Why won’t Avanti West Coast release weekend tickets?Back to Forum
I am hoping to travel from Glasgow to London one Sunday in June – well under 2 months away. But there are no tickets available. I am told by National Rail Enquiries that Avanti have yet to release the tickets “in order to manage demand” – which I presume is code for “in order to maximise revenue”.
This is bad enough, but trying to find out more, such as a date when the tickets will be available, is impossible. Avanti have no news at all on their totally useless website – no explanation, no news of engineering works, no release date (I thought rail tickets were usually release about 12 weeks in advance). Nor do they encourage communications – their website does not have the telephone number for their call centre, and the web-based enquiry form, when you do find it, merely produces an automatic reply that refers (inevitably) to the delays in replying due to “unprecedented incoming volumes” (no company should be using that excuse any more!) and then even more laughably warns me to “Be aware that Avanti West Coast will be operating a revised timetable from Monday 26 July due to a reduction in the number of available staff. A significant number of staff are having to self-isolate following notification from test and trace.”
That date they refer to is 26 July 2021!!
So here we have a company that refuses to sell tickets to people wanting to travel, refuses to say why or when they will be available, refuses to give out the telephone number of their call centre, refuses to staff their email lines adequately and cannot even be bothered to update their auto-response email for 9 months! How many more ways are there to tell their prospective customers that they really don’t care at all about customer service and would rather we left them alone and did not use their services?3 May 2022
In truth I suspect it’s because of engineering works on the WCML and so far Network Rail has not finalised its plans.
I cannot be more specific as you did not say on which Sunday you intend to travel.
So you could either wait until Avanti’s reservations open or else book via Edinburgh using Scotrail/LNER.
For example on Sunday June 12 you would take Scotrail from Glasgow Queen Street (not Central) to Edinburgh Waverley and connect there with LNER for London Kings Cross.
If you were to check with Lner.co.uk or Trainline.com you would see the options available.
Finally please note that Sunday schedules are subject to change.3 May 2022
Thank you – travel is on 26 June. How extraordinary that engineering works are not yet confirmed less than two months in advance.
But that apart, Avanti still deserve every brickbat going for their lamentable customer service and information. There is no excuse, none at all, for not advertising their call centre number, for not staffing their call centre adequately, for not updating their standard emails …3 May 2022
This chart on the Avanti website may help you in future.
It shows what works are taking place both in May and June.3 May 2022
Unfair to blame engineering works on Avanti as this would be the responsibility of Network Rail. I am sure once these have been confirmed then Avanti will pass them on in due course. I know from personal experience, that services on both the west and east coast mainlines have been in very high demand over the last year and that was traveling off-peak.3 May 2022
The link Alex suggests shows that services are running – just slightly slower as trains are running through Northampton rather than the usual fast line which avoids Northampton between MK and Rugby. But website is saying timetables not yet confirmed for the 25th / 26th whereas normal ticket purchasing is available for the 27th onwards. So on this one I’d say it is genuinely down to waiting on Network Rail to confirm timetables / engineering plans. I don’t think down to an attempt to maximise revenue.
However it should be clearer on the website as to why tickets are not available if looking at different ways to try and make this search. Was clear on the option the page I was on. And the reply with July 21 is just nuts.3 May 2022
I recently had the same issue looking for a ticket early June, the train line app will notify you when tickets become on open sale. However I bought my first class ticket as soon as the window opened, 3=weeks later I could have bought it 30% cheaper. It’s a minefield UK rails fares.4 May 2022
Unfortunately UK rail does not operate to a 7-day timetable as do many nations in mainland Europe.
It therefore means weekend rail travel (especially on a Sunday) can be disrupted with engineering works.4 May 2022
Another benefit of the government taking over?
What ever a opened to T-12? and why can’t network rail confirm yet
HOWEVER it is fair to heap the proverbial on Avanti for their diabolical communication and management should be ashamed of their complete lack of customer focus.
1 user thanked author for this post.5 May 2022
I also find this Network Rail page useful for when I plan trips to London.7 May 2022