ScotRail naughty naughty with Family Railcard discount

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4SRKT

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ScotRail have introduced a Kids Go Free scheme between Mallaig and Fort William. Up to two children free with a fare paying adult. This is obviously a good deal.

At Mallaig yesterday I asked for one and a half return with Family Railcard to Morar. Unfortunately I was in a rush because two ridiculous old battleaxes who weren't travelling that day chose 15:45 (20 minutes before one of only 4 daily departures) to come down and make complex enquiry about fares to somewhere in the south of England judging by the larcenous fares they finally settled on. This rush meant I didn't look at the tickets until too late. She had sold me a Kids Go Free job instead of what I'd asked for, presumBly assuming that this must be the best deal. But as any fule kno, an adult + child on a railcard is ALWAYS cheaper than just the adult fare. Because such a short journey as this is affected by the £1 child minimum fare the difference was only 10p, but had I been going to Fort William it would have been much more.
 
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reb0118

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Can someone who is not arithmetically challenged work out a table informing one when one would be cheaper to give a F&F discount or issue a "Children go free" (One will not use theK word) ticket?

As a rule of thumb if the number of adults are greater or equal to the number of children would it be cheaper to give the F&F discount?
 

LexyBoy

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Can someone who is not arithmetically challenged work out a table informing one when one would be cheaper to give a F&F discount or issue a "Children go free" (One will not use theK word) ticket?

As a rule of thumb if the number of adults are greater or equal to the number of children would it be cheaper to give the F&F discount?

*holds up hand as wasting ten minutes doing this*

See attached - for between 1 & 4 adults and children (i.e. all combinations valid with a F&F Railcard), the Railcard wins out except for 1A2C, 2A3C, 2A4C. This makes sense when you think that you're getting the best value out of the "kids go free" offer with a 1:2 adult/child ratio. With 3 or more adults and more than 4 children, the "kids go free" offer wins out.
 

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John @ home

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*holds up hand as wasting ten minutes doing this*

See attached - for between 1 & 4 adults and children (i.e. all combinations valid with a F&F Railcard), the Railcard wins out except for 1A2C, 2A3C, 2A4C. This makes sense when you think that you're getting the best value out of the "kids go free" offer with a 1:2 adult/child ratio. With 3 or more adults and more than 4 children, the "kids go free" offer wins out.
I don't agree with two aspects of these calculations:
  1. the fare for a Child travelling with a Family & Friends Railcard holder has been calculated as 25% of the undiscounted Adult fare. It is actually charged at 19% (advertised as Save 60% on Kids fares but reduced from 20% to 19% of the Adult fare to allow for rounding)
  2. the table does not take account of the minimum F&F Railcard Child fare. For most combinations where the F&F fare is generally cheaper, the minimum fare causes this not to be so for low priced journeys.
 

4SRKT

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I don't agree with two aspects of these calculations:
  1. the fare for a Child travelling with a Family & Friends Railcard holder has been calculated as 25% of the undiscounted Adult fare. It is actually charged at 19% (advertised as Save 60% on Kids fares but reduced from 20% to 19% of the Adult fare to allow for rounding)
  2. the table does not take account of the minimum F&F Railcard Child fare. For most combinations where the F&F fare is generally cheaper, the minimum fare causes this not to be so for low priced journeys.


But the journey has to very cheap in the first place to make any difference on the minimum child fare front. On my 3 miles each way Mallaig > Morar return yesterday the railcard discount stillwon, if only by 10p. Journeys where KGF is actually better than FFR are pretty unusual.

What should happen is that booking office staff should dispense what is asked for, and not try to second guess.
 

LexyBoy

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the fare for a Child travelling with a Family & Friends Railcard holder has been calculated as 25% of the undiscounted Adult fare. It is actually charged at 19% (advertised as Save 60% on Kids fares but reduced from 20% to 19% of the Adult fare to allow for rounding)
Thanks for that - I didn't check and just went from memory. I've amended the table, as you can see the Railcard fares win out for some of the high child-to-adult ratio scenarios.

the table does not take account of the minimum F&F Railcard Child fare. For most combinations where the F&F fare is generally cheaper, the minimum fare causes this not to be so for low priced journeys.

This is deliberate - it wouldn't be practical to include the minimum fare unless a specific fare was chosen (this would be easy to add of course). I just forgot to mention it! The table only works where the adult fare is not less than £5.25 (i.e. the child fare is >=£1).
 

CarterUSM

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Why bother? It only takes a moment or two to check both fares, I've yet to come across a fare that is less expensive than the railcard discount, but checking the two is minimally time consuming.
 
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