Lucy Watson was on her way to the Sussex airport for a short break with family when she tried to buy a ticket from a machine for the 49-mile trip.
The London-based management consultant was shocked to be offered a price of £10,000 – steep, even given the latest annual price rises for train travellers.
As well as the £10,000 ticket, Lucy was offered a ticket for £11.
Unsurprisingly, she chose the second option.
‘I was rushing for a flight,’ said Lucy, 28.
‘So (I) just bought the £11 one and ran so didn’t tell anyone as I assumed it was just an error with that specific machine.’
The incident happened earlier on Wednesday.
Lucy was buying a ticket before heading to Ireland to visit her mother.
She took a photograph of the £10,000 option and then posted it on social media. So far, it has been retweeted almost 100 times.
Among those who responded to Lucy online, were those who who compared the ticket price to the latest rail fare increases and one person who asked if she would get to keep the train afterwards.
The machine glitch apparently hit other passengers as well, who were also asked to make the payment by card only.
The machine’s mistake came as a political row erupted about the cost of rail travel in the UK after an average increase of 3.1% in train fares was announced for England and Wales for 2019, and 3% in Scotland.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said on Wednesday that unions were responsible for the increases.
A rail campaign group described the latest fares rise as ‘another kick in the wallet’ for passengers.
Opposition parties have blamed the government for the price rises.