The offer, which is estimated to cost the company over £60,000 a year, is something Grand Central has done since its first route was opened between Sunderland and Kings Cross in 2007.
MPs can only claim the cost of an anytime standard open ticket following reforms brought in after last year’s expenses scandal, so by opting to take a the free first class option on offer they are saving the tax payer money.
As one commentator put it 'It's not actually costing the company a penny if the seats aren't otherwise sold. They're getting free publicity and the ear of numerous members of parliament; quite a savvy bit of business.' Think I'm inclined to agree.
Maybe more TOCs should be this clever with their own self promotion?
Read the full article and comments here.