Barnsley Council and Barnsley Hospital have spent thousands on first-class rail tickets for staff despite the squeeze on public spending.
The council has had a 'no first-class rail tickets' policy for eight years but a Freedom of Information Act revealed the authority spent more than £1,700 on some 30 single first-class rail tickets in 2011/12.
All the tickets were advance-booked and were bought at a reduced price but one first-class journey by the chief executive and the executive officer cost £138 per head.
Coun Alan Gardiner said the council had taken advantage of train company deals which meant on occasions it was cheaper to travel first-class.
It was also revealed Barnsley Hospital had spent £4,067 on 46 first-class trips for staff in 2011/12 and almost half weren't booked in advance, so the highest prices were paid.
A spokeswoman for Barnsley Hospital said: "First class trips are a combination of occasions when the booked in advance fare was less than standard class and occasions when staff have either had meetings on the train, or needed to travel first-class because they are doing work of a highly sensitive and confidential nature."
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said in the current climate public spending needs to be monitored carefully.
"I know the public rightly expect value for money and they rightly expect all those who spend public money to do so in a responsible fashion," he said.
Mr Jarvis also accepted there may be circumstances where first-class is justified, adding: "The reality is you can work more effectively in first class. A judgement needs to be made that the extra benefit of working more efficiently in first class is worth the extra cost of the ticket."