since Off-Peak tickets are highly restrictive on that route. On other flows the situation may of course differ.

You wouldn't actually be able to plan for the capacity this created though because the customer could travel on any train. You would need to look at the average number of London to Peterborough travellers by day of the week and week of the year. In the future, if season ticket holders cannot travel without reserving in advance, or cannot travel at all, the calculation is much changed. But given the sales of monthly or longer season tickets for routes as expensive as Peterborough to London might never recover, an entirely novel approach may well be justified here. Wakefield to Leeds will be a much tougher one. In my experience large numbers of travellers were entirely happy with standing accommodation on LNER services for this journey, as it's not such a hardship and is meaningfully better than having to wait for the next train (on which you were also very likely to be standing if the LNER service didn't have any available unreserved seats).
In theory commuters should, amongst larger sample sizes, evenly distribute themselves between the days of the week they travel, and so a reservation compulsory system wouldn't be needed to balance demand between days.

In practice the story will likely be different, with Tuesday to Thursday busier than Monday or Friday, but the principle remains (and in any case the railway will need to be able to cater to the highest peak demand out of any of the days).
 
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