Avanti tickets for overtaken train

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JamesT

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I'm looking at a trip in August/September. From Oxford to Kirkcaldy and back, though was initially only looking at between Birmingham and Kirkcaldy to compare with the airfare.
Both thetrainline and trainsplit offer me the expected Avanti+connections in both directions, changing once at either Haymarket or Edinburgh. But if I try on the Avanti website for the return it wants an additional change at Wolverhampton onto a CrossCountry service, which doubles the price in that direction as the ticket becomes XC+connections. I'm assuming this is because the Avanti stops at Sandwell and Dudley and is thus overtaken by the XC.
Is there a way of making the Avanti website show me the other train? Ticking direct only doesn't work, because there has to be at least one change in Edinburgh.
 
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Haywain

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was initially only looking at between Birmingham and Kirkcaldy to compare with the airfare
At best, that should be Birmingham International to Edinburgh Gateway if you want to compare with the air fare.
 

py_megapixel

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The Avanti website has a journey planning engine that notoriously horribly error-ridden. Take anything it says with a pinch of salt... it's not unheard of it for it to suggest a circuitous route which takes longer with more changes; (I've seen 10-12 times longer than the sensible route - i.e. what's produced by other journey planners - though the sensible route tends to also appear), and top it off by selling you a ticket which shouldn't be valid for it.
 

AlterEgo

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Avanti's website is horrible - literally the worst railway booking engine ever released in this country - and my only useful advice is not to use it.
 

yorkie

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Is there a way of making the Avanti website show me the other train? Ticking direct only doesn't work, because there has to be at least one change in Edinburgh.
No; Avanti have chosen not to I Clyde the advanced options sites such as Trainsplit have.

Trainsplit allows you to limit the number of changes, and/or eliminate certain TOCs and/or avoid changing at particular points, etc.

There is no reason why Avanti couldn't provide these options.

Is there a reason why you want to book through Avanti specifically?
 

JamesT

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At best, that should be Birmingham International to Edinburgh Gateway if you want to compare with the air fare.
I think the fare from Oxford to either International or New Street is pretty much a wash, so it’s airfare+train from airport to Kirkcaldy which I compare.
No; Avanti have chosen not to I Clyde the advanced options sites such as Trainsplit have.

Trainsplit allows you to limit the number of changes, and/or eliminate certain TOCs and/or avoid changing at particular points, etc.

There is no reason why Avanti couldn't provide these options.

Is there a reason why you want to book through Avanti specifically?
If I’m booking the exact tickets I want rather than using the splitting facility then trainsplit are no cheaper and Avanti give Nectar points.

But it sounds like this is just Avanti being rubbish and I do need to look elsewhere.
 
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30907

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The Avanti service waits at WVH to avoid a long wait at BHM which would be unpopular with WVH-London passengers, and connects with the XC there.

It is the obvious connection for Oxford etc, so I am intrigued what the non-XC alternative is. Moor Street-Banbury on Chiltern, then GW?
 
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JamesT

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The Avanti service waits at WVH to avoid a long wait at BHM which would be unpopular with WHN-London passengers, and connects with the XC there.

It is the obvious connection for Oxford etc, so I am intrigued what the non-XC alternative is. Moor Street-Banbury on Chiltern, then GW?

I’m not opposed to using XC, but in normal times there would be twice as many Oxford trains from New Street as there would be from Wolverhampton with the Newcastle-Bournemouth as well as the Manchester-Reading. Also there’s a wider selection of eateries etc. at New Street.
The mention of XC was mostly that switching out a small section of a through ticket seems to mean it gets priced as XC considerably higher, which is where the splitting websites win.
 

30907

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I’m not opposed to using XC, but in normal times there would be twice as many Oxford trains from New Street as there would be from Wolverhampton with the Newcastle-Bournemouth as well as the Manchester-Reading. Also there’s a wider selection of eateries etc. at New Street.
But not in the next few months :(
The mention of XC was mostly that switching out a small section of a through ticket seems to mean it gets priced as XC considerably higher, which is where the splitting websites win.
Can you get the Avanti fare using the route via Banbury? It's got the Maltese Cross permitting Via London.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Can you get the Avanti fare using the route via Banbury? It's got the Maltese Cross permitting Via London.
The route "Any Permitted" fares between Oxford and Kirkcaldy are priced by LNER and include a Maltese Cross so as to allow a cross London transfer by LU.

Interestingly, same type tickets for the "NOT via London" routeing, which are priced by Cross Country, are slightly more expensive.

So, does that mean the route "Any Permitted" tickets for OXF->KDY have to be used via London?
 

Wallsendmag

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The route "Any Permitted" fares between Oxford and Kirkcaldy are priced by LNER and include a Maltese Cross so as to allow a cross London transfer by LU.

Interestingly, same type tickets for the "NOT via London" routeing, which are priced by Cross Country, are slightly more expensive.

So, does that mean the route "Any Permitted" tickets for OXF->KDY have to be used via London?
No
 

Mcr Warrior

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So if route "Any Permitted" tickets from Oxford -> Kirkcaldy can be used when not travelling via London, what's the point of slightly higher priced, slightly more inflexible, route "NOT via London" tickets?
 

Watershed

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So if route "Any Permitted" tickets from Oxford -> Kirkcaldy can be used when not travelling via London, what's the point of slightly higher priced, slightly more inflexible, route "NOT via London" tickets?
To rip off the unaware.
 

Alex365Dash

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If I’m booking the exact tickets I want rather than using the splitting facility then trainsplit are no cheaper and Avanti give Nectar points.
If Nectar points are what you’re looking for, you’re probably better off using either of TPE or GWR, which offer Nectar points regardless of whether your journey includes travel on the respective TOC.
 

nw1

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The Avanti service waits at WVH to avoid a long wait at BHM which would be unpopular with WVH-London passengers, and connects with the XC there.

It is the obvious connection for Oxford etc, so I am intrigued what the non-XC alternative is. Moor Street-Banbury on Chiltern, then GW?

Can recall more than one occasion in which I have avoided XC as much as possible south of Birmingham (due to overcrowding) by walking to Moor Street and then using Chiltern as far as Banbury, so I can see the logic there!

Given I'm heading towards Reading then XC is pretty compulsory south of there, but at least the overcrowded bit is restricted to Banbury-Oxford, rather than Birmingham-Oxford. (This is late on a Sunday evening usually, and the XC thins out beyond Oxford, as a rule).

Northbound, on more than one occasion I have changed twice (Oxford and Banbury) to avoid the XC overcrowding. Contrast that to the 80s when Reading-Birmingham by BR XC was a pleasure...
 

Watershed

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Can recall more than one occasion in which I have avoided XC as much as possible south of Birmingham (due to overcrowding) by walking to Moor Street and then using Chiltern as far as Banbury, so I can see the logic there!

Given I'm heading towards Reading then XC is pretty compulsory south of there, but at least the overcrowded bit is restricted to Banbury-Oxford, rather than Birmingham-Oxford. (This is late on a Sunday evening usually, and the XC thins out beyond Oxford, as a rule).

Northbound, on more than one occasion I have changed twice (Oxford and Banbury) to avoid the XC overcrowding. Contrast that to the 80s when Reading-Birmingham by BR XC was a pleasure...
Apart from the GWR stopping service south of Banbury, there's currently one fast 80x a day from Paddington, arriving at 19:33 and returning south at 19:44. The latter is almost invariably deserted (in both directions).
 

kieron

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Is there a way of making the Avanti website show me the other train?
There is. If you select "via Sandwell & Dudley", Avanti will usually give a route where you use their train to Birmingham.

I'd check the times if you do this, as it may well be faster to change to XC at Wolverhampton. If you're going to somewhere like Oxford, it may be quite a lot faster.

For what it's worth, Avanti aren't the only retailer which does the "if you use XC between Wolverhampton and Birmingham you need an XC advance ticket". If you do find a way to use the faster trains with the cheaper tickets, it may be worth losing a few Nectar points for.
 

yorkie

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If I’m booking the exact tickets I want rather than using the splitting facility then trainsplit are no cheaper and Avanti give Nectar points.
I'm not just talking about split tickets; Trainsplit will offer the itinerary you want, avoiding the additional change at Wolverhampton, if it results in a cheaper fare.

Many websites, such as Avanti's, will only offer the fastest itineraries, and may not offer cheaper itineraries, if they are slower.
 

Falcon1200

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I'd check the times if you do this, as it may well be faster to change to XC at Wolverhampton. If you're going to somewhere like Oxford, it may be quite a lot faster.

In the pre-Covid age the standard route given by NRE and TOCs for a journey from say, Glasgow Central to Oxford, was Avanti WC to Wolverhampton with a 7 minute connection there into the Manchester-Bournemouth, which overtook the Avanti train during its approximately 20 minute stand there. However, knowing railways as we do, I did not routinely depend on such a connection.....
 

MKB

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While I agree that Avanti's website should generally be avoided, at the moment they're giving 5% cashback to many American Express cardholders on top of the Nectar points, so that has been swinging it for me. For purchases after the offer ends on 12 September, I'll be reverting to other retailers.
 

kieron

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In the pre-Covid age the standard route given by NRE and TOCs for a journey from say, Glasgow Central to Oxford, was Avanti WC to Wolverhampton with a 7 minute connection there into the Manchester-Bournemouth, which overtook the Avanti train during its approximately 20 minute stand there. However, knowing railways as we do, I did not routinely depend on such a connection.....
That was reasonable enough then, but at the moment there seems to only be 1 direct train an hour between Birmingham and Oxford, and it goes via Wolverhampton.

Staying on the southbound Avanti train until Birmingham or Coventry just means you'll wait around a long time between trains. Changing at Wolverhampton gives you a chance of making the 7 minute connection. And, if you don't, you'll end up on the train you would have caught from Birmingham, except that you'll be eligible for a delay repay claim now.
 

Falcon1200

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That was reasonable enough then, but at the moment there seems to only be 1 direct train an hour between Birmingham and Oxford, and it goes via Wolverhampton.

Staying on the southbound Avanti train until Birmingham or Coventry just means you'll wait around a long time between trains.

True of course, but the Avanti train, coming several hundred miles from Scotland, was often subject to delay. And irrelevant now from Glasgow as there are no direct trains to Wolverhampton or Birmingham anyway !
 

yorkie

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True of course, but the Avanti train, coming several hundred miles from Scotland, was often subject to delay.
If you are keen to make the booked service, then it's best to depart earlier than you need to, have an extended journey time, and not change at Wolverhampton; this will minimise the chance of a Delay Repay claim.

But for many people it is worth doing the extra change, as it results in a shorter journey time; any delay would result in Delay Repay.
 
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