Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner has blasted Virgin Trains for charging £338 for an open return from London to Manchester.
The broadcaster branded the operator a ‘national disgrace’ in a tweet, which has since been liked 7,500 times by equally irate train users.
One woman even claimed she could travel from London to Sydney for a similar price, and indeed one-way flights are available in December for as little as £305.
Another suggested that she could fly to Moscow from London and enjoy a night in a five star hotel for the same price, while another asked why she didn’t just fly via Amsterdam.
When another commenter said it would be cheaper to fly, Martha agreed saying: ‘To New York.’
A Virgin Trains spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The vast majority of our customers pay far less than Martha, with fares between London and Manchester starting at £23. Martha could have booked and travelled that same day for just £39 by choosing her train and buying an advance fare.”
Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner blasted Virgin Trains for charging £380 for an open returned ticket from London to Manchester
The broadcaster shared a snap of her ticket on Twitter to prove the cost, although she admitted she’d not had to pay out of her own pocket
Martha’s tweet certainly struck a nerve with disgruntled travellers and has been liked more than 7,000 times
Others joked that for that price they would expect to be able to drive the train themselves and take it home afterwards, while some said they would want to be sitting in First Class with free food and drinks.
Another commenter pointed out that there’s similar issues with other train operators, citing a 20-minute journey to Heathrow Airport that cost £32 and they didn’t even get a seat.
Martha, who left The Guardian earlier this year to join the channel previously hit out at the train operator for its decision to stop stocking the Daily Mail on board.
Again taking to Twitter, she wrote: ‘Virgin Trains should concentrate on running their services on time and reducing extortionate fares instead of censorship and PR potshots.’
Commenters joked that they would have expected First Class seats or even ownership of the train itself for the sky high ticket price of £338
But this time it was the ticket price that prompted her to lash out, although she admitted the blow was softened by the fact she was travelling for work and didn’t have to pay the fare out of her own pocket.
However, some took an opposing view and said that the price of the ticket was all down to booking an open return and could have been much cheaper.
Commenter Gareth Dennis said that she had paid the price for flexibility and that she could book a return ticket on the same day for £184.50 by choosing her trains in advance.
Others pointed out that Martha could have saved a lot by booking her train in advance and the high cost was only due to the fact she had an open return