(james benedict brown) on the road

Hunting the cheap ticket home

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 1 December, 2006

thetrainline.jpg

When I go home for Christmas is determined by many things. When term finishes, when I finish my essays, when my housemates are leaving, when my long suffering parents hope to see me, when I run out of money, etc. etc. etc.

It’s also determined by when the kind folk at Central Trains have offer to sell me a discounted advance purchase ticket. No matter where you live, pre-Christmas travel is always a strain. It gets even more confusing if, like me, you’re chasing the last remaining cheap tickets home. The search isn’t made any easier by some of the worst examples of website design imaginable: thetrainline.com is now the only website selling train tickets in Great Britain, and it’s a stinker. It’s incoherent, slow and difficult to navigate around if you want to compare all the available fares and connections on a single day. It also teases you with screens like the one above, which almost take pleasure in telling you that no, there are £15.85 tickets left, you’re going to have to fork out £27.25 instead. And when you find one of the cheap tickets, you’ll be lucky if it actually remains available for long enough for you to purchase it.

I know it’s wrong, but I want my car back.

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