Mythbusting: correcting misconceptions about split ticketing

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14 Sep 20234 min read

A number of misconceptions have recently cropped up, in relation to split-ticketing as well as ticket pricing and availability from different retail channels (ticket offices, ticket machines, online [independent] retailers). We set the record straight on a number of surprisingly persistent myths.

Myth: You'll get less get Delay Repay compensation when using split tickets

All train operating companies must provide exactly the same compensation, based on the tickets used for your entire journey, as if a single through ticket was used.

We have a blog post detailing your entitlement to Delay Repay but the important thing to remember is that it doesn't change at all if you happen to use split tickets. You have every right for the tickets to be considered together and for your claim to be assessed for one journey.

Myth: I'll get better value tickets at the ticket office

Ticket office staff are advised not to sell split tickets as a general rule, and don't have access to the same range of Advance tickets that online retailers can sell. Ticket office staff must offer the cheapest valid through fare that they can sell from their ticketing issuing system from your origin to your destination impartially, nothing more. As we save our customers an average of £21.60 on every journey, you could be missing out on substantial savings.

A minority of ticket office staff will go above-and-beyond to recommend other options to passengers, including potential opportunities for split-ticketing - but we would always recommend buying via a system that's able to check the trains you intend to travel on are valid for the combination of tickets you intend to use and that the minimum connection times are met at each change in the itinerary. This is less risky than "self-splitting" or manually buying split tickets.

Online retailers can sell Advance ticket on-the-day, which isn't possible at some train operator ticket offices. 

There is a wider conversation happening currently on the role of ticket offices which is outside the scope of this blog post, but we think it is vital that passengers with a disability are not disadvantaged by any changes in this area. 

Myth: Online retailers always charge hidden booking fees

TrainSplit does not charge a booking fee, and only charges a "share of saving" fee if customers save money compared to the "through tickets" that they'd be sold during the vast majority of ticket purchases from train operating companies. We include the "share of saving" fee in all of our prices to ensure that we're upfront and honest with our customers, and also ensure that the savings figures we quote factor in this fee. The income from the fee helps us provide some of the best customer support in the industry and reinvest in improving the passenger experience.

Myth: I'll need to get off the train every time I change tickets

As long as the train calls at the points that you're splitting your tickets, you don't need to get off the train and change onto a different one when you're using split-tickets. We'll make it clear when you book with us as to where you need to change trains.

Further details If you've bought a season ticket or a travelcard or another "zonal ticket" then there isn't a requirement for the train to call at the "changeover" station.

Myth: If I'm delayed and miss a connection on split tickets, I'll need to buy new tickets

Section 14 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel enshrines your right to use a combination of tickets to make your journey, provided the train stops at the split-points in most cases (we'll check this for you automatically when you pick a journey).

This means that your rights to travel on the next available service, matching any route restrictions on your ticket, are just as strong when you buy split tickets as when you buy one simple through ticket.

This applies in exactly the same way to cancellationsDon’t worry if you miss a following connection, you’re covered all the way to your destination because of the cancellation (this also works for delays) and can take the next available train(s) as above to get to where you need to be.

Don't forget to claim delay repay from the train operator after the end of your journey.

Myth: If I hold split tickets and miss the last train due to previous delays/cancellations, train operators don't have to help me

Train operators have a duty to assist passengers who are prevented from completing their journey due to disruption. This applies irrespective as to whether the customer has purchased a set of split tickets or through tickets and applies to all train companies who can reasonably assist you - not just those you were booked to originally travel with.

Where disruption prevents you from completing the journey for which your Ticket is valid and is being used, any Train Company will, where it reasonably can, provide you with alternative means of travel to your destination, or if necessary, provide overnight accommodation for you.

If you are likely to be delayed for more than 60 minutes:

You also have a right to meals and refreshments, a right to be re-routed, and a right to carry out your journey on a future date under comparable conditions in line with the Rail Passenger Rights and Obligations regulation.

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