What is the Best Site to Book Tickets on ?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Mutant Lemming, 2 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

    Messages:
    2,336
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2011
    Location:
    London
    I used to use East Coast until the rewards scheme stopped and have been using the individual train operators sites to book tickets (apart from East Coast and Virgin - have been using the LM site to book theirs). I know this will probably depend on people's individual circumstances but what is the best site to book on now ?
    Apologies if there is already a thread about this.
     
  2. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

    Messages:
    7,882
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2013
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Depends on the journey, really.

    First TPE give 1% cash back via Quidco and Nectar points on all sales. Some TOCs can beat that on tickets for their own services (EMT offer 3.5% cash back via Quidco on EMT tickets, for instance).

    It's normally best checking for the specific journey, but for general trips I'd say First TPE.
     
  3. Searle

    Searle Established Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    4 May 2012
    Location:
    London
    personally, I've stuck with EC, I'm used to their layout, I like booking specific seats and I like the nectar scheme as well.
     
  4. itsjustmyjob

    itsjustmyjob Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2014
    It really does depend what you are booking.

    I travel to Dublin and Belfast by train and ferry and lots of sites just don't offer these places as destinations.

    The site which repeatedly offers me the most flexibility for these journeys is http://www.raileasy.co.uk.

    Now before I get shot down that it is a site with fees (which it is!) there appears to be a tie-in with another site which allows fee free booking at the moment, even though I haven't tried it....but as I'm going to Belfast in 3 weeks it won't be long until I do!
     
  5. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

    Messages:
    2,001
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2011
    Location:
    London
    I've been giving my custom to Grand Central, specifically to 'extra-boycott' VTEC's rewards butchering.
     
  6. Saint66

    Saint66 Member

    Messages:
    613
    Joined:
    15 Dec 2013
    Location:
    Leeds most of the time!
    Trainline, of course....

    (Sarcasm guys, don't worry ;))
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,922
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    My default booking engine is TransPennine Express, so I get Nectar points on all my tickets, not just some <D I continue to use the VT East Coast website as long as they offer the discount on their own advances, for those tickets.
     
  8. thelongestroad

    thelongestroad Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    4 Dec 2011
    Location:
    God Knows

    Ah yes, the Trainline. Where it seems to make everyone buy two CDS rather than a CDR.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,922
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    I recommend you mosey on over to Hull Trains - the OAO worth bothering with on the East Coast (plus Nectar!).
     
  10. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Joined:
    10 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Walking distance to CLS
    As well as taking every possible opportunity to fleece you with a "booking fee".
     
  11. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,806
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    EMT site for EMT advances (£1 discount plus cash back)
    VTEC for east coast advances
    Grand central for GC & XC advances (10% NUS discount)

    Everything else FGW (or SWT if they have a promotional fare)
     
  12. GatwickDepress

    GatwickDepress Established Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2013
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    I use Southern Railway's website, purely out of habit (and I have no reason to use Nectar points etc). WebTIS is quite nice to use, if a little janky.

    Previously I'd use East Coast for large purchases purely for the rewards tickets.
     
  13. asharpe

    asharpe Member

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2013
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    I've started buying more tickets from counters and machines. Use grand central every week for the NUS discount. Still using EC one or twice a week due to a rather favourable fault on their website.

    I've started using southern for their rainy day guarantee when I know I might not use a ticket. But normally a ticket office or onboard is better.
     
  14. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    favourable fault?
     
  15. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

    Messages:
    409
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2015
    I'm glad to see people looking at booking elsewhere, some discussion on the Rewards discussion thread about Quidco cashback which may help you to decide.

    The only time it's worth booking on the VTEC website is for their own advance fares. Even so as the online discount seems to be 2% everytime I've compared it's not in my mind worth bothering with.

    It's worth booking everything else elsewhere because the only chance we have of reinstating the rewards scheme is if they see their commission dropping.

    If you want Nectar book with a FirstGroup website. They give points for everything (quite rightly because they earn commission on the sale). If you don't care about Nectar or Quidco then book on a site you're happy with that doesn't charge fees.

    The FirstGroup, Govia and Chiltern websites use WebTIS so have the same UI as East Coast. Others are based on thetrainline, but unlike thetrainline itself don't usually have fees.

    Of course, I keep forgetting about seat selection. That's one good advantage of booking VTEC tickets through their own site, but you should still book other rail journeys eleswhere particularly if you like Nectar? (not sure how anyone can like it though, better than nothing is about the best I've heard it described)
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2015
  16. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

    Messages:
    695
    Joined:
    22 Mar 2015
    I normally find arriva trains wales easier to use overall
     
  17. PeterY

    PeterY Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2013
    I find London Midland quite easy to use for advance tickets. They post them out, free of charge. That saves a trip to Watford Junction.
     
  18. mike57

    mike57 Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    13 Mar 2015
    Location:
    East coast of Yorkshire
    I use Transpennine, you get nectar points, OK it only works out at about 1% but its better than nothing. They post them out first class post free which is useful as our station with a ticket machine is 6 miles away.
     
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    34,927
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    A quick search finds there is at least one (though someone tells me there have been at least two, but the others are harder to find): What are the best train booking websites now?

    As this thread already has more posts, I don't think we need to merge them.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Their layout is the same as other Atos WebTIS sites though. As for Nectar, you'd get more points if you booked on FGW or TPE as then you'd get points for all journeys, not just those on EC. TPE also give you a further discount on their advances if you click the "Student Promo" link
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That's more like it! :) They'll never learn their mistake if we don't make them realise there are consequences to their actions<D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Indeed :)
     
  20. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

    Messages:
    4,777
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2009
    Location:
    Between Edinburgh and Exeter
    FGW For me too. Simple to use, Nectar points a bonus, and I can either have them posted First Class for Free or collect them from my local station. They are now also making rovers accessible online - you can order any rover ticket from FGW and either have it posted out to you for free or (and they are working on this suggestion as we speak so thanks FGW!) to be able to collect at a station or TVM as per other tickets.
     
  21. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

    Messages:
    2,336
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2011
    Location:
    London
    There may need to be the odd new one or two in the future as sites/franchises/owners etc change. ...or maybe someone could start up a train ticket booking comparison website (don't tell me it already exists out there somewhere...)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page