Ingenius Travel Hack? Or Fraud?

Sometimes when we operate in the travel hacking or manufactured spending sphere, I have to stop and think: is it right?

I’ll frame your mindset with the following excerpt from the article:

Mr. Burrows, the Financial Conduct Authority said, boarded the train in Stonegate without a ticket, then used an Oyster card to exit the station in London, paying £7.20—the maximum fare assessed for an intra-London journey. The fare from Stonegate was £21.50.

Genius travel hack?

If I told you this, the man was arrested and prosecuted, would you still think it’s a great travel hack?

Just how many train fares he dodged is disputed. The train company says £43,000 worth, or about $67,240; he says significantly less.

Here is how they calculated the dodged fares:

Southeastern’s penalty is high, but so are London rail tickets. The train company multiplied the cost of a standard day single fare by two, as Mr. Burrows would be traveling in and out of London each day, the company said. It multiplied that sum by five to get a week’s worth of journeys and then by 48—the average four-week holiday period being deducted from the full year. The calculation took into consideration that historical fares were lower due to inflation. (The train company didn’t base its calculation on the lower price of an annual pass.)

How about if I added the fact he worked in finance? Would that change your mind that he deserved it? He’s now banned from working in finance for life because of this.

This article proves that what we are dealing with is a tricky, very grey area. You must determined what feels right for yourself before you proceed.

Source: Wall Street Journal

7 comments… add one
  • Utterly ridiculous and beyond insignificant compared to the gargantuan frauds perpetrated in financial markets in London and NYC every day. Of course nobody goes to jail or loses their job for that – instead they are given incentive bonuses to fix their own messes. And get to keep every penny of their ill gotten gains.

    • I don’t understand, Paul. What’s an example?

      • You living under a rock? Google currency rigging, google gold manipulation, the list goes on…..

      • LIBOR

  • You don’t understand?

    You don’t remember the enormous bonuses, paid for by the bailout money, that went to everyone from low level managers on up, at the Big Banks in 2009?

    You don’t remember all the executives of those same banks who were indicted for fraud following the revelation of their complicity in the no doc mortgage fiasco, the selling of mortgage backed securities that they KNEW would fail? You don’t remember?

    Ah. That would be because, despite the fact that they led to the near destruction of the US economy, and the misery of hundreds of thousands of Americans, not one was indicted. You don’t remember? You don’t understand?

    Oh, dear. We’re in worse straits than I had thought.

    • ^^^ This old quack again…. lol

  • Definitely not an “ingenious travel hack”. It is illegal. But I never would’ve realized how dangerous it was. Being banned from finance for life is a very harsh penalty… but maybe I think that because I basically did the same thing a few times when I lived in the UK. Travelled on a route that didn’t require a ticket at the station, and if there was no conductor on the train, I would exit at my destination without paying the ~£4 fare.
    Definitely a good reminder to think about whether what you are doing seems innocent, but could get you in trouble. It does seem like a really neat trick, but not so neat after you get caught. I feel bad for the guy.


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