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Virgin Trains's mysterious full-price ticket promotion

'Temporary data problem' scuppers cheap fares

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Anyone wanting to book a ticket on Virgin Trains would be well advised to wait a little while as the company is currently unable to sell its discounted tickets, though its website will happily service travellers willing to fork out the full fare.

Register reader Graham Finlayson was trying to buy a ticket from Edinburgh to Cheltenham on the Virgin Trains ticket-booking site this morning. He discovered that all the cheap fares had mysteriously vanished since the weekend.

He told us: "I'm not bothered if it's down, that's fine. But if you go to the site and you think those are the only prices, then people will be paying them."

Thanks to a "temporary data problem", Virgin Trains can sell only its full-price tickets. The firm told The Register that the "temporary data problem" is preventing all new reservations, not just ones that would go through the website.

"We had hoped it would be fixed by now," a spokesman told us. "We notified all our retail outlets yesterday, but we missed the website."

He assured us that it was not a deliberate ploy to extract cash from bamboozled passengers, but a genuine oversight, and promised that a notification would be going up on the site as soon as possible.

Finlayson added: "I'm in the software business, I know that things break. But you have to tell people. If a message is going up, then that's good."

Virgin says it is working on fixing the problem and is still hopeful that the reservations system will be up and running again later today. ®

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