Posted 31st May 2019 | 4 Comments

Virgin unveils radical plan for ‘best value’ tickets

RAIL passengers will save around a billion pounds in fares thanks to a new price-guarantee app, according to Virgin Trains.

The new technology is due to go live by the end of this year, and Virgin said it will ‘cut through confusing and outdated ticketing systems to ensure that customers are automatically given the best ticket for their journey at the tap of a button’.

Virgin is planning to make the app available for all National Rail journeys, and not merely on its own routes.

The app will also include a ‘seamless split-ticketing function, automatically calculating if a cheaper combination of fares for one journey is available’.

The best fare will be calculated retrospectively.

Virgin Trains managing director Phil Whittingham said: ‘The changes we’ve announced, which align with the Rail Delivery Group’s Fares Reform agenda, could save rail passengers around a billion pounds a year, and ensure Virgin Trains continues to deliver for customers whatever happens with the West Coast franchise.’

The revenue currently earned from ticket sales is around £11 billion a year.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    Yes the app would have been more useful if they had it back in 1997, but the technology simply didn't exist back then to do it. 20+ years on it's a whole different situation.

  • Steve Alston, Crewe

    "Mea culpa, mea culpa...."

    Welcome to Pearly Gates, Virgin franchise.

    Wonderful idea, but surely this openness on fares and discounts would have been more useful at the *start* in 1997ish.

    For 22 years of sin, please use the other door. Downstairs.

  • Jeremy.milton, Manchester

    The excellent TrainPal App already does everything you need.

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Virgin's proposal for intercity train travel , with compulsory reservation before boarding could work well if

    (a) the reservation can be made up to 10 minutes before train departure ( using an up to date IT system).

    (b) as another possibility, allowing one coach per train being set aside for " turn up and go" passengers.