Ticket through London cheaper than ticket to London

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by nogravs, 14 Apr 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nogravs

    nogravs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2015
    Hi,

    I'm not sure if I've discovered a loophole here or this scenario is just not valid but I'd appreciate your advice.

    I'm looking to travel to London from Southampton on 28th April. I'll be travelling 8:30, returning 17:00ish. On thetrainline.com, a first class return ticket will cost £131.

    What I've noticed is that single first class tickets to/from Stowmarket for the same date & times will cost £28.50 each so £57 in total. The reason I mention this is because, if I were going to Stowmarket, I would have to change at London Waterloo anyway.

    This being the case, would I get away with buying the tickets to Stowmarket but just going to London? I'm not sure how the ticket officers would know but it sounds almost too good to be true :)
     
  2. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2013
    Good morning.

    The short answer is that the £28.50 tickets you have found are a ticket type known as "Advance" tickets. Their essential terms are that they are valid on the particular train(s) specified when booking the ticket, and they are not valid for a journey that starts or ends at a point between the specified origin and the specified destination. In other words, the tickets are not valid for just London-Southampton-London, and so there is no loophole.

    And just to add, the £131 ticket is an Anytime 1st Class Return which means that it's valid for returning any day within the month beginning with the date specified for outward travel. I think that all you need is a 1st Class Anytime DAY return for £71.10 (or a standard class anytime day return at £43.10). This would be valid outward on (for example) the 0835 arriving at 0949 and returning on the 1700 arriving 1823. (NB that there are cheaper options if you are prepared to be tied to trains that take twice the shortest journey time. And NB also that buying your ticket from a train company website, or ticket office or ticket vending machine, will save you having to pay the fees charged by the Trainline on top of the ticket price.)
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  3. 185143

    185143 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,372
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2013
    The £28.50 tickets are advanced tickets which are valid on the booked trains only and no break of journey.

    However... As you have to leave the 'national rail' system and enter the London Underground, travel to Liverpool Street, A different TOCs station, you would be unlucky not to get away with it IMHO.

    Unless one of your booked trains into London had been cancelled. Then the inspectors would know that there was no way for you to have made the full journey.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Member

    Messages:
    307
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2011
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Is there any way of an RPO knowing that the OP had not gone on to Stowmarket though?
     
  5. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2011
    Yes - to expand on this, it's SWT's policy not to offer Advance tickets between London and Southampton, presumably because it's a short journey where they've no need to induce demand. (They do have advance tickets between London and Brockenhurst, but it's not permitted to start or stop short with these). The cheap tickets to Stowmarket are offered by Abellio Greater Anglia, the operator of London to Stowmarket trains.

    Have you investigated Megabus for cheap train travel between London and Southampton?
     
  6. nogravs

    nogravs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2015
    Morning folks,

    Thanks for the explanation PermitToTravel. As it's not SWT that are offering the ticket I can understand why it's so cheap.

    Picking up on 185143's point though, the journey is going to consist a SWT Train into Waterloo then a Greater Anglia Train from Liverpool St to Stowmarket. I can't see how the Ticket Officers would know that I got off at Waterloo but didn't take the tube across to Liverpool St & get on the connecting train to Stowmarket.

    I'm inclined to chance my arm. SWT prices Southampton/London are so expensive and even worse is the fact that the only way to guarantee a seat on peak trains is to travel 1st class.
     
  7. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2011
    I'm somewhat surprised by fraud being openly advocated on a public forum.

    I suppose your assessment of the risk is accurate, though. They're hardly going to follow you to the tube
     
  8. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2013
    With apologies, I have just realised that you were asking about Southampton-London-Southampton travel, whereas these examples were for London-Southampton-London.
     
  9. les.

    les. Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    7 Feb 2014
    Location:
    Great Grimsby
    The thing is that it is so open to be exploited and I don't really understand the reason why certain journeys are priced as they are.

    I travel up to The Highlands of Scotland a couple of times each year and we stay at a small place called Plockton, which is 2 stops BEFORE the end of the Inverness to Kyle line but tickets to Plockton are always twice as much as a ticket to Kyle which is 2 stops further.

    As Plockton is an unmanned station we just buy tickets to Kyle and alight at Plockton.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  10. talldave

    talldave Established Member

    Messages:
    1,201
    Joined:
    24 Jan 2013
    Just to pick up on the thread topic again, I often find it's cheaper to buy a ticket to somewhere else - even comparing like for like tickets, rather than advance alternatives. I am not aware that anyone's created the equivalent of a split ticket engine to find these, so it's a case of trial and error. Also, buying tickets "through London" seems a good way to lose TOC specific restrictions (if, perhaps, you wanted to travel on a clapped out 442 without paying a stupid premium).
     
  11. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2011
    Remember that stopping/starting short are only forbidden on Booked Train Only tickets. It's normally perfectly acceptable to do either.

    However, it can be forbidden on a case-by-case basis, so we should be careful not to share egregious examples in public.
     
  12. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    6,748
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    London
    If you're prepared to sacrifice an extra 2 or 3 hours of travel time, you could buy a Standard Anytime Day Return from Southampton Central to Romford, that would save you quite a few £s at £32.40. Unlike SWT, there really isn't a difference between First and Standard, especially if you board at the first stop and get yourself a seat. To get into London at a similar time to your original plan, you'd need to take the 0706 service from Southampton.

    Alternatively, you could buy a First Class Off Peak Day Return from Southampton Central to Swanley for £66.40. This would involve taking the 08:15 service from Southampton Central to either Basingstoke or Reading. You'd pick up the 09:17 from Basingstoke (arrives Waterloo 10:08) or 09:34 from Reading (arrives Paddington 10:02, plus includes a Tube journey). The 08:30 service from Southampton you're after arrives into Waterloo at 09:53 so it depends on how much time you have to spare.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  13. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2013
    Location:
    St. Albans | Leeds | Hong Kong | Shenzhen
    These are the prices for the Advance tickets booked through Megatrain. Not First Class, but may be worth the saving compared to booking with another website.
     

    Attached Files:

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page