The train company, LNER is introducing a new semi-flexible train ticket that means you can catch a slightly later train if you miss the connection.

(c) LNER

LNER says that the trial offers a clearer choice of tickets and aims to make buying them even easier. It will include journeys between London King’s Cross and Newcastle, London and Berwick-upon-Tweed and London and Edinburgh, for travel with LNER.

Simpler Fares comprises two significant changes. Firstly, fares will be made simpler. The pilot will see the removal of complicated ticket types and replacement with three straightforward options on the trial routes. The changes also mean journeys will be priced more closely to demand, helping to smooth demand for services over the course of the day, all aimed at making rail travel even more attractive.

LNER will introduce a new type of semi-flexible ticket. For the pilot markets, the new fare structure will go on sale today for travel from 5th February 2024:

  • Advance (Fixed) – the best value fare, booked in advance for a fixed journey with a guaranteed reserved seat for travel with LNER.
  • ‘70min Flex’ (Semi-Flexible) – a new type of ticket offering customers the flexibility to travel on other LNER services, which can be 70 minutes before or after their original booked journey.
  • Anytime (Fully-Flexible) – this ticket can be used at any time of day.

However, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak fares, which still represent 11% of journeys included in the pilot, will be removed from 5th February 2024.

LNER will be seeking feedback from customers. Research shows that if fares were made simpler, more flexible and fairer, more people would travel by rail. Data from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators, found that 35 per cent of people for whom rail is an option are put off travelling by train because they find it difficult to find the right fare.

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “LNER remains at the forefront of rail reform. Simplifying fares is vital in making rail travel more attractive. Customers tell us they find fares confusing.

“This exciting new pilot is the next step in our plans to overhaul complicated and outdated ticketing options and we look forward to hearing feedback from our customers. We believe that making fares simpler, smarter, and fairer, while introducing value for money and modern flexibility, will encourage more people to choose to travel by rail, the most sustainable travel choice.”

The pilot will run for two years.

Simpler Fares is the next step in fares reform which aims to simplify ticketing. Under the old fares structure, customers had a choice of 23 options. Following LNER’s introduction of Single Leg Pricing it was simplified to eleven options. Under the Simpler Fares pilot there are six options – three each for First and Standard travel.


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  1. Paul says:

    Interested to know if the 70 min flex tickets are exchangeable/refundable for a fee (like off peak) or not (like advance)

  2. Keith says:

    Interesting to note they’re axing the off-peak and super off-peak, having previously got rid of the return tickets.

    It’ll be interesting to see how tickets work if a LNER journey is only one part of the rail ticket (e.g. Huntingdon to Leeds). At present off-peak tickets are available in this sort of combination.

    In general though having just Advanced, Semi-flex, and Anytime with singles only should make it a bit simpler.

    • MilesT says:

      I can foresee a new fare hack like split tickets if OP/SOP is available in a journey that has a LNER fare as a subsection, but not available directly from LNER (subject to fare differentials, of course).

      Just buy a ticket starting from a station a short distance away from the main LNER leg you wish to travel, or ditto ending at a destination. To be legal you may need to add a single ticket to get to the booked start point (to allow you onto the station at the LNER start point) or similar at destination.

      A bit like the “beyond and back” which works on a few routings (a few on the GEML because of which trains get allocations of advances to sell and which don’t, which eliminates journeys to smaller intervening stations e.g. Marks Tey for the Sudbury branch–beyond and back to COL fixes that one)

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