Withdrawal Of Weekender Discount Condemned
January 13th 2009
Rail Users Ireland, Ireland's national rail users representative group condemns the withdrawal of the availability of Weekender discount cards by Irish Rail.
In recent weeks Irish Rail has stopped issuing its weekender discount card, with the exception of a small notice buried on the Irish Rail website no notice or explanation has been given.
This card offered a considerable discount on return journeys travelling out on Friday or Saturday returning on or before the following Monday (Tuesday if a bank holiday). Available on all intercity services, on all routes the weekender ticket offered an exceptional level of flexibility. For example a weekender return Dublin to Cork is €60.50 where as a normal return is €71.00 and the normal internet fare would be €66.00.
While Irish Rail offer discounted fares, the majority of these are day returns only, available generally on journeys to Dublin only and come with complex conditions and restrictions, pretty useless to anyone making a return trip over the weekend
Such discount cards are common place across Europe, Carte Escapades, in France, Bahncard in Germany, National Railcard in the UK. These card encourage and reward customer loyalty something Irish Rail desperately needs to generate if it is to survive.