The Trainline. Good or bad for ticketing?

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Davester50

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I drop in for a read of the disputes section, and it seems to me that The Trainline issued tickets feature quite frequently.
Luckily I have no dealing with them, either the corporate travel agent issues my business tickets, or for personal use, I book online for long distance on the main operator's website, or at the ticket office for shorter trips.

Is the frequency of disputes in proportion to sales? (I really don't know what market share of ticket sales they have).

And what advantage does booking have with them over other sales channels?

I don't see one myself.

Just purely curious more than anything.
 
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Haywain

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Trainline are by a distance the biggest retailer of rail tickets in the domestic rail market.
 
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Davester50

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Interesting. Thanks.
Still can't see the USP of them though. Perhaps it's just getting the name out loud and early like 118 118 did?
 

James H

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USP is a simple easy to use app, backed by marketing that has given a big proportion of the population the erroneous idea that Trainline is offering them cheaper tickets than buying from a TOC or at a station.
 

Starmill

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Before the pandemic they carried about 1/5 of the market by revenue all by themselves. As unpopular as they are for a wide variety of reasons (some with justification and some not), they're pretty significant.
 

Western Sunset

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I agree that for many, and in particular younger passengers, the Trainline is THE place to buy your train tickets. Very savvy advertising too.
 

AlterEgo

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I drop in for a read of the disputes section, and it seems to me that The Trainline issued tickets feature quite frequently.
Luckily I have no dealing with them, either the corporate travel agent issues my business tickets, or for personal use, I book online for long distance on the main operator's website, or at the ticket office for shorter trips.

Is the frequency of disputes in proportion to sales? (I really don't know what market share of ticket sales they have).
They have a huge market share and they are heavily represented in the Disputes section, partly because of this, but also partly because people who know very little about the railways tend to use them as a booking site.
And what advantage does booking have with them over other sales channels?
They're a significant provider of corporate travel "solutions", for businesses and charities.
 

James H

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Yes, and many of those younger people believe that Trainline is an official National Rail operation representing ‘the railway’ rather than being a third-party retailer.
 

Western Sunset

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I doubt if my daughters have ever heard of National Rail. They've heard of the Trainline though...
 

Davester50

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Thanks to all for the feedback. Very enlightening.
It was one of those things that just struck me as odd that they featured so much, and to why. Hope it wasn't too dumb a question!

I remember their early adverts comparing prices of advance tickets with on the day and thinking, well I'm not going to buy from you!
 

yorkie

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Yep, pretty much all of the above; clever advertising, easy to use app, word of mouth, people who are only occasional users of rail may associate with it more strongly than they do NRE, etc...

I generally use Trainsplit however if I am on the move and want to buy, for immediate travel, a return ticket without viewing return itineraries, in e-ticket format, I would consider using the Trainline app (and have done occasionally) on the basis that it is convenient and no fees are charged in such circumstances.

There was a time when customer or TOC queries for ticketing & routeing issues could come to me, and they really aren't as bad a company as some people make out.

Fun fact: the first online ticket I bought, as a teenager, was from Trainline and an error occurred, which - to cut a long story short - ended up with me getting a free 1st class ticket from anywhere to anywhere I wanted. To this day I regret booking Penzance to Wick... ;)
 

Kite159

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I think I've only used Trainline a couple times.

Firstly was booking some £1 Tweedbank Special tickets a few years ago, solely because they had a promo on Quidco which gave £10 cashback for new customers on a spend of over £5. (So I actually made money!)

Secondary was a couple months ago where I needed to use a mobile ticket due to train delays and they were the only retailer which could sell me the tickets as mobile tickets rather than physical tickets which would need picking up.

As for the Trainline, they have the brand presence from the various advertising carried out over the years.
 
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yorkie

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I think I've only used Trainline a couple times.

Firstly was booking some £1 Tweedbank Special tickets a few years ago,...
Yes, when anomalous fares occur, such as the £1 tickets from Tweedbank to Wick/Kyle etc, or the 10p Chiltern tickets, the £8.70 EMT "Kent Flyer" tickets and so on, I will book with Trainline due to the generous booking horizon :D The fees are well worth paying in such cases and you can book several tickets with one fee.

There is actually an anomalous ticket available right now, which can be obtained up to 1st April 2022 on Trainline, though it's not my part of the country so I've not bought any (if anyone lives in Devon, send me a message if you are interested)
 

miklcct

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to cut a long story short - ended up with me getting a free 1st class ticket from anywhere to anywhere I wanted. To this day I regret booking Penzance to Wick...
If I have such a chance, I will book a 1st class from my home to a London Terminal on the fastest train in morning peak hour, and returning in the evening peak hour (if a return ticket is allowed), which I will never regret.
 
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