Tips for beating the ticket queues

We know that ticket queues have been longer than usual recently, and how frustrating this is for many of you. But there are ways you can beat the queues, and help us reduce the waiting time.

Reveal your top tips depending on what kind of traveller you are by clicking on the options below…

  1. Do you travel on c2c most days? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Tip: Beat the queues by buying your season ticket online, onto a Smartcard.

    Smartcard is now working well for Annual, Monthly and Weekly season tickets. It really is the best way to go because you can buy online (do it two hours or more before travel) and the ticket will then load onto your card at the reader on the ticket gates – you just need to hold it down for a good few seconds. There’s no need to queue whatsoever. Plus you get Auto Delay Repay and Loyalty Points, and your card is protected if it gets lost or stolen.

    Ordering a Smartcard easier than ever. You can do it while you buy your ticket online, as long as it’s five days before you’re due to travel.

    You can also renew or buy Monthly or longer-term season tickets up to two weeks before travel so you have plenty of time to get organised.

    If you’re travelling to another station in London that’s not on c2c, say Canary Wharf or Bond Street for example, you can add a London Zones Travelcard to your Season ticket and use your Smartcard to tap in and out at the underground station you’re travelling to/from.

    Find out more about Season Tickets

  2. Do you travel on c2c semi-frequently, with no Railcard? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Tip: Beat the queues by getting a Flexi-Season ticket for your c2c journey

    A Flexi-Season is a great option for part-time commuters but there are a couple of things you need to know to make sure it works properly for you. 

    A Flexi-Season is a bundle of 10 daily passes with a ‘season style’ discount. They can be used anytime within 6 months. They can only be bought online – onto a Smartcard and loaded by tapping in and out at the station ticket gate – no need to queue!

    However, you need to ‘top up’ the Flexi bundle if you want more tickets, as opposed to ‘buying new’ on your Smartcard, or the card could max out. 

    You can only go between two c2c stations on a Flexi-Season ticket. So if you need to carry on to Canary Wharf or somewhere else in the city then we recommend using Oyster/Contactless PAYG to do that leg of the journey. 

    And, with Flexi-Season you get all your Smartcard benefits like Auto Delay Repay, card protection, and Loyalty Points. 

    Find out more about Flexi-Season tickets

  3. Do you travel on c2c semi-frequently, with a Railcard? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Tip: Beat the queues by buying online and collecting at the station ticket office or machine during quieter times.

    When you buy online you can apply your railcard discount and take your time over the process. We’ll email your ticket reference to you. Did you know you can collect with a different card to what you paid online with? That means you can use say, American Express to buy online, but then collect with your debit cad. 

    You can also then collect your tickets from the machines when it’s less busy at the station, say lunch breaks, on your way home in the evening, or at weekends. 

    You can even buy multiple tickets online and collect them all at once to save even more time.

A map of best ticket options by travel zones

Figuring out what the best ticket type to go for can be complicated as it can depend where you’re travelling from and how often. Here’s a handy version using our route to show you a quick guide to your best ticket type depending what stations you use.

Best Ticket For Me Map

‘How to’ get your ticket videos

How to buy a return to a London Underground station

How to top up a Flexi-Season ticket

How to add a Travelcard to a Season ticket

How to add a Travelcard to a Daily ticket