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Author Topic: Where have all the bargains gone?  (Read 1280 times)
grahame
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« on: September 03, 2020, 10:48:44 am »

I'm looking into several trips this autumn and getting indications that some of the very good fare deals that I have used in the past may not be available.  A quiet way of putting up prices or of restricting access, perhaps?

In particular I have noted:
* Sail Rail tickets (to Ireland) not being offered
* Spirit of Scotland and various rovers not being available.
* Advance tickets Melksham to London consistenty higher in price?

On the advance tickets ... look at next week, I can go four times the distance from London if I head to Edinburgh for under twice th price.

Above post is just a feeling that overall prices may be increasing through the back door of removing or reducing availablity of some of the more cost effective stuff.  There is an interesting argument to follow that, suggesting that it's going to cost more per passenger to run services at the "new full" capacity, and prices should go up to cover that.
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2020, 08:55:06 pm »

With numbers travelling relatively low, throughout the travelling day, combined with the continuation of the 'insurance scheme' the incentive to offer discounts has dropped considerably. I'd expect this to be the case well into 2021 if not until 2022.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2020, 11:13:01 am »

Sadly, I think my planned last-minute trip to Scotland next week has been 'bumped' - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-54011504 .  Ah well - next year?
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2020, 11:30:53 am »

Looking at one of my regular routes - Paddington/Reading to Carmarthen prices are high and there don't appear to be any discounted tickets at all on the dates I've tried in September. Trainline has no tickets at all for many days on the direct service and GWR had a standard single Reading to Carmarthen at £144. There are cheaper tickets earlier in the day with changes but they don't really fit my travel plans.

Have GWR stopped doing advance/discounted tickets or will they appear once the timetable has been finalised? Or is this a reaction to managing numbers on the train?

Be a shame to have to blow all my savings on my annual season ticket on a couple of tickets to West Wales. More likely I won't travel.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 10:38:25 am »

Trying to use some business logic on this issue, from a TOC point of view cheap tickets are not there to do their passengers a favour; they are sold to fill therwise empty seats.

Empty seats are effectivey being encouraged by the current social distancing restrictions, so the TOCs have no need to fill them.

I also wonder whether, given that all TOCs are being subsideised at the moment, whether the DfT has any input into the matter.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 07:58:43 am »

Trying to use some business logic on this issue, from a TOC point of view cheap tickets are not there to do their passengers a favour; they are sold to fill therwise empty seats.

Empty seats are effectivey being encouraged by the current social distancing restrictions, so the TOCs have no need to fill them.

I also wonder whether, given that all TOCs are being subsideised at the moment, whether the DfT has any input into the matter.

Using some business logic, it may be possible to raise demand by enticing customers back onto the railways with lower prices.

Worked pretty well for restaurants.
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ellendune
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 11:36:48 am »

Using some business logic, it may be possible to raise demand by enticing customers back onto the railways with lower prices.

Worked pretty well for restaurants.

Yes but how much capacity is there if you need to maintain social distancing? And how easy is it to predict? In normal times I guess TOCs can predict the volume of walk on ravel quite well, but now?

There is also the matter that others have raised of the hand of the DfT who now control things rather more than before. They want to get people back into offices (even where it is not necessary for the functioning of the office) do they want to discourage this by making commuters worried that the trains are too full?  They may not be so worried about leisure travel unless it generates GDP. 

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southwest
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 01:31:27 pm »

Looking at one of my regular routes - Paddington/Reading to Carmarthen prices are high and there don't appear to be any discounted tickets at all on the dates I've tried in September. Trainline has no tickets at all for many days on the direct service and GWR had a standard single Reading to Carmarthen at £144. There are cheaper tickets earlier in the day with changes but they don't really fit my travel plans.

Have GWR stopped doing advance/discounted tickets or will they appear once the timetable has been finalised? Or is this a reaction to managing numbers on the train?

Be a shame to have to blow all my savings on my annual season ticket on a couple of tickets to West Wales. More likely I won't travel.

We noticed this too, Normally two of us from Bristol to Plymouth is about £79 with me having the railcard. But recently the price was about £140. We decided to travel by car and use the Park & Ride instead. Worked out about £17 each, £34 in total including the bus fare.
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bobm
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 03:20:57 pm »

Whether it will provide any cheaper tickets I don't know, but GWR have bookings open until 4th December for Monday to Friday services, 21st November for Saturdays and 15th November for Sundays.

That is further ahead than has been possible for a while.
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southwest
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2020, 07:47:48 pm »

Whether it will provide any cheaper tickets I don't know, but GWR have bookings open until 4th December for Monday to Friday services, 21st November for Saturdays and 15th November for Sundays.

That is further ahead than has been possible for a while.

I don't get why train companies can't follow airlines and let you book long term advanced, for example from now all the way until the next timetable change in March.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2020, 07:52:13 pm »

Whether it will provide any cheaper tickets I don't know, but GWR have bookings open until 4th December for Monday to Friday services, 21st November for Saturdays and 15th November for Sundays.

That is further ahead than has been possible for a while.

I don't get why train companies can't follow airlines and let you book long term advanced, for example from now all the way until the next timetable change in March.

That had occurred to me too.
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 12:11:31 am »

Whether it will provide any cheaper tickets I don't know, but GWR have bookings open until 4th December for Monday to Friday services, 21st November for Saturdays and 15th November for Sundays.

That is further ahead than has been possible for a while.

For my particular route - Reading to Carmarthen - I've not found a single discounted ticket in my random sampling (essentially days I might travel). I do understand why social distancing might mean no discounts but the route is hardly busy in normal times. I'm willing to travel but I'm not going to pay full price fares on what will also be an empty train. Offer me a discount and i'll book a ticket.
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