Should disabled users upgraded to first class receive the full first class offering?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by anamyd, 10 Feb 2019.

  1. driver_m

    driver_m Established Member

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    No* (misread it) , one of my colleagues was temporarily in a chair through a severe back issue that eventually was repaired, but if they need some kind of assistance, particularly where it's pre arranged, then they're obviously in a bad way . For a straightforward broken leg, you shouldn't really need a wheelchair when a set of crutches do the job. Again if you want to milk something by exaggerating a health issue, then you need to assess your life as well.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2019
  2. sw1ller

    sw1ller Established Member

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    How is this even a question?? Someone’s been upgraded to 1st because there’s no adequate seating in standard, a choice made by the TOC. They’ve been UPGRADED. Simple as that. The only issue is when more than 1 person wants to use the facility. Can a group of 5 not travel together in 2019? That’s what I find hard to believe.
     
  3. driver_m

    driver_m Established Member

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    +1, upgrade is the key word here .
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They can’t really on any train unless half of them want to stand.
     
  5. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Is this even legal? I would be interested to see how it works in reality. I suspect TPx don't want to put it in writing due to potential abuse but would hope that the staff on the ground would possibly be more lenient and accepting that it would not be morally justifiable to split up a group like this.
     
  6. MotorcycleAlan

    MotorcycleAlan Member

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    Good to see it is this way round. I note on the "refreshed" class 444s on SWR there remains no wheelchair space in 1st as was the case previously. Does a first class ticket holder in a wheelchair get downgraded on SWR? Although with the new 2+2 seating why pay extra anyway?
     
  7. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    To be honest, I wish more TOCs had features of the train such as the wheelchair spaces, accessible toilet and First Class clustered together. You could even do what a few other countries’ railways have done, and provide a dedicated space nearby for any passengers who feel vulnerable travelling on their own (eg. some passengers travelling on their own late at night). This would mean that there would be one specific area of the train needing a higher staff presence, which would then be more easily defined and therefore patrolled by the crew, especially if it’s really busy.

    (Obviously if you are doing guard dispatch then sometimes certain other positions would be needed due to platform length/curvature, but that could also neatly coincide with ad-hoc patrols of the rest of the train anyway.)

    As for upgrading people to First - the vast majority of rail users (and even some rail staff) might be surprised just how often this is done for a variety of reasons. I’ve done it for many different scenarios, including providing a quieter space for distressed passengers; making First Class look busy in order to deter casual fare evasion through sections of journeys with frequent stops; aircon failure in Standard Class; heavy delays meaning people need power sockets to charge phones... you name it really. Having wheelchair users in there is probably a good thing all round for customer service, and the numbers travelling with more than one or two companions will be slim. The cost to the company should be minimal, if not in profit via good PR. There have been a few cases I’ve come across where it would be inappropriate, but very very few.
     
  8. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    Absolutely not. The best way I can think to explain myself is as follows.

    Staff with 1st travel facilities at my TOC are entitled to tea, coffee, water and juice.

    The policy says so as to offer a great, friendly service other items might be offered but should be politely refused, creating a friendly atmosphere in the carriage.

    How mealy mouthed therefore would it look to ignore or even worse verbally deny someone a drink because they're in a wheelchair, given they couldn't be briefed not to accept anyway?

    It's a tiny cost so just get on with it.
     
  9. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    I would say that it depends on the total first class offering. Light refreshments, no problem; but if the offer included a cooked meal and wine say?
     
  10. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    If you have been upgraded then you have been upgraded - full stop!
     
  11. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    At the end of the day, whilst it's unfair to full paying First Class passengers, TPE shouldnt've put the only wheelchair provision in First Class.
     
  12. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I think that any able bodied "full paying First Class passenger" who thinks that's its unfair should really think about how unfair it is that some people through no fault of their own end up in a wheelchair! Some perspective is needed here!
     
  13. swaldman

    swaldman Member

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    *shrug* It's not exactly a huge expense for the TOC. I don't see the problem. If other first class passengers are upset, that's their problem, and they should probably have a think about their attitude ;)
     
  14. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    It seems to make perfect sense to me, keeps the number of spaces provided to a minimum. In an ideal world if we had a standard design or positioning across different train types it'd also mean platform staff would know exactly where to assist someone on or off in advance.

    But then I don't understand the obsession some seem to have on here with the idea that different people may have (they will have!) paid different prices for their tickets.
     
  15. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Indeed, if we follow that line of thought, then why shouldn't the holder of an Anytime Return be allowed into First Class for free - after all, they may quite well have paid considerably more than the holder of a First Class Advance!

    Pricing structure and fares has very little to do with entitlement to (travel) benefits.
     
  16. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    No - but if they are in there anyway then why not? You could say that buy not providing it they are actually making the situation worse by pointing it out to the rest of the carriage.

    Its a cup of tea and a biscuit - its not the end of the world.
     
  17. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    It's about wheelchair users feeling included and valued, not just being dumped next to the toilet like is usually the case. Travelling as a wheelchair user is generally a rubbish experience as it is (e.g. basic stuff like worrying if someone will even be at your alighting station to greet you with a ramp, moving around busy stations, etc.)
     
  18. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    By that measure anyone travelling on a lesser fare in first class than a First Anytime ticket (IE anything off peak or advance) is unfair to those full fare passengers (don't even get me started on free passes, upgrades and competition winners ).

    What happens with a few consumables is nobody's business bar the TOC and their employees and if done with due care attention no one in first class will ever know otherwise.
     
  19. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    I think you'll all find I'm blaming TPE for their stupidity that will cause issues and confusion in future and in no way am I blaming those in a wheelchair.
     
  20. DanDaDriver

    DanDaDriver Member

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    In a previous career I used to have regular disability awareness training. One of the things that was repeated most by guest speakers was that things like this (being served first) whilst well meaning are actually quite patronising and demeaning after a while.

    Yes have a free tea or coffee or whatever, if you’ve been upgraded you’ve been upgraded, it’s ridiculous to be treated differently. But being treated like a terminally ill memeber of a visiting royal family all day must be incredibly wearing.

    It’s about equality of outcome, ie; being carried to your destination safely, comfortably and with dignity. So if the TOC can’t accomodate you in standard and has decided that you will be carried by default in first, then you are a first class passenger so fill your boots with biscuits.


    Also, playing devils advocate for a moment, the people who’ve made the point that the first class refreshments are just going to be thrown away anyway, the train is still going to be going to the same place whether or not you have paid for a ticket. Classic fare dodgers argument ;)
     
  21. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    So purposefully going the extra mile for those unfortunate enough to be of impaired mobility is 'stupidity' in your eyes?
     
  22. Modron

    Modron Member

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    Don't forget that there are people who don't use wheelchairs, yet are classed as disabled for whatever reason.

    My answer is a straight yes, as they have been upgraded.
     
  23. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    No, stop putting words in people's mouths. I'm thinking of the confusion it can cause.
     
  24. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    How will it cause confusion? If you're in a wheelchair you can only board the train where the staff put the ramp. No confusion.
     
  25. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    But TPE may start to offer more food offerings in the 397's, why else would they put a kitchen in.
     
  26. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Well they are on Virgin at weekends ;) but you're right, the price paid is an irrelevance.
     
  27. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Well they have so if anyone thinks it's unfair they can elect to go in Standard class instead. As others have said, no-one other than staff & the individual customer concerned should know whether or not someone received a complimentary upgrade or not.
     
  28. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    I guess this all came from not making my view on this clear enough for people to understand my opinion on it.
     
  29. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    Actually both the carer and wheelchair user get full upgrade and by that it means the complimantaries that come with this. I noticed this on Eurostar too with no wheelchair spaces on the new class 374`s.
     
  30. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

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    Parent with two or more children... How will that work when either the parent of one of the children is a wheelchair user? They will have to all be upgraded.


    However, I think the most aggrieved people will be the wheelchair users who buy first class tickets! Presumably they are expecting something more than if they bought a std class ticket....
     

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