Manchester - Euston £320 ret??

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Howardh, 9 May 2019.

  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/new...ment/?action=success#comments-feedback-anchor

    From the comments -
    A walk-on fare standard class is nowhere near....I get a peak train is £125 walk-on single at worst, so where's the writer got his figures from??
     
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  3. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    The anytime return fare is actually £350! Utterly insane.
    The anytime single is £175, so exactly half.
    Not sure where he gets £1320 for 4 from mind you.

    As for your £125 single, NRE suggests that those are advance fares (so not walk on tickets).
     
  4. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    What is a standard class walk-on ticket? Can't look now as peak morning finished today!

    If I had to leave home immediately for London - I've just been on the Virgin site and the 1315 is £41 single which I could book online right now, send to my phone (I think) or pick the tickets up at the station. If I was at Piccadilly Station right now, the next train is £51.50 looking at NRE which I presume I could buy from the machine on the concourse.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2019
  5. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    Does it state time of travel, when he is returning and which Manchester station he is travelling from?
    I've just checked on National Rail and I can travel on the 1115 Piccadilly to Euston for £41.00 (advance ticket still available) and return after 6pm on an off peak ticket for around £45.00. Not bad considering this allows me to travel in the next 15 minutes
     
  6. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    They are what I said in my post.
    £350 return or £175 single (assuming Man Picc to Euston).
    Utterly insane prices.

    And yes - before anyone says, I know that few "normal" people will pay such fares but it is still insane. Especially as, if what is said above about advance fares being available for travel within 15 mins is true. How on earth can those prices be justified? Of course we all know Virgin want to move railway ticket pricing to be more like airline ticket pricing, and you can see that in these prices!
     
  7. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    I get confused over all of these different ticket prices. Is a walk on price that given when you turn up for travel and look to purchase your ticket there and then at a TVM or ticket office?

    As for the advances, the 1115 is still available if anyone is interested ;) in fact there are advances available for the next 5 VT services out of Manc Picc getting as cheap as £29 (again that is from National Rail)
     
  8. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Thanks for that clarification - even so if you HAVE to travel out immediately (business call, family member ill etc) you probably wouldn't HAVE to come back peak and could buy your (anytime) return even just an hour in advance cheaper. Even buy it on the train out via wifi!!
     
  9. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Adds - surely the number of pax who have made an instant decision to travel, have walked to the station and bought the most expensive walk-on ticket (other than businessmen whose companies pay for the ticket) must be absolutely minute; people must surely realise now that even an hour ahead you can make significant savings by going on-line - maybe delay your journey by 20 mins could save £££'s??? But I'm not a railway insider checking tickets!!

    Note; when I was in Ibiza and got a call at midnight that my mother had been taken very ill and could I return home (mainly to care for dad who was distraught) I was on to skyscanner and had a choice of three direct flights the following morning, cheapest was £450 and I was home by 2pm - I'd expect to do the same with the railways!! Certainly wouldn't just walk-on for long distance unless I was loaded or had my ticket paid for me!
     
  10. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    It's understandable that there is confusion due to the widespread variation in restrictions and ticket types available throughout the country, but the ticketing for this route is among the simpler ones out there. There is the Anytime ticket, which is ludicrously priced (more expensive than a ticket to Edinburgh, which is just as valid to travel from Manchester to London and back) and which is valid at any time. There is the Off-Peak ticket, which is fairly reasonably priced as they go, and is not tied to a specific service, but which has extensive time restrictions. And then there is a range of Advance tickets, which are valid on the booked train only.

    Anytime and Off-Peak tickets are known as walk-on tickets, because they can be purchased for the same price at any point up to the moment before you board, and they are not tied to a specific train. You can buy them on any means of ticket retailing. Advances are sold on apps and websites at any time up till 1 hour before departure for Virgin (time limits vary by company), and are sold up until the day before travel at the ticket office. You cannot buy them on ticket machines (though you can pick up ones bought online there).
     
  11. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    While this may be true of Virgin Trains, is not is true for all TOCs. LNER will sell on the day Advance tickets through TVMs and at Travel Centres, as well as on the web.
     
  12. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Ah, but LNER are more focussed on actually generating revenue than Virgin, who seem more interested in stubbornly adhering to procedures (yes, that includes their woeful training of ticket office staff!)
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The TVMs concerned, which are a new design that sell via a rather cack-handed journey planner, were introduced by VTEC during their tenure.

    That said, I can see why TOCs want to do this - move ticketing away from the station and there is a LOT of money to be saved.

    One of the biggest issues is that people don't know when Advances will be released. With airlines, tickets are not on sale at all until released. With trains you just see the walk-ups and assume it's £300. There must be a better way to do this.
     
  14. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    People in general? Or that advances can be released at any time? Virgin release them 12 weeks in advance (I'm waiting to book 1st Aug) but I don't know if other TOC's have the same, different or just release when they feel like. So if I were travelling with any other TOC and looked up the fare today for 1st August, I would have no idea if cheaper tickets would be available if I waited - just like I would have no idea if the price Jet2 or Ryanair charge today would be less (or more) next month.

    With airlines it's a lottery, presumably less so for the railways but will it be a lottery if they go down the airlines ticketing route?
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not to anything like the same effect. Prices still mostly trend up (or stay the same) up to departure, you almost never get £300 -> £20 which you can when Advances are released.
     
  16. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Sure? I get quotes of anything from £150 upwards when I first start searching flights, and when I leave it a bit those prices change, usually downwards. The most expensive flights can often be the ones just after the timetable is released; presumably pax who "must" have that flight will be willing to pay a lot upfront.

    Example - I bought Man/IBZ with Ryanair a few days after it was released, and including a seat cost more than £150 - days later I checked the price which had gone substantially down but I booked it anyway first as I knew it was front row and likely to be away from rowdy stag do's further down the cabin...a Saturday afternoon summer flight :{ It worked, I stuck my headphones on and the rugby crowd way behind me might as well have been miles away!! BTW there was no real disruption and they were, like everyone else, just out to enjoy themselves. But I likes my peace and quiet :) Now, if planes had carriages....
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't believe I have ever experienced that. The only time I've seen them going down was "seat sales".

    But even if true it's a bit different - with airlines it's deliberate, with the railway it's just cack-handed.
     
  18. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Advance tickets being sold on the day of travel is a very recent thing.

    Train Operating Companies are not obliged to sell Advance tickets at all so they could withdraw them from sale if they do wishes forcing passengers to pay the Anytime fare.

    The London - Manchester Anytime fare can be used on any train, without reservation and gives flexibility over the route you may use. It is a complete rip-off which apparently almost no-one ever buys. The answer in my view is to reduce the price of this Anytime ticket rather than making Advance tickets available on the day of travel.
     
  19. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    First part - they could and then they'd find they would have reduced income as the pax desert for the coaches and airlines!
     
  20. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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  21. Samuel88

    Samuel88 Member

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  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    There are plans to reduce the cost of these very expensive Anytime fares, but any changes would be "revenue neutral", so for every £350 fare that goes down a lot, many of the lower priced fares that many people buy will have to raise, in order to make up what would otherwise be a shortfall in revenue for the TOCs.

    At present, there are ways for savvy passengers to get around the more expensive fares. Also a comparison with car travel isn't really valid; you'd have to set off at about 03:30 to get to central London at the sort of time people who use these fares arrive into London!
     
  23. Samuel88

    Samuel88 Member

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    But Virgin's arguement is that hardly anyone buys these full price fares, so how could they justify rising off peak fares? They can't have it both ways!
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    As a proportion of total passengers, yes you could say "hardly anyone" buys them. But there are still hundreds that do, daily. So if the price came down to half the level that it currently is, all that shortfall has to be made up by increasing the lower priced fares. They want to abolish "off peak" fares and replace them with booked train only fares as that's apparently "simpler". There are a couple of threads on this already.
     
  25. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    If you just decided you must be in London first thing tomorrow, BA will charge you £334 (one way) on the 0700 to Heathrow.
    You still have to get to Ringway and into central London, and pay £7 an hour in the car park.
    That's why Virgin can charge £350 return (a bargain in comparison).
    People do pay those sort of sums if they have to.
    There are many ways of avoiding the high fares by planning ahead.
     
  26. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Or use a split ticketing website, e.g. the 0643 Manchester to Euston gets you in before 9am for £84.50, though Virgin's own website will charge a lot more than that (and non-price sensitive people will pay up to £175 for this journey)
     
  27. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Well, so long as you'd be willing to pay the extra income tax, VAT or whatever to make up the difference ...
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Very true, though a good many employers will insist you use their system and so splits are a bit more effort to do, or sometimes totally impossible.
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Well in those cases, the company paying is prepared to pay that price then, even if the actual passenger can see how bonkers that is ;)

    But really my point is that unless we increase subsidy (which I personally would pay more in taxes for), decreasing the higher fares is going to result in increasing the affordable fares that people like us pay for, which I can't accept.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I would pay more tax for increased public transport subsidy (and for a number of other things such as the NHS and elderly care, as well as proper public toilet provision, to name three), but I think using it to reduce that fare is probably not the best first target, I'd rather see it spent on capacity and reliability improvements, such as a certain two platforms that need building at one end of that route, as well as reinstating lost subsidised bus services and proper timetable and fares integration in order to give us something more like what the Swiss enjoy.
     
  31. anme

    anme Established Member

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    And I can accept. Businesses and commuters are not a magic money tree to pay for your days out.
     

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