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Tears of Frustration over London Transit Options

Tears of Frustration over London Transit Options

May 10th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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MademoiselleFifi: Why do you need the 7 day travelcard to start the 2nd day?? Why not start the travelcard, inc. an extension for LHR, on day 1 and add some PAYG later on during your visit?

sharon1306: At one time an Oyster w/ a 7-day travelcard did qualify for the 2 for 1 offers -- but that is no longer the case. That changed several months ago. TFL does offer some discounts valid w/ an Oyster - but they are not the 2 for 1's most on here are talking about.
janisj is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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janisj, it sounds like sharon1306 has been using her oyster for those deals "in the last 3 days"
noe847 is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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On Day 1, the ride from Heathrow may be the only one I take (if we end spending a lot of time exploring the area near our apartment), so I thought it would make sense to start the 7-day travelcard the next day. So, to do that, will I need 2 separate cards?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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no - but it will all come out in the wash -- don't over analyze things or the TFL website will make you batsh*t crazy

Will spending an extra $5-$7 on your week's transport kill you??
janisj is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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Janisj, thats exactly why I was confused and went to find a place that would sell me a papercard... so I could use the 2for1 offers from the daysoutguide.co.uk. It was mentioned that electronic cards were not valid. But an employee at one of the ticket booths assured me that they were. And I have used the coupons with no problems....

And yes, I have used the same offers in the last 3 days using a 7 day travelcard loaded on an oyster. In fact, I went to Hampton Court today, and this was the only place that even actually asked to see the card.

In the last 2 days i've used it for the tower of london, shakespears globe, churchill war museum and westminister abbey.
sharon1306 is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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That's great news.

Probably it is more a matter of the staff not knowing that oysters aren't included in the scheme. My guess is folks working the entrances just figure - "she has a voucher - let them in"

Because the site very specifically spells out that 7-day Oysters don't qualify.

Congrats - I'm sure you'll find lots of places to spend the £ you are saving
janisj is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 05:13 AM
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There are many 2 for 1 offers available with an Oyster. Don't use the daysoutguide site to see them
Use this site instead

avalon is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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but the daysoutguide site has much better offers. Does anybody know-- do you have to show TWO rail/paper tickets for the 2-for-1, or just one?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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One rail card is adequate, if they even ask you to show it at all.
yk is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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>>>do you have to show TWO rail/paper tickets for the 2-for-1, or just one?<<<

I don't know the official answer to that, but I suspect that you could get by just fine with the one rail/paper ticket.

All I have to share is my own very limited experience- last year when I went to the Tower with my sister and parents, my sister and I went to the window with our 2-for-1 Days Out coupon and a Gatwick Express ticket that we'd used a couple of days before.

We got our 2-for-1 admission and our Gatwick ticket back (the girl at the window barely glanced at it and never picked it up off the counter so she wasn't entering any info from it on the computer or anything)

Then I discreetly handed the Gatwick ticket to my dad who was behind us. Then he used it with a 2-for-1 coupon for admission with my mom.

I've read lots of posts here on the boards that indicate most places aren't that strict when it comes to the Days Out deals, as long as you have your coupons and a paper ticket of some sort.

This is all anecdotal so maybe not really helpful, hope someone can answer your question better than I. I know this London public transporation and Days Out business can be so convoluted.
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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>>What I meant was, if it's all loaded onto one card at the same time, how would the card know to do PAYG on the first day and start the 7-day after?<<

Tell the clerk that's what you want to do, and they will either do it or tell you if it's technically impossible. I don't see why it would be, incidentally, since the key things the computer has to know are when the travelcard starts and when it finishes. An awful lot of us have both a travelcard and PAYG cash on Oyster at the same time, and the computer copes.
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 12th, 2008, 01:42 AM
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Well, I've made it to London, and it's still confusing, but we're managing.

At the Gatwick train station, the clerk said he could not sell us RETURN rail tickets for 9 days later, paper version. He couldn't give us a reason why. Just said he couldn't do it. And we were definitely standing in the line for Southern trains (not the Gatwick Express). However, he did sell us 3 paper travelcards, for the price of 2, which we used all day yesterday for the train and the underground, quite successfully. They were 1-day travelcards.

As soon as we got to Victoria station from Gatwick, we stood in line to buy 7-day paper travelcards (which we knew we'd need first thing today). We did this in 2 different line-ups (be sure to ask detailed questions before paying). The clerks who sell Oyster cards don't know anything about the 2for1 deals. They all assured us though that there was no difference in price between buying the paper or the oyster version.

We finally managed to find the right line in Victoria station, and got 7-day travelcards, starting today (day 2). They work for on-peak hours as well as off-peak. And they're good for zones 1 and 2. So they'll cover most everything we need. They were 24 pounds each.

And yes, we were adventuresome and took the tube from Victoria Station to East Putney station. If you have heavy bags, or if you are travelling during peak (rush hour), or if you have little kids, or if you're not in great shape, PLEASE don't attempt it. Lots of crowds, lots of stairs, lots of uneven floors.

On our 9th day, we will taxi to West Brompton train station and catch the train to Gatwick from there. There is no way heavy luggage would be manageable on a busy work-day morning on the tube. And having to buy tube tickets just to get to West Brompton, for 3 of us, would probably be the price of a taxi anyway.

And yes, there is a difference between the oyster 2 for 1 deals and those offered by National Rail (Days Out) - the latter being much more exciting.

I still don't quite understand the whole Oyster card thing, but I don't have to worry about it anymore. I can get the 2for1 deals I want, and I supposedly haven't paid any extra for having a paper travelcard. Plus I don't have to go get my deposit back for an Oyster card before leaving (which saves one extra task).

Thanks for all your help
succeed is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 03:32 AM
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Which is the right line at Victoria Station to buy the paper travelcards?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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They waive the £3 deposit if you first purchase a 7 day travelcard on oyster!
xyz123 is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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And you don't need to get back the deposit...you can keep your Oyster card for future trips. I have mine.
kenderina is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 10:36 PM
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1) To purchase a paper travelcard at Victoria, do so from inside the train station area. There are 2 lineups - one for travelcards starting today, and then right beside it another (much shorter) line-up for future purchases. The line-up for oyster cards is out and through the door, close to the entrance for the underground.

2) I understand a bit better why the clerk sold us 3 train tickets for the price of 2. There is a deal called GroupSave, where 3 or 4 people can travel on the train for the price of 2. That is why a group of students just in front of us were organizing themselves into groups of 4.

3) About the 2for1 vouchers. The Days Out website said you needed a printed voucher, and recommended you print them from the website. But there are some brochures in the rail office, at Victoria Station. Those brochures have 2 generic vouchers inside. So if you didn't print them off before leaving home, you're still in luck.

4) The buses are great - the routes are long and depending on where you are going you may not even have to transfer. And the underground can't get you off the beaten path. However we found it a bit difficult to get a bus route map. We finally found one from the manned tourist office DOWNSTAIRS at the Picadilly underground station.
succeed is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 03:12 AM
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MademoiselleFifi is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 03:35 AM
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<<< However we found it a bit difficult to get a bus route map >>>

Take your pick -

alanRow is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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But succeed has a point - printed bus maps aren't widely available - most people know the routes they need to use or consult the diagram maps in the bus shelters. Not so easy for visitors.

In which case, it makes sense to print them off the internet!
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 14th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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I don't think I'd ever want even to think of using a printed bus map. The system's SO complicated, I wonder how useful any conventional map could possibly be.

Much easier to accept that, more or less, there's a bus from everywhere to everywhere in the centre, and to use the guides at each stop. These days they're close to a model of how to provide just about all the information you could possibly want.

Indeed, I'd say the spectacular improvement in bus-stop information is THE single best achievement of Ken's career. And I bet those individsualised maps and guides cost a lot less than his other silly stunts..
flanneruk is offline  

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