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Avanti - Checking for available seats

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3 Mar 2013
I'm needing to travel this week on Avanti but struggling to find a seat on a direct off-peak! After a bit of trial and error I found that the presence of an advance fair appears to indicate free seats. With this methodology the earliest bookable direct off-peak arrival to London from Wigan North Western is 17:33 (14:29 departure). From Manchester Piccadilly it's slightly better been able to arrive at 15:38 (13:15 departure)

Is there an easier/more accurate way to see if there is free seats on a service?

I will actually departing for a local Greater Manchester station so there will already be some connections involved and wanted to get the main leg as direct. I might be tempted by a non direct service but not sure if the same methodology will apply with connections.

Well maybe this is more an avanti booking issue trainsplit is seeing plenty of seats on earlier services!
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