First Class on trains that don't have 1st accommodation advertised in the timetable

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by 185143, 8 Apr 2015.

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  1. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    Not really sure if this is the right place to put this, but I have just come off a Wolverhampton-Walsall stopper which was formed of a Class 350/2. As, I believe, the booked units for the Wolverhampton stoppers are Class 323s, First class accommodation is not advertised for these services.

    Anyway, I was under the impression, probably from this forum, that if first class is not advertised in the timetable, then it is permitted to use it with a standard class ticket, funnily enough a Great Escape in this case. All was well until the guard came through the train checking tickets and said that it wasn't valid as it was first class. I pointed out that there 'isn't any first class' on this service as it isn't advertised. The guard, who seemingly believed that I genuinely thought that was the case as he didn't go down the Penalty fare route, said that it wasn't permitted and to move into standard, which I did.

    After alighting the train, I tweeted London Midland who said that

    'First Class fares do exist on the majority of journeys on that route, as a result 1st Class is enforced on a Class 350 ... ... of course the Conductor has the option to review this should standard class be full and standing.'

    Are they allowed to enforce first class if they say there isn't any available in the timetable?
     
  2. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  3. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Nope!

    First class on LM is a waste of money anyway unless one urgently requires a power socket.
    Half-informed statement :roll: The presence of 1st class fares has no bearing on which services actually convey proper first class. You can't "enforce" 1st class on a Standard-only service!

    Providing you were definitely on a service that is not timetabled to convey 1st, then you were in the right, and LM was in the wrong.
     
  4. syorksdeano

    syorksdeano Member

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    I had this the other week and apparently it's something to do with the new timetables.

    The guard on the train I was on was great, especially when I asked him since when and by looking at my ticket could tell I wouldn't have known. He told me to stay where I was.

    Who the hell would want first class to Walsall anyway? Even a first class stamped letter takes ages to get delivered
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't think so, no. That said, in theory they can mark a part of the train out of use for all customers. In practice, that's unlikely to be the policy of the Train Company.

    But I think the only way to 'win' a dispute is to pay the excess, and then write to the Train Company requesting a refund. If you've not been charged, they probably won't do anything. But you have to be certain the service is advertised as only conveying Standard accommodation.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Write a letter or email to Customer Services. They have a 'complex case' team who can deal with matters where passengers have previously been given wrong information.
     
  6. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I was all set to use LM to go to Birmingham this week, as a first class return was only £33 or something really cheap (with Gold Card), but when I realised I needed to come back the next day, I opted to go Virgin and paid £32 each way.

    I think I consumed and drank most of that cost in coffees/soft drinks/snacks/breakfasts on the train and the lounges!

    The only reason I was going to pay LM to go first class was the power socket, as otherwise I can see virtually no reason to use it - as it looks exactly the same as any other part of the train otherwise (unless you like being in a small compartment isolated from others when the doors aren't locked open by staff as happened on my last journey).
     
  7. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    Reportedly, a worse seat in first than in standard too. At least one forum member has mentioned buying first APs, when cheaper than standard, and sitting in standard anyway.
     
  8. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The seats in LM first class aren't great, because of the design the legroom in the airline seats is not brilliant. They're a bit more padded than the standard class seats, though, and they do tilt at least.

    They're definitely more comfortable than the seats in standard on a 350/2. I reckon they're better than the standard seats on a 350/1 too, as they're getting a bit threadbare and the padding is shot, but worse than the standard seats on a 350/3 (and these have power sockets in standard).
     
  9. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    In my view yes.

    If you ignored a PF and put yourself in the lap of the magistrates, there is as much chance of them being influenced by "this carriage is for first class ticket holders only" as they could be by "this train is standard class only".
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Is our legal system so dire that they will accept a made-up claim over a documented statement on the National Rail website stating the train only conveys standard class?

    I know its not great but that bad... Surely not?
     
  11. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    ...only one way to find out! :lol:
     
  12. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    The statement doesn't cover the precise situation of when a first class coach is included....

    Can anyone find a link to the passenger focus conclusion concerning NXEA (or was it earlier than that?) where PF concluded that they weren't happy but the TOC could do as they wished?
     
  13. island

    island Established Member

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    I think this is the nub of the matter. Magistrates are not legally qualified (although they do have a legal adviser) and some benches may not wish to get mired in arguments of this level of technicality nor to play "when is a first class seat not first class?"
     
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    There should be some clarity within the industry though; perhaps from ATOC.

    If that means a disclaimer in timetables saying that first class could be conveyed on services not advertised, then so be it. Otherwise, they should state clearly somewhere in/on timetables that services that don't advertise first class do not offer first class and should be treated as standard class.

    I'd say the last interpretation is the most logical, otherwise why advertise first class, but clearly some TOCs don't think like that - or have mixed views.
     
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