Tyne & Wear

Student travels from Newcastle to London via Menorca to save cash

Joe Furness in Menorca Image copyright Joe Furness
Image caption Joe Furness slept in a hire car during his 12-hour stopover in Menorca

A student discovered it was cheaper to fly from Newcastle to London via Menorca than to take the train.

When Joe Furness, 21, decided on a last-minute trip to see friends, the lowest rail fare he found was £78.50.

But after an internet search the trainee marine officer found the same journey, including a 12-hour stopover on the Spanish island, for £26.98.

He said it showed train travel in the UK had become "ridiculously expensive".

Mr Furness, from Oldham, is a trainee cadet with shipping firm Maersk and is studying at South Shields Marine College.

As well as the flights, he also spent £7.50 on a hire car, which he slept in, and splashed out on a £4 cocktail - meaning his entire trip was £40 cheaper than taking the train.

The cost of Joe's trip

By train:

  • Newcastle to London = £78.50

By air:

  • Newcastle to Menorca = £15.99
  • Menorca to London = £10.99
  • Car hire = £7.50
  • Cocktail = £4
  • Total = £38.48

Mr Furness admitted the trip was "no good for anyone who needs to do a commute".

"But it does show how cheap it can be to travel and have a bit of fun at the same time," he added.

"I had a great time, saw a festival, drove around the island for a bit and met loads of people.

"Trains in the UK have become ridiculously expensive. I've never once got on a train and got off at the other end thinking I've had value for money."

Mr Furness made a video of his trip, which took a total of 22 hours and consisted of a flight out of Newcastle to Menorca with Thomas Cook on 23 June for £15.99.

His return flight to London Gatwick the next day cost £10.99 with the same airline.

Image copyright Joe Furness
Image caption Mr Furness uses comparison sites to find the cheapest flights

This is not the first time Mr Furness claims to have found cheaper flights than trains. He said he recently travelled from Newcastle to Manchester via Geneva by air at a cost of £39 when the cheapest train ticket he could find would have cost £64.

He added: "I use comparison sites to find the cheapest flight from my departure point to anywhere in the world. Then find the cheapest from there to my destination.

"This time I found it was way cheaper to go via Menorca. It took a lot longer, but I think it's still better than sitting on a train for four hours."

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