Reservation with no seat allocation

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by GuyBarry, 25 Apr 2015.

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  1. GuyBarry

    GuyBarry Member

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    What is the significance of tickets described as "Reserved - no seat allocated"? When I booked an advance fare on the SWT service from Bath to London Waterloo and back last month I was given three mandatory reservation tickets along with the travel tickets (Bath -> Waterloo, Waterloo -> Salisbury and Salisbury -> Bath). The booking confirmation read "The passenger is free to sit in any vacant unreserved seat for the class of travel specified on the ticket". How does this differ from not having a reservation at all?

    I also gained the false impression that the return journey involved a change at Salisbury, whereas in actual fact it was scheduled as a through train that divided at Salisbury, and the Salisbury-Bath section was considered a separate service purely for internal administrative reasons. This wasn't made clear on SWT's site.

    (And to confuse things even further, when I arrived at Salisbury there was some problem and we had to change trains anyway.)
     
  2. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    The reservation can tie you to a specific train for the purposes of Advance tickets but not a specific seat (so the TOC doesn't have to bother with them). Usually you end up with something like:

    Code:
    [Coach]                       [Seat]
           *                             ***
    I know Chiltern do it and I'm 90% LM do too
     
  3. causton

    causton Established Member

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    Cashier five, please
  4. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep

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    This is also used by Arriva Trains Wales. They offer proper seat reservations to passengers buying walkup tickets in advance, but only place reservations with no seat to those buying advance tickets.

    I presume this is because they operate shockingly short trains on the Welsh Marches lines (come on, three or sometimes even two carriages on a Cardiff to Manchester train?) which are often full to bursting and they don't want to upset their season ticket or very expensive walk-up ticket holders.
     
  5. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Also when a diagram sees a 158 and 175 swapped around, the seat numbers don't match up whatsoever, so specific reservations would cause more trouble than good.
     
  6. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep

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    Maybe, but the point is that they DO have proper seat reservations for walkup ticket holders, they just don't give them to advance ticket holders.
     
  7. GuyBarry

    GuyBarry Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I still don't quite understand how the quota system works, though.

    Let's say that 10% of the seats on the train are allocated to advance ticket holders. There's no way of controlling how many people with open tickets will travel on the train, so what happens if they occupy 95% of the seats?
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    See Advance Quotas.
    Then some people will have to stand.
     
  9. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    And they may include Advance ticket holders who do not have the option of waiting for another, less crowded, train.
     
  10. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Is having to stand a valid reason for taking a later train with an Advance ticket?
     
  11. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    Sure they do. They just don't let you book them on-line or through telesales.
     
  12. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    South West Trains have these reservations between Guildford and Waterloo when using a VTEC & connections advance on one of their fast services. The also have zero quota for much of the day so long distance passengers are often forced to buy much more expensive tickets.

    I get around this by putting in via Clondon on the booking engines. I am pretty sure the ticket they give me is valid on the fast trains.
     
  13. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    If they found they were regularly getting 95% occupancy with walk up tickets then clearly they'd just stop selling advances - they are completely optional from the TOCs point of view, after all.
     
  14. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    If 95% of the seats are taken up by full fare paying passengers then those on cheap advances who haven't got a seat will have to stand!

    Or are you saying that those on cheap advances should have priority for seats over those paying full fare?
    Its first come, first served!
     
  15. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    Those with the advances probably booked first ;)
     
  16. GarethC

    GarethC Member

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    I've successfully made seat reservations for ATW Advance tickets by calling their customer service number (not telesales) after purchasing online or visiting my local staffed station (to which the clerk at Ipswich thought it was a rather random request but still processed it fine).
     
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