Questions for people who have used e-tickets

What do you think of e-tickets ?


  • Total voters
    308

Nicholas43

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16 Jun 2011
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288
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...
I am elderly and a worrier, and I prefer e-tickets for those very reasons. I of course don't have a printer at home (because they always go wrong and the ink costs £50 a thimble-full). But I can easily print at my public library. An e-ticket printed on an ordinary sheet of A4 paper is easier to read, and much harder to lose, than a tiny orange ticket. If I did lose it on the train, there would be a good chance that I would still be able to display the file in portable (the clue is in the name!) document format that I have downloaded to my phone. In my experience ticket inspectors are quicker at zapping the bar code on a e-ticket than they are at perusing an orange paper ticket.
Collecting an orange ticket from a machine is stressful, because
1. There may be queues
2. The machine I choose may turn out to be the one that doesn't like grey credit cards on Tuesdays (or whatever)
3. The person behind me tut-tuts while I check that I have all the tickets, both ways, and all the reservations, both ways, and my receipt, and (often) the previous customer's receipt.
 
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ashkeba

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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.
That seems risky if you are relying on email delivery of a PDF because email is not a robust or reliable service.
 

edwin_m

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Perhaps a small charge should be introduced for paper tickets as with shopping bags to encourage the environmental initiative ?
With what people say about the amount of power used to run the Internet, I'm not convinced there is any environmental benefit in using it to get an e-ticket compared to a bit of cardboard that may end up being recycled. However having used them a few times I think I prefer e-tickets when available, except when travelling in a group. I always download it to the phone and laptop immediately on receipt in case of phone or reception problems when I make the journey.
 

ashkeba

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All the TOC apps allow an e-ticket (or some hybridised M-ticket version of it) to be displayed within the app.
I hate most apps. They use my data, eat my batery and want spy on me. Do you ever read those privacy policies before accepting them? And like others here I do not want m tickets. I did not realise that botched m tickets were not e tickets until someone on here explained it, thanks to Greater Anglia misselling them.

So I want to buy from a website. Who is best now?
 

infobleep

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27 Feb 2011
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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
Indeed that journey isn't. But is a lack of readers stopping it from being enabled?
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.
I found some companies and organisations seem to have a bias towards Apple's iOS, only making their software avilable for it and not Android. I don't know how wide spread this is and my examples are all not related to e-tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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I hate most apps. They use my data, eat my batery and want spy on me. Do you ever read those privacy policies before accepting them? And like others here I do not want m tickets. I did not realise that botched m tickets were not e tickets until someone on here explained it, thanks to Greater Anglia misselling them.

So I want to buy from a website. Who is best now?
If that bothers you, I'd suggest downgrading to a "dumbphone" or a landline and purchasing e-tickets and printing them out from a computer. Trainsplit wins for me at the moment due to the seat selector.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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1 Nov 2013
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915
Indeed that journey isn't. But is a lack of readers stopping it from being enabled?

I found some companies and organisations seem to have a bias towards Apple's iOS, only making their software avilable for it and not Android. I don't know how wide spread this is and my examples are all not related to e-tickets.
Could you name an organisation who does that?



I dont think I have ever come across one that doesn't work on both platforms
 

Bletchleyite

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I found some companies and organisations seem to have a bias towards Apple's iOS, only making their software avilable for it and not Android. I don't know how wide spread this is and my examples are all not related to e-tickets.
And you can use PKPASS files on Android, anyway, there are enough third party apps that do it. Why Android doesn't natively I'm not sure, possibly Apple has some kind of patent.
 

infobleep

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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.
I've lost my mobile phone and wallet before now. Separate occasions. No method is full proof.
 

Bletchleyite

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I've lost my mobile phone and wallet before now. Separate occasions. No method is full proof.
No, but if you've got an e-ticket and you lose your wallet, you've still got your e-ticket. If you've got an e-ticket and lose your phone, you could go somewhere and reprint it. (I think in-station printing of e-tickets, perhaps from a TVM at a small fee, would be a very useful addition). Or if you're really paranoid, print one at home and put it in a separate pocket, then if you're mugged of everything you can still get home.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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Monzo has typically had new features on iOS before Android, though that's probably sensible due to their likely user base. That said they had GPay before Apple Pay.

The Government only made the EU residency registration thing available on Android and not iOS!
ok, so one was available before the other but all are available on both platforms now?
 

Adam Williams

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And you can use PKPASS files on Android, anyway, there are enough third party apps that do it. Why Android doesn't natively I'm not sure, possibly Apple has some kind of patent.
It's Apple's own file format/standard.

The Government only made the EU residency registration thing available on Android and not iOS!
This was entirely Apple's fault for not making the NFC API available to use.
 

CaptainHaddock

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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.
But should we just accept technology for the sake of "progress" or instead question whether it's an improvement on the existing process? I've already made the case for paper tickets, if some people find e-tickets useful then that's fine, but they should only be used an as option alongside paper tickets rather than replacing them altogether.

Already we are seeing TOCs discriminating against people who don't trust e-tickets; for example the current Cross Country 20% off promo is barred to people who don't wish to use them. TOCs aren't promoting e-tickets for passengers' benefit, they're doing it for their own!

And then there's the more sinister aspect of buying e-tickets on a smartphone, the fact that your personal details, everywhere you go and everything you do can be tracked online by advertisers, government agencies, etc, but that's another debate for another time.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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But should we just accept technology for the sake of "progress" or instead question whether it's an improvement on the existing process? I've already made the case for paper tickets, if some people find e-tickets useful then that's fine, but they should only be used an as option alongside paper tickets rather than replacing them altogether.

Already we are seeing TOCs discriminating against people who don't trust e-tickets; for example the current Cross Country 20% off promo is barred to people who don't wish to use them. TOCs aren't promoting e-tickets for passengers' benefit, they're doing it for their own!

And then there's the more sinister aspect of buying e-tickets on a smartphone, the fact that your personal details, everywhere you go and everything you do can be tracked online by advertisers, government agencies, etc, but that's another debate for another time.
Basically, yes... the world will move on, diesel cars will become a thing of the past, paper and card tickets will also in time ( probably a long time) be phased out, like airline tickets have virtually all but disappeared. Now is the time for people to learn about and trial these things. Familiarise themselves with the new format, try it out on a short local journey when you aren't in a strange place or in a hurry and have time to feel comfortable, ask staff questions if need be and if it goes wrong you are a couple of quid down the road at most.

As for government agencies and spying, like you said that is for another thread but we cant track criminals or other undesirables as it is with lack of resources currently, I really don't think Joe Bloggs from number 56 has much to worry about.....
 

Bungle965

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Don't some "orange paper tickets" also have an Aztec barcode on them anyway?
Yes, most issued from an Avanti ticket office have small Aztec barcodes on them. I for example have a season ticket with one on.
Unfortunately the information that it can hold on it is a lot smaller than that of an e-ticket.
However they can be scanned using a handheld scanner, and should help prevent fraud on people using the return portion of a ticket more than once (provided it is actually scanned!).
LNER’s also print a small Aztec code on their tickets also, although from what I have heard they have given up with the idea of scanning them, and they appear relatively useless.
Sam
 

ashkeba

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If that bothers you, I'd suggest downgrading to a "dumbphone" or a landline and purchasing e-tickets and printing them out from a computer. Trainsplit wins for me at the moment due to the seat selector.
There is no need to overreact. I want to use a smartphone but I want to keep it under my control, not Abellio or whatever shady bunch of clowns may follow them. I do not want to print tickets out else buying at the ticket machine is almost as good. I agree with others that e-tickets are safer because you can put them on multiple devices to defend or recover from loss but when a card ticket is gone it is gone.

Thank you to you and the other Trainsplit recommender. Anyone else wish to join that or recommend another seller?
 

Bungle965

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Already we are seeing TOCs discriminating against people who don't trust e-tickets; for example the current Cross Country 20% off promo is barred to people who don't wish to use them. TOCs aren't promoting e-tickets for passengers' benefit, they're doing it for their own!
CrossCountry have been discriminating people who don’t want electronic tickets for a long time, they have always charged a fee on TOD’s tickets that have the ability to be shown electronically.
But is a lack of readers stopping it from being enabled?
I doubt it, there are many flows where e-tickets are enabled that does not have the technology either on the train or at the stations to match it.
Sam
 

sheff1

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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.
Going through the Hope Valley the other day the guard spent at least 5 mins trying to read the tickets held on a phone by the two people opposite. He gave up and said he would return later when there would be a better internet signal. When he did return he asked to operate the phone commenting that "nowadays in this job you learn how to use lots of different sorts of phone". After a few more minutes of fiddling he did finally get to check the tickets - around 30 minutes after he had first asked for them.
 

Bungle965

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Going through the Hope Valley the other day the guard spent at least 5 mins trying to read the tickets held on a phone by the two people opposite. He gave up and said he would return later when there would be a better internet signal. When he did return he asked to operate the phone commenting that "nowadays in this job you learn how to use lots of different sorts of phone". After a few more minutes of fiddling he did finally get to check the tickets - around 30 minutes after he had first asked for them.
What train company was this out of interest?
Sam
 

ashkeba

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Going through the Hope Valley the other day the guard spent at least 5 mins trying to read the tickets held on a phone by the two people opposite. He gave up and said he would return later when there would be a better internet signal. When he did return he asked to operate the phone commenting that "nowadays in this job you learn how to use lots of different sorts of phone". After a few more minutes of fiddling he did finally get to check the tickets - around 30 minutes after he had first asked for them.
I think saving it to your phone should be a requirement if you are going to present them on a phone. Here is fairly simple to test if you have really saved it: save it, close all apps, put the phone in airplane mode, then try to display the ticket. If it fails, you have probably not saved something necessary to the phone.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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Going through the Hope Valley the other day the guard spent at least 5 mins trying to read the tickets held on a phone by the two people opposite. He gave up and said he would return later when there would be a better internet signal. When he did return he asked to operate the phone commenting that "nowadays in this job you learn how to use lots of different sorts of phone". After a few more minutes of fiddling he did finally get to check the tickets - around 30 minutes after he had first asked for them.
I'm sure it didn't take much longer than the people who pull out 30 odd separate orange tickets on splits and just give the guard the lot!!
 

sheff1

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I'm sure it didn't take much longer than the people who pull out 30 odd separate orange tickets on splits and just give the guard the lot!!
When I have seen groups hand over a fistful of tickets it has not taken the guard anything like 10 mins to identify the appropriate ones. Neither did they have to disappear for 20 mins awaiting a better internet signal ;).
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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When I have seen groups hand over a fistful of tickets it has not taken the guard anything like 10 mins to identify the appropriate ones. Neither did they have to disappear for 20 mins awaiting a better internet signal ;).

I thought free WiFi was a requirement in trains now. If they weren't providing it , there isn't really a blame to put on the passenger
 

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