Recent experience on Virgin

Status
Not open for further replies.

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,178
Location
0036
Yesterday at Heathrow I needed to get to Tokyo in a hurry. I hadn't set my alarm clock correctly so I missed the flight I'd been planning to get. My ticket was for British Airways and only valid on the one flight, but I figured I'd be able to get it changed over to Virgin on the plane without any hassle. The security people weren't very happy with the idea, but I just bolted through to the gate so that I wouldn't miss the new flight. I thought it was really unfair that I got arrested and taken off to the police station and never made it to Japan. I had every intention of paying the fare when I got the chance, but I needed to be on that service. And I didn't even beep the metal detector.


OK, so this didn't happen. But nobody would try to do this in real life on a plane (nor, in all likelihood, on a coach). So why do they expect it'll be fine on a train?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

VTPreston_Tez

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2012
Messages
1,159
Location
Preston
Wrong place fyi. "International Transport" would be a better place
To be fair the only fault is that you set your alarm clock wrongly. In this case, if BA had denied you access when other people could have boarded, then you shouldn't have been arrested. You missed the flight due to your own fault, so I am sorry but it was totally fair.
EDIT: So it didn't happen. Well either way that wouldn't be BA's fault.
EDIT 2: It isn't fine on a train, the guards and conductors are worse and don't always check properly, you just need luck. On planes it's near-impossible.
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
Wrong place fyi. "International Transport" would be a better place
To be fair the only fault is that you set your alarm clock wrongly. In this case, if BA had denied you access when other people could have boarded, then you shouldn't have been arrested. You missed the flight due to your own fault, so I am sorry but it was totally fair.
You misread it. This is the correct area because it is discussing a potential fares-related issue on the railways. island clearly states it didn't happen.

You can't get on a bus or coach without showing a valid ticket (unless conductors are present which is very rare). Ditto air travel. But trains are a different story - and this is where the problems lie. Chancers will chance when they know chances exist.
 

ralphchadkirk

Established Member
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Messages
5,764
Location
Essex
Wrong place fyi. "International Transport" would be a better place
To be fair the only fault is that you set your alarm clock wrongly. In this case, if BA had denied you access when other people could have boarded, then you shouldn't have been arrested. You missed the flight due to your own fault, so I am sorry but it was totally fair.
EDIT: So it didn't happen. Well either way that wouldn't be BA's fault.
I think you might have slightly missed the point...
 

tony_mac

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2009
Messages
3,625
Location
Liverpool
OK, so this didn't happen. But nobody would try to do this in real life on a plane (nor, in all likelihood, on a coach). So why do they expect it'll be fine on a train?
The situations are different, and I can't be bothered adding any more detail than has previously been posted on numerous threads about the same topic.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,178
Location
0036
The situations are different, and I can't be bothered adding any more detail than has previously been posted on numerous threads about the same topic.
Why is "trying to get on a train without a valid ticket" different from "trying to get on some other form of transport without a valid ticket"?
 

tony_mac

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2009
Messages
3,625
Location
Liverpool
Sorry, I am somewhat tired, stressed and irritable at the moment, and the nature of my posts was somewhat argumentative.

Your 'planes = trains' comparison has been done many times, but the two are different enough to make such a direct comparison meaningless, in my opinion.

For instance, it isn't normal to arrive at an airport, whenever you like, and simply a buy a standard-price through-ticket to your destination (possibly on board) which is valid on any other operator's service. Yet this is how most people experience the railway, most of the time.

There are very many benefits to the rail companies of running a national network - for which they receive something like £5billion pounds of taxpayers' money. I don't think it is reasonable to suddenly say 'no, it isn't a network, it is simply a connection of unrelated companies, each just doing their own thing' whenever it suits.

Anyway, I think I had best get out of here for a while.....
 

Skymonster

Member
Joined
7 Feb 2012
Messages
1,072
Change the railway so that - every ticket has to be bought before departure, every seat has to be reserved, and every passenger has to be named and positively isentifed. Then the railway will work the same way as air travel does. And the result would be a significant decrease in rail travel and a massive increase in TOC admin/booking workload - and far less travel without tickets or at incorrect fares. Law means air travel cannot be a walk-on service and air passengers know this - rail is still regarded as a walk-on, largely anonymous service as far as most passengers are concerned so (a) the railway cannot protect itself as well as airlines can and (b) some customers feel that they can "chance it" on the railway whereas they wouldn't consider do so with air.

Andy
 

WestCoast

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,436
Location
Glasgow
Change the railway so that - every ticket has to be bought before departure, every seat has to be reserved, and every passenger has to be named and positively isentifed.
Although compulsory reservation trains where passengers have to be fully "ticketed" (as they say in the airline industry) prior to boarding do exist. Eurostar and domestic TGVs in France are two examples I can think of.

It wouldn't work for UK InterCity trains though, and other similar services in the rest of Europe.
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
Change the railway so that - every ticket has to be bought before departure, every seat has to be reserved, and every passenger has to be named and positively isentifed
No chance. Imagine doing that on a high-frequency commuter route. Where I grew up we had something like 10tph to/from London during the peaks, averaging roughly 100 carriages! A reservation system for something like this - especially considering standees are a common sight - would be a backward step that would see Joe Public abandon the train in favour of the car.

Having reservations on routes such as the Heart of Wales and Cambrian Coast (where they are completely unnecessary) is bad enough!
 

Skymonster

Member
Joined
7 Feb 2012
Messages
1,072
I wasn't suggesting fully reserved was a realistic option - just pointing out what the railway would have to do to reduce the level of fare avoidance/evasion to the level air travel enjoys.

Andy
 

WestCoast

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,436
Location
Glasgow
Having reservations on routes such as the Heart of Wales and Cambrian Coast (where they are completely unnecessary) is bad enough!
It's interesting actually to see what other networks do. While France's TGVs are subject to compulsory reservation, reservations aren't actually permitted on the equivalents of regional and interregional trains in many countries in Europe.

I must admit that I usually don't hold a reservation unless I'm on an Advance ticket. It seems that on some services, many reservations are never fulfilled!
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,031
Location
Yorkshire
You can't get on a bus or coach without showing a valid ticket (unless conductors are present which is very rare). Ditto air travel. But trains are a different story - and this is where the problems lie. Chancers will chance when they know chances exist.
Disagree about coach and bus. Plenty of people get on both without a correct ticket.

Although compulsory reservation trains where passengers have to be fully "ticketed" (as they say in the airline industry) prior to boarding do exist. Eurostar and domestic TGVs in France are two examples I can think of.

It wouldn't work for UK InterCity trains though, and other similar services in the rest of Europe.
In the past, we have had certain trains marked in the timetable as reservations essential/compulsory, indeed the sleepers may still be thus marked.
 

CheekyBandit

Member
Joined
13 Dec 2010
Messages
140
Location
Sheffield
Disagree about coach and bus. Plenty of people get on both without a correct ticket.
Done this plenty of times on National Express coaches, usually turning up for an earlier service than the one I booked on. I even once made a journey without paying - having told the driver I had no ticket (it was early Sunday morning in Chesterfield when facilities were shut) and intended to pay the fare but he had no fares info for my journey.
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
We will never realistically be able to implement a reservation compulsory system for the vast majority of UK trains - but it could be implemented for some InterCity style routes as is done in the continent.

The question is do we want it here & if so would it bring real benefits to the travelling public (& dare I say it the staff who have to implement it)?

I have travelled in Spain (where I had to pass through airline style security prior to boarding my Euromed from Barcelona to Alicant), In France on the TGV, Italy on Eurostrar Italia, and of course on Eurostar & Thalys (albeit without a reservation due due an earlier missed connection) all with compulsory reservation. Some of these services operate a ticket check prior to boarding and some on board - very few do both. I do not know what the penalty would be if someone with an otherwise valid ticket was to board a TGV par example without a reservation.

I like the system that we have here (& in Germany) in that one can board any train holding a valid ticket (with the understandable exceptions of the overnight sleeper services) without prior reservation. To have this flexibility however one must realise that in some circumstances one will not be guaranteed a seat unless one has reserved in advance (subject to the applicable deadlines)

So does the forum think compulsory reservation is a good idea for the UK train system (InterCity routes only). Remember no lables are required so one can book up to a few minutes prior to the departure time of one's train at one's local station - passengers must sit in their reserved seats.

Over to you........
 

Deerfold

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2009
Messages
10,548
Location
Yorkshire
Done this plenty of times on National Express coaches, usually turning up for an earlier service than the one I booked on. I even once made a journey without paying - having told the driver I had no ticket (it was early Sunday morning in Chesterfield when facilities were shut) and intended to pay the fare but he had no fares info for my journey.
I did that once.

I used to get the approx 0300 Cambridge - Heathrow as far as Hitchin about once a month. There was no saving in buying in advance and it was rarely as much as a third full. There were occasions where my plans changed so I didn't get it (I usually paid the small difference in fare to get a return on the train service in case I was ready to return by 2315).

On one occasion the ticket machine was broken so the driver let me board and travel without paying even though I'd boarded with money in hand.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
We will never realistically be able to implement a reservation compulsory system for the vast majority of UK trains - but it could be implemented for some InterCity style routes as is done in the continent.

The question is do we want it here & if so would it bring real benefits to the travelling public (& dare I say it the staff who have to implement it)?

So does the forum think compulsory reservation is a good idea for the UK train system (InterCity routes only). Remember no lables are required so one can book up to a few minutes prior to the departure time of one's train at one's local station - passengers must sit in their reserved seats.

Over to you........
If one's local station is staffed...

I catch a train weekly from an unstaffed station. I then typically make a 6 minute connection onto my Intercity train at a station with 1 ticket window.

I cannot guarantee before the day that I will catch that service (depends if I manage to get up at 5am...). A pain to make and change the reservation.

There's dozens of commuters catch the train one stop as far as Leeds - I'm guessing that's a lot of time and work required if they all need reservations. Most of them can catch a train 10 minutes either side which is not an Intercity service but this would increase overcrowding on these services with no obvious benefit.

Once the train is fully reserved does that mean no one else can catch it? I'd estimate about 10% of reserved seats (perhaps higher) on my usual service are not used by the reservee.
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
Once the train is fully reserved does that mean no one else can catch it? I'd estimate about 10% of reserved seats (perhaps higher) on my usual service are not used by the reservee.
The short answer on the French TGV is yes once fully reserved you can not book and in theory can not board. I could not obtain a reservation for a Strasbourg - Paris TGV as it was fully booked and they barriered the platform to stop unreserved passengers boarding. As I had onward connections from Paris to Barcelona I was allowed to ask the Chef de Train for permission to board - luckily he said yes - but lo & behold I noticed up to 10 empty seats in the two coaches I walked through. The train was very busy but not 100% full.

With regard to passengers travelling one or two local stops on an InterCity train in Europe - this is generally frowned upon. These trains are not commuter trains but for long distance passengers. Generally you find that you need a reservation and/or supplement to travel. A 5€ or 10€ supplement may not be much extra on a 500km journey but would probably price most folk off a local trip where it could in theory double the fare.

I'm not saying I agree with the above - it's just what I have seen on my travels abroad.
 

Deerfold

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2009
Messages
10,548
Location
Yorkshire
With regard to passengers travelling one or two local stops on an InterCity train in Europe - this is generally frowned upon. These trains are not commuter trains but for long distance passengers. Generally you find that you need a reservation and/or supplement to travel. A 5€ or 10€ supplement may not be much extra on a 500km journey but would probably price most folk off a local trip where it could in theory double the fare.

I'm not saying I agree with the above - it's just what I have seen on my travels abroad.
Indeed, but quite often in this country Intercity trains provide many local links (Leeds - Wakefield W'gate may only be 10-15 minutes but with 3 IC services and 2 locals an hour I can see people being miffed to be priced off the long distance services, not to mention various far south western destinations).

To work like that without annoying a lot of people we'd have to seperate out provision into local and long distance services more distinctly that we do now - which would most likely make some no longer economical to provide.
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
To work like that without annoying a lot of people we'd have to seperate out provision into local and long distance services more distinctly that we do now - which would most likely make some no longer economical to provide.
I think personally introducing compulsory reservations/IC supplements would be a non starter in this country - too many people would lose out for too little gain.
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,616
To work like that without annoying a lot of people we'd have to seperate out provision into local and long distance services more distinctly that we do now - which would most likely make some no longer economical to provide.
Or if we did make Intercity services reservation compulsory do you not think that this would mean you could reduce the frequency of certain off peak trains and thus ensure that those trains were then actually full. And thus you could fre up more paths for a more frequent local service serving the big cities?

Just a thought/Idea that would maybe make Intercity services rely on less subsidy as trains that are full surely rely on less subsidy. And also would it make for better connections if there was a more frequent local stopper service outwards from the cities.
 

Deerfold

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2009
Messages
10,548
Location
Yorkshire
Or if we did make Intercity services reservation compulsory do you not think that this would mean you could reduce the frequency of certain off peak trains and thus ensure that those trains were then actually full. And thus you could fre up more paths for a more frequent local service serving the big cities?

Just a thought/Idea that would maybe make Intercity services rely on less subsidy as trains that are full surely rely on less subsidy. And also would it make for better connections if there was a more frequent local stopper service outwards from the cities.
It's been my experience that on the London - Leeds (and beyond) services that the extra passengers travelling into/out of Leeds to/from further North are using the service at its quietest part. Equally when travelling Leeds - Wakefield - those leaving at Wakefield are generally replaced there by longer distance travellers.

There are also calls for increases in the frequency of all these services - the reasons EC gave for running the recent extra services to York instead of Leeds was a lack of paths into Leed, not lack of demand. XC also want to run an extra hourly service by this route instead of Doncaster...and it's rare to catch a quiet one except very late midweek.
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,616
It's been my experience that on the London - Leeds (and beyond) services that the extra passengers travelling into/out of Leeds to/from further North are using the service at its quietest part. Equally when travelling Leeds - Wakefield - those leaving at Wakefield are generally replaced there by longer distance travellers.

There are also calls for increases in the frequency of all these services - the reasons EC gave for running the recent extra services to York instead of Leeds was a lack of paths into Leed, not lack of demand. XC also want to run an extra hourly service by this route instead of Doncaster...and it's rare to catch a quiet one except very late midweek.
Yeah I was mainly coming from the london to wherever part. Ive been on some services to Newcastle where they have been less then full and thats what got me thinking about the whole reservation compulsory just to join the train and reduce frequency.

Obviously I can understand why people for say, Peterborough would want an EC service as it is and obviously it could lead to people who live there booking up loads of seats on each service just to spread out their time of travelling on their season but it was just a wild thought. I have many a day.
 

Deerfold

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2009
Messages
10,548
Location
Yorkshire
Yeah I was mainly coming from the london to wherever part. Ive been on some services to Newcastle where they have been less then full and thats what got me thinking about the whole reservation compulsory just to join the train and reduce frequency.

Obviously I can understand why people for say, Peterborough would want an EC service as it is and obviously it could lead to people who live there booking up loads of seats on each service just to spread out their time of travelling on their season but it was just a wild thought. I have many a day.
You do find some later peak services quieten out considerably after Stevenage or Peterborough. But not really enough to reduce the frequency of the EC services and put on some extra locals.
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
The situations are different, and I can't be bothered adding any more detail than has previously been posted on numerous threads about the same topic.
Until they start putting rails in the sky, adding block signalling, making access to departure lounges open to all, access gates to anyone with a valid ticket to anywhere, allowing open tickets with no reservations and offering regular mid-journey changes, I can only echo this statement.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top