Single off-peak fares on Virgin: half the price of a return - is this new??

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by BRX, 20 Jan 2010.

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  1. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    Have just been checking my options for a return journey London-Glasgow and looking on the Virgin website they are offering an "Off peak single" for £54.20, which is simply half the price of an off peak return (rather than a couple of quid cheaper as has been the custom for many years).

    Is this a new development? If so, I welcome it, of course.

    Or is there some kind of catch?
     
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  3. First class

    First class Established Member

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    Only available when you buy an advance single for one of the directions IRRC and subject to restriction 2C, basically not allowed morning or evening peak (very roughly).
     
  4. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    No. For several years, Virgin have offered an Off-Peak Single at half the price of an Off-Peak Return, but only:
    • for sales on their own web site
    • as part of a return journey where the other leg is booked at the same time.
     
  5. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    Ah I see. Cheers. I made the enquiry for one direction only, and the option did not come up, as you say.
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Before simplification, it was a Saver Half. However this was confusing as it wasn't clear that it was only half of a return, so it was named to the much simpler Off Peak Single. The name 'Single' indicates it is not available singly. The name 'Off Peak' indicates it is valid on any train at peak time with a Railcard. These simple to understand names mean you can quickly work out what ticket you need to make your journey and buy with confidence. Ticket terms and conditions are now the same across all train companies nationwide, so you know exactly where you stand! ;)

    [​IMG]

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/simple_fares.html

    (And if you believe that, you'll believe that you can buy an Off Peak Return to the moon from Richard Branson's sister company. Don't forget to keep your eyes skinned for that asteroid shaped like a dancing moose ;))
     
  7. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Now now Yorkie, "Simple" is so terribly un-PC a term for the fare renaming structure. It's mum says they're
    [​IMG]
    :lol:
     
  8. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    Do you know if this is restricted to Virgin trains, or a particular route?
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    SVH - OFF-PEAK S VWC
    00000 - ANY PERMITTED

    1 Adult @£ 54.20 = £ 54.20
    __________
    £ 54.20

    Standard Class Single
    From : 1072 LONDON TERMINALS
    To : 0433 GLASGOW CEN/QST

    Restriction : 5F
    FOR TRAVEL TO OR VIA:
    London (including Luton
    Airport Parkway, Luton, Milton
    Keynes, Watford Junction and
    Reading) but NOT Kings Cross
    & Stevenage. Code 9F applies
    for journeys to/via Kings
    Cross & Stevenage

    These restrictions apply
    Monday to Friday. By any train
    on other days.

    OUTWARD TRAVEL
    You may travel on any train
    that is scheduled to DEPART as
    shown below:

    RETURN TRAVEL
    You may travel on any train
    that is scheduled to ARRIVE_as
    shown below:

    DEPART: LONDON EUSTON
    At or after 0905.

    ARRIVE: LONDON EUSTON
    At or after 1005

    DEPART: MILTON KEYNES CENTRAL
    At or after 0900

    ARRIVE: MILTON KEYNES CENTRAL
    At or after 1020

    DEPART: WATFORD JUNCTION
    At or after 0900

    ARRIVE: WATFORD JUNCTION
    At or after 1020

    From KGX it is valid:-
    Between 0929 and
    1457 inclusive & at or after
    1859. Also allowed at or after
    1815 on Fridays only.

    No mention of when it is valid from St Pancras!!! It doesn't say 9F applies out of St Pancras, and 5F makes no mention of St Pancras. Anyone going at peak time would probably be a 'test case' ;)
     
  10. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    Thanks very much for that.

    Same question mark would apply if I went from Paddington, Marylebone or Liverpool St.

    Tempting to try it and see what happens!
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    indeed. SVR/SVH/SVS tickets to places like gretna, lockerbie and glasgow used to be unrestricted from king's cross but a restriction was put in about a year or two ago.

    it can be worth checking fares from places like East Croydon too.
     
  12. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    I guess that in practice if you were wanting to get a peak hour train from London in order to get to Glasgow by a certain time, then leaving from one of the other terminals wouldn't actually help you because of the added journey time compared to going from KX or Euston.

    So maybe that's why they have never bothered to specify anything.
     
  13. faddy

    faddy Member

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    Why, when I try to buy an off-peak return from Liverpool to London Zone 1 (rather than to Euston), am I offered two full price off-peak singles rather than two "half-return-fare" off-peak singles?
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    There's not much information to go on in your post, but I'll try to answer.

    Firstly, there's not much point in being offered 2 x off peak singles, but the system will do that if you ask to see the price of singles. I'm not sure if you can actually get 2 x Off Peak Singles as the intention is that you will get an Advance one way and, where the half price ones are available, it is the same price as 1 x Off Peak Return but with less flexibility (you lose the months validity).

    So I am not sure why anyone would want to be offered 2 x off peak singles.... unless they were returning over a month later, maybe...

    Anyway, Liverpool to London (or Kensington Olympia) does indeed have two Off Peak Singles. To keep things "simple" they are different products but with the same name. One of them is just over £33, this is the former Saver Half (too complicated a name!) the other is just over £66 and is available singly.

    However Liverpool to Zone U1* Londn does not have two Off Peak Single fares, it only has one. That's the expensive one. That's why you are not offered the cheaper version.
     
  15. faddy

    faddy Member

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    No, I wasn't very clear....

    I was on the Virgin Trains site looking to see if I might match an Advanced Single with a "half price off-peak single" when I noticed that the off-peak single to London Zone 1 wasn't half price.

    It then occurred to me that had I wanted an off-peak return I was only being offered two full price off-peak singles - the VT site appears to require all returns on its own routes to be purchased as two "singles". The moral presumably being to buy through another outlet.
     
  16. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    You should be offered the off-peak return if you don't specify a date/time for the return journey (though then you can't amke areservation if you need one)
    The Virgin site does tend to split things up into single prices if you specify exact trains. Unless wanting to use the half-price singles which are only avialable from VT, it is clearer to use one of the other booking engines via East Coast or London Midland sites. (VT also now charge £1 for postage if you need postal delivery- from East coast it is still free)

    I did use VT to book a half-price off-peak single for my return leg from Buxton in July. I have booked an advace outwards as I know which train I can use & it is normally a peak service out of Euston (before 09:25) . I know which day I am coming back but not the time, so in this case it was the best solution.
     
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