Booking rail tickets can sometimes be confusing. With so many options, we understand it may be challenging to ensure you make the right choices during the booking process, so we have put this guide together to help you.
The first step is to do an initial search. For this, we’re using an example journey from London to Glasgow, but the process would be the same regardless of your departure and destination stations.
If you have a Railcard, don’t forget to add it into the search. You can also toggle split tickets here, but we’d recommend you keep them turned on to achieve the best value results. There are more options available under the appropriate button above, which can allow you to customise your journey even further if you wish to do so. The above search produces the following results.
These results are all from London to Glasgow with no changes, but there may be some itineraries where there are some changes en route. This won’t be a problem, of course. If you wish to change some of the options in the top bar, then this is the point at which to do so. The chosen journey has e-Tickets available, and this is the default method where available. As an additional note, if just one ticket on an itinerary is only available as a printed ticket, then the entire booking defaults to be made with printed tickets. Decisions on whether certain fares can be fulfilled by e-Tickets are made by the train companies.
Children under 5 don’t need a child ticket if they’re sitting on an adult’s lap. If they’re going to be occupying a seat, then they’ll need a child ticket.
If you have multiple Railcards on a booking, or one passenger has a Railcard and another doesn’t, then you’ll need to add one journey to the basket and then add the second after having performed the search a second time. The basket should then look something like this, with the 16-25 Railcard being chosen to demonstrate how this may look.
The tickets for the selected journey are as follows.
Sometimes, there are different numbers of tickets for the outbound and return journeys, but this isn’t the case here – the first two tickets are for the outbound journey, and the latter two are for the return journey. There can sometimes be return tickets on a booking as well, but we can come back to that later on. Regardless of the make-up of the tickets on your booking, your tickets will always cover your itinerary. There may be some restrictions on your tickets, with the details being found in the right-hand column. If you have any queries about any of the restrictions, please contact us.
You can also make seating reservations from the below requirements, though it can’t be guaranteed that all your requirements can be fulfilled. For journeys with Advance tickets, reservations are compulsory. If your journey consists solely of flexible tickets, then reservations aren’t required, but you can still make reservations if you wish.
Our default ticket fulfilment method is e-Tickets where these are available, with printed tickets being an option. If e-Tickets aren’t available, then it will default to printed tickets. If your journey is due to be made with e-Tickets and you want printed tickets, then you’ll need to click ‘other options’, which is in a red box above.
You can then choose to collect your tickets from the station, and select a station. The default station is the departure station on the booking, but if it isn’t possible to print tickets at this station, you’ll get a few nearby options to choose from. Your ticket collection station doesn’t have to be the same as the departure station, but it makes sense for them to be the same. We can’t change the ticket fulfilment method from e-Tickets to printed tickets, or vice-versa, after a booking has been made – much like we can’t amend bookings once they’ve been made. We do get quite a few queries where customers have a booking with e-Tickets and want printed tickets, or vice-versa, and we hope that this section will clarify that.
After you’ve confirmed how you wish to have your tickets, the next step involves inputting your personal details. Please make sure you check these thoroughly, especially your email address, as we want to make sure your booking confirmation gets to you. If the booking confirmation email doesn’t get to you, please check your junk/spam folder, as it may end up going in there by mistake. If it hasn’t arrived, and isn’t in your junk/spam folder, please contact us as soon as possible with the booking reference so we can resend the booking confirmation to you. Once you’ve done this, you’ll then need to input your payment details, as well as confirming whether you want to receive any special offers and other information you might find useful, and you should then be good to go.
When the journey’s booked, that’s it – that should be all you need to do. The emails containing your booking confirmation and e-Tickets (if your booking is to be made with e-Tickets) should arrive shortly afterwards. We strongly recommend that you double-check everything before confirming the booking, and that you look at your booking confirmation email as soon as possible after the booking’s been confirmed. If you view your booking confirmation email and think something doesn’t look right, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
There may be occasions where a journey needs to be amended. It’s unfortunately not possible for us to amend bookings once they’ve been made. The process to follow is to make a new booking for the same departure and destination stations for the original, and the number of passengers must also remain the same on both bookings. The value of the refund will be based on the total ticket cost of the lesser-value journey minus a £10 admin fee – any split-fare commission and booking fees are non-refundable. If the tickets on the replacement booking are cheaper than those on the original, then the refund will be based on the replacement, and any difference in fare is non-refundable. There are a few things to be aware of.
If the original booking consists solely of single tickets, then you’ll only need to rebook the leg of the journey that you wish to amend, though you can of course rebook both legs. If the original journey contains a two-part return ticket, then the replacement journey must be for both legs (outbound and return), as it’s not possible for us to replace just one leg of a journey with two-part return tickets.
If your original booking consists solely of flexible tickets, then there won’t be a need to book a replacement journey first. The tickets on the original can be refunded minus a £10 admin fee.
Regarding the point about multiple journeys, let’s use our example from earlier. There is one return journey from London to Glasgow without a Railcard, and one return journey from London to Glasgow with a 16-25 Railcard – this therefore counts as two journeys. It wouldn’t be possible to use one journey for two adults to replace two journeys for one adult each – the replacement would need to be for one adult without a Railcard, and one adult with a 16-25 Railcard. Also, the replacement wouldn’t be able to be (for example) one journey from London to Crewe and another from Crewe to Glasgow – the replacement would have to be one journey from London to Glasgow.
If the points where the tickets are split differ between the original and replacement bookings, this won’t be a problem. The important thing is that the departure & destination stations match, and that the number of passengers also match on both bookings.
There are some further questions you may have in our FAQ section which may be of useful reading. If you have any other questions about the booking process, feel free to contact us, and we’ll see how we can assist you.
Remember, if you have any questions about train travel or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We're here to help you plan a memorable journey.