Use excess fare for cheap travel

ariford113

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Can I clarify the following is correct:

In the event I need to buy a walk-up single ticket, I can instead purchase a return ticket, often for around £1 more. Then, whenever I need to travel anywhere, I can pay half the excess to route my journey via the trip I want to make, which may work out cheaper than buying a regular ticket.
 
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kieron

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Not quite. It works more like this:

You can buy a Newcastle-Cheadle Hulme ticket with a "via Manchester" route or a "via Sheffield" one. If you buy a "via Sheffield" return, you could buy an excess which would allow you to use a "via Manchester" route in one direction (or both, for that matter).

You couldn't buy an excess which would allow you to use a "via Glasgow" route in either direction, because they don't make Newcastle-Cheadle Hulme tickets with that route.

This means the range of circumstances in which a change of route excess is useful is somewhat limited.
 

Indigo2

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In the event I need to buy a walk-up single ticket, I can instead purchase a return ticket, often for around £1 more. Then, whenever I need to travel anywhere, I can pay half the excess to route my journey via the trip I want to make, which may work out cheaper than buying a regular ticket.
You used to be allowed to do this and could achieve very big savings in some instances, but the rules were changed 5-10 years ago to forbid it. Now, as kieron says above, this rule regarding paying half the difference in price only applies to a "change of route excess" where the origin and destination stations on the ticket remain the same. If you wish to change the destination to somewhere further away (an "over distance excess") you must pay the full difference in price.
 

yorkie

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Can I clarify the following is correct:

In the event I need to buy a walk-up single ticket, I can instead purchase a return ticket, often for around £1 more. Then, whenever I need to travel anywhere, I can pay half the excess to route my journey via the trip I want to make, which may work out cheaper than buying a regular ticket.
That used to be the case.

However someone posted on this forum just over nine ago that it could be used to reduce the high cost of a single fare; obviously this forum is well read within the rail industry (I'm sure all pricing managers as well as many people within Rail Delivery Group and many third party retailers etc read it) and so the rules were changed in September 2010.

Basically a post just like yours got it changed; feel free to make other suggestions on how you might be able to save money on rail fares but be aware that if you do find and publish any, then they may be changed before you even have the chance to use them! ;)

My favourite example is this one: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/mirfield-to-leeds-via-sowerby-bridge.115077/ ; it backfired on Mr @TUC because, by the time he moved hose to the Sowerby Bridge area, his discovery had already been fixed. However Mr @strowger did manager to purchase an annual Season just before it got fixed, and saved himself hundreds of pounds. It was certainly a talking point at the Hebden Bridge forum meal :D
 
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