Witholding reservations for interavailable tickets?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Roy Badami, 5 Jul 2019.

  1. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    Is it possible - i.e is it permitted, or indeed is it even technically possible in the reservation system - for a TOC to withhold seat reservations when the associated ticket is a flow they don't control?

    I'm talking about interavailable tickets here, but seat reservation availabiltiy is only present when booking with flows owned by the TOC and not on flows owned by other TOCs.

    Is this even a thing? Or am I just seeing ghosts in random failures of the booking systems?

    EDIT TO ADD: TOC in question is TPE, and we're talking first class. Of course, I understand TPE want to make money from the limited first class seating they have - just didn't realise that conditional availability of reservations was a thing....

    roy
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2019
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Do you have more information, including details of any itineraries you searched for, and ticket types, origins and destinations?

    I am not certain on the exact technicalities but I am certain that TOCs can bar seat reservations to particular ticket types (or, perhaps it's the other way round and only allow them for certain ticket types).

    If they only allowed their own Advance ticket types (the ticket type "Advance" actually consists of hundreds of different ticket 'types'; each type has its own 3 letter code e.g. AP2) and if no other operator used those same types, they could control it that way.

    It was reported on here that LNER prevent walk-up ticket types getting reservations on some of their "peak" services, but you can get reservations with Advances on these. I didn't do a detailed analysis to determine if longer distance Advances set by other TOCs were being issued for these trains though.

    Whether this is an acceptable practice or not, is highly questionable, but I don't think there is any organisation that either cares or is actually capable of doing anything about it.
     
  4. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    The TPE availability is certainly not Advance only - I initially wondered if that might be the case. I ended up getting the reservations I wanted by split ticketing - but both tickets are still interavailable tickets.

    The Flow is BDI to EUS (via LDS and MAN). The flow (route Manchester) is owned by Virgin, and had no availability on the TPE leg. [EDIT: The ticket is an Off-Peak 1st Single, route Manchester.] Splitting at MAN (the BDI to MAN flow is owned by TPE) solved my problem.

    But interesting what you say about LNER. I didn't realise the reservation system supported this kind of conditional availabilty - but clearly it does.

    roy
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2019
  5. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    As a though experiment:iImagine I already had the BDI to EUS ticket - without reservations - and I went to a ticket office to book reservations. Does the ticket office tell the reservation system the kind of ticket I have, as part of the process of booking a reservation?
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Usually the ticket office will create a journey using a flexible ticket type (probably an SOS aka "Anytime Single") and then cancel the ticket.
     
  7. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    If they just created the SOS for the segment I wanted a reservation for, it would almost certainly have worked. Anyway, all solved by splitting, at no additional cost, so really just curiosity at this point.
     
  8. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    Ah, that must be it. The through ticket I initially tried to book was an Off-Peak 1st Single. When I split, I ended up with an Anytime 1st for the TPE leg.

    EDIT: No, that's not it. TPE still won't give me a reservation for BDI to EUS, even if I try to book an Anytime 1st.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2019
  9. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    TPE's Mixing Deck also won't allow reservations in 1st class for Manchester - Sheffield on advances Manchester to St Pancras routed EMT and connections.
     
  10. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

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    So it won't sell you the ticket, or it will sell you the ticket, but without a reservation for the TPE leg?
     
  11. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The itinerary is completely greyed out and unavailable for selection when you select 1st Advance fares. When you select Standard Advance fares, itineraries involving TPE to SHF can then be selected.
     
  12. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    But this more because quotas are not allocated for those tickets than reservations not being allowed. The ticket is simply not available for those services.
     
  13. Sleepy

    Sleepy Member

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    When Greater Anglia introduced 1st class off peak returns booking sites did not allow reservations to be made - whether it was deliberate or just an error when ticket was created I don't know.
     
  14. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    That's because TPE don't offer a quota; they don't have to.
     
  15. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    Transpennine Express is currently selling counted place Advance tickets on routes such as Durham to Manchester Victoria, whilst also restricting seat reservations to Advance ticketholders only on routes such as York to Newcastle.

    So, they are apparently employing various different strategies simultaneously.
     
  16. Phil from Mon

    Phil from Mon Member

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    The exact opposite of TFW who will not provide reservations for advances but do for walk-up tickets
     
  17. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    I have just booked Advance tickets for Liverpool Lime Street to Scarborough and return in early October, and was surprised to get * *** instead of seat reservations. I wondered if this is similar to the Greater Anglia situation whereby they don't yet know what stock they will use.
     

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