A London (Liverpool St) to Norwich seat reservations question

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KentonCanary

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Hello,

My spare time job is looking after the travel between London and Norwich for supporters of Norwich City FC who are based in and around the Capital. This involves buying train tickets to/from Norwich for us all for match days. A week or so ago there were some deals on advance tickets at £5 each way so I bought some for a few dates in November and December.

When I bought on the NXEA website them there was no option to reserve seats, or none that I could see that worked. Not wanting to miss out on the deal I bought the tickets and a day or so later wandered down to the Liverpool Street ticket office to try and get the reservations sorted out.

When I got to the window and explained to the lady she tried to reserve seats and there appeared to be a computer says no moment and I was advised that this was not possible. She did try to reserve in a block of 16 so I’m thinking maybe she could have done this in a four. I’m not really sure. I was advised to sit where we can but sitting in a group is more sociable for everyone.

One of the dates is on 10th December when Norwich are playing Newcastle so I’m sure there will be plenty of seats available on the train, but even that date was a computer says “No” date.

The question I have is that is reserving seats after purchase possible, or allowed? And should the lady have tried to get them in smaller blocks maybe? Two of the dates I have are against London clubs and the pre-match trains from Liverpool Street to Norwich will be crowded so reserved seats are important.

Any help or advice about this much appreciated.
Thanks,
Tim
 
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lemonic

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This may not answer your question, but National Express East Anglia charge £2.50 for non-compulsory seat reservations i.e. for Off Peak or Anytime tickets. Also it can be tricky to add reservations to Advance tickets after purchase.
 

LexyBoy

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What were the tickets you bought? If they were Norwich<>London Advance singles then I'm surprised that you didn't get seat reservations.

Advance tickets always have a reservation coupon - however on some routes seat reservations are not possible so you just get a reservation for the train.
 

lemonic

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What were the tickets you bought? If they were Norwich<>London Advance singles then I'm surprised that you didn't get seat reservations.

Advance tickets always have a reservation coupon - however on some routes seat reservations are not possible so you just get a reservation for the train.
I have been on theoretically reservable NXEA intercity trains (i.e. Class 90/Mark 3 not Class 321/360) where my Advance tickets haven't been issued with seat reservations, although this is not the norm. (I still got a reservation coupon, just with ***'s instead of seat numbers.)
 

KentonCanary

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Between Norwich and London
What were the tickets you bought? If they were Norwich<>London Advance singles then I'm surprised that you didn't get seat reservations.

Advance tickets always have a reservation coupon - however on some routes seat reservations are not possible so you just get a reservation for the train.
When I purchased I did try on the NXEA site a couple of times but I’m sure I received a message about not being able to reserve seats. I have the reservation coupons, one for each block of eight seats I bought.

On the coupon the coach says * and there are another load of ****’s for the seat numbers.
 

LexyBoy

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That happens when the service doesn't have seat reservations available (I don't know why not; they should certainly be available for such a journey).

If that's the case I doubt that you'll be able to book seats separately (at all) - unless it's a temporary issue (for example, NXEA are not sure what rolling stock will be used and whether reservations will be possible). As aleksander says though, it can be tricky with Advance tickets.
 
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