13th August 2012, 16:06
Join Date: 16 Apr 2010
1.2 Class of Travel
Whilst Standard accommodation is provided on all trains, on some trains in addition First Class accommodation is available. This offers a more exclusive traveling environment, in most cases with more spacious and/or comfortable seating than in Standard.Additional First Class Benefits
In order to travel in first class accommodation, purchase of a first class ticket is required. On most trains, a first class ticket is required to walk through or even stand in the vestibules of a first class carriage, however this requirement is waived on certain trains where the layout of the carriage makes it difficult to enforce.
It is often possible to upgrade a standard class ticket to a first class ticket by way of an excess or supplement. The rules on this are quite complicated and vary by train company; see Sections 4.2.2 and 4.3 for full details.
Passengers travelling in first class accommodation may be offered certain additional benefits (e.g. complimentary food, drink and newspapers) depending on the train company and route. This is particularly common on long-distance inter-city routes - however the only contractual right is to travel in first class accommodation.First Class Fares and Advertisement of First Class Accommodation
First class tickets also often allow access to exclusive lounges at main stations. See the RailUK First Class Lounge Guide for full details on what to expect from these.
Not all journeys that may be made using trains having first class accommodation, have first class fares available to purchase. This is more common for relatively short journeys over routes with infrequent first class trains. On the other hand, first class fares may be available for journeys that can only be made using first class accommodation very infrequently or not at all.
The availability of advertised first class accommodation on a train can be checked by consulting the public timetable, for example by checking on brtimes.com - if your chosen departure has a 1 symbol on a black background beneath it, the train has first class accommodation. It can occasionally happen that the provision of first class accommodation on a train doesn't agree with what is advertised in the timetable; in these cases the following applies:
To summarise, in the case of first class accommodation being declassified, you may only claim a refund if the train was advertised as having first class accommodation.
- First Class advertised, but train does not have first class
This may happen either because the train simply does not have any first class carriages or compartments, or because the first class accommodation has been declassified en-route, e.g. due to overcrowding, and passengers with standard class tickets have been permitted to use it. Assuming you hold a first class ticket, you may claim a refund of the difference in price between the first class and the standard class ticket for the relevant part of your journey.
- First Class not advertised, but train has first class anyway
First Class is automatically declassified; anyone can travel in it even without a first class ticket. In this case first class ticket holders are not entitled to a refund.
Last edited by Indigo2; 14th February 2013 at 19:38.