Avanti West Coast - Three classes of travel to be introduced

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Worldwide, 9 Dec 2019.

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  1. Worldwide

    Worldwide Member

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    Avanti West Coast is developing a premium economy-style offering, similar to that on airlines.

    Passengers in premium economy could be entitled to "the bigger seat, better wi-fi and snacks rather than a meal"

    A good thing or a bad thing?
     
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  3. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    A bit like this?
     

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  4. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    If it offers a reasonable middle option that's less extortionately priced than First has been under Virgin, then I'm all for it.

    Of course, it'll remain to be seen what's on offer, and whether customers think it represents good value.
     
  5. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Is she sitting over two seats there?
     
  6. Matt_pool

    Matt_pool Member

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    I miss those Mk 3 carriages, and also the Mk 2D carriages!
     
  7. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    If there's a plentiful supply of individual airline seats, I'm sold.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't think the seat layout will be changing, though the 80x are near certain to include single airline seats. However, even without that if the price is near 150% of Standard I'll be sold. I want, European-style, a wider seat and more legroom for an extra sum in keeping with the reduced number of seats in the coach, not expensive gimmicks.

    With the expensive gimmicks being lacking on weekends, I wonder if we will see two classes on weekends?
     
  9. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Wasn't there once a proposed club class at one time which was something like this?
     
  10. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    The Pendolino refurb might change things a bit.

    What's the first class food offer on Virgin/Avanti like these days? I'm much more familiar with LNER, where the portions are incredibly mean these days. It's no longer something that attracts me to upgrade, it's all about the quiet and privacy.

    I suspect it's a way of filling surplus first class seats effectively, so the premium standard or whatever they'll call it will probably be an off-peak product.
     
  11. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Virgin planned three classes on the Voyagers, but I think the additional level was at the budget end, and was intended to be inferior to Standard. Ouch!
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've read here several times that the seat layout is not going to change.

    Yep, it was going to have 3+2 seating and be in the cab end vehicle. I believe it was going to be called "Virgin Value class".
     
  13. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    What was club class? An alternative name for first class at that time?
     
  14. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The pay walled article in the Times also states quite clearly that the seat layout won’t change. They reckon it will be a first class seat only with no extras.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Voyager 1st was called Club Class to denote the reduced level of service on XC over the "proper" First Class on Pendolinos e.g. a more basic food menu and drinks offering.
     
  16. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    I only sampled VTWC First Class once, about 2 months ago.

    Euston bound morning train breakfast was good, not a lot to be fair, but enough and what was there was nice.

    Lime St. bound (albeit a Manchester service) meal on a ~8.00 P.M train was dire, a box of crackers and not enough cheese to choke on. Poor show I thought.

    Not a patch on Eurostar though.
     
  17. stj

    stj Member

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    There are 4 classes on some trains in Italy but there is real competition from Italo on many high speed routes.
     
  18. Worldwide

    Worldwide Member

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    There’s an article about it on the bbc news I’m not sure if links are allowed on here.
     
  19. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    I'd be all for it if it's like their weekend first class offering, i.e. just the same except for a snack instead of a meal. I'm certainly happy to pay a bit more for the wider seat, aligned windows and a snack. I'd never pay full whack for the full first class experience as the meal etc means nothing to me. It'll be interesting to see how they price it - I'm not willing to pay silly amounts more just for the better seat/view.
     
  20. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    As it's part of First Group don't hold out on much.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd be happy with no freebies at all provided the fare does not exceed 160% of the Standard fare applicable at the same time, ideally with a flexible offer or on-board upgrade commensurate with that percentage.
     
  22. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    It used to be possible to get this for 100% of the standard class price in MK3 days. I.e. a wider seat, table to yourself, nice quiet coach about half full...
     
  23. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    I find the non alignment of seats with windows on modern UK trains really annoying. The continentals are guilty of it now as well.

    Does anyone else find the Pendolinos claustrophobic? It's not something that bothers me particularly, but a window seat in Standard is definitely cramped (due to the cant) and I'm only 5'9" and 12 st.
     
  24. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    Does no-one recall when the original MML TOC - National Express - had three classes?
    Standard and First plus 'Premier'. The last was the front half of the TFO nearest to the PC, with curtains separating it off from the other half of the coach, apparently based on planes. The complimentary food etc was only in Premier, not in First; it was just free drinks in First. Hot food was carried from the kitchen through the TRFB and one and a half TFOs to beyond the curtains - which had the effect of increasing the sense that First was downgraded.
    Tickets for Premier were only sold for journeys entirely on MML and were only available from MML. Passengers holding an open First ticket with an origin or destination not on the MML were treated as First, not Premier, class passengers. Standard class passengers could occupy any un-reserved seat in First before departure (or, obvs., later) and pay for an upgrade. The upgrade charge was modest £5 - £10.
    It wasn't universally popular.
    It generated two groups of complaints; the first from passengers who had a (quite often, very expensive) long distance First class open ticket who felt that they were denied the best accommodation, and the second from people who bought open First class return tickets, particularly to London, but didn't make a reservation because they were unsure what train they'd be catching (work, meetings etc.) and found the First already full with upgrading standard passengers. The latter in particular practically destroyed the demand for First open tickets and First season tickets. Presumably, because 'Premier' tickets were only valid on MML services, MML received all the revenue whereas First revenue would be reduced by ORCATS allocation and there was the hope that this extra Premier revenue would more than balance the loss, with a further increase in income from the upgrade charges.
    I wonder whether Avanti are introducing a 'class' not on the other TOCs on the WCML to increase their revenue share similarly. Or maybe I'm just a cynic...
     
  25. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Well if it isn't to generate revenue MH, I guess they wouldn't be doing it? It is privatised and that means everything must revolve around chasing the money.
     
  26. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    I am totally against this. I see it as basically creating more revenue at the expense of the normal traveling public. All right for those on expenses or privs or rich. I can see the third class going to 3+2 otherwise there will be a reduction in capacity. More opportunity to prosecute those in the wrong class. Even less space when trains are overcrowded. Ever tried leaving Bristol for the West country at c 5pm the Virgin train was always rammed whenever I used it and only one set.
     
  27. vlad

    vlad Member

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    Given that first-class catering on Virgin Trains was pretty much a snack, does this mean that Avanti first-class catering is going to be improved? <D
     
  28. whoosh

    whoosh Member

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    I can remember a concept drawing of future Gatwick Express trains, on the run up to privatisation, with Virgin planning to have three classes in their ideas to run it - including 1+1seating in the most premium seats.
    Just look at it now - one class of uncomfortable, barely padded seating, but some of the seats cost extra and have a handkerchief on the headrest!
     
  29. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Not sure you'd fit 3+2 in a 390?
     
  30. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    Virgin haven’t run from Bristol for over 12 years! The idea seems to be a class between standard and first, not a downgrade of standard fortunately.
     
  31. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Damn stupid idea
    Just means fewer seats for normal people - unless the idea is to reduce the number of first class seats
     
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