Denied boarding on a 'full' Avanti West Coast Train. Is this common or a one off?

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philosopher

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Today I was denied boarding on the 1031 Avanti West Coast Train from Euston to Birmingham as the train had reached social distancing capacity and I did not have a reservation.

My question is it common to be denied boarding in this situation or was it just a one off and staff normally turn a blind eye in these situations. I know reservation is advised on Avanti but it not compulsory unlike LNER.
 
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cactustwirly

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Today I was denied boarding on the 1031 Avanti West Coast Train from Euston to Birmingham as the train had reached social distancing capacity and I did not have a reservation.

My question is it common to be denied boarding in this situation or was it just a one off and staff normally turn a blind eye in these situations. I know reservation is advised on Avanti but it not compulsory unlike LNER.

I have never seen this, been on Southern trains which have been full and standing.
 

Snow1964

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You say reached capacity, presumably someone had therefore gone to trouble of checking the numbers on board. You cannot just use reserved seats because a no show would result in not reaching capacity.

Seems to me, you met a jobsworth, because most wouldn’t want to start an argument that someone got on before someone else who was queuing before them, and capacity limit was reached part way through the queue.
 

Darandio

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Seems to me, you met a jobsworth, because most wouldn’t want to start an argument that someone got on before someone else who was queuing before them, and capacity limit was reached part way through the queue.

Seems to me you weren't there and just made something up in order to call out someone that was simply doing their job.
 

philosopher

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Seems to me, you met a jobsworth, because most wouldn’t want to start an argument that someone got on before someone else who was queuing before them, and capacity limit was reached part way through the queue.
There were three or four staff at the platform entrance. Oddly they seemed to be letting on people to travel to Milton Keynes.
 

philosopher

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Got on at Milton Keynes with no issues. About 15 in front coach. More or less empty now as we wait at New Street.
How busy did this train look like when it arrived at Milton Keynes? In my experience a high proportion of reserved seats are unclaimed. I would be surprised if someone had actually walked through the train at Euston to check it was actually at social distancing capacity.
 

Deafdoggie

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Any other station I'd say the train was at capacity if denied boarding. The problem is that Euston barrier staff do have form for making up rules and denying boarding way before Covid. So it might be true, but it might be a jobsworth.
 

Haywain

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Whatever the reason for being denied boarding, this does show that holding a reservation for the train would have been worthwhile.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Whatever the reason for being denied boarding, this does show that holding a reservation for the train would have been worthwhile.
I've had that at Euston in the past in more normal times. An appropriate reservation booking got me on the train. Others without one, didn't.
 

Bletchleyite

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The 1031 to Preston this morning appears to be in the data as reservations available. If they are going to treat as recommended/compulsory they really should fix that.

I've had that at Euston in the past in more normal times. An appropriate reservation booking got me on the train. Others without one, didn't.

Only time I've seen it pre COVID is 24th Dec.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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I've had that at Euston in the past in more normal times. An appropriate reservation booking got me on the train. Others without one, didn't.

Worth pointing out that Pendolinos have as one of their necessary features the ability of the train's suspension to "weigh" the train. If the train is too heavily loaded the TMS "says no" and the brakes are locked on, a safety measure which forms part of the tilt package. At the moment of course such an overload is to all intents and purposes impossible. But it does mean that Avanti staff have a denial of boarding procedure in their "playbook" and some are doubtless comfortable in using it. This incident highlights the issue the industry often has in knowing where to draw the line between enforcement of rules/restrictions and the application of common sense. However in this case I doubt we will learn the absolute truth of the matter unless the OP chooses to escalate it as a complaint directly to senior management.
 

87 027

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I have travelled from Euston to Manchester on Avanti twice in the last week (both journeys weekday early evening) and on neither occasion were the Euston barrier staff even checking tickets before boarding
 

Trackman

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I have travelled from Euston to Manchester on Avanti twice in the last week (both journeys weekday early evening) and on neither occasion were the Euston barrier staff even checking tickets before boarding
Same here in the morning, gate staff not bothered. Nobody checking the train either.
I wonder if all the advances sell out they check then?
 

TUC

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Seems to me you weren't there and just made something up in order to call out someone that was simply doing their job.
The attitude which unfairly gives decent rail staff a bad name. The naive 'see no evil' view which refuses to belive any staff are less than perfect.
 

Darandio

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The attitude which unfairly gives decent rail staff a bad name. The naive 'see no evil' view which refuses to belive any staff are less than perfect.

There are many staff out there who are less than perfect. But if someone wasn't there then they have no place trying to fabricate a story in order to paint the staff member as a jobsworth.
 

philosopher

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Given the WCML is screwed up today, are staff today at Euston denying boarding on Avanti trains today once they are at social distancing capacity, or are they being more flexible given the disruption?
 

jon0844

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The IC operators will know exactly how many reservations they have on any given service, so if it reaches a certain level then they'll know the train is 'full' and can focus on those. Perhaps they don't know if seats weren't taken by users on open tickets, but I would have thought there's not a lot they can do about that.

If a service has few reservations, then they would have less reason to enforce any restrictions unless there was a noticeable spike in passenger numbers, leaving them to deal with the issue as and when.
 
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