Problems booking Leeds-Scarborough tickets and selecting seats

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Justin Smith

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I was to trying book a couple of tickets from Leeds to Scarborough with Transpennine, I couldn`t remember my password (or even if I had a password ! ? ! ), whilst waiting for an E mail [which never came] with my password reset, the price went up ! In just 5 minutes ! !
That seemed a bit dodgey to me, but I became even more cynical when my wife mentioned that exactly the same thing happened to her last year when she was trying to book tickets !

Has this happened to anyone else ?
 
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Ivo

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This kind of thing does happen. Sometimes it is triggered by the user as they create a reservation but have to back out of it (e.g. they don't like the seat); if it is the last ticket at that price range then the price goes up! I've had it with XC a few times (part of the reason I never book with them any more).
 

lyesbkz

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If you place Advance tickets in your basket for a particular service, then start the process again with an empty basket (even on a different TOC website) then you may find that the cheap tier advance tickets are 'reserved' on a certain order basket, so until this basket times out they will not be available.

I have found this from my own experiences and yours may vary.

Therefore the cheap tickets may be available if you try again later on (though I'm not sure what the timeout delay is).
 

Justin Smith

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If you place Advance tickets in your basket for a particular service, then start the process again with an empty basket (even on a different TOC website) then you may find that the cheap tier advance tickets are 'reserved' on a certain order basket, so until this basket times out they will not be available.

I have found this from my own experiences and yours may vary.

Therefore the cheap tickets may be available if you try again later on (though I'm not sure what the timeout delay is).

That sounds plausible, we'll see if the tickets become available tomorrow (interestingly it was only the outbound tickets which went up in price not the returns).
That's if Transpennine ever pull their finger out and E mail me my password reset ! ? !
Incidentally, does anyone know if it's possible to book the "Duo" (opposed twin) seats in First class for me and the wife ?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
That sounds plausible, we'll see if the tickets become available tomorrow (interestingly it was only the outbound tickets which went up in price not the returns).
That's if Transpennine ever pull their finger out and E mail me my password reset ! ? !
Incidentally, does anyone know if it's possible to book the "Duo" (opposed twin) seats in First class for me and the wife ?

I finally got the password reset, and the return ticket has now gone up in price, and the outbound even more so, the whole price has gone up from £56 to £76, and I feel miffed to put it mildly. It`s over two months before we`re travelling for Gawds sake ! I almost feel like saying sod them, and either going Standard class (c/w noisy I pods.....) which hasn`t gone up, or driving instead.
 

yorkie

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Are you travelling on a weekday?

Also, are you wanting to travel just from Leeds to Scarborough & back? ie, not travelling from Sheffield?

It's difficult to advise as we don't know when you are travelling.
 

Crossover

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The words 'quota' and 'controlled' spring to mind!

PS. Try splitting tickets at York or other intermediate station for the same trains, you may find only part is over quota and may reduce the overall price a bit
 

Justin Smith

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For £76 for two people? Really? Look at going by Northern instead.

Partly because I`m going with the wife (she hates noisy kids and personal stereos even more than me, if that`s possible) I thought it wise to go First class. Also the train to Scarborough may be pretty full on a Summer Saturday, esp if it`s a nice day !
We`re actually travelling from Sheff but TP only operate from Leeds to Scarborough, we`ll go second class to Leeds and split the journey there
 

calc7

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Do EMT not operate their Summer Saturday St Pancras - Scarborough via Sheffield and York service?
 

starrymarkb

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Doesn't it say on some sites that your seat is reserved for 20 mins to allow you to complete the transaction.

I wonder when it's going to get like the airlines. "Hurry - Only 1 seat left at this price"
 

Justin Smith

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I was to trying book a couple of tickets from Leeds to Scarborough with Transpennine, I couldn't remember my password (or even if I had a password ! ? ! ), whilst waiting for an E mail [which never came] with my password reset, the price went up ! In just 5 minutes ! !
That seemed a bit dodgey to me, but I became even more cynical when my wife mentioned that exactly the same thing happened to her last year when she was trying to book tickets !

Has this happened to anyone else ?

It's just happened to me again ! ! !

TP finally E mailed me my password, I went back into their website to buy the tickets (I deleted all my cookies first ! ), the site offered me the cheaper tickets, I logged in, the site took me straight to "update my details", I tried to bypass this but couldn't, by the time I'd updated my details my shopping basket appeared to have emptied ! After growling with frustration I then went back in to try and attempted to rebook the tickets, and the price had gone up !

I have to say that I frequently seem to find buying stuff Online isn't as straightforward it should be, and this is a classic example.....
Actually, I'm seething about all this, even if this isn't some cynical attempt by TP to get more money out of you, it must be down to their website being so bleedin' awkward to use. Quite apart from anything, I must have wasted at least an hour of my time farting about with all this, and I haven't even bought the tickets yet ! TP only offer these cheaper tickets Online so they don't have to spend their time talking to you, yet they've just wasted one hour of my time, how reasonable is that ! ! !
I'm tempted to say sod them and drive instead, I'm certainly not paying the increased price, it's the principle of the thing. I'll give it one more attempt later, and then that's it, I've officially had enough......
 
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Sox

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It's just happened to me again ! ! !
TP finally E mailed me my password, I went back into their website to buy the tickets (I deleted all my cookies first ! )...

I might be in tin foil hat country here, but I feel I have experienced the same thing on flight bookings. I wonder if they can "sniff out" your IP address. Knowing that they already have you interested they then up the price a bit if you make further enquiries.

Only answer I suppose is to be sufficiently prepared to do the transaction in one go.
 

calc7

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I might be in tin foil hat country here, but I feel I have experienced the same thing on flight bookings. I wonder if they can "sniff out" your IP address. Knowing that they already have you interested they then up the price a bit if you make further enquiries.

Only answer I suppose is to be sufficiently prepared to do the transaction in one go.

I've wondered this too. Perhaps it would be better to clear one's cache and/or book from a WebTIS-powered booking site such as East Coast. I don't believe TPE offer any extraordinary discounts for Advance 1sts purchased through their website.
 

AlterEgo

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Question for the OP: Have you checked your shopping basket? Sometimes a ticket will sit in there, therefore affecting the quota available when you next look!

Happens more often than you'd think.
 

tony_mac

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It looks like the tickets get allocated to you on a page before they actually get put in your shopping basket.

Then, if you go off and do something else, like another query or to update your details / reset your password, then you don't have them in your basket, but they have still been allocated so they are not available.

I guess they will time-out after a while - possibly two hours?
Items will remain in your basket for up to two hours.

Update - yes, it takes about two hours for them to become available again.
 
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John @ home

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the train to Scarborough may be pretty full on a Summer Saturday, esp if it`s a nice day !
We`re actually travelling from Sheff but TP only operate from Leeds to Scarborough, we`ll go second class to Leeds and split the journey there
If travelling from Sheffield to Scarborough on a summer Saturday:
  • Consider the direct EMT service. This oparates on summer Saturdays only at these times:
    0921 Sheffield - Scarborough 1107
    1703 Scarborough - Sheffield 1844
    At time of writing, First Advance tickets are available for 19 May at £26 each for the 0921 and £18 each for the 1703.
  • Consider changing at York instead of Leeds. The Sheffield - York CrossCountry trains via Doncaster tend to be less heavily loaded than those via Leeds.
  • Consider TPE Weekend First. Holders of Standard tickets may upgrade to First Class on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays on payment of a £6.00 single journey supplement to the Conductor between any two stations in England on the First TransPennine route network. This upgrade is only available to be purchased on board TPE trains and it depends on seats being available.
  • Consider the direct Northern service. This runs roughly every 2 hours between Sheffield and Scarborough via Hull. You would have choice of seats on both legs of the journey because you would be joining the train at the start of its journey. Northern's trains have neither First Class accommodation nor reservations.
 

yorkie

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The post by John @ Home in the post above is good advice. If anyone is reading this who wants advice in future, please consider giving us the full details of your entire journey in your opening post. We can then provide suitable advice much earlier in the thread. If we are only given little bits of information, our advice will not be as good (or may take several posts for us to realise what the best advice is).

Unlike East Coast, TPE's weekend first is a "single journey" supplement, so you could get a £6 supplement from Sheffield to Scarborough, allowing you to use 1st class between Sheffield & Doncaster, and then between York & Scarborough, on TransPennine. For the York <> Doncaster portion, consider obtaining a standard seat reservation with East Coast, the journey time is 19 minutes on a clear run.

Of course, you could make the journey with less changes and use XC in Standard Class between Sheffield and York if you'd rather minimise changes. Connections at Doncaster between TPE & EC would usually be cross-platform or same-platform. Connections at York can be same or cross-platform depending on the times you are travelling (we can give advice on that if you provide more information about your journey requirements).

And finally, when booking train tickets with some websites, it can be safer to first log in to your account and then get the tickets in your basket. Perhaps this was not made clear enough yesterday as I see the same problem occurred this morning.
 

Justin Smith

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And finally, when booking train tickets with some websites, it can be safer to first log in to your account and then get the tickets in your basket. Perhaps this was not made clear enough yesterday as I see the same problem occurred this morning.

I did what you suggested and have finally got through to the checkout page for the "cheaper" amount.
However, why do these Online booking sites always offer a couple booking together two seats at a table of four, when we'd far rather have the two seats at a table of two ! It's the same with EMT, of all the times we've booked First class with them, no matter how far in advance we try to book, we've never been offered our preferred seats (that is the "Duo" opposed twin), it's always at a table of four ! ? ! As my wife says, if you end up being on a table of four sharing with two other people, how much more comfortable is that than in a pair of Standard class airline seats ? This is particularly the case as TP C185 Standard class is relatively comfortable, we're not talking a "knees against the seat in front" C158 !
Does anyone know how to book those particular seats ?

Actually, on talking it over with the wife, we decided that a couple of airline seats in Standard would actually be preferable. So I went back onto the TP Online page, selected 2 seats for forward direction, so they'd have to be airline right ? NO ! They offered us 2 seats opposite each other at a table of 4, again ! How does that work for Gawds sake ? ! ?
I then went back on and selected "near a toilet" (the airline seats are nearer the toilet), but it reoffered me the same 2 seats at a table of 4 which are as far away from a toilet as it's physically possible to be !
What`s going on there then ? ! ?
 
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Justin Smith

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Last year we travelled to Morocco by train, and both Eurostar and Renfe let us book the exact seats we wanted on each train, so how come British train companies don't let you do that ?
Whenever me and the wife travel together we usually travel First class (if we can get a reasonable price) and would obviously prefer the twin seats, ideally the opposed twin type. But you can't actually select them and we're never offered them, we're always offered 2 seats at a table of 4, which, if those other 2 seats are occupied, is no more comfortable than a pair of Second class airline seats !

How came Johnny Foreigner can offer exact seat choice on booking, and we, who invented railways, and the computer (and had a hand in coming up with the internet), can't ? ! ?
 

yorkie

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Last year we travelled to Morocco by train, and both Eurostar and Renfe let us book the exact seats we wanted on each train, so how come British train companies don't let you do that ?
Yes they do, just ask at a ticket office!

You've already had a rant about seat reservations in another topic, so I've merged them (plus the topic title was misleading!).

Do you want advice? Or do you just want to rant?
 

Justin Smith

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Yes they do, just ask at a ticket office!

You've already had a rant about seat reservations in another topic, so I've merged them (plus the topic title was misleading!).

Do you want advice? Or do you just want to rant?

Both, but mainly I wanted to ask a couple of questions.
The first, about why the price went up on the bookings, was helpfully answered. The second whether it`s possible to book a specific seat.
An extension to this was why some train companies don`t let you book a specific seat when some do.
 

Crossover

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I don't think with TPE you can be guaranteed forward/rear facing seats to be honest - the units seem to be almost random in formation from what I can tell.

As for whay you can't seat select, it may be just down to the systems they use. I know EC allow it but likes of TPE, GC and EMT just give you them
 

tony_mac

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It is sometimes possible, using two browsers, to reserve seats for anytime tickets on one of them, then use the other to book an advance ticket and at least get offered different seats.
 

Justin Smith

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Yes they do, just ask at a ticket office!

You've already had a rant about seat reservations in another topic, so I've merged them (plus the topic title was misleading!).

Do you want advice? Or do you just want to rant?

I did in fact end up buying the tickets using TPs telesales department. But surely that just begs the question if they can do it there, why not Online ? Do they use completely different systems ? Surely the systems must be integrated with each other at the very least ?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It is sometimes possible, using two browsers, to reserve seats for anytime tickets on one of them, then use the other to book an advance ticket and at least get offered different seats.

Good idea, but do you have to use 2 different PCs ?
If so, and one only has access to one, how about coming out of the booking, deleting all cookies, then going back in whilst the first 2 seats are still "held" ?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And East Coast.

Pleased to hear it, because we`re booking Sheff to Aberdeen in a few months ! I know for a fact you didn`t used to be able to choose your seat on EC, because we did the same journey in 2010 and had to use the telesales dept to get the seats we wanted, which cost us an extra £16 or something, and then, on the way back, we didn`t get them anyway ! ? ! Was I a happy bunny, I don`t think so !
 
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