Travelling Eurostar, refused ticket to StP Int'l

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by travellinglight, 4 Oct 2011.

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  1. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    The worst that could reasonably happen is that you be asked to buy a new ticket. Even then, I feel that would be unenforceable given that you would have been sold the tickets without proof of your Eurostar reservations.

    It's not a big deal.

    Calm down. Telephone Eurostar and ask them for their advice. No doubt this is a fairly common situation.
     
  2. First class

    First class Established Member

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    This is the official guidance:

    SWT local instructions are not to sell them without the ticket, so the retailer was correct in refusing the sale.

    "must be presented at time of purchase" is also underlined in the Manual and it reads that that is the norm, not the exception.
     
  3. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I understand your concern, given SWT's campaign of posters proclaiming "Buy a valid ticket. It's cheaper than the fines" and "Twickenham to Wimbledon. Cost: £150 and a criminal conviction. Wish I had bought a ticket".

    However, you can only be fined by a court. A TOC could demand a new ticket, or a Penalty Fare (not a legal matter), or report you for prosecution - realistically none of these are likely and assuming you had been sold a ticket on the basis of only having a confirmation letter, you could successfully appeal any of them.

    From First Class's post, it appears that you only need to prove you have Eurostar tickets for purchase, not for the tickets to be valid when travelling, so as long as you can be sold them (Eurostar's telesales being an obvious contender) you shouldn't have a problem travelling.
     
  4. travellinglight

    travellinglight Member

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    Thanks :)

    I'm on the phone now.... "Thank you for holding - we'll be with you as soon as possible"

    But unfamiliar to us... and not very familiar even to those who have replied!
     
  5. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I think this thread has a great deal of talking at cross purposes.

    travellinglight, can you please clarify whether you are trying to buy
    • a return ticket from an un-named station to destination "London International", or
    • a return ticket from an un-named station to London St Pancras, or perhaps Kings Cross St Pancras tube station?
     
  6. travellinglight

    travellinglight Member

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    copied from my first post on this thread.
    I do not understand "London International". Our Eurostar booking was (is) for St Pancras International, so it seemed reasonable for me to ask for a return ticket between my local station and St Pancras International.
     
  7. Tomonthetrain

    Tomonthetrain Established Member

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    Buying a ticket to london international means you are covered by EU LAW if your train is delayed
     
  8. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    There are two different types of ticket you can buy when travelling to London to connect with a Eurostar journey. The first option is just a normal ticket to London, which if you're coming from the south you'd probably want to buy to zone U1 (i.e. to include a single journey on the tube from Waterloo or wherever through to St Pancras) rather than simply to London Terminals. You don't need to have a Eurostar ticket to buy one of these, obviously.

    The second option is a ticket to a special destination called either "London International (CIV)" or "Lndon Estar CIV" depending on who you buy it from. This is the kind of ticket that SWT are telling you you can only buy if you already have a Eurostar ticket. Tickets to either of these special destinations include the cross-London tube transfer (unless your mainline service arrives at St Pancras or Kings Cross, where it isn't included as it isn't necessary).

    The essential difference between these tickets comes in cases when your train to London is delayed causing you to miss your Eurostar (or vice-versa in the return direction). CIV is the name for the Europe-wide convention that applies to cross-border train travel and gives you additional rights over and above those you get with normal UK tickets - with a CIV ticket Eurostar (or SWT for your return) are obliged to get you to your destination at no further cost to you, which may involve putting you up in a hotel if you've missed the last train of the day. With a normal UK ticket this does not apply.

    In practice Eurostar are pretty good about getting you there if this happens even if you don't have a CIV ticket, but I imagine SWT would be rather less accommodating if it happened with a delayed Eurostar on the way home so in that case the additional protection you get from a CIV ticket is definitely worth having.
     
  9. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The ticket clerk would have asked if you were travelling on Eurostar in order to determine whether to offer a ticket to "London International", or just to U1 (any Zone 1 station). He would then have asked to see your Eurostar ticket, necessary to issue the former ticket. Without that if couldn't sell it.

    Why he didn't offer the U1 ticket instead I don't know. You can certainly buy this- just explain you don't need an "International" ticket.
     
  10. travellinglight

    travellinglight Member

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    Thanks for recent posts clarifying the situation somewhat.

    We want to travel from our local station (SWT) to Wimbledon, where we board a train (not SWT! ;) ) that goes direct to St Pancras International - no need for Underground/Tube. When he offered me tickets to Kings Cross I realised that this would involve an extra, seemingly unnecessary, walk to get from Kings Cross to St Pancras International.

    I need to sleep on it now... in fact it may be best if I don't post again until either (a) we make our journey and I'm back at this computer, or (b) we decide to cancel. It all seems so unreasonably complicated for us poor old pensioners.
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sorry but I don't see what's complicated? You simply need to ring Eurostar telesales and ask for a ticket from your local station (really it would make life much easier if we knew which station it was) to London International. That's it, jobs done! If you need advice on which trains to use to get to St Pancras (which is the same place as London International) we will be happy to advise (assuming you would tell us where you're travelling from or at least a station close by on the same line).

    Admittedly it perhaps isn't the most obvious way but that's all you need to do.
     
  12. travellinglight

    travellinglight Member

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    We booked the Eurostar ticket first! then I went to our local station.
     
  13. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    It's perhaps not easy having a station that is known by more than one name (St Pancras, London International, London St Pancras International, plus King's Cross St Pancras on the Underground), but there's no reaosn to cancel the trip!

    The fares system is complicated, and we all know that it can be very confusing for irregular travellers, which is why this forum exists. We can provide better assistance if the OP tells us where they are travelling from. If they don't it's up to them, but I still can't see any reason to panic, or to cancel!
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    There is no fare from Wimbledon to
    the destination "King's Cross", so you were sold one of these tickets:

    LONDON INTL(CIV)
    LONDON TERMINALS
    LONDON ST PANCRS
    ZONE U123* LONDN

    The first ticket is the best ticket to get as it means that it's a legitimate combination of tickets for an international journey. There are two routeing depending on whether you wish to take the tube or not, in your case you do not. Providing you allow at least the minimum interchange/check in times, then you're covered in the event of delays.

    The London Terminals ticket gets you to within a few miles of King's Cross, you can get as far as City Thameslink or Charing Cross but no further.

    The London St Pancras ticket gets you all the way to St Pancras, providing you do not use the Underground. This can be done on direct FCC trains, or by changing at Waterloo, Waterloo East and London Bridge.

    The Zone U123* Londn ticket is valid to any Underground station within London fare zones 1, 2 or 3. This of course includes King's Cross St Pancras.
     
  15. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That doesn't matter Eurostar are perfectly capable of selling the ticket to London International even if you bought the ticket to the continent at a different time. Seriously ring them up and explain the situation I'm sure they will be more than happy to sell you a ticket from your home station to London International, probably without asking to know if you already have a Eurostar ticket and if they do want to know simply give them your booking reference.
     
  16. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Or ask again at your local station. If they ask if you're travelling on Eurostar, just say no or explain that you just want a ticket to St Pancras. (This ticket has less protection against delays, but saves faffing about with telesales). Leave plenty of time for your connexions and you'll be fine.

    I suspect your original problems were just a miscommunication; there's no reason you can't buy a ticket for the journey you describe at the station - just not the special "London International" fares.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    St Pancras International is the name of the station but does not appear on tickets, the tickets are either specifically to " LONDON ST PANCRS" which allows you to do what you want to do, ie take a direct train to St Pancras, or to "LONDON INTL(CIV)" which has two routeing options, the "Not Underground" option should suffice.
     
  18. lemonic

    lemonic Member

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    Actually SWT (and all UK operators) have to honour your ticket from Zone U1* London or London Terminals if you are delayed by Eurostar. This is guaranteed even if you don't have a CIV ticket.
     
  19. bengley

    bengley Established Member

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    Athough I can understand you want privacy on the internet you're making it unnecessarily difficult for people on here to help you with your problem.

    Nobody can track you down and break into your home by knowing you live in Basingstoke, Fleet, Ringwood or Aldershot - these places have so many homes that the burglar would have to break into thousands of other houses before he found yours just going by the fact you live in Farnham.
     
  20. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    In reality, guaranteed or not, providing the minimum interchange times are adhered to, I've never heard of anyone refused onward travel to or from Eurostar so I don't think that the original poster has anything to worry about.
     
  21. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    Useful to know, can you point me to somewhere public that this rule is documented for future reference?
     
  22. lemonic

    lemonic Member

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  23. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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  24. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Fair point - and you can probably bet that very few railway staff who man the sort of places that matter, such as the Waterloo barrier line, will have seen that FAQ... :roll:
     
  25. travellinglight

    travellinglight Member

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    Well, we're back from our Eurostar trip. Thanks SO much to all who have responded above.

    To summarize:
    We went back to the station clutching our printout of the confirmation booking. The ticket issuer sold us 2 returns to "London International (CIV)", valid until a date in December so, presumably, open returns.
    There were NO problems whatsoever on trains (SWT/Southern), the tickets were accepted at the automatic barriers without any alarm bells ringing. Eurostar was OK too :)

    Just a few points by way of matters arising.

    (a) I realise that many of you work for rail companies, but I'm an infrequent traveller and Railcard holder. Because I also have a bus pass, I use trains even more infrequently these days. I use the National Rail Enquiries and Traveline websites to plan journeys. With these websites, I'll be typing the name of a station, such as St Pancras International or London Victoria. But the ticket that I buy is NOT to these stations! (e.g. ticket machine does not know "London Victoria", it issues ticket to "London Terminals".) I do find it confusing. As we are Railcard holders, I had assumed the Railcards wouldn't be valid on Eurostar, so it didn't occur to me to ask for a through ticket from my local station!

    (b) Please can someone give me the link to your glossary page? Even I can understand "TVM" :) but others are puzzling ("DOO"??)

    (c) About the SWT employee at my local station. Strictly he was correct to say he couldn't sell me the CIV ticket without the Eurostar ticket - I accept that. But... when we went back and he did sell me the tickets, he gave us two copies of the SWT "Any Concerns?" form (SW180) on which the following had been written:

    APPRECIATION [underlined]
    NOMINATE THE EMPLOYEE [his name?!?!?!]
    Ticks beside "Personal Details" and "Comments"
    A line through "Journey Details"

    Is this standard practice? We haven't filled in the forms ;)
     
  26. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    I don't think there is a glossary page, however DOO stands for 'Driver Only Operation', ie no onboard guard and ticket checks carried out at random by inspectors.

    I'm glad that you got sorted in the end.

    The reason for London Terminals is that tickets to London Terminals are often valid to a variety of different stations, not just the one you selected on the TVM.
     
  27. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Pleased you got the correct ticket; as you say the ticket clerk was under no obligation to sell it (indeed their guidelines tell them not to).

    Eurostar is an unusual case as special "London International" tickets are available. As discussed though, you should have been offered a ticket to "London St Pancras" though.

    Regarding confusion over named stations, some stations are "grouped" in rail ticketing terms, so tickets are (generally) issued to "London Terminals" rather than specifically "London Victoria" - this is advantageous for the passenger as it allows them to travel to/from any London terminal which is on a valid route for their journey (e.g. your journey via Wimbledon could go to Waterloo direct, or change at Clapham Junction for Victoria, or even continue from Waterloo via Waterloo East to Blackfriars, City Thameslink, London Bridge or Charing Cross).

    I understand your confusion though - it's a tricky for the industry which is always under pressure to introduce new offers and promote/discourage travel on particular routes (in addition to competition between TOCs) to balance with making ticketing understandable and clear to customers. I feel it's way too complex and confusing, but others disagree since the abundance of routes & offers allows some bargains to be made.

    The best advice to avoid buying the wrong ticket or one more expensive than you need, is always to buy at the ticket office (when available). Failing that, check the price on National Rail Enquiries and ensure the ticket price on the machine matches what they quote. If in doubt, buy the cheaper ticket for your journey (e.g. Super Off Peak if you're not sure whether your train is classed as Off Peak or Super Off Peak) - if you get the wrong ticket, you'll only pay the difference.
     
  28. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Hope you had a great trip!

    The UK railway system is confusing. I think everyone except ATOC accepts that! Fortunately, this forum, and this section in particular, cna usually provide a lot of useful help.

    Yes, there are alot of abbreviations used - everywhere I have worked has been the same, not just the railway, the NHS and Royal Mail were also full of acronyms that are pretty incomprehensible!

    It might be a good diea to have a glossary of the most common abbreviations that are used.

    I've enver expereinced, or heard of, anything like this before. Perhaps it's a specific initiative on particular days?

    Or was the clerk aware of the previous difficulties and implying that they had gone further than they should have to help you? I don't really know I'm afraid!
     
  29. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    SWT were running their annual 'employee of the year' thing last week. It was all over their website, but is finished now...
     
  30. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    That explains it then!
     
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