Playing the system

5 Jul


My regular trips down to the office are not only fairly long but are also fairly pricey. We’re not talking travelling-down-to-London-in-the-peak-hour fares, but an Open Return ticket valid before 9.30am costs £58. The Saver fare is a mere £34 – so we can see that there is a fair old whack for travelling in the peak hour.

Last Wednesday I came up with a cunning plan. I bought two seperate tickets: a Standard Day Return from Burnage to Stafford, priced at £17.40, and a Standard Day Return from Stafford to Birmingham International, priced at £10.90 – combined price £28.30, so even cheaper than a Saver as well as being valid in the morning peak. The only conditions are that I must return on the same day (which I invariably do) and that I must catch a train that stops at Stafford (which the majority of them do).

Much the same trick can be made if travelling from Manchester itself. How can train companies justify selling the one through-ticket priced at a premium when there is such an easy way of saving money by buying two tickets for the seperate legs?

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