14 February, 2011

London 2012 Olympic Countdown begins: the full guide on how to be there: with thanks to the "London Times:"

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London 2012 Olympic Stadium;  by night and by day (inset)
How and when can I apply for tickets for the Olympic Games?
On Tuesday, March 15 this year, the application phase for tickets opens on Tuesday, March 15, and closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday, April 26, so you will have 43 days in which to apply. The best way to apply is via the tickets website: www.tickets.london2012.com How do I pay?
Online payment is exclusively by Visa debit card, credit card or pre-paid card.
What if I don’t have a Visa card?
Your bank will be able to help you to select and apply for the Visa card that most suits your needs. Alternatively, a Visa pre-paid card is a quick and easy way to start paying immediately. See the Visa website (www.visa.com).
You can also submit a paper application form, available in Lloyds TSB branches, and pay by cheque or postal order as well as by Visa any time between March 15 and April 25. This is a day earlier than the deadline for online sales. Customers in Scotland can also fill out a form in branches of Bank of Scotland, while libraries in Northern Ireland will also stock them.
What if I don’t have a computer?
You could use the computers at your local library or make a postal application.
What happens if my paper application gets lost in the post?
Royal Mail will be busier than usual this (and next) year
Send it to London 2012 via a secure postal method to enable you to track and trace your application, such as Special Delivery.
I need time to think about what I want to see. Will it ruin my chances if I leave it a bit rather than applying at the start of the application window?
Tickets are not sold on a “first come, first served” basis. Applications can be submitted at any stage in the 43-day period and you gain no advantage from applying on the first day, nor any disadvantage from applying on the last.
Will I be guaranteed the tickets I want?
Because of high demand, some events may be oversubscribed, so customers may find that they cannot attend every event that they apply for. A fair ballot will be held for events where demand exceeds supply.
Can I specify an alternative if the price band I want is oversubscribed and I miss out in the ballot?
Yes, people will be able to set higher or lower price bands. When people submit their application it will be made clear what the maximum and minimum amount they could be charged will be.
Can I change my mind after the deadline?
Once an application is processed, customers cannot change their orders and you must have the funds available to pay for the tickets you have been allocated.
Can I apply several times to improve my chances of getting tickets for popular events?
You can submit only one application per e-mail address and Visa card.
Can I revisit my booking and add or amend my choices before the deadline?
Yes, but only online, where you can edit your application at any time during the process. You must submit the complete application by 11.59pm on April 26.
Are there any age restrictions?
Tickets may be bought only by people who are 16 and over.
How many tickets can I apply for?
The website will show the limits for each session. They range from four seats for the opening and closing ceremonies to 30 for some football matches. You can apply for 20 sessions per application.
I live abroad but am planning to visit the UK during the Olympics. Can I book tickets?
Only residents of the United Kingdom, the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can apply. If you live elsewhere, regardless of your citizenship, you will need to apply for tickets via your National Olympic or Paralympic Committee. You can find details of how to contact them at www.tickets.london2012.com from March 15.
I am serving overseas with the Armed Forces but will be based in the UK in 2012. Can I apply online?
British Armed Forces Personnel: very welcome at 2012 Olympic Games
Yes, applications are welcomed from British service personnel provided they have a British Forces Post Office address.
What is the most expensive ticket and the cheapest?
The best seats for the opening ceremony are £2,012, while the best for the closing ceremony are £1,500, but you can get seats at both events for £20.12. There are lots of tickets available for most events at £20.
Is there a reduction in price for children or pensioners?
Yes. There are special “pay for age” prices at more than 200 sessions across all 26 sports, so a child of 7 would pay £7. People over 60 will pay £16 at these sessions.
Will there be any standing-only tickets?
Yes. There are seating and standing areas at events such as the marathon, triathlon and race walks.
How soon will I find out which tickets I have got?
Applications must be received by 11.59pm on April 26, 2011. They will be processed between May and June and successful customers will be notified by the end of June via e-mail or letter.
How soon must I pay?
Once the application process is complete, payment will be taken from all successful applicants between May 10 and June 10.
Will I be able to buy later in the year if there are tickets unsold under this procedure?
Yes, further details will be announced later this year. The best chance to get tickets, though, will be through the application process.
Will I be able to buy any tickets at the gate on the day of events?
Any remaining tickets will be sold at the venue box-offices during the Games.
Will there be any restrictions on bringing my own food or drink into venues? What about flags and banners to support my favourite athletes?
Ticket-holders will be advised well in advance about what they can and cannot bring into venues.
London 2012  in many guises
Can I sell on any tickets that I am unable to use either through London 2012 or via secondary-selling or auction websites?
It is illegal to resell London 2012 tickets via secondary or non-authorised sites. London 2012 is developing an official resale programme. More details will be announced in due course.
I’m worried that touts will buy up the bulk of the tickets and sell them on at inflated prices. What is being done to prevent that?
The organisers will be vigilant to the obvious risk of touting. London 2012 is working with the Metropolitan Police, which has a dedicated unit working on the Games, and part of its remit is to prevent ticket touting and fraud. The London Olympic Games & Paralympic Games Act, 2006, made unauthorised sale of Olympic tickets a criminal act.
Metropolitan Police to have its numbers doubled for Olympics
How do I get tickets for the Paralympic Games or the London Festival?
Applications for tickets for the Paralympic Games will begin on September 9 and follow a similar sales process. You can register your interest at www.tickets.london2012.com. Tickets for the London 2012 Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad, will go on sale in October.
I am disabled. What provision will be made for me?
London 2012 says it is committed to meeting the needs of as many disabled people as possible, including those who require a seat but have additional accessibility requirements. When you apply for tickets, you should indicate, for each session, if you have an accessibility requirement.
The organisers say everything will be done to give you a great spectator experience, including enabling you to choose a location within the venue that best meets your needs. These include seats close to the action for visually impaired people, seats with a direct view of a video screen for people with impaired hearing and more accessible seats for people who cannot manage many steps. In addition, there will be commentary and audio description; audio enhancements; facilities for guide dogs; and numerous accessible toilets including toilet facilities with a hoist.
How many wheelchair spaces do you offer?
Wheelchair spaces are available in all price categories for every Olympic sport, subject to availability. A companion seat is included in the cost of a ticket for a wheelchair space. Where applicable, the special prices for young people and seniors are also available when purchasing a wheelchair space. You can also apply for tickets on the same application for accompanying family or friends, who will be seated next to, or as close as possible to, the wheelchair space and companion seat.
I have a Blue Badge, will I be able to park at venues?
London Blue Badge
There will be a limited number of parking spaces at venues for Blue Badge holders or members of an equivalent national scheme. You will be able to book Blue Badge parking once you have received confirmation of your tickets, at which point further details will be available.
How much will it cost to travel to the Games?
Spectators with tickets for sporting events in London will receive a Games travelcard, which will entitle them to travel within zones 1-9 of the London public transport network on the day of their event.
Spectators with a ticket for an event at Eton Dorney (rowing), Lee Valley White Water Centre (canoe slalom) or Hadleigh Farm (mountain biking) will receive a Games travelcard that will entitle them to travel in London on that day and by railway from London to their venue.
To get to the regional football venues and Weymouth and Portland (sailing), ticket-holders will be able to use national rail (for which a special Games travel ticket will be available), dedicated park-and-ride sites, shuttle bus services, cycle networks and direct coach services from around the UK. Street parking near venues will not be possible for spectators.
What about hospitality and travel packages?
The only way to buy official hospitality and travel packages for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is through the official London 2012 hospitality service providers. These are Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.com) Prestige Ticketing (www.prestigeticketing.london2012.com) and Jet Set Sports (www.jetsetsports.com).

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