Posted 13th March 2023 | 1 Comment

Avanti tries out new ‘flexible’ fares

Avanti West Coast is launching a new ‘flexible’ Advance ticket today.

Passengers who buy a ‘Superfare’ choose the date of travel and one of three ‘slots’ – morning, afternoon or evening. But the precise time of departure will be sent to the passenger 24 hours in advance.

Avanti said the fares are fixed by destination and start from £12 for a single ticket between London and Birmingham. Other destinations in the trial are Liverpool, Preston and Manchester.

The number of tickets available on a route each day will vary and bookings can be made at least seven days and up to 21 days before travel.

Sarah Copley, who is AWC’s executive director for commercial, said: ‘Superfare tickets are aimed at customers who can be more flexible with their journeys. Not only does it provide a cheaper option, but it’s also quick and easy. Customers pick their date and time of day. Then, 24 hours before their journey, we match them to an empty seat and give them their departure time and reservation.

‘We want to give our customers more cost-effective ticketing options in an innovative way when travelling with us, as well as encouraging more people to take the train.’

Meanwhile, third-party retailer Virgin Trains Ticketing has announced that it is now making ’split’ tickets available. By buying more than one ticket, each covering a section of a longer journey, the total of fares can be lower than a through booking.

Virgin Trains ticketing director Mark Plowright  is due to speak at an All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group meeting this afternoon.

He said: ’Split tickets is just a sticking plaster on the bigger issue of complicated rail fares. Passengers shouldn’t need to split their tickets to get the best deal; rail fares should be simple, easy to understand and offer the best value for money.

‘When we launched the Virgin Trains Ticketing app in June 2022, we genuinely hoped that meaningful fares reform would have already been introduced to negate the need for split tickets, but unfortunately that’s not yet happened. While we wait, we’ve made the decision to invest in the functionality to ensure our customers can get the cheapest fares.’

Reader Comments:

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  • david C Smith, Bletchley

    My wife and I , despite living in Milton Keynes, haven't yet tried Avanti's offerings. Both the above advance ticket arrangement and the "Standard Premium " accomodation look interesting - we might be tempted . Of course, the Italian FS 's "Frecciarossa" , which is a partner in AVANTI competes with the private NTV operator on the Italian high speed lines and has three or even four classes of accommodation on board.

    Let.s just hope we can end up with a good experience !