The "morality" of not sharing loophole tickets publicly

ABB125

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There are other errors which are just as obvious, but which prevent 'legitimate' routes being used. e.g. Birmingham Group to Warrington Group only contains the map combo BM+NR, which means mapped routes only via Manchester to Warrington Central. Birmingham New Street to Frodsham should be a simple change at Bank Quay from the Avanti service, but because map combo BM has been omitted, journey planners will send you on a trek via Shrewsbury and Chester. But perhaps that anomaly is benefiting someone who really wants to take that longer route, so we can't mention it for the benefit of 'legitimate' passengers wanting to travel from Birmingham to Frodsham, lest it be taken away -oops, seems I already have
In the latest update if the routeing guide, this anomaly has been fixed. Map BM is now valid.
 
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yorkie

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That assumes that that £300 fare isn't suppressing demand from Manchester to London, which it almost certainly is when you see how quiet those trains are and how busy the M6 is.

You'd be right if they were full, but they're not. They're so quiet the early ones can pick up near enough a whole train of commuters at MKC.

If you sell two at £150 rather than one at £300 you've got the same income. In reality that's not quite what would happen, but it wouldn't be a case of just halving the income.
I refer you to my post 157 which addressed these issues very briefly; any more detail is best placed in a new thread. We don't yet have any proposals on how this would be achieved yet anyway

In the latest update if the routeing guide, this anomaly has been fixed. Map BM is now valid.
That's good to hear; I had a feeling it would be fixed almost as soon as it was posted on here! :)
 

Hadders

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In the latest update if the routeing guide, this anomaly has been fixed. Map BM is now valid.
As we suspected, you are far more likely to get an issue fixed by mentioning it on this forum than going through the official channels.

At the same time it's also worth noting that tickets routed 'Tilbury/Gravesend', which were also mentioned further upthread, have had their restrictions tightened.
 

yorkie

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It's definitely possible to simplify the existing system around the edges. CrossCountry for example use a standard "at or after 0930" for off peak tickets with Advances "smoothing" this effect and have for many years which proves this to be possible. It causes some anomalies of its own by making splits good value in some situations, but it is at least simple.
Yep it's so simple that you know you need to split if starting a long distance journey at "peak" times; this is much simpler than the bad old days of InterCity when you could take the 0830 from Penzance and not have to buy a "peak" ticket for the emptiest part of the journey ;)

OK, I jest, but the problem is that everyone has a different idea of what is "simple"; some people think only one permitted route, one valid train, etc is simple. Others would say that being able to take any reasonable route and being able to travel at any time is simple. Some people think using one ticket is simple while others say using multiple tickets is simpler than having different peak times depending on the journey.

Similarly single fare pricing, at least for long distance journeys, makes it easier for planners to show the best value fare, which hides a lot of the complexity away from the user.

There is no "perfect" answer. However improvements are definitely possible.
They are, but wholesale changes are unlikely. There is plenty that could be done without fundamentally changing the system, but that's for another thread!
 

Watershed

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As we suspected, you are far more likely to get an issue fixed by mentioning it on this forum than going through the official channels.

At the same time it's also worth noting that tickets routed 'Tilbury/Gravesend', which were also mentioned further upthread, have had their restrictions tightened.
In the data. The electronic restrictions in place already made it effectively impossible to obtain itineraries via London.

You simply have to laugh at the futile efforts to prevent validity via London when "clarification" of the route (which, I think we have previously established, would be difficult to achieve within the character limit) would close the issue once and for all.
 

MikeWh

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Re Tilbury/Gravesend. I've just tried searching for Strood to Stanford-le-Hope. Without via points it offers Strood - Stratford Int - West Ham - Stanford le Hope at the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Adding via Tilbury Riverside changes the itinerary to Strood - Gravesend - Tilbury - Stanford-le-Hope, but is still charging the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Any idea how to get it to charge the TILBURY/GRAVESEND fare?
 

Alex365Dash

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Re Tilbury/Gravesend. I've just tried searching for Strood to Stanford-le-Hope. Without via points it offers Strood - Stratford Int - West Ham - Stanford le Hope at the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Adding via Tilbury Riverside changes the itinerary to Strood - Gravesend - Tilbury - Stanford-le-Hope, but is still charging the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Any idea how to get it to charge the TILBURY/GRAVESEND fare?
Considering the electronic route restriction for TILBRY&GRAVESEND, I’d hazard a guess the answer would be with difficulty!
TILBRY&GRAVESND (00013) (105 records)
must go via Gravesend (GRV) and Tilbury Town (TIL)
must not go via London Blackfriars (BFR), London Cannon Street (CST), Ebbsfleet International (EBD), London Fenchurch Street (FST), London Bridge (LBG), London Liverpool Street (LST), Northfleet (NFL), Stratford International (SFA), Stratford (SRA), London Victoria (VIC) or London Waterloo (East) (WAE)
Are there even any permitted routes that can be shown by a journey planner on any flow offering a TILBRY&GRAVESEND routed fare where it doesn’t direct you through the Tilbury ferry?
 

MikeWh

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Are there even any permitted routes that can be shown by a journey planner on any flow offering a TILBRY&GRAVESEND routed fare where it doesn’t direct you through the Tilbury ferry?
Probably not, but the issue here is that the planner is routeing via the ferry but charging the full price.
 

jumble

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An example that applies to airlines is Inverness to USA can be cheaper than London to USA, especially in Business Class; I was told you can even save money by factoring in the cost of the Highland Chieftain and a hotel. I don't know if this is still the case.

The anomalies available on air travel are far, far greater in scope than exist on the National Rail system in Great Britain.

I have been reliably informed that some loopholes get posted to websites such as Flyer Talk but then get removed once the airlines find out about them, but other loopholes cannot be withdrawn as they are inherently part of the fares structure.


This is IIRC because for some reason Air Passenger Duty is not levied at Inverness
I personally would not waste a day of my holiday to save the money
You are correct that there are many Loopholes involving Air Travel
The one We used was Amex churning whereby you were a creditworthy couple could easily build up enough Avios from introductory bonuses to effectivly upgrade from economy price to Club or First on British Airways
The Loophole was you could cancel the cards and after 6 months start again
One day Amex made it 24 months no doubt because a certain website publicised it and too many people were using it.
It was fantastic while it lasted
( It was totally within Amex TandC and cannot in any way be considered cheating or dishonest)
 

Cloud Strife

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This is IIRC because for some reason Air Passenger Duty is not levied at Inverness

APD isn't levied at airports in the Highlands and Islands, as they perform a lifeline role. Inverness is a problematic situation, because it led to flights to Heathrow and Amsterdam. Arguably, these are not lifeline flights and should not have any exemption from APD.
 

yorkie

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Re Tilbury/Gravesend. I've just tried searching for Strood to Stanford-le-Hope. Without via points it offers Strood - Stratford Int - West Ham - Stanford le Hope at the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Adding via Tilbury Riverside changes the itinerary to Strood - Gravesend - Tilbury - Stanford-le-Hope, but is still charging the +ANY PERMITTED fare. Any idea how to get it to charge the TILBURY/GRAVESEND fare?
It's been so heavily restricted journey planners cannot offer it. Trainsplit will offer itineraries but only with a combination of tickets; if splits are turned off it only shows itineraries via Stratford/West Ham.
 

MikeWh

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It's been so heavily restricted journey planners cannot offer it. Trainsplit will offer itineraries but only with a combination of tickets; if splits are turned off it only shows itineraries via Stratford/West Ham.
So you're saying that even of the journey planner finds an itinerary which matches the TILBURY/GRAVESEND route, it still can't offer the price?
 

Wolfie

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So you're saying that even of the journey planner finds an itinerary which matches the TILBURY/GRAVESEND route, it still can't offer the price?
Out of curiosity, is that a protected fare? If so does making it effectively unavailable break the rules? One for DfT?
 

zero

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This is IIRC because for some reason Air Passenger Duty is not levied at Inverness
I personally would not waste a day of my holiday to save the money
You are correct that there are many Loopholes involving Air Travel
The one We used was Amex churning whereby you were a creditworthy couple could easily build up enough Avios from introductory bonuses to effectivly upgrade from economy price to Club or First on British Airways
The Loophole was you could cancel the cards and after 6 months start again
One day Amex made it 24 months no doubt because a certain website publicised it and too many people were using it.
It was fantastic while it lasted
( It was totally within Amex TandC and cannot in any way be considered cheating or dishonest)

Not necessarily. I haven't ever used INV as a starting point myself, but I have used Amsterdam and Berlin and Zurich - you go there and back (my holiday starts off with a European day trip and is not "wasted") followed by a long haul in business class. This can be thousands of pounds cheaper than just buying the long haul on its own, though it's not a "real" saving if you wouldn't actually pay the long haul asking price to start in London.

The lack of APD (due to "transiting" the UK) is only a tiny part of the saving, the rest of the saving is because BA wishes to compete with other airlines on the route from Ireland or mainland Europe.

Other airlines do it too, you just have to insert various European starting points into a search engine. Air France might have a deal starting in Stockholm, LOT might have a deal starting in Italy. Lufthansa occasionally has deals starting in the UK via Frankfurt which are much cheaper than the same flight from Frankfurt only. These tickets will include APD, but it's irrelevant, only the final total price matters.

Amex in the US has made its signup bonuses once per lifetime.
 

infobleep

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I could show you some data structures which are complex. The 100m plus routes between Falkirk and Ramsgate isn't complex. It' s a set of lists of stations, which is not as simple as it gets, but pretty close. But I will grant you that 100m plus is is quite a lot to scroll through if they were to be offered to you as a set, or carry around in your head as individual routes if you're an inspector checking tickets.

But I agree with the point about using fares which are any way out of the ordinary and the worry some people would have that they are going to be challenged. It's another good reason for there being a definitive list or process to check the routes on which any specific ticket is valid. But having such a list or check is not compatible with the need for the full validity of certain "good value fares" not to be made public.
I once had a valid ticket and station staff queried it. I explained what they need to put into the booking system to show it was valid. Even after doing that they said it wasn't valid.

This means they didn't follow my instructions or they did and were lying when they said it wasn't valid.
 

Paul Kelly

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Birmingham

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Documentation on the data format is here: https://data.atoc.org/sites/all/themes/atoc/files/RSPS5045.pdf - it is quite complicated though. Very many months or even years of work for one person to make sense of it all. Much more complicated than the routeing guide, actually!
Thanks; I appreciate that explains the structure the data is found in as-is, but it’s that I don’t have the knowledge to get from that to (any!) readable format!
 

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