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Author Topic: Standard to 1st Class excess. Dependent on who and how you ask.  (Read 1171 times)
bignosemac
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« on: June 16, 2019, 04:10:22 pm »

At York today and I wanted to excess my return journey to Newcastle for a bit of 1st Class action.

I'd armed myself with information from National Rail Enquiries and from LNERs Revenue Protection Handbook which, because LNER is in public hands, is available online via an FoI request.

I'd worked out my excess should be around 7.00 based on the ticket I held and the fact LNER allow excess up to their TOC specific walk up fares.

My first quote in the ticket office was over 40. That came down to 27 ish when the clerk remembered my Railcard. Which she had in front of her. A pleasant exchange of views but she was adamant I could only excess to the 1st Anytime Return (Any Permitted) less the cost of my Std Off Peak Day Return (Any Permitted). Showing the NRE page on Std to 1st Upgrades and the staff handbook didn't help. She said the cheapest way to do it was buy Weekend 1st onboard at 25.

Off I went to reread the publicly available information. I still worked it out at under 7.00. Not sure precisely due to Railcard discount rounding.

Back into the Travel Centre for another go. This time another clerk, the delightful Lynsey, had the excess processed in a jiffy. 6.90 up to LNER only. No need for me to ask for Supervisor or go away disappointed and complain later to Customer Services. Lynsey apologised on behalf of her colleague (relatively new) and said she'd show her how to do such an excess as per guidance.

The 6.90 has got me a rather nice Beef & Horseradish sandwich, some crisps and a fuzzy drink. Good result all round! Wink


« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 04:16:04 pm by bignosemac » Logged

bobm
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 04:16:36 pm »

The 6.90 has got me a rather nice Beef & Horseradish sandwich, some crisps and a fuzzy drink. Good result all round! Wink

Obviously the fuzzy drink is clearer than the guidelines.... Grin
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 10:14:11 pm »

I got the opposite end of the spectrum at Neath the other Wednesday (First Class is always better when there's free wine on the way home). Greeted with "your usual, sir?"  Cool Maybe York just doesn't have enough people who've figured out when excesses are extremely good value.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 06:09:57 am »

I got the opposite end of the spectrum at Neath the other Wednesday (First Class is always better when there's free wine on the way home). Greeted with "your usual, sir?"  Cool Maybe York just doesn't have enough people who've figured out when excesses are extremely good value.

Maybe the opposite end of the spectrum, but some spectra turn out to be circles with the beginning and end in the same place.

Could it just be that your excess is so unusual and rarely done the the good staff of Neath identify you as a notable customer by your purchase in amongst the great sea of similarity they see on a daily basis?

I don't have a regular journey / regular excessing habits, but I do use the facility from time to time.  And I find that the level of knowledge amongst staff of these products and how to set them is often lacking, with there being no clear way on (many?) ticket machines to consistently and accurately issue them.   If a price comes in as being rather silly, I consider it to be an offer and will chat about how it's worked out;  not infrequently that results in a more reasonably priced way of doing it being found.   Funny things, excesses.
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 08:32:08 am »

I'd worked out my excess should be around 7.00 based on the ticket I held and the fact LNER allow excess up to their TOC specific walk up fares.

2/3rds of half the difference in fares, 10.50, is indeed 7.00 on the nose. Multiplying by a low precision decimal, say 0.66, and rounding down to the nearest 5p would total 6.90 (one possible explanation for the slight difference). I have not read the FOI documents (yet!) or refreshed my memory on the finer detail of excesses, but as there were no 1st class off-peak day fares available the fare used for comparison was the 1st off-peak return.

I thought I'd try and work out what the excess would be if you said "I want to return 1st class the next day". Initially, as that's a change of ticket type excess I thought the full difference of 14.00 would be payable. However, you had not availed yourself of 1st class on the outward leg so my thinking would be change of ticket type to std class off-peak then half the difference to 1st class - as follows:

(applying the railcard discount last as per the above)
Off-Peak Return 45.50 substract Off-Peak Day Return 42.00 = 3.50 (2.30 with railcard)
Half the difference of (1st Off-Peak Return LNER only 63.00 subtract Std Off-Peak Return 45.50) = 8.75 (5.80 with railcard)
Total 8.10

That's what everyone else got, right? :-)
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