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You are here: Home > Log in / Register > Log in / Register > Helpful hints and tips

Helpful hints and tips

Help on the best way to find and buy tickets online.

We thought you may need a little help finding your way around our ticket buying system, so we came up with some hints and tips.

Helpful hints and tips

Accessing your account

Purchasing Key Smartcard tickets

Loading a ticket to your Key Smartcard

Planning your journey

Choosing the right ticket

Ticket collection and purchase

Renewing your season ticket

Managing your account


Accessing your account

  • Our new booking engine works best using IE9 and above, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
  • Before resetting your password you may need to clear your cache
  • If you haven’t received your reset password email once you’ve requested it, please check in your junk or spam folder
  • If you’re informed that the link in your reset password email has expired, please ensure you've cleared your cache and you’re accessing the site from your most recent password reset email, as any previous links will have expired. Should you still have issues, please contact Customer Services

Purchasing Key Smartcard tickets

  • You will need to be logged in first if you wish to buy a ticket on your Key Smartcard
  • Ensure you select Key Smartcard fares on the journey planner. If you have a ticket yet to be loaded to your Key Smartcard, you will be unable to purchase another one
  • Please note that not all ticket types or fares, such as Day Travelcards and Super Off Peak, are currently available on the Key. We are planning to add these soon. If you wish to purchase these ticket types, you will have to purchase a normal ticket by going back and switching to paper ticket fares on the journey planner
  • *Are the cheapest fares always available on the Key?
    Currently not all fares are available on the Key. There are certain point to point fares, particularly those to or from other operator's stations which were are not able to sell at this time. Therefore in some cases alternative fares may be available on paper. If you are making an online purchase you should de-select the 'Key Smartcard fares' option to see the full range of fares available.

Loading a ticket to your Key Smartcard

  • Once you’ve selected your preferred ticket type, you’re able to choose at which station and on what date you’d like to load your ticket to your Key Smartcard.
  • If wishing to load today then your ticket will be available two hours after purchase at the station selected. 
  • Please note that you will not be able to load your Key Smartcard ticket at any station within the London Travelcard area

Planning your journey

  • Enter all your journey details in the fields provided - you may need to scroll down if you’re using a small screen
  • Entering a destination station of ‘London Terminals’ or ‘London Travelcard Zones 1-6’ will return the most extensive range of fare options for travel into London
  • The date and time is preset to today plus two hours but you can change this by clicking on the date field
  • Number of passengers is preset to one adult but you can change this by clicking on the passenger and Railcard field
  • If you have a Railcard, please add this before ‘Finding trains’ on the results screen, view the calling points and facilities available by clicking on each service. The map will update to highlight the operator and your journey route

Choosing the right ticket

  • The best value fare on the fastest trains available for your journey is always pre selected
  • We have two new views that you can use to buy tickets, a list view and a grid view. We will remember the last view you used and show you that view again next time!
  • The grid view allows you to see outward and return journeys side-by-side
  • The list view, on the other hand, displays each step of the service and ticket selection process presented to you, a screen at a time
  • You can search for earlier or later trains and see the running time, duration and changes for the services shown. Just click anywhere on each train service to see more detailed service information
  • Tickets are organised into the following categories on the grid view, Singles, Off-Peak and Anytime. If you can’t see the ticket that you are looking for, press “View All Available Fares” to see a full list of tickets  
  • You can click on the "?" to see more information about your ticket, such as the ticket type, when you can use your ticket, which routes you can use it on, and the restrictions of your ticket 
  • We ask you to select a train for your return journey to help you complete your journey plan. In most cases you’re able to travel on any train but please check the ticket restrictions if you’re unsure 

Ticket collection and purchase

  • A number of collection options are available, including collect at the station and post. For post to be enabled you must book at least three days in advance. 
  • Station collection is preset to your departure station but you can change this to any station that has a self-service ticket machine
  • Your journey selection is added to the basket at this point where you can either add another journey or review and remove the current journey
  • Details of the current journey, including train times and seat reservation confirmation, can be viewed by expanding the journey details in the order summary
  • Once purchased, you’ll receive an order confirmation email that contains all the information you need. At the top of this email is your booking reference and if you have chosen to collect your tickets from the station, further down the email is your ticket collection reference number. You will need this along with a payment card to collect your tickets from the ticket machine. If the email does not appear in your inbox, please check in your junk or spam folder

Renewing your season ticket

  • Ensure you enable the season ticket tab on the journey planner
  • To renew your monthly or above season ticket, please have your photocard handy - you don’t need a photocard to purchase a weekly season ticket
  • If you have a Key Smartcard, ensure you switch Key Smartcard season fares on and then you can load your season ticket straight to it
  • Please make sure your season ticket start date is at least three days in advance for normal monthly and above renewals - Key Smartcard renewals will be ready to load in two hours
  • If you’re planning to collect your weekly at the station then a start date of tomorrow is fine
  • We’ve also made it easier for you to see how much you’re saving when you buy your season ticket online

Managing your account

  • Apply for a refund under purchase history in your account
  • If you’re a Key Smartcard holder then you can view active tickets, review your journey history and request a replacement card
  • If you would like to view the details of a journey you have booked, simply go to ‘Purchase History’, select the journey you want to look at by click on ‘view order details’
  • If you need to remind yourself of the time or seat reservation, simply click the ‘journey details’ link and the window will expand to show you everything you need to know about your journey

Need to speak to someone?

No problem, you can contact our customer service team.

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