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Unread 03-04-2010, 07:15   #1
Eddie
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Question Dublin to Cork On Line Prices

Whilst it is fantastic that you can now get a return train to Cork for just €20 if you pick the right trains (which I bet hasn't been the case for 20-30 years) does it really make sense that the 2pm train costs €10 and the 3pm train is €36?

Everyone is just going to pile on to the 2pm train and the 3pm one will be significantly emptier. Wouldn't it be better to have a graduated system whereby a €10 train has to have a €20 train either side of it, so that it doesn't cause this big lopsided demand?
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Unread 03-04-2010, 09:05   #2
Mark Gleeson
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Odd hour trains to Cork are quieter, plus the 2pm is a slow train.

Sales on each train are monitored and the fares manually adjusted. There will be in the future a dynamic system which increases the price as the number of seats remaining go down so

Starts 10 euro, then 20 euro, then 36 euro and then 40 euro if you book day of travel. In that case every train would have some 10 euro seats and the number of 10 euro seats being a function of the estimated demand.

It still ensures 10 euro fares on all quiet trains but also gets a small number of cheap seats on busy ones as well. Its still in the learning phase, people need to get used to booking and the next step will encourage you to book in advance to get a cheaper fare
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Unread 03-04-2010, 09:50   #3
Eddie
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That strategy will certainly get people to book earlier. At the moment there's no incentive to book early unless the train you want is about to get booked out.

These time limited Facebook / Twitter / newspaper discounts that randomly appear also encourage price-sensitive passengers to hold off booking in the event that they come up before they travel.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:11   #4
Mark Gleeson
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The twitter/facebook discounts are nearly always issued on Monday which is the quietest day for bookings

There is sense in the booking system and the ability to book up to 1 hour before departure is a very strong selling point, just try to book a seat with an airline with an hour to go.

It really is a cultural issue, but there is a balance, the plan is to charge a fixed price for same day bookings but a discount for all others. Obviously the return fare will never exceed the cash fare regardless of your choice of dates and time of booking
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