Seat Selection Annoyance

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by westv, 21 May 2019.

  1. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Why do booking engines make it so awkward sometimes to selection the seat you want when booking tickets? I was using Hull Trains but I've no doubt others are just as annoying sometimes.
    I wanted airline style window seat booking for 29th July.
    I ended up having to put 9 tickets in before it would give me what I wanted:-

    C 5B, C 5F, C 8B, C 8F, C 9B,C 9F, C 12B, C 12F then finally C 17A

    Once I got to 17A I was then able to release back all the unwanted tickets leaving just one.
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Seems like it is down to the way the NRS is filling up the seats on the train - something that, I understand, the TOCs have a limited degree of control over.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    TOCs can have control over it - both VTWC and CrossCountry have a seat selector.
     
  5. westv

    westv Established Member

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    That's the advantage of seat selection maps when they are available.
    I just don't understand why it does it this way though - there's no logic in it at all.
     
  6. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    Was I just being incompetent, when booking a ticket through the VTWC website (with local rail legs at both ends) I wasn't given a seat selector - gave up and went to a station where they were all issued together (this was for 6 people, I didn't want us to be spread throughout one or two carriages?)
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You don't get it by default, you select to change your seat at the last step.
     
  8. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    I'll see if I can find it when I go and book the next lot - though that may have to be a ticket office as I need both singles and returns (people not coming back!)
     
  9. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    I got a table instead of airline seat on Virgin . I think it may of been down to a sap for a 11 car set i think . I went to U and it was quieter.
     
  10. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Same problem again today except this time I had to "book" 11 tickets and use two browsers - ending up with exactly the same seat as before C17A.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The coach layouts are the same from a 9 to an 11 - there are just 2 coaches missing.
     
  12. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Established Member

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    You need to book using Virgins own website to get seat selector.
     
  13. westv

    westv Established Member

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    And how would that work with a Hull Trains service? :D
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    At the moment I'd be celebrating if Hull Trains actually operated a service, even if I had to stand in the bog.
     
  15. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    Trans Pennine Express and London Northeastern Railway also have seat selectors.
     
  16. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Established Member

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    Hull Trains do not offer seat selector
     
  17. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Nobody said they did.
     
  18. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Didnt know TPE did .
     
  19. paddington

    paddington Member

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    XC's selector is not very useful to me as they don't know the direction of travel and/or it changes during the journey - I don't care so much about facing forwards or backwards but I want to be on a certain side of the train, either to see something on the track or to avoid the sun being in my face while still being able to look out. It means sometimes having to buy an extra ticket to guarantee that I have my choice of unreserved seats by already being on the train at stations where lots of people alight (and thus before lots of people can board).
     
  20. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    That's got nothing to do with their selector more than any other selector. It's purely down to the fact that, with their network having tens of stations, junctions and routes where the unit might be turned around, it's basically impossible to know which way around the train would be. Imagine the number of complaints if poor old Dorises' booked seats ended up facing the opposite way round to what they had booked! Some people get unfathomably worked up about this kind of stuff and so, with a network like CrossCountry's I am, for once, in total agreement with them that they'd be mad to introduce directional seating.

    Having an additional ticket doesn't guarantee you an additional seat. You can only have one seat per passenger. If, of course, you mean that you want to reserve several seats for yourself, it's selfish but possible if you get the reservations from different sources (e.g. Customer Services and ticket offices), as there isn't currently any way of tracking which tickets have had reservations issued for them (unless the ticket is somehow endorsed, as LNER sometimes do I believe).
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Nonetheless, any passenger is entitled to occupy any unoccupied seat regardless of it being reserved. So making multiple reservations does not guarantee having the ability to spread over multiple seats.
     
  22. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Well, there's that too (except on reservation compulsory services like sleepers!). I think the OP meant more that they might get four reservations - one on each side and each direction, just in case.
     
  23. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    They do for their last minute reservation service, but not for normal tickets AFAIK. They also don't allow you to specify forwards or backwards anymore.
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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  25. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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  26. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    XC Seat selector annoyance here; I can't find the damn thing. I get to the "Choose seats" screen when trying to make a booking but all it does is ask me if I want a power socket and a window view, where is the option to get a full seat map to choose from?
     
  27. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    The page where you can select specific seats is on a later page to where it asks you for seating preferences, the option for the seat selector is on the last page before the payment page.
     
  28. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I think I know the page you mean; does it / can it give you the seat selector if the journey involves a change of train (where only one of the two trains is an XC service)?
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    XC's seat selector should allow you to change the seat of the XC service in this case but not other services. If you want to be able to select your seat on all reserveable trains you'd need to use Trainsplit (or one of their affiliate sites; for non-splits you can use Trains Can Be Cheaper)
     
  30. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Thanks, that's what I thought, but I get this (screenshot of top of XC booking site delivery option page showing no seat selector button):

    upload_2020-2-15_9-55-54.png

    I think there is supposed to be a 'Choose Seat' button next to the 'Details' button. Maybe the site just doesn't work properly in Firefox. I thought the seat selction option might be hidden on the details page but that just looks like this (screenshot of journey itinerary showing that one of the trains involved is indeed an XC service):

    upload_2020-2-15_9-58-11.png

    I think I might use Trains Can Be Cheaper, which I wasn't aware of until your post in my Cardiff-York permitted routes topic. It has the added benefit of being able to reserve my seat from Cheltenham to York northbound rather than XC's site forcing me to take the faster route via Bristol Parkway.
     

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