St. Pancras - Gatwick; is first class worth it?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Howardh, 13 Apr 2019.

  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Before I book just wondered what you got for the extra few £'s? Presumably just a bigger seat - but wondered if there's any free on-board catering or a first class lounge we can use? Cheers!
     
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  3. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    You can sit in the declassified first class for zero - rear section going south.

    I nearly spluttered my tea at the concept of a 1st class lounge or free on board catering on Thameslink. Sorry no - you might find a few discarded beer cans.........
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    You get the opportunity to travel in the front of the leading coach. That’s all. You can have exactly the same seats in the back of the last coach.

    Asking about catering though, is this serious?
     
  5. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Paying for a 1st class ticket on this route is a complete waste of time.
     
  6. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Apart from watching the entertainment when (rare) visits from the RPI's do a sweep and issue penalty fares.......
     
  7. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    You get a cardboard cup of tea and a biscuit on Transpennine (on a good day....)
     
  8. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Ah, didn't know it was declassed! I suppose with contactless you can't determine who has a first-class ticket anyway?
     
  9. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Paying for first class is just not possible if using Contactless or Oyster PAYG.
     
  10. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    In the same way as with a cardboard ticket. They only know if there's a check on the train.
     
  11. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    It's not TPE though!
    It's a SE commuter train with no catering service, you get a bigger seat, and that's about it!
     
  12. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    As with most commuter TOCs, the primary reason to get First Class is so that you are more or less guaranteed of a seat at peak times. You might even get two seats to yourself. In the declassified First at the back, unless you get one of the two single seats, you are bound to be sat next to someone. Also, the rear declassified First is usually full at peak times once it has stopped at busy stations. For example, in the morning peak, Gatwick to St Pancras will have already been filled by commuters from stations further south on trains from Brighton or Littlehampton. In the evening peak, St Pancras to Gatwick should be fairly empty on boarding, but it will be full by Blackfriars.
     
  13. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    As it will likely be a 12 car 700, and with plenty of people alighting at St Pancras, if the declassified section doesn't have room there will be plenty of room elsewhere on the train, and you can expect more people to get off between St Pancras and London Bridge, whereby you could move into 'first class'.
     
  14. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Not always the case by any stretch. Only at peak times is this a near certainty. At other times there a fair chance you will have two seats.
     
  15. 717001

    717001 Member

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    There are also 3 pin charging points, which aren't available elsewhere, but again you can use them free in the rear carriage.
     
  16. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    On the Peterborough-Horsham services, you can often have the rearmost First Class section almost to yourself if you board southbound at St Pancras - at almost any time of day. The Bedford-Gatwick Airport / Three Bridges / Brighton services and the odd Cambridge service tend to be busier.
     
  17. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I thought it was April Fools Day for a moment :rolleyes:
     
  18. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The whole post was intended to be about peak times but there were two sentences that didn't have the word "peak" in it.
     
  19. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Early afternoon, expecting plenty of seats to be available.
     
  20. paddington

    paddington Member

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    Unless the station building is at one end of the platform, to me first class just means a rather longer walk
     
  21. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    With contactless nobody has a first class ticket. Oyster and contactless bank card can only charge a standard class fare.

    Don't bother with paying for first class, wait at the rear of the platform and sit in first if there are seats. You'll be unimpressed though wherever you sit, so it's not worth spending any special effort over. If you pay for first class you'll be annoyed rather than just unimpressed!
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Definitely not worth it as others have said.

    The PAYG fare is only £8.50 (standard only on PAYG), while a paper single is £9.70 Saturdays/Sundays/Bank Holidays or £12.10 at any time on weekdays.

    In contrast, the 1st class fare is £19.40, for exactly the same seating and ambience.

    Indeed, you would feel utterly ripped off.
     
  23. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Gatwick Express were not running any trains today, due to engineering works. On past occasions, they have been diverted to run from/to London Bridge, but not today. So you would expect the 4tph Thameslink services from LBG to be much busier than usual... which the one I was on certainly was. However, having walked my way back, through six coaches, I still got a pair of seats to myself in the declassified 1st class section!
    Other than commuters and the regulars on here, it does seem that occasional rail travellers don’t know they can sit there, on a Standard ticket
     
  24. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    On the GN side declassified 1st is full in the peaks - standing room only to/from from Stevenage in the peaks.

    Weekday Off Peak, plenty of room.
    Weekends filling up fast, although part of me thinks that this is just people sitting there for the hell of it rather than being 'in the know'.
     
  25. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    On the MML side the declassified area often has more standees in it in the evening peak than the adjacent standard class area, even when there are free standard class seats.
     
  26. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    It might just be that they aren't bothered. I am aware that the rear compartment on a 700 is declassified. It doesn't mean that I always go and sit in it, even if I expect it to be empty.
     
  27. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    Don't think Gatwick Express has ever been diverted to London Bridge. They have used the Gatwick Express 387s on Southern services which have been diverted to London Bridge, though!
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I prefer the Standard seats, the First ones are quite oddly contoured and push me against the wall.
     
  29. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Yes, I think you’re correct.
     
  30. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Member

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    In fairness there are decent tables for 4 which I have used for having a picnic on way south of london, in the declassified section. Std class on these trains is so poor it makes the mediocre 1st area look good!
     
  31. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    1st class isn't declassified on Gatwick Express services. Are you getting confused with the 700s?
     

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