I hate sneaky extras. Ryanair put a poster up. Barcelona £14.99. What a bargain. Until you go on Ryanair’s website and find that was a single for a child not including seats, luggage , credit card fee, use of oxygen mask in an emergency or local taxes. The thing is when you do go through all the questions on the website (and there are lots) you end up with a return fare of £89 which is pretty good for a return to Barcelona but not the £14.99 shown on the poster. So why have a poster saying £14.99 if nobody will ever pay that?
Ticketmaster are the same. Katy Perry Prysmatic tour £65. Bargain. You get to checkout and there is a booking fee of £5 per person. Surely since there is no way of avoiding the booking fee ( which no one actually knows what the booking fee is for other then to line Ticketmaster’s pocket) then Ticketmaster should say Katy Perry is £70 because that is what you pay.
It’s why I don’t use comparison websites or when I do I see who has the best quote and then go direct to the company whom then beat the quote the meerkats have offered me because I’m buying direct. It was in the news this week that despite all these travel comparison websites like Expedia or Hotels.com apparently offering the best deals it is actually cheaper to book direct with the provider. The example quoted was the airline industry with nobody offering the cheapest Easyjet fares except Easyjet.com. All the comparison sites added fees on such as for seats or luggage which were actually a big fat lie and a cover for the comparison websites profit margin because Easyjet don’t charge for such things on its own website. The annoying fat tenor and now even more annoying land of saving…..go compare make out that they’re doing you a favour comparing prices but actually there getting rich creaming off the surcharges on top of your products.
I got into an argument with thetrainline.com on Twitter the other day (see screenshot). Thetrainline.com have an advert where they show a bad actor trying to use thetrainline.com to do weird things like grow a cactus ending with the phrase thetrainline.com rubbish for growing cactus but good for buying train tickets. Actually they’re rubbish for buying train tickets. I tweeted them (see pic) to ask if it was cheaper to buy tickets from them or direct from a train operating company website and I specifically asked if they charged a fee because train operating companies DO NOT CHARGE a fee EVER. A nice lady called Vickki sent me 5 tweets explaining how they have the same system as the train companies so fares would be the same but she failed to answer about booking fees like it was irrelevant like the train tickets are the same price and although customers of thetrainline.com will pay a fee for the same priced tickets from train companies without a fee but because it is a fee and not part of the ticket it doesn’t matter. Well Vickki it does matter because the fee is real money that will really go out of customers banks so saying you are the same price for train tickets is a lie if you add a non negotiable fee that train companies own websites (or station ticket offices) do not charge. There is absolutely no benefit to using thetrainline.com, you will never ever get the best deal with them. The best you will get is the same price as train company websites plus a booking fee. Don’t throw money away for no reason.
If you go to any of the train company websites such as fgw.co.uk , virgintrains.co.uk or East Coast.co.uk you can purchase tickets for the entire UK rail network (not just FGW, East Coast or Virgin Trains network respectively) taking advantage of walk up and advance fares, no booking fees and pick up your tickets at any UK station free of charge.
And when thetrainline.com tells you it can save you up to 80% on train tickets it just means the difference between walk up and advance fares which again is available on all of the train company websites and guess what? Thetrainline.com charge a booking fee on these too.
Remember a valuable lesson from this otherwise poorly written blog. DO NOT EVER BUY TRAIN TICKETS from thetrainline.com. They are NEVER EVER cheaper then buying direct from train operating companies.