Online GNER Ticket Problem

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by voyagerdude220, 18 Aug 2007.

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  1. dave4jackie

    dave4jackie Member

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    why dont you go to your nearest staffed station and book your tickets there,all staffed stations can do most tickets on the railway network
     
  2. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    But would they be happy to spend 10-15 minutes searching for the cheapest days/fares/times for me? I think if I went to a staffed station and wanted to check the fare to find which day was cheapest on about 10 different dates or times, both out and return, before making a decision what I wanted to book, they might just get a little p1ssed off! Personally, I'd rather spend 10 minutes looking up deals myself than waiting in a queue at a travel centre.

    Also, on one occasion when I went to book an advance ticket, the staff member told me they only did 'tickets for immediate travel' at that time, and to come back after 08.00 (it was about 07.30 at the time). However, I had to be in work by then, so I went to work and booked the ticket online when I got there. Such customer-unfriendly attitudes hardly encourage people to travel.
     
  3. voyagerdude220

    voyagerdude220 Established Member

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    That's exactly why I don't tend to go into the nearest train station to me at the time, and book the tickets there.

    I also like to browse the internet myself, and often come up with cheap virgin value fares when it's only a day or two before travel, with the majority of cheap singles sold out, by inserting an unusual station in the "via" option, or "avoid".

    E.g. Booking for a mate who wanted to travel from Bristol to Bolton- I typed in "Via Crewe", and got the Value C for somewhere in the region of £15, instead of the S.O.S [or Saver Half Return] .

    Imagine going to a station, with a list of value tickets you want them to book you e.g.:

    Date- XX of X month:

    blah blah £- Value standard single C
    blah blah £- GNER single
    etc etc

    Especially if you go to a small station with a ticket office, but just one kiosk open, a long queue, and you at the head of it!
     
  4. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

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    Luckily I live within travelling distance of a major Virgin Trains station with booking facilities (Glasgow Central)
    That is what I do
    Today I have just booked a London - York First Class return for the Bank Holiday weekend, online for £54.90 compared to £75.10 for a Saver Return
    Even with the GNER 10% discount, that's like a 73% discount!
     
  5. voyagerdude220

    voyagerdude220 Established Member

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    After my brilliant journey with GNER on Monday, it's made me think about how crap VT FC is on Voyagers north of Preston/Newcastle, and south of Bristol/Reading. (Even on weekdays)- You have to walk down 2 or 3 coaches, depending on if it's a 4-car 220/221 or 5-car 221, wait in the cramped shop, (or just before it in coach D, like me and a girl on Monday), and then get the complimentary items on offer from the shop.

    It's even worse on weekend Pendolinos, as you've got to trail down at least 3-4 carriages, or up to 7(!) if you're in coach K, just to get tea/coffee/water etc and a biscuit...

    Why staff can't make sure that the mini coolers in each FC carrige are filled with cold drinks, like they are on weekdays, I don't know...

    It would be good if VXC had at-seat FC catering on ALL areas of the network on weekdays, like VWC.

    I read in the RAIL magazine a few months ago, that at-seat catering was being brought to Pendolinos at weekends now, with a limited drinks and salads menu, instead of trailing to the shop.

    I've found no evidence of this so far.
     
  6. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

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    I do agree, FC in Voyagers is pants now
    I purposely avoid it now

    FC in 390s, at weekends, is basic but well worth the discount as it is normally much quieter than it is mid-week
    At-seat service is provided between Preston and London, by way of a trolley
    However, it is subject to staffing availability and is only on specific trains!
    Ironically, the Kitchen in Coach K is normally left open at weekends, so sometimes it is quicker to go to the Kitchen rather than the Shop, only needing to visit the shop for the hot drinks and obtaining permission to refill in the Kitchen!
     
  7. voyagerdude220

    voyagerdude220 Established Member

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    Yes, but the majority of the time I'm on Voyagers, i've got an at-seat service, which is nice. The annoying thing about the shop, is that they don't have any of those nice complimentary biscuits on Voyagers.

    I got "told off" by a RSM on the way back from Edinburgh, for asking for a hot chocolate, and not reminding her that I'm travelling FC. When she said £1.70, i asked her about it, and she said" You should always produce your ticket when getting complimentary items, or you'll get charged"

    If the shop didn't have two other people behind me at the time, i would've had a go at her, for making an issue of it, and also the fact that i've had no problems with any other RSM's about it, and that she chucked away the bigger hot chocolate, and then re-made a far smaller cup for me. (That was a waste of instant hot chocolate & boiling water, wasn't it!!)




    I never knew that we were "allowed" to refill drinks in the kitchen! If i did, i'd do that all the time, as there's always at least one person sat in FC, especially coach K, at weekends in uniform. I always wonder what there job title is, as I don't quite know what they do at weekends..

    I'm surprised VT hasn't changed their website, to mention this limited offer between Preston & London at weekends, but I admit that I've only really been north of Preston at weekends, and south of it, towards London Euston, on weekday mornings.
     
  8. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

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    I always present my FC ticket before ordering at the shop
    I've never encountered any problems, although I did get a wry look from someone when I asked if she had any fruit, cans of cola, and crisps, then just walked away without paying!

    You can't refill hot drinks in the kitchen you need to visit the shop for that, but providing you visit the shop and ask for permission, to save you making several return trips to the shop for biscuits and crisps, they normally allow you to do so
    VT do mention the additional train service host between Preston and Crewe

    Source :
    http://www.virgintrainsmediaroom.com/index.cfm?articleid=1042
    Customers travelling First Class at weekends during the summer between 11:00 and 18:00 will be able to enjoy an at-seat service of Fairtrade tea and coffee, still and sparkling water and Virgin Cola and Diet Cola. Also available will be packets of crisps, packs of biscuits and apples. Outside these times this Weekend Offer will be available for customers to collect from the Shop
     
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