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Beware of online train bookings

Created on 11/08/2016 @ 00:38
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A local railway campaign group has warned passengers of the perils of buying some tickets online after finding a family travelling from Newtown to Chester was charged £66 when the price should have been £48.

The Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth Rail Passenger Association said it had uncovered several online prices that vary considerably to what the actual cost should be.

In the first instance a family of two adults and one child without any railcard had been charged £66 for the day trip by online ticket retailer Trainline which included a £1.50 booking fee.

However, the journey could have been done for £48.50 if the best fare had been offered or just £29.40 with a family railcard.

“Even including purchasing a family railcard for 12 months for £30 it would have been cheaper (at £59.40) than the online retailers price,” said SARPA Chairman, Angus Eickhoff.

A second instance brought to the group’s attention was a man going to a job interview in Telford from Caersws, having to be in Telford for 10.30am, a price of £24.85 including a £0.75 booking fee was charged by Trainline for a return journey leaving Caersws at 8.28am.

The man had a Cambrian Railcard but was not told that he could use this to help him with a fare of £11.65 possible.

SARPA Chairman Angus Eickhoff commented: “Passengers deserve a fair and transparent fares system where the cheapest prices are not hidden.

“It was all too easy to find other instances of the best fare not being offered online, perhaps today people have been conditioned to believe that online is best but with rail fares this is clearly not the case.

“Unless you have a reasonable knowledge of how the fare system works you’re only a few clicks away from being overcharged. We advise passengers to avoid websites and use ticket offices instead.”

SARPA also uncovered the following with just few clicks:

• Three adults on a day trip to Barmouth from Shrewsbury on Saturday, August 13. Trainline offered £61.50 including £1.50 booking fee, best price possible is actually £45.00.

• An adult on a day trip to Liverpool from Welshpool on Friday, August 12. Trainline offered £42.85 including £0.75 booking fee, best price possible is actually £24.50.

• Two adults on senior railcards doing a period return from Aberystwyth to Birmingham New St with open return date on Thursday, August 11. Trainline offered £73.10 including £1.50 booking fee, best price possible is actually £60.20.

Trainline has been asked for a comment.


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