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Virgin unveils new ticketing structure to save customers £7.1m a year

Virgin Trains has announced changes to its advanced ticketing prices that could lead to customers saving around £7.1m per year.

Services on the East Coast will now allow customers to take advantage of cheaper advance fares on the day of travel, meaning that at the current rate of passenger walk-ups savings of £7.1m could be yielded from the change.

On the previous system, advance fares were only available to purchase up to midnight the day before travel. But now, passengers on the East Coast can save up to 43% by buying an advance ticket the same day they travel.

The savings can be felt by buying tickets on a number of retail channels including online, at ticket machines and at station travel centres.

Suzanne Donnelly, commercial director at Virgin Trains on the East Coast, said: “This is great news for many thousands of customers who will be able to take advantage of big savings on the day of travel.

“Virgin Trains has always positioned itself on the side of customers and we have a strong record of innovating for the benefit of rail passengers,” she explained.

“Customers who can buy tickets well in advance will continue to benefit from the very cheapest fares, with booking now available six months ahead.”

But Donnelly added that Virgin understood it wasn’t always possible to book this far ahead, which is why the change to advanced ticketing has been implemented.

“With more of our cheapest fares available on the day of travel, we’re providing customers with a more affordable and relaxing alternative to road or air travel and we’re proud to be leading the way with changes that will ensure customers get the best value for money,” she added.

The news also follows Virgin joining forces with Stagecoach and French operator SNCF to launch a bid for the WCP HS2 franchise last month.

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Andrew Gwilt   03/05/2017 at 22:01

Just before the new VTEC Class 800's, Class 801's and Class 802's are to replace the older rolling stocks.

Yourpointis   03/05/2017 at 23:28

........sadly!! (even though is totally irrelevant to ticketing choices Andrew!)

David   04/05/2017 at 01:05

"Not to mention that" the Class 802s are exclusively being procured by First Group operators. But as above, totally irrelevant to the passenger side of ticketing.

Beverley Jameson   04/05/2017 at 08:59

This could help people with inconsistent disabilities like epilepsy. Buying advance tickets is a gamble and so people without any health problems, able to purchase in advance, have been able to pay far less than I do even after the discount from my Disability Railcard. Seizures might still prevent travel on a specific train but the risk might be reduced if people can know how stressed they feel on the morning of travel

Noam Bleicher   04/05/2017 at 10:07

This is completely irrelevant to those of us who can't use Advance tickets because of work commitments etc. What we need is reasonable walk-on single fares, at least in the off-peak, priced around half an Off-Peak Day Return.

Huguenot   04/05/2017 at 12:20

This proposal is fine so long as the deadline is the train's departure time from its originating station. Otherwise you have the fiasco that you have on CrossCountry where an advance passenger can reserve a seat that is already occupied by a turn-up-and-go passenger.

Jerry Alderson   14/05/2017 at 20:17

Advance tickets aren't a total gamble. Last year I was unexpectedly in hosptial on the day I sohuls have taken a VTEC train. VTEC customer services required proof of my hospitalisation and I had to post my unsused tickets to them but they weere very easy to deal with, very quick, and I got a full refund to my credit card account.

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