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CrossCountry trains on Advance Tickets notes:

Print your own tickets and m-tickets (via our Train tickets app) cannot be changed. Tickets collected from the station, a ticket machine, or sent by post can be changed with no administration fee. Sign into your account and select 'View my Bookings' and follow the steps to amend your journey.

This is different from the conditions for other TOCs, for example, GWR:

Advance tickets can be changed to a different time or date only - for a charge of £10 a ticket, plus any difference in the fare; if you choose a cheaper fare, the difference will not be refunded

The CrossCountry wording seems to suggest it applies to any train, not only trains operated by CrossCountry. However, Simon Calder writes in The Independent:

Rail passengers from Aberdeen to Penzance are set to benefit from the abolition of fees for amending Advance tickets.

…which suggests the rule only applies tickets that are (1) Advance, and (2) for journeys on CrossCountry trains.

Under what conditions can train tickets booked through CrossCountry be changed without paying an administration fee?

Must the travel be on CrossCountry trains, or does it apply anywhere in the country?

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From a little research, I cannot find any stipulation restricting the offer to CrossCountry's own tickets. It does indeed sound like any non-(mobile/print at home) ticket priced by any operator bought through the CrossCountry website is subject to these waived fees, if amended within the time limit given. It's certainly surprising if true, and it's worth pointing out that I have not found positive confirmation of this; perhaps later I'll buy some advances I needed anyway and then see if it'll let me amend them.

Sources I found besides yours:

https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/media/1454/customerreport16102016.pdf

https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/no-admin-fee

  • @gerrit sorry, can't find a definitive answer to that particular part of the question, but I've posted a couple more primary sources that don't mention any such restriction. – Muzer Jan 12 '17 at 16:51
  • Edited to change a dead link with another source which also states it's allowed. – Muzer Aug 5 at 16:29
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I, too, found CrossCountry's website and FAQs equivocal, so I asked CrossCountry about this in June 2019, and they told me that there is a charge if you are amending a specified train with a different operator.

So, it seems that the "no admin fee" rule applies only if the reserved train is a CrossCountry train and the amendment is made via the website (i.e.: not by telephone). Presumably, there would also be "no admin fee" for amending a journey involving multiple operators where the specified train is CrossCountry and the other operator(s) is/are merely for unspecified connecting trains. However, I do not have experience in amending a CrossCountry booking, so I do not know for sure.

  • Odd, because this page crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/no-admin-fee is now quite explicit that it applies to all operators: "We’re the first and only UK train company to remove the £10 fee for changing the date and time of your Advance ticket. So not only can you get great value Advance tickets for any train operator via our website, but you have a little extra flexibility if your plans change". And honestly I wouldn't trust customer service either way - perhaps they thought you meant changing from one operator to another? – Muzer Aug 5 at 16:27

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