Taken from Simon Calder's Blog (It's my first post!)
Southern Railway has come up with just such a promotion, for a deal available on Thursday, 26 May only. The deal is: 90 per cent off Advance tickets on Southern Railway, the train operator that links London with Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. Southern wants to publicise its website and the advantages of booking online, and is willing effectively to give away tens of thousands of seats in a promotion that cuts the cost of travelling by train to less than a penny a mile.
What do I have to do? Book as many trips as you like for up to 12 weeks ahead (until 18 August) at southernrailway.com. The booking page on the website is confusing, with lots of boxes, but normally the top left one has the lowest advance fares.
What's the attraction? If you are able to commit in advance, you will pay fares as low as 50p each way from London Victoria to destinations such as Brighton, Hastings and Southampton. You can even use a Senior, Young Person's, Family or Disabled railcard to get a 34 per cent discount, reducing the lowest fare to 33p.
What if none of those appeal? Arundel and Chichester are two of the most appealing great historic locations that are also on the network. More enticingly, though, is the prospect of locking in to cheap tickets to and from Gatwick airport for summer holidays. Since the deal is valid for tickets to 18 August, that covers a lot of prospective holiday journeys.
Catches: none that I can see beyond the usual Advance tickets rules, which are roughly as follows.
(a) You must book by 6pm the day before.
(b) You must travel on the booked train; if you try to use an Advance ticket on a different Southern train, or another operator, you will effectively be travelling ticketless.
(c) The same applies if you "break your journey", ie get off before your final destination; an example is using a London-Eastbourne ticket only as far as Gatwick airport.
(d) Tickets are quota controlled; for peak-hour trains, the quota is normally nil or next to nothing; on off-peak trains, there are three fare levels and when one sells out then a higher price applies.
(e) No Advance tickets are available for public holidays, ruling out Whit Monday.
(f) The only First Class tickets valid for this deal are on the London Victoria-Brighton, for which the lowest fare is £1.25.
As of 01:20; Just book tickets at 90% off, well finally :)