One Two-Together Ticket - Are Virgin EC Correct?

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cuccir

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I commute with a season ticket and I have a Two-Together Railcard with my wife. We travel together from time to time over the route on which I commute, though probably only two-three times a year.

I was wondering if my wife and I could travel together on this route, me on my season ticket and her with a discounted Two-Together ticket. We haven't had cause to do this yet as we got the railcard in December and the last time we made the journey together was on New Year's Day, when I was between season tickets - but I'm sure we will do sooner rather than later.

I thought I'd email Virgin EC, who operate our local stations, to see what they have to say - their response was no:
I regret to inform you that you would not be able to use a Two-Together railcard as it has to be linked under the same booking and unfortunately the restrictions of the railcard do literally limit it to two people. This essentially means that if you wanted to use your Two-Together railcard then you would need to buy 2 day tickets as the discount is not able to be applied to season tickets. However as you already have a season ticket, it would be cheaper to use your season ticket and purchase a ticket at the standard rate for your wife.

I'm a bit suspicious of the response due to the stuff about the 'same booking', which doesn't seem to be particularly relevant, unless what the reply is saying is that we can't buy a Two-Together discounted ticket for one person as their software won't sell one.

Equally, if this is the intention or the generally accepted interpretation of the restrictions - then fine, I can live with that as really we're talking a saving of only ~£2.

So, just thought I'd canvas views from here - do people think Virgin are correct here, is there any obvious way of contesting this claim, or should I just suck it up as the savings are marginal?
 
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Bletchleyite

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I believe they are correct that for the Two Together to be valid, a discounted ticket must be purchased for both parties. Only the Gold Card has a term in its T&C permitting use of this nature - not even the Network Railcard does, though with this it tends to be unofficially solved by the effectively non-enforceable[1] temporary transfer of the Railcard to the other party.

[1] If the railway were bothered about this, they would add a Photocard to the Network Railcard. The only way to enforce it at the moment, effectively, is if one is male and one female, and not even with all names as some are "unisex".
 
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gordonthemoron

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I have used a two together with a season ticket and purchased tickets at Bedford Midland without issue. Infact, LM TVMs at Milton Keynes will even sell one discounted ticket with a Two Together railcard
 

Bletchleyite

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I have used a two together with a season ticket and purchased tickets at Bedford Midland without issue. Infact, LM TVMs at Milton Keynes will even sell one discounted ticket with a Two Together railcard

Interesting, as they won't sell Family Railcard tickets without at least one adult and one child, which is a right nuisance if you want to add an adult or child to an existing Railcard group.
 

gordonthemoron

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Interesting, as they won't sell Family Railcard tickets without at least one adult and one child, which is a right nuisance if you want to add an adult or child to an existing Railcard group.

I have also added a child with a F&F railcard to my full price ticket (although not on a TVM)
 

najaB

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So, just thought I'd canvas views from here - do people think Virgin are correct here, is there any obvious way of contesting this claim, or should I just suck it up as the savings are marginal?
I think they are correct. Even if you apply a very liberal interpretation of the Two Together T&Cs, it is clear that the intent is for tickets to be sold and used as matched pairs.
 

Bletchleyite

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They will at Hemel too. A sensible policy from LM.

Allowing this doesn't go to say that a Two Together ticket is valid when accompanied by anything other than a Two Together ticket. That could be available to allow each person to pay for their own individually, for example.

Like one person travelling with both sets of tickets, it is probably something they never thought of (despite it being explicit in the Gold Card T&Cs, and only those T&Cs, not any other Railcard).
 

cuccir

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I think they are correct. Even if you apply a very liberal interpretation of the Two Together T&Cs, it is clear that the intent is for tickets to be sold and used as matched pairs.

I don't know how clear it really is. The T&C says that "Both tickets must be bought together..." - this is the only place where it really infers that you have to be buying two tickets, but you do have to infer that rather than it stating it clearly.
 

najaB

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I don't know how clear it really is. The T&C says that "Both tickets must be bought together..." - this is the only place where it really infers that you have to be buying two tickets, but you do have to infer that rather than it stating it clearly.
I agree that the T&Cs aren't clear, that's why I spoke to the intended use of the Two Together card. I don't think you'd get far trying to convince a TOC that you have a right to purchase (and more importantly use) a single discounted ticket.
 

hairyhandedfool

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I have also added a child with a F&F railcard to my full price ticket (although not on a TVM)

This is very possible to do at a ticket office, because the Family and Friends Railcard allows a variable size group. There is also a specific exception for this Railcard, where an adult might be dropping a child off at school, allowing a child to obtain a discount whilst travelling with the adult Railcard holder on a non-discounted fare.
 

yorkie

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A sensible policy would be to allow this, especially as similar provision exists for other Railcards. Most industries would also be keen to treat its regular customers well. Does anyone know which ticket issuing systems (TIS) can/can't issue them individually?
 

cuccir

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najaB:2479768 said:
I don't know how clear it really is. The T&C says that "Both tickets must be bought together..." - this is the only place where it really infers that you have to be buying two tickets, but you do have to infer that rather than it stating it clearly.
I agree that the T&Cs aren't clear, that's why I spoke to the intended use of the Two Together card. I don't think you'd get far trying to convince a TOC that you have a right to purchase (and more importantly use) a single discounted ticket.

Well given Virgin have told me no, I agree with that!
 

island

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A sensible policy would be to allow this, especially as similar provision exists for other Railcards. Most industries would also be keen to treat its regular customers well. Does anyone know which ticket issuing systems (TIS) can/can't issue them individually?

Star certainly can't. I had great difficulty buying a pair of 2TR-discounted tickets from a Southern station when the clerk kept trying to add one ticket at a time to the basket.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Star certainly can't. I had great difficulty buying a pair of 2TR-discounted tickets from a Southern station when the clerk kept trying to add one ticket at a time to the basket.

STAR can do it, but the operator has to input all the details manually, something that many TOCs would frown at.
 

planetf1

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As an aside I bought a ticket with my network railcard... Via machine swt. Then whilst at the station a friend turned up to join us (all travelling together). I went with him to the ticket office where the member of staff was pretty unhappy about selling an additional railcard discounted ticket despite me showing the railcard and ticket I had bought 5 mins previously. We're they right? After a little polite complaining the ticket was provided though not happily...
 

hairyhandedfool

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As an aside I bought a ticket with my network railcard... Via machine swt. Then whilst at the station a friend turned up to join us (all travelling together). I went with him to the ticket office where the member of staff was pretty unhappy about selling an additional railcard discounted ticket despite me showing the railcard and ticket I had bought 5 mins previously. We're they right? After a little polite complaining the ticket was provided though not happily...

There are a few assumptions to make here, but if it's all above board then there is no reason to refuse.
 
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