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Everything posted by Globaliser

  1. A few random general tips on using the Tube, seeing as this thread’s an opportunity for them: 1. If you’re in a line of people passing through the ticket gates, you do not need to wait for the gates to shut before you touch your card on the card reader. As long as your card has been read, you are clear to walk on through the gates. 2. Don’t walk right into the gate or stand right up against the gate paddles when you touch your card on the card reader. You can trip the anti-tailgating sensor, which will stop the card reader working. Instead, hold your card out slightly ahead of you. If you’re using a card rather than a phone to pay, this also gives you the best chance of being able to walk through without stopping. 3. There are all sorts of things you can look at when you touch your card on the card reader. But actually, there’s only one thing that you should look at: the coloured light next to the reader pad. This is yellow when the reader is ready to read the card. When it turns green (and beeps once), it means that your card has been properly read and you can walk on through the gates. If it turns red, then your card hasn’t been properly read and you should try again. (If this happens when the gate paddles are shut, they won’t open.) You may have to take a step back to untrip the anti-tailgating sensor. 4. When you get to the platform, don’t just stand there. You’ll be blocking the way for everyone behind you. Move along the platform to make space for others. And you’ll have a better chance of getting more personal space, compared to the bit of the train that will be packed with all the lemmings that just stopped as soon as they got onto the platform. 5. You don’t have to get onto the first train, unless you’re really in a screaming hurry. If the first train is packed, waiting for the next one could make things much more comfortable. Especially if the next train is only a minute or two behind – the platform indicators will normally show you how far behind they are. Sometimes a one-minute wait makes all the difference between standing in a sardine can and having several seats to yourself. 6. If you’re going to change trains, work out which line you’re changing to and in which direction you’ll then be heading, before you get to the station where you’re going to change. The first journey is good thinking time and space. Realising that you're not in Kansas only when you've just stepped onto a busy platform is not so good. 7. On escalators, stand on the right. 8. Also on escalators, ignore the signs that require you to carry a dog. Most of us don’t have dogs with us. 9. Oh, and MIND THE GAP!
  2. In this specific instance, if I were a betting person I would put some money on cheaper fares becoming available later. This is the current availability display for the eight scheduled flights that day: BA552 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA548 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA546 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA560 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA556 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA538 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA554 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 BA558 J9 C9 D0 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K0 M0 L0 V0 N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0 You see that there is a pattern: there is inventory in the two highest business class booking classes, and the three highest economy class booking classes, but nothing else. To me, that suggests a deliberate decision not to take bookings at present for anything other than the most expensive fares. Inventory will get put into the cheaper booking classes at a later date, when the airline has a better idea of what it will actually operate, and of what it expects the yield mix to look like. (And possibly when some of the lowest-rent end of the market has already been successfully dumped onto other airlines.)
  3. How about the Nightjet? If you're planning to spend 12 to 15 hours on the train, you may as well go direct, and also save yourself a hotel night at the same time. However, with a 1515 arrival at VCE it might be a bit brave to book this for the same night.
  4. Really? I thought it looked pretty smart when I was there about six months ago. Anyway, the OP's only going to be there for about 45 minutes between trains, so it's probably not enough time to get poisoned. A quick search suggests that it will be the change point for any single-change route between Southampton and Liverpool. The most obvious alternative would be to cross London. But London Euston is at least as big and chaotic as Birmingham New Street; my personal experience is that Euston's been a zoo every time I've used it recently.
  5. Some specific answers to your specific questions: A simple answer to this one: You can't. If you do the cross-platform change, every train will be bound for Tower Hill, Barking or Upminster (except when there are disruptions). All of these trains go to Westminster and beyond. The Jubilee Line is well signed. There are escalators down from the District Line platform, about half way along the platform. You then need to go down a second escalator. Then you will be at the level where the eastbound Jubilee Line platform is. Every train from the eastbound District Line platform at Westminster goes to Tower Hill, including Circle Line trains. Westbound platforms: every train goes to Victoria, including Circle Line trains. At Tower Hill, there are two westbound platforms, on either side of the same island. I think they're technically platforms 1 and 2. Platform 2 is the reversing platform, where eastbound trains terminating at Tower Hill turn around and head west again. It usually takes at least 4 or 5 minutes to turn around, and often much more if the train waits for its timetabled slot. So don't jump onto a train on Platform 2 just because it's there (especially if it's only just arrived). Check the train indicators on both sides to see which platform to use for the first westbound train out.
  6. Assuming (see your other post) that your cruise is arriving at Southampton, the train is not a particularly practicable option between Southampton and Heathrow.
  7. The train is not a particularly practicable option between Southampton and Heathrow. That's assuming that your cruises arrive at Southampton, given that the only clues are the rather Delphic "Virtuosa" and "Preziosa". It's also important information to know when the ships are scheduled to arrive.
  8. Yes, it is, by any normal definition. Consistent advice here is that rooms in Hub hotels tend to be very small, and they don't always have windows.
  9. 10 or 11. It's as simple as that. Another quick look suggests that normally, the only trains that use these platforms are fast trains to Paddington. For stuff like this, realtimetrains.co.uk - this only gives operational information, with nothing about connections or fares. AIUI, the real-time information about trains that are currently on the move is taken directly from the signalling system, so it's very accurate. This is particularly useful when you need to see whether you qualify for delay compensation.
  10. Don't worry about it. Just keep it with you and use any available space. Improvisation is the name of the game, and everyone does it. If you wait until the morning peak is over before you get on a train, you may well find that it's not really that busy anyway.
  11. Don't worry about it. If there are no Advance tickets on the route, then you are not tied to taking any specific train from Reading to Paddington. Having a quick look at information for right now, it looks like there will be a dozen fast trains (non-stop from Reading to Paddington) in the next hour. They're all planned to depart from platforms 10 or 11 (which are either side of the same island). So after you get onto the platform there'll be an average wait of 2½ minutes before the next fast train. If the first train looks too busy, just wait for the next one, or the one after that, or the one after that, or whatever. Or sit and have a coffee and a slice of cake if you want a break. Don't even think about getting on any train unless it says that it will call at London Paddington only. There is absolutely no point getting on a slow train. You will almost certainly need to change platforms, because an equally quick look shows that the Southampton to Reading train is likely to arrive on either platform 3 or platform 8, so you'll need to cross over to platforms 10/11. As John Bull's post hints, there is always the question of why you are going to Paddington rather than to somewhere in central London (for which London Waterloo is the obvious route). But I assume that you have already thought this through.
  12. This local doesn't encourage people to use phones or watches to pay for travel on TfL services in London. One of the most aggravating thing is being stuck behind someone doing that and taking 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds to open the gate because they're using a phone or a watch to pay. If you use an Oyster to pay as you go, you almost don't have to break your stride as you go through the gate. Contactless cards take something like 10 times as long to read, but usually they only involve a pause. Phones and watches, though, in the hands of people who don't know how to use them ... 🥵
  13. I don't think that you really have a choice if you must go from Southampton Central to London Paddington as one journey. Off the top of my head, I think it has to be CrossCountry from Southampton to Reading, then Great Western Railway from Reading to Paddington. In theory, you could take the Elizabeth Line from Reading to Paddington, but I'm not sure that you can buy a through fare from Southampton to Paddington that's valid on the Elizabeth Line. Nor would there be much reason to do this, given that the Elizabeth Line will probably be rather slower than some GWR trains that you could take.
  14. Air New Zealand makes a big thing of serving Aussie wine? I have many friends (on both sides of the Tasman) who'd be shocked!
  15. Does anyone really need an excuse to add a slice of cake to a coffee? 😉
  16. I agree. But it must be three / four months or more since I last bought anything with cash here. So a visitor could easily get away with not having any if they're only here for a couple of days. Places that don't take cards are very rare now, but places that don't take cash are pretty common. I was at a service at St Paul's Cathedral this morning. The collection basket came along my row at the appropriate point, but it only managed to accumulate about five pounds' worth of assorted shrapnel. However, there was a decent stream of people using the contactless reader to give as they left.
  17. If you've signed up for emails, you'll probably be able to tell us before we find out by any other means. I don't think there are any wiser words than these:
  18. Meeting the driver at about 9.30 pm should be fine. If you're using one of the usual suspects, they will be checking for the flight's actual arrival time, anyway, which is as much of a variable as the time it takes to clear immigration, collect bags and clear customs.
  19. I've sometimes had the first flight of the day cancelled, and sometimes the last flight of the day cancelled. Sometimes that's been the same flight, when the airline only has one flight a day between those two cities. (Or sometimes that flight is the only flight of the day between those two cities. Or those two countries.) Whatever your plan, you really should make sure that it allows for contingencies. Booking the earlier of two flights doesn't give you that much protection against a cancellation. If the first flight is cancelled and the second flight is already full, then the second flight is as much use to you as a chocolate teapot.
  20. When you're in a market in which most fares are priced on a one-way basis, even if you're going there and back, there aren't that many candidates any more for "good reasons to buy a round-trip ticket" - especially if you have a significant stay at the destination between the two halves of the air travel. See for example this very recent thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/3016882-one-way-vs-rt-msp-yvr-on-delta.
  21. This all depends on which fares you're being quoted. Different fares have different rules from each other, even in the same direction on the same flight. If you're prepared to post the dates and flights that you're looking at, and the prices that you're being quoted, some of us have access to information that may allow the full fare rules to be retrieved, and then see whether there are any differences in the rules and whether they're significant. But I would expect the most significant to be shown to you during the booking process anyway (refundable / non-refundable; change fee / no change fee; included baggage / no included baggage; etc). And how much effort are you prepared to put in to saving $45, how important is that $45, and how important is knowing exactly what the differences are? After all, if you're booking the cheapest fares, you already know they're going to have pretty restrictive conditions whatever their detail.
  22. Yes, that's what I would do. That entrance is primarily for the Elizabeth Line, so it'll be really easy once you get inside the gate line.
  23. In theory, the fare rules could be different if you buy two one-way tickets, and this could be to your disadvantage. But that's very dependent on what you're being offered each way around (and I couldn't immediately reproduce what you describe using random dates). Also, if you have to change or cancel the trip, you could be liable for two lots of change or cancellation fees (although your fares may not be refundable at all). In addition, if the airline makes a change in one direction that entitles and causes you to cancel (perhaps to book with some other airline instead), you wouldn't automatically be entitled to cancel the one-way ticket in the other direction . But with the duration of a cruise between the two flights, that seems unlikely to pose a real problem. But the bottom line is that you could for perfectly legitimate reasons have bought two one-way tickets on different airlines to begin with, and doing the same thing but with the same airline in this situation really isn't very different.
  24. If you do this, my suggestion would be to get the cab to take you to the western entrance to the Elizabeth Line station. This is actually situated here on Moorfields. You need to get the cab to drop you off at this point, which is the closest that a vehicle can get to the Elizabeth Line entrance. That drop-off point is outside the entrance to the Northern Line, but don't go in through that entrance. The Elizabeth Line entrance is on the other side of the street and a few yards further, and it's very easy to see. This is what it looks like. It's all step-free; the construction work around it has all gone and the building (Deutsche Bank's new London headquarters) is now finished. (If you pull the image around to the left, you'll also see the signs for the Northern Line entrance.) Using this entrance should be easier than the more convoluted route at Liverpool Street Station itself. The Elizabeth Line platforms are basically situated between Liverpool Street Station itself and Moorgate Tube.
  25. Or at London Bridge, where they're starting from, paying the same through fare to include the London Bridge to Waterloo East bit of their journey. Which was a great piece of advice up-thread.
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