Virgin are hiding the cheapest fares!

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snail

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Went on the Virgin website to get a day return from Preston to Carlisle for next week. Their usual matrix shows the 'special' Off-Peak Single at £17.55, i.e half the Off-Peak Return fare of £35.10. It is only by clicking on the 'slower trains' option that you get to the 'via Penrith' Off-Peak Day Return fare of £20.90, which is valid on all the same trains.

A little naughty methinks, and a nice earner for VT. Other websites (including NRE) show the day return fare upfront, as they should.
 
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cuccir

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"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

ie, did you inform them of this? It's not good but is surely a mistake rather than anything more sinister.
 

snail

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Not this particular problem but I have had discussions with them in the past. The most likely reason is because their ticket site is set up to offer the 'convenience' of selecting each journey leg separately. Unfortunately (for us) there isn't a way of showing the day return fare and there isn't a half return on the CDRs.

If you put Preston to Lancaster in their booking engine it does show the CDR as first choice because you can't book Advance tickets on that journey.

But I agree, it's stupidity (aka poor site design) not malice. I have benefited many times from the SVH option going the other way from Preston so you win some, you lose some.
 

rail-britain

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This Day Return does not appear on some other TOC websites too...
I searched for both a Carlisle - Preston and a Preston - Carlisle of £20.90
Equally, the Off-Peak Single of £17.55 does not appear either

At least these fares do appear on the National Rail website
 

cuccir

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Not this particular problem but I have had discussions with them in the past. The most likely reason is because their ticket site is set up to offer the 'convenience' of selecting each journey leg separately. Unfortunately (for us) there isn't a way of showing the day return fare and there isn't a half return on the CDRs.

If you put Preston to Lancaster in their booking engine it does show the CDR as first choice because you can't book Advance tickets on that journey.

But I agree, it's stupidity (aka poor site design) not malice. I have benefited many times from the SVH option going the other way from Preston so you win some, you lose some.
It is more of a problem if they've been informed about this before. After all, it's: a relatively common journey to do (I would imagine); it's one for which many of the trains are operated by Virgin, so people are much more likely to look at their website.


This Day Return does not appear on some other TOC websites too...
I searched for both a Carlisle - Preston and a Preston - Carlisle of £20.90
Equally, the Off-Peak Single of £17.55 does not appear either

At least these fares do appear on the National Rail website
The Off-Peak single is a Virgin-Website only special offer.
 

snail

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The Off-Peak single is a Virgin-Website only special offer.
I meant that they are getting the fare right!

You can buy the Off Peak single from any Trainline-powered site now for travel on Virgin (e.g. TPE show it as an option but their cheapest fare highlighted is the OP Day Return). It's only the VT website that hides the day return ticket in the secondary fares chart.
 
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