Couple flies abroad for day trip after they find flights are cheaper than train to London

Cost of rail fares are ‘scandalous’, couple claim

Travel Desk
Wednesday 09 August 2023 10:44 BST
The Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin
The Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A train ticket to London was so expensive that a couple decided to fly abroad for a day after discovering it would cost only a fraction of the price.

Jill and Keith McCormack headed to Ireland’s capital, Dublin, after realising a return ticket from their home in Liverpool to London by rail would cost them more than £100 – even though they hold a Two Together railcard, which shaves a third off fares when two named adults travel together.

Instead, the couple booked a “mad” trip to Ireland for the day after finding early flights for £36 each with Ryanair, The Mirror reported.

Ms McCormack, a psychotherapist, said: “We wanted to go for London for the day. We’ve got a couple’s railcard and looked at the price of a day trip and it came out at £101 return. It was ridiculous. The trains are scandalous. It was a £36 return for Dublin and a half-hour flight. It was a no brainer.”

The pair flew out at 6.30am and were in the centre of the Irish capital just three hours later.

Mr McCormack said the couple try to have “fun day Friday”, where they take the day to “do things in Liverpool or go to the beach”, or “go for lunch and have wine”.

They managed to get through a packed itinerary on their trip, with a visit to the castle, popping into an art gallery, breakfast, lunch, and drinks and dancing in Temple Bar before a 10.30pm flight home.

Describing it as a “long but a great day”, Ms McCormack said: “It sounds a bit mad but we went for it. It was like having a night out in the day.”

“We did two days in one day. It was a bit weird getting on a plane with just a handbag,” she added.

They enjoyed it so much, they plan to return next month – and they’ve already found flights for £9.99.

According to the National Rail website, an off-peak return train journey from Liverpool to London without a railcard costs £145.40.

James Dunne, founder and CEO of Rail Online, said earlier this year that the “primary way to encourage more people to choose rail above air travel” is to ensure that routes by rail are more affordable than flying.

Last month, a major study from Greenpeace showed that Brits are “virtually forced” to take flights instead of trains due to “overpriced” rail fares.

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