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

    18.4%
  2. I prefer e-tickets to orange paper tickets

    27.8%
  3. I don't have a preference regarding e-tickets or orange paper tickets

    14.7%
  4. I prefer orange paper tickets

    49.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    Joined:
    2 Jul 2014
    Location:
    Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
    It doesn't, I have seen cases where a customer has attempted to travel on a ticket that had been used on the PDF, but approached the barrier & having told that it's been used stated that he had only just activated it so how could it be used?
    Sam
     
  2. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
    There seems to be a few opinions around what an eTicket is. Not surprising given the various implementations really.

    An eTicket is a barcode ticket that is delivered simultaneously and identically in both pdf and pkpass form. The pdf can be printed, or shown on a device; the pkpass is intended for users of iPhones and iPads to store them in Apple’s ‘Wallet’ (formerly ‘Apple Wallet’). (The pkpass can also be used on Android phones by downloading an app that can read and render the pkpass format, but that is pretty suboptimal.)

    An eTicket does not need to be activated. The security is in scanning the barcode.

    To get an eTicket you should not need to download a TOC (or retailer) app. This was one of the founding principles of eTickets - that there should be no barriers to purchase. You can buy from an app of course, or a website - but you should not need to have anything (such as an app) in order to display it.

    An eTicket should be delivered by email, either attached to the email or (better still) available to download via links in the email. The latter is better as it does not tend to get caught in corporate spam filters / firewalls.

    If an eTicket does not have these features then it is, strictly speaking, not a correct implementation of an eTicket. And thus not really an eTicket at all.
     
  3. jmh59

    jmh59 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    7 May 2018
    Location:
    Leeds
    Having only used eTickets once so far my input is limited but personally I would prefer them as I did find it easier to produce those to the guard rather than fumble for my wallet. It was a little complicated in that I had my wife’s ticket on my phone too *. No issue in presenting both on the train but I can’t remember how we got through the barriers (maybe there were none) with both tickets on one phone! We did, so it must not have been a problem, but I would not want to be handing the phone back to the wife over a busy gate. (Actually, having read what I just typed I could have scanned one ticket, pushed her though, and scanned the other... probably what we did. Might look a bit suspicious though?)

    (* she has no mobile contract and does not want one on her phone - only uses it for wifi, or calls from me which she ignores because her phone is generally nowhere that she is!!)
     
  4. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

    Messages:
    2,929
    Joined:
    8 Jul 2017
    Location:
    Whiston/Leeds
    I use E-Tickets for travel to/from work i.e. tickets I don't need to keep as they're not for anything memorable. If I ever need a train ticket, I always book with them as a) It keeps all the tickets/TOD references in one place, and b) I get Nectar points on all tickets, regardless of whether they're on TPE or not.

    I use the E-Tickets from TransPennine which are displayed in the app like this (note they require no activation and look quite funky compared to other TOC's offerings):

    Screenshot_20200113-233113_TPExpress.jpg

    By and large they work great. The only issue I have with TPE's implementation is that the seat reservation isn't displayed on the ticket, so it's another button press to access it, and as it's not displayed on the actual ticket, some passengers don't like it when I ask them to give up their seat.

    I generally use paper tickets for anything else. If I'm going out for the day, or to somewhere new, I tend to keep my tickets as souvenirs/memorabilia.
     
  5. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2017
    The problem with that is the potential for a passenger to have a sudden panic when they realise the email from the retailer does not in fact have their e-ticket attached, but they have to download it. Normally this shouldn't be an issue, but nonetheless their are many reasons why someone might not get a mobile data connection in order to do this.

    I do appreciate the issue about aggressive spam/AV filters though - I'm guessing in particular that e-ticket PDFs might be falsely flagged up as virus/malware laden files?
     
  6. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    Joined:
    2 Jul 2014
    Location:
    Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
    Unfortunately in Grand Central's case they incorrectly label their tickets as being e-tickets, when you can't do many of those things that you have just mentioned.
    It is in fact an m-ticket in disguise.
    it would be helpful also if there were options to be able to add your ticket to your GPay wallet as well as Apple Wallet, I know of only 2* TOC's where that is possible, one is only if you buy from their ticket offices (Avanti) and the other being LNER.
    Sam
     
  7. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,361
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    As for e-tickets, my only attempts to purchase have ended in failure, as one or more of the stations didn't support them. One was a station in South London to a central London station. The other was a station outside of London to one in South London and it didn't involve passing through Central London.
     
  8. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    Joined:
    2 Jul 2014
    Location:
    Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
    This is simply down to cost, the Merseyrail gated stations for example also do not have QR readers meaning that you will have to find someone to show the ticket to, in order to allow passage.
    Sam
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    45,906
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    It's not that "the stations didn't support them"; it's that the flow is (or was) not enabled for e-tickets. As you've not named the flows, I can't look them up...
     
  10. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,361
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    One was Sutton to City Thameslink I think and the other was Effingham Junction to Sutton.

    For journeys where I will purchase the ticket on the day, I generally use TMVs. The other evening I went to Oxford. I just used the TMV. All done in under 1 minute.

    For advanced purchase tickets I probably wouldn't care but I've yet to actually purchase an e-ticket, always ToD. Not sure why but maybe my chosen retailer at the time didn't offer e-tickets.

    I'm travelling to York soon but probably on Grand Central so it will no doubt be ToD, given what I've read on here. My last advances purchase ticket was possibly Guildford to Bath in 2018. I used ToD for that. No idea if e-ticket was avilable for that route then. If it was, maybe my chosen retailer didn't offer it or it required an app I didn't have installed.
     
  11. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    Joined:
    2 Jul 2014
    Location:
    Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
    Unfortunately not enabled for e-ticket.
    Depends entirely on who you book with, Avanti for instance will give it you as a E-Ticket, I wouldn't recommend GC's own cack-handed app however.
    TrainSplit will also offer it as an E-Ticket.
    Sam
     
  12. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

    Messages:
    5,309
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    Thanks for the correction, SMS (well, specifically MMS) was probably the delivery method. The Nokia N95 I had at the time might quibble about the "no smartphones" point, though. ;)
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    47,055
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    That's sort of the opposite of what I was thinking - does activating the M-ticket mean you can't then use the e-ticket PDF?

    However, that's a form of fraud I hadn't thought of - treating the e-mail and M-ticket as two separate tickets!

    They really should just do it properly and abolish the M-ticket concept entirely. It must surely be costing money to maintain the two in parallel, anyway?
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    47,055
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    One notable case of this is Merseyrail, who need telling to either allow e-tickets to be enabled for their flows or just to leave RSP and stand wholly alone if that's what they actually want to do given that they don't seem to like following national conventions in ticketing. ToD would cost a packet to implement for them, but e-ticketing very little, it's just an app on a mobile phone these days.
     
  15. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    Not sure what the relevance of this is intended to be, but not having a contract for a mobile phone is no obstruction to using e-tickets. Emails can be received by wifi and no network is necessary to display such tickets.
     
  16. 35B

    35B Member

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    19 Dec 2011
    I have voted for no preference, as my preference varies depending on circumstances. E-tickets work well for me, and the implementation into Apple wallet suits me well, though the inability of some barcode readers to see through the screen protector on my phone is a niggle. However, for claiming expenses, the TOD receipt is sometimes more useful and easier to upload into my employer's expenses system (@Wallsendmag may want to consider how the downloaded images (don't) work when forwarded into Concur!).

    Where e-tickets are less good is when travelling with others in a party. At that point, having an orange ticket per person (especially with gated barriers) is far easier than having the e-ticket.

    I would deeply oppose moving to no orange tickets, however. I book travel for an elderly friend who is something of a worrier. Orange tickets provide him with tangible and easily carried proof of his journey; asking him to use PDFs or a ticket held on his phone is a conversation I do not relish given his reaction to uncertainty.
     
  17. hawk1911

    hawk1911 Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2016
    Location:
    Stafford
    I have, on more than one occasion, activated an 'M-ticket', had it checked on the train, then used the printed pdf to get through the barriers.
     
  18. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2018
    Location:
    Warks
    I'm curious as to why the rail industry has gone for the Apple-pkpass-format and seemingly not integrated at all with Google Pay (which seems to natively support transit passes) yet.
     
  19. talltim

    talltim Established Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Joined:
    17 Jan 2010
    I've not used any of the forms of electronic tickets, partly because my phone battery is terrible. However observing other people using them, it always seems to take a lot longer for the guard or RPI to examine them than paper ticket and seasons. There seem to be three reasons.
    A: the passenger is using their phone already, so has to find and open the app (I can get show my ticket while still using my phone)
    B: they have a railcard, which they then also have to find on their phone and show (I show my photocard at the same time as my ticket)
    C: when they are scanned the member of staff has to be a lot closer than when they are just looking at a paper ticket.
    My commute has no barriers so I don't know if people with electronic tickets pass through slower or faster, but I've noticed that when they do a full ticket inspection block at Chesterfield, it takes a lot longer for everyone to pass through than it used to.
     
  20. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Established Member

    Messages:
    1,225
    Joined:
    10 Feb 2011
    I think this is a classic case of using technology to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

    Paper tickets work because;
    • They fit in your wallet
    • All the information you need is on the ticket
    • They can't be duplicated and are less susceptible to fraud
    • They work ticket barriers (mostly)
    • They're not dependent on you having a working phone, a full battery and internet access
    Yes, I'm aware that some people want to do absolutely everything they can with their phone, just because it's there but I don't see a single advantage of using an e-ticket over a conventional paper one.
     
  21. Wilt

    Wilt Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2013
    You don't need to queue to obtain the ticket and they are much harder to lose.

    If you do print the e-ticket off (which means you don't actually need a working phone to use one) and lose that then you can just print another one off.

    The only way I can think to lose one is to lose access to your email account and also forget the password to the ticket retailer website - and that's assuming you haven't saved the PDF somewhere else in the meantime.
     
  22. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

    Messages:
    1,605
    Joined:
    23 Oct 2013
    I prefer an orange ticket but can see some advantages to e-tickets.

    E-ticket has the advantage that I can buy it 'on the go', saving the need to ask a real person (at station or onboard) for a complicated split, when that person could have moved on to serving the next customer. Similarly I don't get any arguments about whether I can buy a ticket from 'A' to 'C' at 'B'.

    Conversely, mobile signal is extremely variable, nowhere near the stated 95% of population even in urban areas, so there is the risk of not being able to buy a ticket, or not being able to show it on demand. To date I have only used the EMR app. It works, I get the ticket to my phone, and I can download the pdf from the email, to somewhere on my drive, but then it 'waits for Wifi' to do so, but neglects to tell me it is doing so. I think I have downloaded it but I haven't, then we go into the 'Blythe Bridge to Uttoxeter no signal triangle' so I cannot show the ticket etc.
    Far better for the guard to be unable to sell me a ticket due to no signal than for me to have bought one then have to buy a second one due to no signal.

    A card ticket, put into my wallet, is just that. Bought, retained, available. I have lost a mobile phone before but never my wallet.
     
  23. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2018
    Location:
    Warks
    Few thoughts in response:

    • Most people carry a phone anyway, though?
    • All information for an e-ticket should be contained within the PDF, I think?
    • Perhaps they're more difficult to duplicate (it's definitely possible to read and write magstripe data), but appreciate there's more barrier to e.g. printing and obtaining the ticket stock
      • However, e-ticket scanning is a pretty decent barrier to fraud - as far as I know there's more data available here than there are with paper tickets.
    • Same for e-tickets (mostly!)
    • e-tickets don't require internet access, but otherwise agreed if you're using a device to view them on, and aren't printing them
     
  24. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    9 May 2012
    Big fan of e-tickets and the use of this type of tech for other travel tickets too. I can't remember the last time I had to print out a boarding pass for a flight. One less thing to worry about and lose. You can't lose an e-ticket.

    They don't need internet access to use - only to download first of all. You don't need to worry about multiple pieces of paper for one journey. I was on an Avanti train the other evening and the woman opposite me had many orange tickets - but not the one for this leg of the journey even though she had the machine and card receipts. It's easy to lose and confuse them and I'm always unsure how many pieces of paper the machine will wastefully spit out.

    On the same train, the time it took to read my e-ticket was a fraction of having to look at the ticket and check validity. I don't understand why some think this takes longer.

    The inference that only people who want to do absolutely everything with their phone use them is infantile - this is genuinely useful tech. But I'd willingly admit that orange tickets need to be retained for those resistance to embracing technology.
     
  25. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

    Messages:
    2,929
    Joined:
    8 Jul 2017
    Location:
    Whiston/Leeds
    LNER and Google's little implementation works well - about 15 minutes before the booked departure time of your train, a permanent notification appears on your phone so the ticket is just a press away.
     
  26. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

    Messages:
    873
    Joined:
    1 Nov 2013
    The world is turning paperless, weather it be tv licence, council tax bill, there are obvious environmental issues to constantly using single use pieces of card, the railway will get there eventually, paper tickets are on the way out, people should start getting used to it now so in a few years when it actually happens it isn't this great big shock to the system.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    47,055
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    The killer app, to me, is that you can buy it on the bus on the way to the station and therefore plan to arrive at the station with far less slack than you would have to if you might have to queue for an arbitrary length of time at the ticket office or TVM.

    You can also buy one on the train if you wish to extend your journey without any need to seek the guard or get off to buy one and get on the next train.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    47,055
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Cheers, answers that then.
     
  29. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

    Messages:
    981
    Joined:
    13 May 2019
    You can almost do this with any pdf on recent android. Open the ticket in a viewer, then press the recent square button, long press the viewer and pick the padlock. That locks the viewer app into memory and you should then be able to use the square button to switch back to it quickly when needed.

    People being rubbish with phones is not a good reason to reject e tickets. Have you never got stuck behind someone messing with card tickets at a gateline? Wrong ticket then the seat reservation then upside down then finally put in the next gate's slot!

    Greater Anglia missell m tickets by calling them e tickets. They should be fined for fraud. Sister company EMR seem to do it right.

    Who is the best eticket retailer?
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    47,055
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Print it out and give him that.
     

Share This Page