Trainline’s Price Prediction knows when prices will go up so you can book at the best time
We’ve all been there – you check the price of a train ticket only to go back the next day and find it’s shot up. Predicting changes in the price of train tickets is difficult, and requires a lot of time and research, but a new feature in the Trainline app could help customers make huge savings.
By analysing price trends from billions of customer searches, the company has created a “Price Prediction” feature that will not only tell customers the price of their ticket if they bought it at the time, but how it is likely to increase in the future.
If a customer is organising travel well in advance, but need some time to make specific arrangements, the app will let you know how long you have to decide until the price will rise. Train tickets tend to be released 12 weeks before the travel date, and become more expensive as that date approaches.
For example, the app says a standard class Advance single fare on the London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly route is £32 at 80 days before the day of travel. This rises to £38 at 41 days before the day of travel, £42 at 13 days before, £87 at two days before and costs £126 on the day of travel itself.
The company said, based on customer searches, people often look for a journey a few days before actually buying their ticket – which costs them unnecessary money.
“We now share this information in our app to allow our customers to get the best price possible for their journey,” said Jon Moore, chief product officer at Trainline.
The feature is expected to improve as people use it. “We’re introducing more advanced machine learning every day, so naturally our predictions will get increasingly accurate,” said Moore.
“Our mission is to make train travel as simple as possible and price prediction is the first in a long line of predictive features we have planned to help customers save time and money.”
If you find yourself without the luxury of 80 days’ notice of travel, one way to save on an on-the-day train ticket is using the Tickety Split feature developed by Money Saving Expert. The feature tells a customer whether the ticket would be cheaper if they bought the journey as two or more separate tickets, rather than just one leg.