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October 18, 2017, 05:31:07 PM *
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Author Topic: Excessing a ticket - a great way if your return plans change  (Read 393 times)
grahame
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« on: October 11, 2017, 09:03:02 AM »

Tip ... you can change an anytime or off-peak return ticket to extend your route if your plans change before your return journey.  I'm very familiar with buying a super off peak return into Paddington, then excessing it up to an off peak and paying the difference if I'm fortunate to be travelling home on the 19:00.  Works out better than buying two singles.   Same thing to excess a ticket destination Chippenham up to destination Melksham if I'm travelling early enough to be able to get home by train.

But even the ticket issuing staff - who should be taught about the system they sell - don't always know how to do an excess, or even that they exist in some cases.

An example from yesterday evening:



Incorrect ticket office information is alive and kicking in Scotland too!

Yesterday, I travelled from Glasgow to Edinburgh Park - that's a suburban station a couple of stops before Edinburgh's main Waverley station, with a Glasgow to Edinburgh Park return. Turned out that I was in the centre of Edinburgh when I finished - looking to get a train back from Waverly instead.   Think that's an "excess" on my ticket.

Went up to ticket desk, explained what I wanted to do, asked for an excess.
"Best I can do is sell you a ticket for Edinburgh Park"
"Doesn't that mean I have to travel on a stopper train that calls there"
"Yes - but that's the best I can do"
"Can't you excess the ticket back to Waverley?"
"I will ask a colleague"
(confers with next clerk)
"Oh yes - I can do that"
(Lots of tapping)
"That's funny - it comes up with a price of zero"
(confers with colleague)
"It's the same fare, so there's no charge
(issues ticket ...)

Naughty attempt to make more money?   I suspect not ... I suspect ticket office staff not properly trained.

I have noted a lot more ticket checking here on the trains in the lowlands of Scotland (where I'm doing jobs in several places from a central base this week) than we're use to in GWR territory.

P.S. Excellent and fast journey back to Glasgow.  Peak train, plenty of seats available ;-)

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:21:21 AM »

Useful tip, thanks.
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Day return to Infinity, please.
bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:05:27 AM »

Lucky I'd say. Overdistance excesses shouldn't be a problem to extend the journey beyond the destination. In your case the destination of your return portion was Glasgow.

However, there's no right (or rules) to excess beyond the origin printed on the return portion to start a journey further back.

Some ticket issuing systems will allow a change of origin excess. Some won't. Because there's no right (or rules) it's understandable if there's no training.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 10:11:16 AM »

It would be useful for the fares gurus on here to explain what the calculation should be, so we can be aware of this - and therefore aware of how much we ought to be paying for such upgrade. I am aware of reports elsewhere of overcharging.

so the question is - what is the calculation made to extend one's return portion of a return ticket to start at a station further down the line to return to one's originating station? Is the whole ticket upgraded & then the extra halved (for just the return portion), or is it the single difference from original destination to new destination (now starting point for the return)? Or something different again?

And just to complicate things - I know you can also extend & upgrade to 1st class for the return journey too from a further station - but how is *that* calculated?

I agree that there is no process to return to any station other than your originating station - in this acse, you simply buy a single where necessary to get you there.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 10:25:46 AM »

I'm more interested in the "time" excess; upgrading from off-peak to anytime, or similar. I presume that's a fairly simple calculation? But it would have to be done before boarding, at stations with ticket facilities?
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 11:49:55 AM »

I'm more interested in the "time" excess; upgrading from off-peak to anytime, or similar. I presume that's a fairly simple calculation? But it would have to be done before boarding, at stations with ticket facilities?

It's a calculation that the staff find very difficult to do ... I had one poor chap try three or four times until he came up with a price that sounded about right, and another with an Avantix on the bridge at Paddington pass me to his colleague because he wasn't sure how to do it.

Beware off peak to anytime on your return if you're on a period return - it may be cheaper if you're making a later journey to buy a peak single, and use the return part at a later date if it's a regular journey.  This caution applies to GWR flows but not so much to Crosscountry flows, with their differing differential between single and return (need to think that one through though)

Note you can also excess a route.   Return, Westbury to Swindon via Melksham can be excessed prior to return to "any route" allowing travel via Bath if you miss your intended return run of the "Melksham Flyer" and don't want to wait over 2 hours for the next one!

If you can't get it done at the station, ask the train manager as you board if he can come round and do it for you.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 12:12:55 PM »

If you can't get it done at the station, ask the train manager as you board if he can come round and do it for you.

Not overdistance ones though AFAIK.

I've got a feeling we are going down a road that may warrant BNM's can of worms pic :-)
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 12:22:14 PM »

If you can't get it done at the station, ask the train manager as you board if he can come round and do it for you.

Not overdistance ones though AFAIK.

I've got a feeling we are going down a road that may warrant BNM's can of worms pic :-)

Indeed - always best get it done at a ticket office; note I said ask AS YOU BOARD and if the TM says "yes" then you have his / her dispensation which overrides the general rule. 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 12:54:11 PM »

The most comprehensive guide to Excess Fares and Upgrades can be found here:

https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/railuk-fares-ticketing-guide-section-4-excesses-upgrades-supplements.70374/
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 03:50:04 PM »

A most useful page thanks for putting it up BNM.
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Brucey
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« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 07:21:13 PM »

I had exactly the same issue at Ely last year, except the member of staff wouldn't budge on anything but selling me a new single.  He didn't seem to understand what I wanted by an "excess fare", despite me seeing a "Excess Fare" button on his computer screen  Huh

Managed to get the zero fare from the East Midlands Trains conductor on my next connection, who was rather helpful.  Turned out it's the first time he'd ever issued a ticket to Berney Arms.  Sadly the train (one of two per day) was cancelled so I never made it there.
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