You bought an advance train ticket? Silly Ewe…
Silly Ewe proclaimed the adverts at London Euston station some months ago. They featured a sheep who was buying their train ticket at the station, whilst the “Clever You” man was busy saving up to 43% by booking his tickets in advance! Yay for him!
Of course he’s saving because he’s bought his Advance ticket. As the National Rail site proclaims, these offer “Great value for money on many longer distance journeys”. Indeed we all know if we can pre-book our train times, we can get the best deals. We all know that! Advance tickets are the cheap and easy way! That’s the message! And it rocks!
Which is why I was highly amused to see this screen on the Virgin Trains website whilst searching for a ticket to take us to St Bees when we go up to walk the Coast to Coast later this year.
Yep, on three of the four journeys, the cheapest fare is the Off-Peak single – a walk on fare that I can buy on the day at the station.
Though the proposed journey takes in two companies, the issue seems to be somewhere at Virgin Trains – when I did a search for just going to London to Preston, the same issue occurred. I could pay £69.20 each off peak, or £94.00 advance. Quite why I’d want to pay more on the same train for a less flexible ticket, I’m at a loss to explain.
One thing I can say is that with scenarios like this, it’s no wonder people still get confused when booking train tickets.