Train Fares: No Discount When Booking Advance Tickets??

20
Posted 5th Mar
Last year I went to London a total of 4 times with family on Chiltern Railways. For each trip I booked about 1 month in advance to make savings on the rail fares.

I am hoping to visit London again in the next few months, so I decided to try looking at the advanced tickets to see how much it would cost. However, it seems that I am unable to make any savings at all by booking in advance. I have tried inputting many different dates varying from 1 week away to 12 weeks (the end of May) but the price for 3 adults is always about the same at around £95 return, excluding railcards.

It was nowhere near this price when I booked last year. I remember the total price used to go down with every week in advance that the trip was booked. How come I am no longer able to get the discounted tickets in advance?
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20 Comments
Ticket prices go up, how different is it from last year?
D3LL80Y05/03/2020 11:17

Ticket prices go up, how different is it from last year?


The difference is that I can't get cheaper tickets by booking in advance anymore! The price is no different booking for this weekend (7th March) versus booking for a couple of months away (23rd May). Last year I could easily have expected to save over 50% on the fares by booking 2 months in advance!
Is it train line?
D3LL80Y05/03/2020 11:36

Is it train line?


Originally I tried the Trainline, but I also tried booking direct on the Chiltern Railways website. Same problem.
OnePlus05/03/2020 11:38

Originally I tried the Trainline, but I also tried booking direct on the …Originally I tried the Trainline, but I also tried booking direct on the Chiltern Railways website. Same problem.


Hmm, maybe they’ve stopped it. Perhaps look into railcards
D3LL80Y05/03/2020 11:39

Hmm, maybe they’ve stopped it. Perhaps look into railcards


Yeah, I found we can save a lot using the Railcards. Instead of £95 it would be more like £65 for 3 adults.
OnePlus05/03/2020 11:46

Yeah, I found we can save a lot using the Railcards. Instead of £95 it …Yeah, I found we can save a lot using the Railcards. Instead of £95 it would be more like £65 for 3 adults.


Definitely the route to take
D3LL80Y05/03/2020 11:50

Definitely the route to take


Still no idea what happened to the advance fares though. Last year the same journey WITHOUT Railcards was still much cheaper when booking in advance. Now it doesn't matter how far you book in advance, the price is remains the same... I feel like I am missing something here. Surely if they stopped doing the advanced fares I would be able to find something about it online.
bigst05/03/2020 11:53

https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/


I just tried that. Still showing as around £95 for all Saturdays in the coming months...
Where are you going from and too and do you have any specific time, days you’d like to go on?
ArcadeAssassin05/03/2020 12:17

Where are you going from and too and do you have any specific time, days …Where are you going from and too and do you have any specific time, days you’d like to go on?


We're going from Leamington Spa (LMS) to London Marylebone (MYB) - We would like to go on any Saturday over the next 2 months or so. The times we typically use are 6:50 departure from LMS and 20:40 departure from MYB. I have tried lots of dates but the price is always about £95 for 3 adults, without Railcards. No discounts at all by booking in advance.
OnePlus05/03/2020 12:24

We're going from Leamington Spa (LMS) to London Marylebone (MYB) - We …We're going from Leamington Spa (LMS) to London Marylebone (MYB) - We would like to go on any Saturday over the next 2 months or so. The times we typically use are 6:50 departure from LMS and 20:40 departure from MYB. I have tried lots of dates but the price is always about £95 for 3 adults, without Railcards. No discounts at all by booking in advance.


I've just tried a few random saturdays on this route and you're right, everything comes back at the same price regardless of whether its this Saturday or in 3 months time.
The reason is that they seem to have stopped doing Advance Single tickets on this route, which are the ones that are discounted, the only option is a day single or return and the price of those is fixed.
I've tried spliting the ticket but that didn't show any saving either, so I'm afraid I'm out of ideas.
Edited by: "Delbert.Grady" 5th Mar
Delbert.Grady05/03/2020 12:49

I've just tried a few random saturdays on this route and you're right, …I've just tried a few random saturdays on this route and you're right, everything comes back at the same price regardless of whether its this Saturday or in 3 months time.The reason is that they seem to have stopped doing Advance Single tickets on this route, which are the ones that are discounted, the only option is a day single or return and the price of those is fixed. I've tried spliting the ticket but that didn't show any saving either, so I'm afraid I'm out of ideas.


Thanks for your research, it makes a lot more sense now with your explanation. That will be really unfortunate if they've stopped doing the Advance Single tickets on this route. We had been planning to visit London a lot more times this year, but if it's going to cost this much then we might cut down on what was originally planned... Either way, I will still get Railcards that should take it down to about £65 instead of £95. I will also try sending an email to Chiltern although I don't expect any success.
OnePlus05/03/2020 13:08

Thanks for your research, it makes a lot more sense now with your …Thanks for your research, it makes a lot more sense now with your explanation. That will be really unfortunate if they've stopped doing the Advance Single tickets on this route. We had been planning to visit London a lot more times this year, but if it's going to cost this much then we might cut down on what was originally planned... Either way, I will still get Railcards that should take it down to about £65 instead of £95. I will also try sending an email to Chiltern although I don't expect any success.


I presume you know you can get cashback with Chiltern, either via Topcashback or Quidco?
Amount varies but TCB is best at the moment, 5%, and in my experience they do payout.
Delbert.Grady05/03/2020 14:28

I presume you know you can get cashback with Chiltern, either via …I presume you know you can get cashback with Chiltern, either via Topcashback or Quidco? Amount varies but TCB is best at the moment, 5%, and in my experience they do payout.


Wow, I didn't know that, thanks. I already use TCB for a lot of my online purchases but I didn't think to check for train tickets. 5% is not much but it does help towards saving a little bit more money!

I am wondering whether them stopping the Advance Single tickets is just a seasonal thing, since there perhaps wouldn't be as many people travelling down to London at this time of year when it's cold, hence the ticket prices would need to be higher to make the service more profitable.

Maybe I will find out more information after sending them an email.
Use this link to see when the advanced fairs are coming out. I try and buy them as soon as they are released.

nationalrail.co.uk/tim…px/
Same experience with Chiltern. Found using ticket split websites saved more. And last time I travelled on a Saturday I used a duo ticket which saved a little for two. Didn't seem to get that option in the Chiltern site
mboard4205/03/2020 17:55

Use this link to see when the advanced fairs are coming out. I try and buy …Use this link to see when the advanced fairs are coming out. I try and buy them as soon as they are released.https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/44703.aspx/


Thanks, that link seems very helpful. I just hope everything will be back to normal soon. In the link it shows the latest Saturday as the 2nd May, I tried booking this date on the Chiltern website and it is no cheaper than booking for next weekend with my usual departure times. However, I did notice the ARE some Advanced Singles available but these are for later times, it would mean arriving back home at 23:30 which is a bit too late!
Ive just searched and found an advance single out for £6.40 and and advance single back for £16 albeit on the slightly earlier return if it helps.

40051692-4cyAk.jpg

Not sure what the issue is in finding them??
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