LNER (London North Eastern Railway) operates the East Coast mainline, joining London with cities in the North like York and Edinburgh. LNER prides itself on delivering the very best experience in train travel at every step of the customer journey, which is why it recently launched Smart Save that provides great value fares without the hassle.
LNER Smart Save offers the same great savings as split ticketing but with the added benefit that customers travel on just one ticket and in the same seat for their entire journey. So no more juggling a bunch of tickets or changing seats mid-trip to get the best fares!
“We are really excited to bring Smart Save to our customers. Our partnership with SilverRail enables us to help travellers save money whilst at the same time maintain the brilliant travel experience for which we are known”.
Becky Dartnall, Head of Digital Products at LNER
While split tickets are a boon for travellers, they can be challenging to deliver for rail operators in terms of operational costs, complexity and digital delivery speed. Operators pay industry bodies for access to rail content (or “availability lookups”), such as when a potential customer searches for a journey. With split tickets, this cost increases exponentially as the operator is having to get price and availability data for multiple legs within a journey. These additional queries also negatively impact platform speed (or “latency”) as more data processing has to happen in the background, which impacts the customer experience.
“Today, the average journey requires just a single availability lookup, and this adds roughly 500ms to each journey planning request. Split ticketing with advance fares can increase the amount of availability lookups required by upwards of 20 per journey, whilst also adding from 2 to 5 seconds latency to each request.”
David Emerson, Product Manager at SilverRail
To enable LNER to deliver Smart Save efficiently, SilverRail’s back-end split ticketing solution uses a highly accurate cached rail data through its Availability Service tool, making it cost-effective to operate and lightning quick to use for potential customers.
Having already helped LNER pioneer calendar search in rail e-commerce, we are excited to have played a part in helping LNER become the first UK TOC to offer a simple alternative to split tickets to customers and we are looking forward to powering more innovations further down the line.
To find out more about our innovative journey planning and search products, get in touch.
Frederic Kalinke, Marketing Director, SilverRail
SilverRail’s e-commerce engine for rail powers over one billion travel searches and 30 million bookings a year. It has offices in London, Stockholm, Brisbane and Boston.