Seat Reservation during disruption question

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Optimo

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Just a quick Q about if there is any presumed 'right' of a group who have reserved seats together, to have train staff move customers who have taken those seats during disruption?

Came up for the first time with me due to Friday's disruption out of Euston, where some Manchester-bound trains were cancelled, and a load of their passengers were shifted to my 16:30 EUS to Glasgow Central, which was then stopped at several extra stations to benefit those disrupted passengers from other services.

Cue harassed booked "Glasgow bound" passengers getting on to find their reserved seats taken, and an announcement that "seat reservations are not yet downloaded".

In these cases, is it just tough luck and every man for themselves, or do those customers with seat reservations on their tickets have any right to the booked seats, so they can sit together?

We got seats (we had reserved two together up to Glasgow), but could not sit together until about 2 hours into the journey, so consider ourselves lucky compared to others in the circumstances. I didn't try to get the persons in our reserved seats to move [seemed somewhat petty, and the chaps occupying them didn't seem the friendly type], and I did not know who was in the 'right'.

I think I read a thread where the seat reservations sounded like they were 'nice if they're honoured, too bad if they're not', and you'd get 0.00 refund back if not honoured.

Seemed the people on the correct train with the correct reservations were disadvantaged compared to people from a disrupted train who were informed of which platform the Glasgow train was on before the people on the concourse with the reservations, and got to the seats first. Seemed quite unfair.

Also as a secondary question just for my knowledge, when the train staff say "reservations have not yet downloaded", it led passengers to believe they would be downloaded shortly, and honoured. But they never were. Why wouldn't staff just say "Seat reservations are no longer honoured" and be done with it so everyone knows what's going on?

Thanks
 
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aformeruser

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If you reserve a seat and the reservation is not honoured on Virgin and you are not able to find a seat and have to stand for 20? minutes you are entitled to a rail travel voucher valuing at least 5% of what you paid for your ticket.
 

BestWestern

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Always a sore point this one. If there is no means of advising passengers of which seats are reserved and where from/to, be it through a snazzy electric system like Virgin's or just good old fashioned paper labels, then it becomes impractical to offer any reservations for the journey. I've been asked many times if I will be moving people who are sat in 'reserved' seats when there are no labels, and my answer is always that, regretfully, if there are no labels then there are no reservations. Obviously exceptions are made for those who are ill or infirm, but on a wider scale there really is little else that can be done at the time, since a Guard cannot be expected to spend a journey walking the aisles arguing with people who are sat in seats they do not know are reserved after each stop.

Best advice in these situations is to contact the TOC later and express your displeasure.
 

142094

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Depends on the situation. For example, if one train is cancelled and passengers are put on the next one, then the seat reservations from the cancelled train are generally not honoured (and I certainly wouldn't be moving from my seat if I held a reservation for the latter train if someone from the first came up and asked to sit [unless there were special circumstances etc]).

Also, for example when the reservation system is not working, like on Voyagers, then you can basically sit anywhere and are not obliged to move unless staff ask you to do so.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Well it's happened on a EUS-GLC/PRE (don't ask which) train with me where the train downloaded late and my family had to get the guard on the case so there's always that option (It took until Watford Junction to get the guy out of the seat!)
Or you could listen to everyone else...
 

BestWestern

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Well it's happened on a EUS-GLC/PRE (don't ask which) train with me where the train downloaded late and my family had to get the guard on the case so there's always that option (It took until Watford Junction to get the guy out of the seat!)
Or you could listen to everyone else...
That explains why most Guards won't do it, asking somebody to vacate a seat which they think they have every right to be sat in is asking for trouble. Then bear in mind that most trains will have hundreds of people with reservations, and you can appreciate the difficulty. In your case perhaps the TM felt that you and your folks were especially deserving :D
 

CC 72100

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Also, for example when the reservation system is not working, like on Voyagers, then you can basically sit anywhere and are not obliged to move unless staff ask you to do so.
Was like that on a homeward bound XC voyager couple of weeks back. Although it was pretty busy, I managed to get a seat fine (some lady was sat in my reserved seat, which was a table seat :roll: so I just sat elsewhere)

However, a guy boarded at either Tiverton or Taunton (can't remember which) and despite the spare 10 or so seats in our coach, was determined to get the exact seat reserved on his ticket, despite the system being down and it becoming a free-for-all. In order to do this, he very rudely budged the person sat in his seat and said "Oi. You're in my seat". The person sat there of course moved, but I think I'd have asked to have been spoken to a little more politely if I was in that situation!

Moral of the story: Lack of seat reservations make it a bit of an inconvenience for all, but there's not a lot that can be done!
 

142094

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However, a guy boarded at either Tiverton or Taunton (can't remember which) and despite the spare 10 or so seats in our coach, was determined to get the exact seat reserved on his ticket, despite the system being down and it becoming a free-for-all. In order to do this, he very rudely budged the person sat in his seat and said "Oi. You're in my seat". The person sat there of course moved, but I think I'd have asked to have been spoken to a little more politely if I was in that situation!
If someone did that to me then I'd intentionally not move. If someone asked nicely, and there were free seats, I'd be more inclined to move.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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That explains why most Guards won't do it, asking somebody to vacate a seat which they think they have every right to be sat in is asking for trouble. Then bear in mind that most trains will have hundreds of people with reservations, and you can appreciate the difficulty. In your case perhaps the TM felt that you and your folks were especially deserving :D
Probably the fact that me (autistic) and my mate (seriously autistic) would have ended up lashing out if things had gone wrong. The TM noticed that and I think he did a wondrous job! I wanted the table anyway, it was the last one left as they're so effing popular...thank god for reservations eh?
 

yorkie

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In these cases, is it just tough luck and every man for themselves, or do those customers with seat reservations on their tickets have any right to the booked seats, so they can sit together?
If there are no reservations (either electronic system not working/not downloaded etc or printed reservations not printed/no time to put them out, whatever the reason...) then there are no reservations. This means that it's just like any other non-reserveable train, ie everyone for themselves.

No-one can be turfed out of a seat when there are no reservations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well it's happened on a EUS-GLC/PRE (don't ask which) train with me where the train downloaded late and my family had to get the guard on the case so there's always that option (It took until Watford Junction to get the guy out of the seat!)
Or you could listen to everyone else...
It's unclear from your post, but if you are saying you boarded a train without reservations in place and tried to get someone out of a seat anyway, then that will not impress many people here.

If seats together are not available, some guards will find a solution by moving people who are not together or may upgrade you to 1st class. But you would have to ask nicely and not be pushy/demanding about it.
 
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Kryten2340

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Depends on the situation. For example, if one train is cancelled and passengers are put on the next one, then the seat reservations from the cancelled train are generally not honoured (and I certainly wouldn't be moving from my seat if I held a reservation for the latter train if someone from the first came up and asked to sit [unless there were special circumstances etc]).

Also, for example when the reservation system is not working, like on Voyagers, then you can basically sit anywhere and are not obliged to move unless staff ask you to do so.
That happened to me in June last year coming back from Kings Cross. My train was cancelled due to a power problem in the cab and we were put onto the next train. All reservations on the train I was put onto we're made null and void and it was first come first served. That was a fairly packed EC train that evening and as it was when we had the heat wave it was roasting on board.

Quick side question though in the example above the later train had to call at additional stops as a result of the cancelled train and this caused a group to miss a connecting train at Darlington I which was the last one. Is the TOC liable in a situation like that?
 

Welshman

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I reckon there's more stress and bad feeling over seat reservations than anything else on a journey.

I was once on a Virgin Voyager out of Chester to Euston and the seat reservations had not downloaded when folks started to board. So for the first 10 minutes of the journey there was confusion as passengers searched for non-existent reservations and some challenged those already sitting in seats they thought were theirs. Some moved - others, including myself, politely refused. Then, just when everyone accepted there were no reservations and had found a seat somewhere and got settled, the reservations came up, leading to further confusion at Crewe as fresh passengers joined, expecting to have reserved seats, and finding their occupants by now extremely reluctant to move!!

On another occasion, again a Virgin train, but a Pendo out of Preston, there was the usual scramble for seats, and no reservations downloaded. Just when all had got comfortable, the TM announced that the seat reservations had not downloaded and we should expect crowds of people boarding at Wigan and Warrington expecting to sit in our seats! Needless to say that gentleman was not seen at anytime during the journey to Euston, and as he made no further announcements on the matter, the passengers were left to sort it out the best they could.
 

Optimo

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I agree reservations are a bit of a sore point. Get the feeling that (at least some) TOCs wash their hands of customers, forcing those on the correct train and with a seat number printed on their ticket, and reserved as part of the booking process, to fend for themselves in these circumstances.

The perceived unfairness of telling all the Manchester passengers via an onboard PA announcement what platform the 16:30 was at BEFORE the platform was announced to the actual 16:30 passengers waiting on the concourse left 'legit' passengers confused and at a disadvantage. We were doing those Manchester passengers a favour with extra stops at Stafford making us late too, yet got a kick in the teeth in the process! :)
 

mildertduck

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I've never had problems like those described above...on EC, if there's someone in the seat I'm due to sit in, and there isn't a sensible alternative, I approach the person, and show them my reservation card, and they always seem to be understanding. I've done this even if the cards haven't been put out. Providing a person has been shown the paper ticket, they don't seem to object too much, whether or not the reservation slip is in the seat, missing, or has fallen on the floor, etc. If I'm sitting on a seat that wasn't reserved, and someone showed me a ticket to say it was, I'd move without hesitation. IME, most people are the same.
 

Geezertronic

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What about if you have a reserved seat ticket that states the seat you have reserved? That is surely proof enough that you have reserved that seat regardless of whether the reservation system is working or not and unless the TM says otherwise the reservation should be honoured? I am referring to 390s here btw
 

aformeruser

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What about if you have a reserved seat ticket that states the seat you have reserved? That is surely proof enough that you have reserved that seat regardless of whether the reservation system is working or not and unless the TM says otherwise the reservation should be honoured? I am referring to 390s here btw
Proof you reserved a seat and having the right to remove another passenger sat in a seat not marked as reserved aren't the same thing.
 

Greenback

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Proof you reserved a seat and having the right to remove another passenger sat in a seat not marked as reserved aren't the same thing.
I agree. How is anyone else to know if the seat has been reserved if the data has not been uploaded into the system? (Or, in old fashione dparlance, the labels aren't out!). I don't think it is reasonable to expect anothe rperson to move in such circumstances.
 

Welshman

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What about if you have a reserved seat ticket that states the seat you have reserved? That is surely proof enough that you have reserved that seat regardless of whether the reservation system is working or not and unless the TM says otherwise the reservation should be honoured? I am referring to 390s here btw
Then you get to play "musical chairs" to while-away the journey time!! :D

{Passenger "A" claims his/her proper seat by moving passenger "B", who then moves passenger "C", who then moves passenger "D"..... all good fun!}
 

34D

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I've never had problems like those described above...on EC, if there's someone in the seat I'm due to sit in, and there isn't a sensible alternative, I approach the person, and show them my reservation card, and they always seem to be understanding. I've done this even if the cards haven't been put out. Providing a person has been shown the paper ticket, they don't seem to object too much, whether or not the reservation slip is in the seat, missing, or has fallen on the floor, etc. If I'm sitting on a seat that wasn't reserved, and someone showed me a ticket to say it was, I'd move without hesitation. IME, most people are the same.
I assure you most people are not the same.

If a passenger was trying to move me they would be politely told that only the guard or police would be moving me.

Then again I'm not exactly a waif, which helps me.
 

Wolfie

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Virgin ran a five carriage Voyager on the 0923 Euston to Wolverhampton last Saturday instead of the scheduled Pendolino (at least according to the onboard train crew I did see). No reservations were downloaded, strangely enough! One or two people were trying to move others from "their reserved seats". In the main they were politely declined though one particularly forceful individual received a more forceful response (last word was "off"). On appealing to train staff (the cleaners ironically as the guard never ventured down the train for the whole journey) the problems resulting from such a substitution (yes, it WAS busy!) were pointed out to said individual!!!
 

yorkie

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Quick side question though in the example above the later train had to call at additional stops as a result of the cancelled train and this caused a group to miss a connecting train at Darlington I which was the last one. Is the TOC liable in a situation like that?
Yes (providing you already hold a ticket).
What about if you have a reserved seat ticket that states the seat you have reserved? That is surely proof enough that you have reserved that seat regardless of whether the reservation system is working or not and unless the TM says otherwise the reservation should be honoured? I am referring to 390s here btw
It proves you originally reserved it however it has no meaning if there are no reservations on that service and people are not in any way obliged to move.

Would I? Depends, last time we got a train that was a free-for-all and we got 6 seats together. No way would we then let anyone turf one of us out! However, had I been alone at a table for 4 and 4 people wanted to sit together and an alternative suitable seat was available, then I'd be far more inclined to move. But the terms would have to be favourable to me, someone can't just be asked to leave a seat by anyone else when reservations are not in force.
 
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