Another trainline fail

Booking train tickets is the bane of my life. I’m very lucky in that I have someone who can help book my travel if I’m organised far enough in advance to ask them to do so, however the reality is I’m not always as organised as I’d like – especially when I’m trying to juggle work travel with some sort of social life at home. This week I’m off to give a masterclass on research use in #socialcare practice at Kingston University. This makes my soul ache for numerous reasons, namely the eight hours travel (at least) on a Friday, the feeling of losing some of my weekend by being away from here on a Friday, the inevitable busy trains, the fact that Kingston is a good hour and a tube/bus/walk away from Paddington. Luckily, the subject matter makes my heart sing and I’m optimistic that the session itself will be good fun, and hopefully well received, and I was invited by Ray Jones who has been a staunch supporter of our organisation for years, so I’m delighted to be going, just less delighted with the travel.

Anyhow, why am I waffling on about this? Well tonight I decided to book my travel, and what happens:

I wasn’t allowed to book a ticket, the system didn’t tell me I couldn’t book, just that I couldn’t book accommodation – which I’m guessing means a seat. Please tell me the train companies are not allowed to now sell you a ticket without a seat? Booking train tickets has stolen so much of my life over the past few years I couldn’t face fighting the booking system. I decided writing this and appealing to the wisdom of twitter, was more likely to resolve the issue.

So any ideas for how to book my travel? Please? Or any offers of lifts door-to-door gratefully received!

0 comments on “Another trainline fail”

I find the only way to buy train tickets anymore is to treat the website as a fruit machine that gives tickets as prizes. The last journey I booked, the price fluctutated between £34 and £64 in the space of an hour. (Eventually, I got £37.)

For Kingston on Thames, you’re much better using South West Trains via Salisbury and changing at Clapham Junction. Or if you have to use FGW, change at Reading and Twickenham (but that’s probably slower overall.) Well worth avoiding Paddington .

Finally, a train conductor once told me that if you buy a ticket from a train company, the staff on board will be much more understanding about any cockups in the system, but if you bought it from The Trainline, they’ll shrug and charge you extra. It’s only an anecdote, but it makes you think, dunnit?

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