Customer Contact

Rail passengers can now book the cheapest weekday tickets on Virgin Trains up to six months in advance, the operator said. The industry standard is for Advance tickets to go on sale 12 weeks before travel.

But Virgin has brought this forward to 24 weeks in a bid to encourage more people to travel by train rather than flying.

Advance tickets are cheaper than walk-up fares but are limited in number and restrict passengers to travelling on a specific train.

On the west coast, customers can now book all routes six months in advance for Monday to Friday trips, while on the east coast the extended booking window is available on selected journeys between London Kings Cross and at least as far as York.

Virgin’s group commercial director, Graham Leech, said: “We want leisure and business passengers to choose to travel by train and we’re confident that this extended booking horizon combined with everything else we have to offer will persuade more people to switch from the inconvenience of air travel to the comfort of our trains.”

In June Virgin became the first train company to offer passengers a free Netflix-style entertainment system allowing them to watch films and TV programmes on demand using their own devices.

Travellers can stream a library of around 200 hours of content to their mobiles and tablets using Virgin’s Beam app via an on-board server, meaning there is no need to use wi-fi or mobile data.

In October last year the operator launched a system whereby west coast travellers who buy Advance tickets through its website or app receive money directly on to their payment card if they are entitled to compensation for delays.

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