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. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    Free-WiFi may be a requirement however whether it is working or not is another matter.
    Sam
     
  2. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    Then nobody can blame the passengers for not showing a ticket if it isn't working.
     
  3. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Not much 4G signal on the Hope Valley for the wi-fi to work off.
     
  4. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    You don’t need a signal to display eTickets. And there’s no need for one to scan the barcode - all the info is in the barcode. The scanner should also have a local hotlist (updated when internet connection available).
     
  5. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Not railway related but Facebook built an App called Mentions. It was avilable to celbraties on Android and iOS platforms but only avilable to non celbraties on iOS. That's more of restriction than the Pp not being produced.

    Inspiration Software make an called Inspiration Maps and it's iOS only. I use their older but rather good Inspiration software on my Windows PC and Macbook.

    RADAR app for location disabled toilets was only realised for iOS in 2014. There was a press release so say it would becoming to Android but it never xid. It was eventually scrapped though. It wasn't that good to be fair.

    Thiss along made me feel as if their was a bias. In the grand scheme maybe their isn't.
     
  6. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    There is a risk if two people present the same ticket to different scanners during a period when one or both of them doesn't have internet access, so the second scanner doesn't "know" the ticket has already been scanned. But it's probably not very likely.

    There must also be some complexity to manage the situation where the same ticket is scanned more than once during a journey. For a long journey this could include the gate at the origin station, more than one ticket inspection en route and a gate at destination. And if changing such as to/from platform 0 at Stockport there could be additional scans at gates during the journey as well.
     
  7. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Free WiFi only works when there is a decent signal and the train offers free WiFi

    Also what if someone stores their ticket in Google Drive, as I did for an airplane ticket once. I couldn't get to Google Driver as access was blocked on their WiFi.

    Google Drive is blocked by some, if not all, TOCs too. Thankfully I had a copy locally on another device so I used that at the airport.
     
  8. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    As I mentioned in my earlier post, purely from observation it seems to take a little longer on average. Reading or scanning a single e-ticket is pretty quick. It slows down when it is used with some sort of railcard as they aren't displayed on the same screen. Also to scan the inspector needs to be physically nearer the passenger, they can't just look across three seats. In cases where the inspector is too far away to read the words on a ticket, people are much quicker to pass a card ticket across than they are a mobile phone.
    The amount of people not having their card tickets ready seems to be about the same as those who don't have their phones ready.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's not actually a proprietary format per-se (otherwise the third party apps wouldn't be able to do it). It's a ZIP file containing an XML and any images.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Much as you oppose them, the apps are by far the easiest way to do this (where they support proper e-tickets and not hybrid m-tickets).
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I was referring to checking e-tickets, not using them. There is an app to verify them that can be used on existing company-issue phones - that's how the Manchester Piccadilly heavies squad does it. So implementing e-ticket acceptance costs next to nothing.

    You can optionally purchase and show an e-ticket through an app, but that's optional, though I find it a good option myself.
     
  12. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    Indeed - and Apple provide some docs for it which I've read. I thought it was JSON rather than XML, actually.

    But it's not an "open spec" that was developed with vendor consensus, is it? Apple just did their own thing, as I understand it?

    Not that Google have done anything better!
     
  13. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    If the inspector needs to be physically nearer the passenger, then their scanner should be replaced with a better one. I just tested this, displaying a dense QR code for this page's fairly long address on my monitor, resizing it to the size of my phone screen, then starting the barcode scanner app on my phone and walking to it across the office. It scans easily about 1.5m away. Slightly more if the monitor brightness is low so the scanner does not get confused by the web page's brightness. I cannot read the details off a card ticket quickly at 1.5m. And this is with a low-end phone camera. A dedicated scanner should beat it easily.
     
  14. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I've travelled right across Europe with multiple e-tickets from all the national TOCs (and including the connecting flights in the same way).
    It saves all the fuss of navigating ticket machines or queuing up to negotiate embarrassingly at foreign ticket offices where you don't know the ticketing options.
    It also lets you explore the best en route split-ticket options at your leisure.
    All the train crew want to do is scan the barcode.
    There are unfortunately still some cross-border legs where they insist on paper tickets, and they are a pain, but generally e-tickets are a common setup Europe-wide.
    When did you last see a paper air ticket?

    Domestically, I'm usually stuck with Merseyrail who don't do e-tickets - well, they do one, the off-peak Daysaver (that's for their own services only).
    You can get that as an e-ticket from their web site, but no others.
    Their web site says 64 of their 68 stations have ticket offices, and they have 19 stations with ticket machines (but you can't collect ToD tickets on them).
    For other TOCs' ToD tickets they tell you to use other TOCs' machines at Liverpool Lime St/South Parkway and Chester.
    I also often use Day Rangers (Lancashire or Cheshire) and I don't think any of the local TOCs will issue those except on paper.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You might be right, I forget.

    They did, but having taken off I just don't get why Google don't support it.
     
  16. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Who is putting any blame on the passenger ?
     
  17. td97

    td97 Member

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    I always use e-tickets (or m- if necessary) as:
    • My local station has no ticket buying facilities but usual arrival stations are barriered, hence it's easier to get the ticket before my journey starts and not have to worry about the guard being a no-show or queuing at the destination.
    • Northern guards distribute "bog roll" tickets which are large and cumbersome for any wallet.
    • It's easier to have the transactions stored in an online account for amendment or delay repay purposes. Easy to print the confirmation to a PDF and merge several together if necessary (split tickets). No need to worry about losing ticket/taking legible photo of ticket etc.
    • LNER are my choice of TOC to purchase from, being an Android user and the ease of tickets stored in Google Pay on my phone, even when purchased from my desktop. It's already been mentioned about the permanent notification on the lock screen to easily access the barcode/journey details which maxes the screen brightness when opened to aid scanning.
    • As far as I'm aware, they are the only retailer to integrate with Google Pay - does anyone know of any others?
    • However I have accounts with most of the other TOCs I use to take advantage of promotions only available if you book directly with the TOC, and opt for e/m tickets as necessary.
    • I last opted for a paper ticket when Northern had a 50% off promotion on for my line which was only available in printed form. Same goes for Duo tickets.
    • Northern guards don't seem to scan the barcode. Apparently their devices have poor battery, being issued in 2016 and not updated since?
    • Battery life is never a worry for me as my phone goes 2 days between charges.

    I think the difference is that the Passbook/Apple Wallet method is an actual file which is downloaded on the device (and then saved to the iPhone account), whereas Google's method is entirely cloud based - no file downloads/email attachments, just click one button and it syncs straight to your device.
     
  18. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    Let’s not talk about the phones that the goon squad have been given, if for example it has been scanned in the morning then it will automatically clip both the outbound and return journey, meaning it won’t work the gates in the evening when the passenger returns.
    Sam
     
  19. island

    island Established Member

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    I have very occasionally used e-tickets, but have no desire to use e-tickets, m-tickets, print at home tickets, etc. again. They have never managed to operate any ticket gates on LNER (or predecessors) for me, instead displaying some wibble about “ticket not valid at this location”, and whilst I’m not worried about my phone running down, it’s a lot of faff to use the various apps and plugins they seem to require, not to mention trying to display two tickets and a railcard at the one time. I also read a lot of concerning stories about ticket activation and people being charged up for not doing it. I’ll stick with my orange and yellow* bits of card a while longer thanks.

    I do use barcoded electronic tickets for Eurostar, who are happy to accept the six-character booking reference for manual check-in if needed, and of course Oyster on which my annual Travelcard is loaded.

    *apparently the words “rail settlement plan” are in fact printed in lime green, but it looks yellow to me
     
  20. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    The PassWallet app on Android will allow you to add and store e-tickets. It's what I use for journeys where I'm not travelling by season ticket, and it's fab.
     
  21. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    I have to say, now, I avoid them altogether and use the footbridge so I can pass through the ticket gates at the low numbered platforms. I even (inadvertently) bagged a free panettone on the first Monday of Avanti because I was doing that, having walked down from platform 14 just as the newly rebranded Pendolino was arriving :)

    But yeah, that is my one bugbear with E-Tickets; they're great, until some aspect of the technology fails, and then they're useless.
     
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Of course one reads about printed tickets not fully printing or other such izsue, so even that isn't full proof.
     
  23. E759

    E759 Member

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    The "new" LNER e-tickets are the best I've come across so far. I've now converted to using these over TOD for journeys incorporating LNER. Why? TOD collection failures can be a bitch to resolve and can result in the need to obtain a new ticket at a different price. LNER e-ticket can be printed on any available printer.

    The big problem for me is lack of outboundary Travelcards or cross-London e-tickets. The rail industry need to sort this.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've not tried the LNER app, going to London tomorrow so will give it a go.

    Edit: or not, the app just directs you to the website to buy tickets, a cack-handed and messy solution. No thanks!
     
  25. E759

    E759 Member

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    All the information you need is on the ticket - Nope. Most of my trips are cross London and the ticket doesn't explain how to cross London.
    They work ticket barriers (mostly) - Nope. Exact opposite in fact. Through tickets for my long journeys are blocked (105) by my TOC (Southern)
    They're not dependent on you having a working phone, a full battery and internet access. Nope. The LNER e-ticket can be printed and the copy in iPhone wallet doesn't need Internet access.
     
  26. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    Although I generally prefer paper tickets, I do occasional voluntary work for a charity which involves meetings in London. They are happy to buy train tickets for me; in the past they had them delivered by post but have now switched to using e-tickets. For this purpose and for this route this is now more convenient for everyone involved than paper tickets.
     
  27. 35B

    35B Member

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    I could - but the credit card size of the orange ticket works nicely for him, compared to the pdf. This is about meeting his emotional needs as well as the purely transactional requirements.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    He has an emotional need for a credit card sized piece of card, as distinct from a folded piece of A4 which could be easily placed in the notes section of his wallet and actually contains more information about his journey?

    Seriously?
     
  29. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    I think for "emotional need," read, "can't cope with change." Not exactly an unusual trait amongst the older, anxious, and railway enthusiast communities.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm sure @35B could assist him in coping with what would be an extremely minor change. Nobody is saying he has to use a smartphone or indeed any mobile phone of any kind, simply switch to a different sized piece of paper that operates barriers differently.
     

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