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      The train company’s plan to stop people from sharing tickets as ‘Netflix passwords’

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      The Northern train service has made it harder for people to cheat ticket checks on its trains in a scam it says is similar to “Netflix password swapping.”

      By introducing the new barcoded season tickets, which ‘live’ within the Northern app and are updated repeatedly throughout the day, they have prevented fare evaders from being able to ‘screenshot and share’ season tickets so that others use them.

      Customers are also required to upload a profile photo when purchasing a barcoded season ticket, which is displayed along with the barcode within the app and is part of the ticket inspection. Barcode Season Tickets offer up to 33 percent off the regular cost of travel between two stations on the Northern network and are available to adult customers as weekly or monthly options.

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      Mark Powles, Northern’s director of business and customer service, said: “Our season tickets are no different than people’s gym memberships, store loyalty cards or, indeed, their Netflix account: they’re designed for use by the person whose name is on the bill.

      “While more than 95 percent of the trips made in our network are from customers who do the right thing and buy a ticket before they travel, the remaining 5 percent are made by people trying to travel without paying for their trip, changing these particular sales to barcoded season tickets will ensure that only the device that made the purchase can satisfy the checks of our ticket inspectors and outlets.”

      For customers who travel less frequently, Northern offers ‘Flexible Season Tickets’ that offer eight-day travel in a 28-day window. Meanwhile, Northern has invested in the largest network of digital ticketing infrastructure of any train operator in the country, making it simple to purchase tickets via its app, website or one of the more than 600 machines on the grid.

      Northern is the UK’s second largest train operator, with almost 2,500 services a day to over 500 stations in the north of England. From Hull, the company operates services to a number of destinations, including York, Sheffield and Doncaster.

      For more information and details on how to purchase a barcoded season ticket, click here.

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