You want to buy a Travelcard, one of the most common types of ticket, from the First Capital Connect (FCC) website. It should be simple but passengers continue to think it cannot be done due to the ticket not being shown in the first few steps of the ticket purchase. The following takes you through the process for a Cambridge to London Travelcard. It’s been like this for months. FCC have been told but have done nothing to fix it.
Adding “London All Zones Travelcard” to the list on the front page or the website, or a clear ‘with Travelcard’ option on the page showing the journey options would help. There are other issues with ease of use which are also highlighted below, including the issue of not being able to buy a Travelcard having started on the National Rail Enquiries website.
The process is described below:
Start on the FCC homepage leaving from Cambridge. Type in London by “Going to” and the list just includes London stations – no mention of a Travelcard. No alternative apart from…..
…choosing London Kings Cross as that’s the station we want to travel through
Click ‘Buy Tickets’ and you are taken to this screen, which seems to serve little purpose apart from having a link to a user guide.
Click ‘Buy tickets’ and you are taken to this screen which simply lists the Cambridge to London ticket. Looks like we are out of luck – no Travelcards in slight. Most people I have spoken to have given up at this point, and fortunately for First Capital Connect have gone to the station to buy one. However, if you click on ‘Amend Search’….
….a new search panel pops up. This looks very similar to the one on the FCC home page but….
…if you now type in London again you get a different set of stations including London All Zones Travelcard.
Select this and click ‘Search’…
…and a new set of fares is displayed including a London All Zones Travelcard for £15.50, and a list of all the serves including the 10:15 Cambridge to Kings Cross. This looks promising……
…so click on the ‘£15.50 return’ button, but almost all the trains disappear including the desired 10:15. No clues in the information under ‘Super Offpeak Day Travelcard’ However, don’t give up yet. If you hover the mouse over the £15.50 button……
….a pop up appears saying ‘Greater Anglia Trains Only’. That would explain it. So let’s try hovering the mouse over the other buttons. Same result for the £16.35 one, but…
….the £20.40 button has no mention of ‘Greater Anglia Trains Only’. We are finally there……
Click on the £20.40 button and ‘Buy Now’ and you can congratulate yourself on completing the FCC ticket buying challenge.
Starting on the National Rail Enquiries page is just as frustrating. In a similar way to FCC, only London stations are listed, so again you chose one of these. However, this time there is a ‘With Travelcard’ button on the results page to turn it into a Travelcard…..
…but if you now select the required £20.40 fare….
…and choose First Capital Connect are a ‘Ticket Provider’ the ‘Buy Now’ button is greyed out, presumably because National Rail Enquiries know that First Capital Connect are unable to sell these in a straightforward way so don’t want to launch passengers down this route – although it would be useful if there was a message explaining this rather than simply greying out the button. The button is greyed out for other operators as well to the problem is not unique to First Capital Connect.
Also misleadingly, if a passenger was to continue with First Capital Connect’s original query only showing destinations of London Terminals (Kings Cross being £15.65 return) they are eventually presented with a travelcard option as an add-on at an extra cost of £5.90 giving a total of £21.55 – not the correct price of £20.40 for the combined Cambridge to Zones 1-6 ticket, although no far off.