Virgin Trains inexcusable ticket sales policy

I was booking some train tickets for our family Christmas peregrinations just now. Most of the journeys were on Virgin Trains routes so I was on their website. Our last leg was from Leamington Spa to London on Friday 18th December mid-afternoon. This is what the Virgin Trains website offered me:
Virgin Trains ticket prices

Ticket prices from Virgin Trains website for Leamington Spa - London Marylebone

Ticket prices range from £37.90 to £103.50. The shortest jurney time is 1 hour 53 minutes. All the journeys offered to me involve a change of trains at Banbury.

Now I know this route. I did this exact journey twice a day for 10 years. It doesn’t take two hours and you don’t need to change trains. Have a look at what the Chiltern Railways website offered me for the exact same journey on the exact same day:

Chiltern Railways ticket options

Ticket prices for direct trains with Chiltern Railways

I can get a ticket for £5 or £10. The journey is direct and it takes just over 90 mins.

Why is Virgin Trains trying to get me to buy a more expensive ticket for a slower train? Could it be because the Leamington Spa – Banbury leg of their suggested route is on a Virgin Cross-Country service?

Surely not.

I’m surprised this is legal. If in fact it is.


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