Compensation for late running and 1st class Declassification

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Andrew_F

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I had a reservation for a 1st class seat travelling from Inverness to London on Virgin Trains East Coast service.

The train was both late and the 1st class carriages we declassified and the 1st class service re. food/drinks etc not provided.

On complaining to Virgin and asking for a refund they have replied that:

"Whilst you were both delayed and had a declassified service, we are only permitted to compensate you through one of our schemes; either the Delay Repay scheme or the Declassification scheme."​

Does anyone know if this is correct? It seems unfair if they only need to compensate for one of two unconnected failings in their service.
 
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Agent_c

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That is what they publish under the the train seat guarantee.

https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/customer-service/seat-guarantee/

>>>We can only pay compensation under one scheme per journey. For example, if you were unlucky enough to be delayed by over 30 minutes and the seat you reserved wasn’t available, you would have to pick either Delay Repay or Seat Guarantee. You can choose the scheme that offers you the most compensation though.

You might struggle to do any better than what you've been offered. I guess it comes down to if 50% of the ticket, or the First-to-standard difference makes you better off.

Might seem harsh, but my understanding is the Food and Drinks are considered a non contractual extra- if you get em great, if you don't you don't. Some TOCs have stopped providing anything to first class users beyond a door separating them from the riff-raff.
 

MichaelAMW

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That is what they publish under the the train seat guarantee.

https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/customer-service/seat-guarantee/

>>>We can only pay compensation under one scheme per journey. For example, if you were unlucky enough to be delayed by over 30 minutes and the seat you reserved wasn’t available, you would have to pick either Delay Repay or Seat Guarantee. You can choose the scheme that offers you the most compensation though.

You might struggle to do any better than what you've been offered. I guess it comes down to if 50% of the ticket, or the First-to-standard difference makes you better off.

Might seem harsh, but my understanding is the Food and Drinks are considered a non contractual extra- if you get em great, if you don't you don't. Some TOCs have stopped providing anything to first class users beyond a door separating them from the riff-raff.

"We can only pay...etc"!! That's one of those things that seriously annoys me! There's no "can" about it - they "can" quite easily choose to do whatever they like. I wish they would just be honest and say "We don't ..."
 

Agent_c

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"We can only pay...etc"!! That's one of those things that seriously annoys me! There's no "can" about it - they "can" quite easily choose to do whatever they like. I wish they would just be honest and say "We don't ..."

Well, the person you are talking to can only act as their employer directs, this limits what they can and can't....
 

Bletchleyite

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If First Class is declassified entirely, it's nothing to do with a seat guarantee, it's an entitled refund down to a Standard ticket, is it not? Then Delay Repay would be payable on the Standard fare, surely?
 

All Line Rover

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If First Class is declassified entirely, it's nothing to do with a seat guarantee, it's an entitled refund down to a Standard ticket, is it not? Then Delay Repay would be payable on the Standard fare, surely?

That's a good way of looking at it.
 

Agent_c

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I agree because in essence you travelled in Standard as First was not on offer. So they should refund you the difference in fare and then pay delay repay on that.

But, thats what the Seat Guarantee seems to offer as well, a reduction to standard fare when First Class seats aren't available; so I think they're reading them both as the same policy.
 

gray1404

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I am not making reference to the seat guarantee scheme. I am talking about the procedure nationally on any TOC that applies to first class ticket holders when first class is classified and they have to travel in standard.

The seat guarantee scheme could apply to a customer in first or standard who does not have their seat reservation honored and has to stand. That is different. The point here is that first class was declassified. Then, once that is established, the train was delayed over 30 minutes.
 

Solent&Wessex

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I assume other TOCS may adopt a similar approach to the one TPE adopted a few years ago. That is that First Class is no longer ever officially de-classified, or announced as such, but conductors are permitted to personally invite standard class ticket holders to occupy seats once all first class passengers have been accommodated. Thus they have decided that gets them out of the First Class / Standard Class compensation for declassification problem.

TPE said:
....Occasionally, when demand is high and all First Class ticket holders have been accommodated, the on board team may decide to offer available seating to standard class ticket holders.

First TransPennine Express will not be de-classifying services as a matter of course.....
 

Agent_c

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I assume other TOCS may adopt a similar approach to the one TPE adopted a few years ago. That is that First Class is no longer ever officially de-classified, or announced as such, but conductors are permitted to personally invite standard class ticket holders to occupy seats once all first class passengers have been accommodated. Thus they have decided that gets them out of the First Class / Standard Class compensation for declassification problem.

I don't think thats relevant here, as the response from Virgin, as presented, doesn't dispute the declassified status.
 

[.n]

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I assume other TOCS may adopt a similar approach to the one TPE adopted a few years ago. That is that First Class is no longer ever officially de-classified, or announced as such, but conductors are permitted to personally invite standard class ticket holders to occupy seats once all first class passengers have been accommodated. Thus they have decided that gets them out of the First Class / Standard Class compensation for declassification problem.

SWT do officially declassify and announce, I can recall at least 3 occasions this year.
 

Deepgreen

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Some TOCs have stopped providing anything to first class users beyond a door separating them from the riff-raff.

On Southern, often not even that!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
[.n];2533912 said:
SWT do officially declassify and announce, I can recall at least 3 occasions this year.

Southern announce de-classifications, but that is often pointless, given the number of standard-class ticket-holding passengers who have already decided for themselves that they are entitled to sit there!
 

Matt Taylor

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[.n];2533912 said:
SWT do officially declassify and announce, I can recall at least 3 occasions this year.

That's not quite true. Excluding Windsor Line services and one or two South Hampshire locals declassification of first class is entirely at the guard's discretion and may not be announced. On particularly busy trains I will sometimes invite selected passengers into first class at no additional cost (generally it'll be gold card holders first), but depending on the situation I may make a general announcement to say that first is declassified. It all depends on the circumstances at the time.
 

Deepgreen

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That's not quite true. Excluding Windsor Line services and one or two South Hampshire locals declassification of first class is entirely at the guard's discretion and may not be announced. On particularly busy trains I will sometimes invite selected passengers into first class at no additional cost (generally it'll be gold card holders first), but depending on the situation I may make a general announcement to say that first is declassified. It all depends on the circumstances at the time.

Who decides on de-classification on the workings I have put into bold then?

What happens if, having invited selected standard class ticket holders to use first, more genuine first class ticket holders appear and have no seats available?
 
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[.n]

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That's not quite true. Excluding Windsor Line services and one or two South Hampshire locals declassification of first class is entirely at the guard's discretion and may not be announced. On particularly busy trains I will sometimes invite selected passengers into first class at no additional cost (generally it'll be gold card holders first), but depending on the situation I may make a general announcement to say that first is declassified. It all depends on the circumstances at the time.

Oh yes, I know that happens too, my reply was in response to an earlier comment in the thread.

I've been on any number of trains where the guard has quietly and sensibly declassified 1st class without making an announcement, but I have also heard it announced as well.

I happen to think that of all the lines I travel on that SWT guards (at least on my route) are amongst the best staff I've encountered over the years - I can't think of a single one who's actions and decisions I have disagreed with - and I've made 1000s of journeys on SWT!
 

BurtonM

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I've seen TPE announce declassification before, but not for quite a while, it's almost as if they stopped bothering. It's annoying as they don't even let people stand in first when standard is absolutely rammed.
 

timbo58

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In the very rare event of this happening when I was a guard we were authorised to mark 1st class tickets as having travelled on 1C48 (etc) and there being 'No 1st class' or '1st class declassified'.

No good for season ticket holders however.
 

Jonfun

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I've seen TPE announce declassification before, but not for quite a while, it's almost as if they stopped bothering. It's annoying as they don't even let people stand in first when standard is absolutely rammed.

Good. First class passengers pay a hefty premium to guarantee them a better level of service, I'm firmly against it being declassified (outside exceptional circumstances) just because standard class is busy.
 

Starmill

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While the discussion of what TransPennine Express, South West Trains or any other operators do in these situations is very interesting it does not appear to be at all relevant. Neither are the views of members about whether First should be declassified or not and in what fashion!

The query is about Virgin Trains East Coast. Regardless of what anyone thinks of it they do declassify all of First Class on occasion, and it is clear that in this case they have.
 
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