Save money by flying from Bournemouth to London
Recently I was looking at places you can fly to from Bournemouth Airport, and was rather surprised to see 'London' on the list.
Obviously there are no direct flights for this short hop, but for just £7 you can fly from Bournemouth to Dublin, and from there you can easily get to all-sorts of places in Europe.
That's an excellent connection which Bournemouth should be pleased with. Curiously, it also opens you up to a number of London airports. For less than £15 more, you can get to Stansted, Gatwick or Southend.
So immediately I went to the National Rail website. A direct journey between Bournemouth and London via eco-friendly electric rail would cost almost twice as much. Here's the proof:
Inevitably, I can't make a bold claim like that without attaching a few terms and conditions.
I'm not seriously suggesting that you abandon your regular commute and commit to a 12-hour series of flights instead. I'm just demonstrating that trains are expensive.
I realise that the train is more convenient if you actually want to get to London. But if you wanted to get to Southend or Luton, the airports are convenient, while the train would be even more expensive than they were here.
What if you needed to get to Gatwick? Maybe you had a(nother!) flight to catch? The train is (was) still £56.70, while the plane is £25.
Finally, the biggest omission of them all. Trains and planes are booked using opposite methods.
With a train, the "normal" price is the most expensive. The cheapest tickets, which need to be booked early, are treated like special offers. With planes, the "normal" price that you see is the cheapest price, and could go up if lots of people book.
Even so, the search I ran to get those two screenshots was genuine, and those would be your choices if you wanted to make the journey which I looked up. Flights from Bournemouth to Dublin and from Dublin to London often have cheap tickets available until the last moment, while trains from Bournemouth to London tend to sell out.
On the flip-side, South Western Railway has had so many issues lately, including their 30-day strike, that I dare-say the plane would be more reliable. Planes very rarely abandon you in Woking.
I'm not for a moment saying that we should rip up Bournemouth railway station and fly everywhere instead. That would really annoy people in Weymouth.
And I'm not saying this is the one issue which needs Greta Thunberg to sort out.
What I am saying is... good Lord British trains are expensive.