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Rail booking and travel is a nightmare

(35 Posts)
ayse Tue 25-Oct-22 12:19:19

My DH and I have both got rail cards to travel to Bristol and return over Christmas. OK, I know train travel is expensive but otherwise it’s drive and hope the weather is OK.

I want to have a BIG grumble!

I really dislike having to use mobile phone tickets. I’m ok to book online and don’t mind printing tickets off as a backup. Today, I booked for us on Cross Country website. There was NO CHOICE and I ended up with mobile tickets with no seats booked (although I did tick the boxes).

I called their customer service. Apparently there are some ‘services’ that now only have mobile tickets. Additionally you are not able to book seats on the “Manage my tickets” section for either journey. I’m absolutely disgusted, p****d off with the cost and the lack of customer friendly apps.

The only good thing was that I was quickly put through to a ‘customer service’ person. They were unable to help me. The best they could do was to refund my ticket and try to rebook the same tickets. The operator told me I’d selected the wrong choice. I had to point out that there was no choice available.

My blood’s still boiling and I’m sorry for the rant but online services seem to me to be an excuse for dumping good customer relations. I feel somewhat held to ransom by all this. Surely these companies who are making massive profits could at least continue to give customers a choice, especially as the cost of using the train is enormous

Elusivebutterfly Wed 26-Oct-22 10:56:29

When I did pre-book tickets and booked seats a few years ago, I collected paper tickets at the station. Does this service no longer exist?

Fleurpepper Wed 26-Oct-22 11:10:23

I am afraid this is a choice a country makes. If you privatise transport, then you get lots of different companies, no integration, and massive prices.

Other countries have made other choices. They have decided that public transport was hugely important, and that it was worth spending money on. European railway networks are expanding, financial incentives given to swap from car or plane travel, and lots of new night routes opening.

A choice. And before someone 'jumps' on me, yes, it IS- political.

Chestnut Wed 26-Oct-22 12:44:33

Book through Red Spotted Hanky and you get real tickets sent by post, or you can pick them up at the station. No problem, no drama.

bookwormbabe Fri 28-Oct-22 13:23:30

I travel to Cornwall regularly and the last few times I have made the booking on my desktop and printed out the tickets on my printer and it worked fine. I really hope this continues to be an option. There is far too much emphasis on these wretched apps these days, what if the phone runs out of charge or just stops working or is stolen?

Joseanne Sun 27-Nov-22 20:45:14

Sorry Fleurpepper, I know you like to sing the praises of other European countries and criticise the UK, but I'm arriving in Austria tomorrow and the whole flippin rail network is going on strike. Drivers wanting extra pay.
We recently travelled to France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Austria - with great ease. So not always true.

dolphindaisy Sun 27-Nov-22 21:04:41

I frequently travel on LNER trains and buy tickets classed as "off peak". I have searched the website numerous times but I can't find any specific advice on which times are actually classed as off peak, thankfully I've never been forced to pay extra on the train but the number of options for the same journey is absolutely ridiculous, I pity any foreign tourist arriving here and trying to buy a train ticket

BlueBelle Sun 27-Nov-22 21:16:38

I m not a technophobe at all but I don’t know how I ll manage I don’t travel too much now and usually my daughter books for me
I did travel today was booked for yesterday but of course they were on strike so travelled today and the the trains brakes packed in and we had to limp to another station and then missed all our onward trains ……… Oh dear

LOUISA1523 Mon 28-Nov-22 07:35:23


I sympathize with you. I always prefer to have a paper ticket as back up, and fear customer service is going more and more on line, leaving out people with no cell phone, or tech savvy.

The only time I relied on a boarding pass on my cell, my network could not download the form and I ended up being the last person on the plane. Lesson learned! Always have a paper backup.

Always download before you travel.....put tickets into your phone 'wallet' and then screen shot them as a back up

ParlorGames Mon 28-Nov-22 07:50:23

The last time we used the rail service we had to book the tickets online and then go to the station, which was miles away, put a code in a machine and get our tickets printed out; all this had to be done before the day of travel which meant having to make an extra journey to retrieve the tickets. What a faff that was!!

Have not used the rail service recently so I have no idea what to expect now. It does concern me though that technology is excluding people who aren't savvy or don't have the up to date phones etc -where's the accessibility in all that??