Questions for people who have used e-tickets

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by yorkie, 13 Jan 2020.

What do you think of e-tickets ?

  1. I have never used e-tickets

    18.6%
  2. I prefer e-tickets to orange paper tickets

    28.3%
  3. I don't have a preference regarding e-tickets or orange paper tickets

    14.8%
  4. I prefer orange paper tickets

    48.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Here is a poll for people who have actually used e-tickets.

    What are e-tickets? basically PDFs that contain an Aztec barcode which can be shown on any device, or you can print them.

    What are NOT e-tickets? the old Print@Home tickets, which required a form of ID, m-tickets, which require activation or anything else that doesn't meet the e-ticket standard.

    For those of you who have actually used e-tickets, I'd like to know what you think of them?

    At first I was sceptical but my view now is that they are great. I usually have two devices on me so I can store it on both devices. If I am making a long journey and am concerned I may run out of power, I can print them, though I don't usually bother to do this.

    The only 'problems' I have had is that some barriers have not had the keys to decrypt the e-ticket, resulting in having to be let through the gates manually. However my experience with this has been no worse than with paper tickets, to be honest!

    I like being able to wait until the last second before buying a ticket in some cases and I like not having to visit a ticket machine. For example I could be on a train already and decide to extend my journey, and buy the ticket and remain on board without having to get off and end up on the next one.
     
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  3. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    An e-ticket is Doesn't have to be a PDF
     
  4. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Indeed and a lot of ToCs combine them with m-tickets in their apps
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Both Avanti West Coast and WMT issue e-tickets in an e-mail which become m-tickets in the app, which is a cack-handed and silly solution.
     
  6. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    They're OK and I will use them if they're e-tickets, don't need activation, don't need to go through barriers and are for simple journeys, in my case Wilmslow-London. Otherwise I'd rather walk to the station (10 minutes) and pick up a real ticket from a machine.

    I used e-tickets for my return journey to London this weekend and all was fine.

    I printed off the PDF but have previously used an Apple Watch display using the iPhone's Wallet.

    I refuse to use m-tickets but that's not what you're asking I know.
     
  7. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I have actually used them on odd occasions for special offers (only printed). I still prefer the trad type.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    I'll only be using retailers which issues them as PDFs. Which don't, out of interest? If any are tied to apps then that's got some of the dangers of an m-ticket, surely?
     
  9. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    But there's also the option of the e-ticket, if you press the barcode tab.
    Well it's the case for EMR & XC
     
  10. matt

    matt Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I've used them a few times recently and I'll probably be using them more in future. I prefer them as I don't need to have lots of tickets, espicially if splitting on a longer journey.
     
  11. ess

    ess Member

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    I'd take this position except that if there's cashback on offer from Quidco etc then I can be persuaded to go for m-tickets
     
  12. Meole

    Meole Member

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    Perhaps a small charge should be introduced for paper tickets as with shopping bags to encourage the environmental initiative ?
     
  13. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I've ordered several sets of tickets for travel on various European railways and all have been e-tickets - I like them.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    GWR is the one I know of that shows them as e-tickets in the app but doesn't send a PDF in the email confirmation.

    Why it's so hard I have no idea. There is a standard, implement it.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    More likely ToD (Ticket on Departure) will just be binned off eventually as it's expensive and awkward.
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's not an e-ticket. M-tickets also have barcodes.

    Well, it sort of is. But I found something interesting when refunding one - apparently if you've activated the m-ticket version of the e-ticket in the app you can't have a refund. Another disadvantage to add to the lack of support for overnight break of journey or the multi-day validity of most Anytime tickets.
     
  17. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Only when TfL accept them, or else it would be unfair to charge for a paper ticket, where it's the only medium for Travelcards or cross London tickets.
     
  18. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    The only e-ticket-like ticket I ever used was a barcode sent by email, but was in the form of an image rather than a pdf. The fact that it was issued by WSMR gives an idea of how long ago it was. (It was very shortly after I joined the forum!)

    My phone's battery was nigh-on empty by the end of the day-out, but thankfully I'd had the foresight to send a copy of the image to my partner's phone as a backup. I've never had the desire to use one since.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I always carry a bag when I travel any distance, and it always has a battery pack in it, which solves that. These days even a USB cable in your pocket would do!
     
  20. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    I didn't own one of those battery-pack things in 2009. Heck, we hadn't even standardised on USB-charging back then! ;)
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ah, fair point :)
     
  22. Wilt

    Wilt Member

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    I was a bit wary of them at first but now I always get an e-ticket if it is an option - no need to go to the TVM to pick up a paper ticket.
     
  23. hawk1911

    hawk1911 Member

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    If buying early enough to have them posted to me (at no extra cost) then I will opt for 'credit card' tickets that fit neatly in my wallet next to my railcard.

    Equally, for last minute purchases, at my local station, I will purchase 'credit card' tickets from the machines (I will avoid the ticket office as they issue the 'toilet roll' tickets.

    For purchases in the last day or two before travelling, I will opt for e-tickets, as this allows me to reserve a (specified) seat. I download the ticket onto my smartphone and print off a backup copy, as well, just in case there is a problem with my phone (not that I have had one yet).
     
  24. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    That was a long time ago. Wrexham & Shropshire went under in early 2011. It was the first TOC (well, open access operator) to offer all tickets as barcode tickets as they were then called. I don't remember producing them as images though, but will have to see if I have any examples still left. Certainly in 2008 we were sending them as SMS messages to phones as well. No smartphones or apps then!
     
  25. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    Back on thread, though - eTickets are great, though I am slightly biased...:D
     
  26. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I am happy to, and do, use e-tickets in countries such as Sweden where they are implemented in an unambiguous manner.

    I avoid them when at all possible in the UK where different TOCs have different interpretations of what an e-ticket actually is and where different employees within a given TOC also seem to have their own interpretations - only a few days ago a XC guard was most insistent that everyone with "an e-ticket" must activate them or pay for a new ticket .....
    and, of course, there was that recent thread on here where an e-ticket was rejected by a XC guard because they did not approve of the retailer !
     
  27. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    No sorry you misunderstand it doesn't just have to be a PDF we also have Apple wallet(PK Pass) versions
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    To be a proper e-ticket it should be issued as a PDF by e-mail as a basic baseline in order to allow it to be printed if the user wishes. It can be issued in other ways as well (PKPASS, in-app or whatever), though the "pseudo M ticket" thing is rubbish and needs to be packed in. It seems to be TOCs who use Trainline as a retailer that are doing it, which is odd as the actual Trainline app can do e-tickets properly.

    In answer to Yorkie's question the only app I've come across that doesn't issue the PDF in the confirmation e-mail is GWR's. LNR and Avanti (and probably others) allow you to download it in the app as a pseudo-M-ticket (which requires activation) but you can choose not to do this.
     
  29. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    No those are m-Tickets by another name
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They are and they aren't.

    For Avanti and LNR/WMT, you are sent an e-mail with a PDF which is a proper e-ticket. You can then also download it via the app which creates something that looks and acts very much like an m-ticket (requiring activation and barring refund if you do activate it). However, you can still, so far as I know, use the e-mailed PDF if you prefer, I don't *think* (but haven't tried) that downloading it into the app cancels the e-ticket, indeed I think it's the same barcode.
     
  31. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Member

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    I've used them in Italy. Possibly elsewhere in Europe too. And I think, back in the day, at home, on the Wrexham & Shropshire Railway too.
    In principle I like the idea - and prefer them to TOD (my usual means of purchasing tickets) but have avoided them in the UK for fear of getting an m-ticket instead, which I'd prefer to avoid.

    I'll happily use them here when there is no ambiguity about what they are and how they are supplied, and ideally when there is some consistency between train operators in Great Britain on this matter.
     

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