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Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Mtrain, 14 Feb 2020.
What positions entitles you to first class priv discounts? (Out of interest) TIA
Depends on TOC but mainly management grades and directors, also for any other staff that have length of service or BR protected right staff as well as retired staff again either through there retirement job title or length of service, I’m sure there are others
Anyone know if you can upgrade from Standard to First Class? (Paying a fee obviously).
No, you cannot buy an upgrade to first class Priv. You can excess to the appropriate non-priv first class fare, in the same way a non-priv standard class ticket holder can
In terms of what, on the day or upgrade your entire privilege pass?
Standard class PRIV holders cannot purchase first class fares using their discount so you would have to pay the full first class Anytime, Off-Peak or Advance fare. A number of TOCs allow holders of standard class PRIV tickets to utilise Weekend First offers, though.
If you wanted to upgrade your entire PRIV you would have to speak to your TOC about that but I do suspect the answer is 'no'.
I’ve got protected priv ticket from BR/Railtrack days, I just just wondering if I could use a free travel box and pay extra to upgrade the travel to first class.
I would just be interested in doing it for the odd days journey.
Thanks for your help.
If you travel at the weekend you can pay for weekend upgrades on board the train.
So that would be: Free box journey then you’ll pay the weekend upgrade tariff for that operator and journey.
On a weekday you can pay the difference, but it isn’t cheap or worth it; you can be looking at £100-£250 in cases. (Cheaper to book in advance and pay the full rate)
Shame first class Priv cant be extended to all staff, even if it you had to pay an annual membership fee for it I’d do it!
In BR days it was Management Grade 3 and above.
Two more promotions! If only ...
Thanks for the reply. Very interesting.
Most guards will let you in first class anyway if you've got a priv. I go up to Manchester on Virgin a lot and usually have a word with the guard. Nobody has ever asked me to pay an upgrade for it.
Didn't someone recently get caught out by Revenue Protection whilst doing this?
I wonder what is classed as Grade 3 now .... particularly for GWR
Yes I think somebody posted on here about it. My view is if I've squared it with the guard then wheres the issue? I'll move if some revenue officer wants to create. As far as I'm concerned the guard is in charge of the train and if someone has their permission to be in first class then thats the end of it. I would never go in first class without asking the guard first.
Had a very unpleasant experience in first on Avanti yesterday - note I have first class PRIV and have never had a problem in my many years of using it. A particularly aggressive guard was berating me for not paying a supplementary fee for food. I had never even heard of this until that moment. So I offered to pay and he said I had to go to the shop to buy a voucher. Off to the shop I trundle and the staff member there had never even heard of it and couldn’t sell it to me.
After doing some research I found a very obscure policy buried on the RDG website. Is this is to be a thing it needs to be enforced consistently or not at all.
Some Avanti Guards are downright nasty and obnoxious individuals. Virgin before them, and now Avanti, are unable and/or unwilling to do anything about these dubious individuals who act in a manner that is the opposite of how the job description and person spec is worded by the company.
The policy has always been the same on West Coast (except that you can now pay for the voucher which didn't used to be possible). When you receive your staff travel card, there is a reminder to check the restrictions that are in place, that is your responsibility.
I have never, ever, been asked to do it in practice.
In fact recently on a (lightly loaded) LNER service the train manager encouraged me to have as much as possible.
Can’t say I’ve ever had any issue on west coast, although I have heard that some of the London crews can be arsey. I was once told by a Scottish TM not to bother buying any kind of ticket providing the journey was entirely north of Preston.
We had something similar on VTWC a few years ago. Sat down quietly in quite busy first class with properly dated [1st class] boxes, declined offers of food, then "guard" or TM of some sort came through checking tickets and we showed ours. Cue loud public interrogation on whether we had announced ourselves to on-board staff, and if not, why not. Public humiliation and made to feel like thieving parasites.
We had done nothing wrong and couldn't understand his attitude. However (main point) a very senior retired Virgin man said we should have made a formal complaint as our treatment had been disgraceful. I suggest you do this now.
This is one of the reasons why I obey all their rules (never accepting food) almost to the point of obsession...
Restrictions on the use of travel facilities were listed twice a year in Rail News which of course every employee received free; I'm not sure whether this is still the case. However, they are listed on the rail Staff Travel website.
As well as prohibiting travelling on particular services or at certain times the restrictions circular also made clear that a first class pass only gave free travel and when complimentary offers were introduced these was not available - initially, not even drinks. Certainly, everyone with a pass that I know was aware of this. Virgin West Coast (I think from the start of the franchise) allowed coffee/tea to be consumed and then included water/soft drinks (though not alcohol), and I was told that the handbook given to Virgin on-board staff stated, on the cover, that food was not to be given to staff travelling on safeguarded facilities. At some time the East Coast operator allowed meals to be taken by staff on purchase of a voucher from the buffet. It was suggested to Virgin WC that they might introduce a similar system, but they declined with the reason that there was a VAT complication, but (possibly because Virgin inherited the system on the East Coast) they relented about a year ago, and the concession was continued by Avanti. If you are travelling on a pass on Avanti and wish to eat you must make a request to the Service Manager who will decide if there is sufficient food available to avoid a fare-paying passenger being disappointed, and, if he agrees, you then go to the buffet to buy the 'staff voucher'. The system generally works well, and I have only once been refused and this was when, due presumably to some problem at the depot, the food offer to fare-paying passengers was very restricted. The voucher is to be shown when your ticket is inspected.
In BR days, I worked with people who were subsequently dismissed for abuse of their facilities and in BR days staff were aware of, and conformed very rigidly to, the conditions of issue. As has been alluded to there was a quite recent incident which, I was told, had a similar outcome.
As an aside Cross Country pass holders can only have complimentary drinks on Voyagers and HSTs, not Turbostars and (intriguingly) use of their WiFi is prohibited.
Yeah, fair enough. But there is absolutely zero need for his behaviour - like I said I even offered to pay and the member of shop staff couldn’t sell me a voucher anyway. I have travelled quite literally hundreds of times in first over the years and never before has been mentioned to me and I’ve not heard of it until yesterday.
I could understand it if the train was full of full-fare paying passengers but there was a handful onboard.
On a separate note, why are you meant to pay a supplementary fee to eat onboard when you are able to avail yourself of unlimited refreshments and snacks in the first class lounges?
Nowadays, it's usually "Head of ..." and higher.
I was interested to read of your attempt to purchase a voucher from the on-board shop. Would it not be easier and simpler for the passenger to purchase the voucher, if required , from the Train Manager in the course of the normal ticket inspection ? I wonder why this is not the procedure.
only where a TOC operates a weekend First upgrade system. You can’t any other time.
From the RDG website (my bold):
But you aren't. Only (non-alcoholic) drinks in first class lounges, not food.
Was there a thread about this?
Pretty much every 1st class lounge I've ever used has offered food, even if there's only a limited amount. Avanti (and Virgin before them) tend to have a large selection of biscuits, crisps and other snacks in their lounges.
Band 3 and above at NR, so nowhere near "head of" on our side.
For those of you who don't have a 1st class priv, but travel there, do you ask the Guard, or see if they offer?
Yes but if you’re travelling on a 1st class Priv/box/silver ir gold pass you’re not allowed to take it. Worth losing your travel or even job over a 99p bag of cookies?