A shocked rail passenger was handed a huge £1,048 bill by ticket inspectors after he and his family got on the wrong train.
The flustered passenger was travelling from Birmingham New Street to London Euston with 38 family and friends who had each bought London Midland only tickets. But they accidentally boarded the faster, and more expensive, Virgin Trains service.
Ticket inspectors discovered the family's mistake on the 10.30am service on Monday when it pulled into Coventry.
They gave the group the option of paying £800 to travel to the next stop - 100 miles away in Watford or face an even heftier fine and prosecution through the courts.
The party eventually paid the full amount to complete their journey to London Euston.
A fellow passenger who witnessed the inspectors confront the head of the family said:
- London Midland charges £6 to £70 for a single ticket for an adult to travel from Birmingham New Street to London Euston during weekdays at 10am, and £3 to £35 for a child
- Virgin Trains charges from £20 to £82 for an adult, and from £10 to £41 for a child
The revenue protection policy at Virgin Trains states that it issues Unpaid Fare Notices to customers travelling without valid tickets who are unable to pay at the time.