TPE staff at Manchester Airport

frodshamfella

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Just arrived back to the UK and needed a train to Liverpool South Parkway.

Only trains showing to Liverpool are the ultra slow cl319 stoppers via Chat Moss, so I ask a gaggle of TPE uniformed staff on the platform if there was any faster connection via Oxford Road or Victoria.

All four just shrugged their shoulders and gave me a blank look. When I asked why they were unable to assist they all chimed in with the "it's all on the computer in the office" excuse.

Sorry guys, but these particular staff are a complete joke and an embarrassment.

Rant over.
Hi

I don't know where you arrived from, but what a shame you didn't land at Liverpool Airport, you wouldn't have had all the unpleasantness .
 
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SuperNova

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I got this impression 90% of the time at Manchester Airport. Just to clarify this is my own observations and experience of operating into the airport for three years. Even when there was someone from TPE there giving advice, it was often the wrong advice such as telling customers on a TPE only ticket to join a Northern service. That was my biggest gripe and happened almost every time, yet I was the one in the wrong in the customer's eyes because I pointed out the ticket wasn't valid....
Here's the problem with this - does the customer ask the right question? I've seen it at Leeds and Man Vic with customers boarding TPE trains with Northern Only tickets as customers ask for the next train to wherever they are going. If you're at Leeds going to Manchester the staff their will point you towards the TPE services, same at Man Vic for Leeds as those trains are the quickest one. Unfortunately, they're then questioned on board and usually have to pay for an excess fare.

As TPJM posted earlier on this thread, if you're having these experiences, let TPE know. Nothing will change if you just come on an online forum complaining.
 

PupCuff

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Ah yes, it's the fault of the customer. Just like all the crowding!
There are some customers, though of course only a very small number, who will intentionally try to travel on a train their ticket doesn't allow them to, by asking a member of staff a misleading question and then claiming when challenged later in the journey that the member of staff they asked gave them permission to get on that train.

I always encourage colleagues to politely ask, "could I have a quick look at your ticket to make sure I'm giving you the right journey advice?", particularly in areas where local knowledge indicates there is a lot of (whether intentional or otherwise) misuse of TOC-only/cheaper routed tickets.
 

SuperNova

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Ah yes, it's the fault of the customer. Just like all the crowding!
A TPE bashing thread wouldn't be complete without the gruesome twosome of 2L70 and BeHereNow.

I am giving my real-life example of working on the railway. Customers who've bought a Northern Only ticket ask platform staff at Manchester Victoria, for example, when is the next train to Leeds in a rush. They are pointed to the next train which is a TPE and then customers are rightly miffed when they're charged for another ticket. Everyone has done their job properly and still the customer is confused and not happy.

Some onus needs to be on the person buying the ticket. You don't buy a Ryanair tickets and try and fly Easyjet? However, some onus needs to be on railway colleagues to make sure they're travelling with the correct ticket before they board and perhaps, the tickets need to be more obvious what TOC the person buying the ticket is meant to be travelling with.

But still, giving real life experiences means I'm blaming every person using the railway. Be constructive for once.
 

tpjm

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I always encourage colleagues to politely ask, "could I have a quick look at your ticket to make sure I'm giving you the right journey advice?", particularly in areas where local knowledge indicates there is a lot of (whether intentional or otherwise) misuse of TOC-only/cheaper routed tickets.
A very sensible approach and something that is included in my customer service training for my front-line teams. Gathering information is the first step in satisfactorily resolving a customer’s query.
 

2L70

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A TPE bashing thread wouldn't be complete without the gruesome twosome of 2L70 and BeHereNow
If you read the replies to the thread @PupCuff mentioned a situation where this would have happened and @BeHereNow took it on board. Where there is different multi operator tickets most T/C announce check you have the correct ticket on their pre departure announcements, if people refuse to acknowledge them it's up to them.

Also you'd be familar with the scenario i mentioned above.
 

Grumpy Git

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I went through Manchester Airport this morning and I noted the actual lectern in TPE logos is emblazoned with wording along the lines of:

'Customer enquiries and tickets'

I may not be 100% with the wording, but you get the idea. I can also state that at least 3 of the persons in question were in TPE uniform and I'd put good money on the fourth person also being from TPE.

And for the absence of doubt, I had a full price open return ticket.

Look at my original post and tell me in all honesty that their response to my question was anything other than abysmal?

It was like I'd walked into a library and asked to borrow a pint of bitter.
 

2L70

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Tricky as there are very few flights from LPL which I can use. But I do whenever possible as I live in Garston.
Shame really, as the whole Passenger experience at Liverpool Airport is far better than Manchester Could ever do, in my opinion. Anyway, TPE seem to have abandoned MIA for the time being - Scotland being the priority yet again.
 

js1000

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Just arrived back to the UK and needed a train to Liverpool South Parkway.

Only trains showing to Liverpool are the ultra slow cl319 stoppers via Chat Moss, so I ask a gaggle of TPE uniformed staff on the platform if there was any faster connection via Oxford Road or Victoria.

All four just shrugged their shoulders and gave me a blank look. When I asked why they were unable to assist they all chimed in with the "it's all on the computer in the office" excuse.

Sorry guys, but these particular staff are a complete joke and an embarrassment.

Rant over.
Poor. The railway industry is in for a tough few years so it's important that staff do their utmost to ensure passenger satisfaction to encourage people to travel by train.
 

gimmea50anyday

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How has TPE abandoned MAnchester Airport in favour of Scotland when the trains to Scotland originate.... from Manchester Airport?
The Newcastle - airport services aren’t running, but that’s because they are not operating at all, only the Middlesbrough’s are. As are the cleethorpes. Hmm 3 put of 4 trains, hardly abandoned.....
 

sportzbar

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Here's the problem with this - does the customer ask the right question? I've seen it at Leeds and Man Vic with customers boarding TPE trains with Northern Only tickets as customers ask for the next train to wherever they are going. If you're at Leeds going to Manchester the staff their will point you towards the TPE services, same at Man Vic for Leeds as those trains are the quickest one. Unfortunately, they're then questioned on board and usually have to pay for an excess fare.

As TPJM posted earlier on this thread, if you're having these experiences, let TPE know. Nothing will change if you just come on an online forum complaining.
Unfortunately I wish this was the case. I know for a fact that both Northern and TPE were having weekly conferences regarding this very issue and we were instructed to turn back passengers who had TPE only tickets (after all Northern were not getting any revenue from these passengers). The result of this was that TPE staff were instructed to check all tickets (I know this from talking to a couple of the better staff who actually did this), to ensure passengers did not board the Northern service with a TPE only ticket.

The problem (through my own experience of working airport services for three years and observing it myself), was that the majority of TPE staff simply did not do as they were instructed to. When leaving the airport and finding passengers with TPE only tickets we were instructed to follow ticketing rules and charge the passenger for a new ticket for the journey (mostly Airport to Manchester), keep any tickets as receipts and put in a written complaint to customer services at TPE ( I even wrote the email address in the ticket for them). I also advised them to put it in writing if they had been advised by a member of staff to board a Northern service even if their ticket stated TPE only.

At places like Leeds and Manchester Victoria, passengers tend to ask the dispatcher who is generally busy trying to send trains out and will help out where possible. Not ideal as the passenger won't know the difference and just see a member of staff. The difference at the airport is that the staff there are strictly customer service. That is their job and a job that they were performing poorly....
 

TUC

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I'm not sure what this statement means?
They aren't agency staff as far as I am aware, they're directly employed by TPE.
In most other businesses, agency staff on assignment to them are expected to act as if they are employees of that company. The fact that their formal employer lies elsewhere is irrelevant.
 

Grumpy Git

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In most other businesses, agency staff on assignment to them are expected to act as if they are employees of that company. The fact that their formal employer lies elsewhere is irrelevant.
Quite, the fact they are agency staff should be completely invisible to a passenger.
 

dggar

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......

At places like Leeds and Manchester Victoria, passengers tend to ask the dispatcher who is generally busy trying to send trains out and will help out where possible. Not ideal as the passenger won't know the difference and just see a member of staff. The difference at the airport is that the staff there are strictly customer service. That is their job and a job that they were performing poorly....
Am I right in thinking that ,on continental railways, the person acting in the role of as the dispatcher wore a red hat? That is my memory of travel on Swiss trains in the 80s.
 

urbophile

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A TPE bashing thread wouldn't be complete without the gruesome twosome of 2L70 and BeHereNow.

I am giving my real-life example of working on the railway. Customers who've bought a Northern Only ticket ask platform staff at Manchester Victoria, for example, when is the next train to Leeds in a rush. They are pointed to the next train which is a TPE and then customers are rightly miffed when they're charged for another ticket. Everyone has done their job properly and still the customer is confused and not happy.

Some onus needs to be on the person buying the ticket. You don't buy a Ryanair tickets and try and fly Easyjet? However, some onus needs to be on railway colleagues to make sure they're travelling with the correct ticket before they board and perhaps, the tickets need to be more obvious what TOC the person buying the ticket is meant to be travelling with.

But still, giving real life experiences means I'm blaming every person using the railway. Be constructive for once.
It's all a consequence of privatisation and deregulation. We need a simple and standardised fare system, especially for local or regional journeys like we're discussing, so that a reasonable fare is charged for a journey between two points and the ticket is valid on any operator's services. If long-distance operators want to run exclusive trains at exclusive prices, or cheap-and-cheerful trains at cheap-and-cheerful prices, that is another matter. But the majority of trains from Manchester Airport (at least as far as Manchester city centre, and I would suggest the whole NW region) should be available to anybody on any ticket.
 

gimmea50anyday

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I fully agree. The problems we had with XC only tickets between Durham and newcastle a few years ago which resulted in staff being threatened and abused led TPE to complain to XC such to the point that the tickets were withdrawn completely, yet come franchise handover time and the DfT allowed to introduce TPE only tickets! Absolutely ludicrous! Now XC and LNER have both followed suit and we now now have specific TOC only tickets right up the ECML making the job much harder for us on the front line. We shouldn’t have to call BTP because someone has refused to buy a new ticket and called us jobsworths and followed it with a tirade of abuse!

Better still, ditch the franchises which don’t work, let’s go back to a regional model which did along with an expanded cross country network that actually crosses the country and not simply serve as a Birmingham commuter flow
 

gimmea50anyday

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Anyway to back what supernova and tpjm were saying, TPE cannot put it right if they don’t know about it, and here isn’t the best place to make TPE aware of the problems. I’m surprised Huddersfield staff are also coming in to criticism given the top knotch training staff that are based there and where all TPE staff do their training and development. Ticketing restrictions are now being reintroduced and revenue duties re-commencing so the correct advice and information should be given out, especially now while amended timetables are in operation.
 

MDB1images

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Certainly pre Covid there was auto station announcements made about Northern ticket validity(certainly for the WCML services)so never experienced an issue and on the rare occasions someone's got on the wrong train I've made sure they are on the right one from Man Picc.

As mentioned way back up thread it's very likely the OP encountered a handful of drivers who probably wouldn't know the info but should have directed him to the CS office for those that would know the info.
 

nanstallon

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I don't think they care. We have effectively gone back to the 'good old days' of British Rail - 'I've got a safe job for for life whatever happens, and the public can get stuffed'. The government is paying the companies regardless of whether they actually carry any passengers/ customers.
 

nanstallon

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Had a run in with TPE staff at the Airport a few years back, I had nipped there on a Cheshire Day ranger to have a quick nose at the planes, had ticket checked getting back in and was told it was not valid at that station. I explained that it was valid and pulled the CDR area map out of my pocket to show her, she wasn't having it and took my ticket into the office!

She returned after a minute, told me it was valid actually and let me through. No apology or anything!
If she ever went to charm school, she'd better ask for her money back!
 

TUC

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It's all a consequence of privatisation and deregulation. We need a simple and standardised fare system, especially for local or regional journeys like we're discussing, so that a reasonable fare is charged for a journey between two points and the ticket is valid on any operator's services. If long-distance operators want to run exclusive trains at exclusive prices, or cheap-and-cheerful trains at cheap-and-cheerful prices, that is another matter. But the majority of trains from Manchester Airport (at least as far as Manchester city centre, and I would suggest the whole NW region) should be available to anybody on any ticket.
I'll happily have a complex fares system if it gives the cheapest tickets. Most people these days find out fares by looking thrm up online. Only journalists, rail enthusiasts and IT refusniks have any real issues with multiple fares being available.
 

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