A MoneySaving football fan trying to find the cheapest train tickets from Newcastle to Oxford was astonished to be sent a whopping 56 tickets to cover just two return journeys. It's the most extreme example we've yet seen of split-ticket savings – the trick which means booking multiple tickets for different parts of the same journey can bizarrely be cheaper.
Newcastle United supporter Jonny was pleased to make a decent saving of £60 after using a split-ticketing site to book two return tickets for him and his girlfriend to watch their beloved team take on Oxford United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
But what he didn't expect was that he'd have to find room in his wallet for more tickets than a full pack of cards. That's some 56 tickets in total – 14 each, for each leg of the journey. (We've yet to confirm the full list of splits or if that total includes any seat reservations as well, but we'll update this story when we hear more.)
Thanks to the way split-ticketing works, despite the mountain of paper, there's no need for Jonny to do any extra train-changing – he simply needs the right tickets to hand for each stage of the journey.
Jonny used train booking site Raileasy after a friend suggested he consider buying a split ticket to save money on the 450 mile round trip.
Thanks to @LeeTurnbull91 for the worst advice AV ever received. Get a split ticket to oxford he said. FIFTY SIX TICKETS ARE YOU HAVING ME ON pic.twitter.com/RuEyBBVHrz— Jonny (@jonnyyy___) January 25, 2017
When we spoke to Jonny to ask about his extreme ticket-splitting shenanigans, he explained: "I'm off down to Oxford on Saturday for the FA Cup match and the return tickets were £88 on Trainline. So I thought I'd try and save some money by using a split-ticketing site, which got me £30 off each ticket.
"When I opened my post yesterday it turns out there's 14 tickets there and 14 back, and I bought a return for me and my girlfriend – so that's 56 in total."
Check out our free Tickety Split tool for more info on how to save (though sadly it can currently only search for one split on each route).
How does split-ticketing work?
Here at MoneySavingExpert.com we've long banged on about the split-ticketing trick (though we've never heard of so many tickets being delivered in one batch before).
Instead of buying tickets for the whole journey, bizarrely, buying tickets for its constituent parts separately can slash the price – even though you're travelling on exactly the same train.
It's perfectly allowed within the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. The only rule is that the train must call at the stations you buy tickets for.
For full step-by-step help, see our Cheap Train Tickets guide. And let us know if you can top Jonny's split-ticketing experience by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.