Travel in declassified first class when timetable shows standard only

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by mawallace, 18 May 2019.

  1. MP33

    MP33 Member

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    I can recall that when Greater Anglia transferred the class 315 stock to Tfl in the middle of a timetable. There were three early morning Southend Victoria services operated by class 321's with 1st class accomodation, although the timetable did not have the 1 symbol. There was a poster who was challenged by an Inspector and showed a copy of the timetable to prove that he was in the right.

    When Greater Anglia had short forms last year they declassified 1st class. They kept it quiet and I found out about it and claimed £50 back.
     
  2. Felix A

    Felix A Member

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    If they don't offer you a first class ticket, why should you have to pay standard + upgrade, resulting in most likely a much more expensive fare overall? This is coming from a very basic point of view just for evertbody's information.
     
  3. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    Is this also the case on Thameslink branded Cambridge to Kings Cross services? I've been trying to find confirmation of that for ages!
     
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The rear 1st class compartment is permanently declassified on class 700 operated services. All Thameslink services are operated by class 700s.
     
  5. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Reading back through this thread, it would appear that the only place TL have advertised this to the public before boarding is on their Twitter feed?

    Most passengers with a standard-class ticket won't get into a first-class compartment, so won't see any message that may (or may not!) be displayed on the PIS in a declassified first-class compartment.
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    That’s right. I wouldn't expect them to publicise it widely. The last thing they want is raising everyone’s expectation that they can travel in declassified 1st class.

    The reality is that at peak times the declassified 1st compartments are full anyway so further publicity isn’t required.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    GA refuse to answer.

    https://twitter.com/HowardTizz/status/1130985754577047554
     
  8. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I travelled on two GA services last week that had first class accommodation but were shown in the new timetable as being "standard class only". On one service I overhead the guard stating that although it is shown in the TT as being standard class only they have been "instructed" to charge an upgrade fee to any standard class ticket holder using that accommodation from this week. On the other service the guard told me that if the train in question is on a route where first class fares still exist (even though the train in question is advertised as being standard class only) they must again raise an upgrade fee.
     
  9. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Sounds like one to mystery shop then!
     
  10. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    What if someone with a standard class ticket accidentally goes into the wrong section?
     
  11. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Not all the locals. At lest 4 have first class. I guess they would be fast form Luton Airport Parkway at least .
     
  12. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I wonder if they would want to go to court over it? I suspect they would refund on the advise of thier lawyers.
     
  13. Silver Cobra

    Silver Cobra Member

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    Thameslink do advertise that first class is only at the front of class 700 services on the screens at stations. Following the information about the train length (the 'A Thameslink service formed of 'X' coaches' message), it then displays '1st class at the front'. The audio announcements also state that 'first class accomodation is at the front of the train' before the 'mind the gap' part of the announcement.
     
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Why would someone with a standard class ticket go into first class at all unless they knew they could?

    We can argue that it's perhaps unfair that some people aren't aware and are 'missing out' but I've been on plenty of trains where I've sat in standard even though the timetable has no advertised first class service.

    Many Hertford East trains, for example, where I can't be bothered to move to the right part of whatever turns up.
     
  15. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I guess only if they thought it was declassified when it was the other end that was actually declassified.
     
  16. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The screens and announcements on the platform say first class is at the front. If in doubt, or totally unaware, you'd not go in first at either end.
     
  17. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    Thing is, if an average non-expert traveller sees/hears that, then sees a train arrive with "1st class" written on a section at the back, he's likely to assume that the screen and announcement were incorrect rather than that the section has been declassified. If there is a desire to make sure everybody knows, the announcement should specify that the rear first class area has been declassified.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Does it really matter if not everyone is aware that a section is declassified?
     
  19. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Quite. If this were about one coach of a two coach train, I could understand people feeling there is some gross unfairness going on but it's two thirds of a coach out of more than seven, or more than 11 so hardly a major issue. At the vast majority of stations it will require some effort to get to the back of the train anyway, so most people won't bother even if they do know. And for those who are only going to use Thameslink services once or twice in their lives, does it matter?
     
  20. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Absolutely correct. Plus if it’s widely advertised everyone will end up trying to use it, potentially causing delays as they walk over 200m to the end of the train, only to be disappointed when only a handful of passengers can be accommodated.
     
  21. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    On the type of services being discussed here, probably not. However, I've travelled on Intercity-style services (EMT HSTs) where a first-class carriage was used in formation in place of a standard due to lack of properly maintained stock. In those cases, passengers holding first-class tickets won't get their complimentaries (snacks, drinks, probably wifi, even meals on certain services) while seated in a declassified section and have every reason to complain about the poor-to-nonexistent signage that was the case at the time.
     
  22. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Are they explicitly shown as "standard class only"? The PDF timetables that I looked at the other day only showed that some services explicitly had first class accommodation.
     
  23. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    A couple of years ago I posted an example of this happening and the response on the forum was, essentially, that there was nothing to moan about because they could have gone to the buffet and claimed the freebies!
     
  24. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    The arrangements for declassifying first-class are inconsistent and usually very poorly advertised. The problem with not making a policy clear is that it can then easily be misunderstood. For example, when someone who is used to travelling on Thameslink and has learnt that they are allowed to sit in the rear first class, then travels on a Southern or Southeastern service and sits in the rear first class mistakenly thinking that the same applies, and is caught and fined.

    At my local station, when boarding the one-a-day London train, it is often necessary to board through the first class and walk back to the standard, most of which is hanging back beyond the platform. On one occasion, as I was walking back, I passed one of the onboard crew. When I stopped her to say that I needed to buy a ticket as the machine on the platform was not working, she told me that I could sit in that first class coach as it was declassified. As there was nothing to say it was declassified, and no announcements were made, I had the coach nearly to myself for the whole trip to London (and no-one ever came to sell me a ticket!). Nice as it was to have a coach to myself, I did wonder what was the point of declassifying a whole coach and then not telling anyone about it!
     
  25. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    Thanks and that's true, 1st class at the front is always shown on the boards.

    I should think not! ;)
     
  26. Western Sunset

    Western Sunset Member

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    Travelled from St Pan to West Hampstead on Sat. Just me and one other in the "1st class" section at the rear. Many, many passengers boarded through the rear doors of the unit, but carried on walking to the standard seats beyond.
     
  27. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Perhaps they wanted to be nearer the exits at their destination stations.
     
  28. Western Sunset

    Western Sunset Member

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    Maybe, but a lot just sat down in the standard seats in the same coach.
     
  29. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    What's the problem? It isn't compulsory to sit in the declassified section.
     
  30. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    No but it's rather satisfying when you do. Or maybe it's just me that enjoys it.
     

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