Five rail operators have admitted that they offer few, if any, of their cheapest advance fares for travel at the peak Christmas period.
According to the Daily Star, passengers who travel with East Coast, Virgin, First Great Western, South West Trains and CrossCountry are unlikely to benefit from the cheapest fares, and ScotRail and Grand Central also admitted that cheaper fares were "less likely".
Although rail firms said that their cheapest fares had been available for some of the quieter times over Christmas break, this won't help anyone who is travelling to or from a family Christmas on December 24 or 27.
Only two firms are offering the lower-priced tickets as usual. Greater Anglia is offering the usual number of cheap tickets, while East Midlands Trains have made more cheap tickets available to passengers.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association Union, which represents 30,000 train workers, said: "Rail companies are holding passengers to ransom by not selling the usual number of discounted tickets, They really should be offering family-friendly fares, not trying to rip off passengers by exploiting their position as a local monopoly."
First Great Western's Dan Pane explained why their are fewer cheap tickets available. He told the Daily Star: "Cheap advance tickets weren't sold for trains we knew would be busy, avoiding making crowded trains more crowded."
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