Gatwick Express/Gold Card/Gatwick ticket machines
Late on Saturday night, I had to get back from Gatwick Airport to
London. I bought my ticket from the machine in the station concourse
by credit card: it gave me the option of various travelcard discounts
(but not LT Gold Card, the one I have), so I chose Network Card as the
nearest equivalent and carried on.
The ticket issued showed Network Card and Gatwick Express.
On the train, the inspector took the ticket and said "You can't use
Network Card on this service, sir", showing me the Network Card bit on
the ticket but covering up the Gatwick Express bit with his thumb. I
pointed out that if he moved his thumb, it clearly said I could. (He
didn't seem to care that I was showing him the Gold Card at the time,
so I guess that bit was all right).
"The machine shouldn't have issued that" he said, very grumpily and
scribbling all over the thing with his biro. "Can I keep this to show
So, what's going on there? If he hadn't tried to cover up the Gatwick
Express bit with his thumb, I'dve believed that he was surprised by
the thing, but clearly he's seen this plenty of times before and is
used to bluffing it out.