"Virgin Trains Tickets Only Accepted"

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LNW-GW Joint

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Small rant here.
I was passing the First Class Lounge at Stoke on Trent today, and it had a rather tatty notice on the door saying:
"Entry only for holders of Virgin Trains First Class Tickets.
First class tickets of any other operator are, unfortunately, not accepted".


I am aware this is a device to prevent users of XC and LM advance tickets getting in.
But how is the general public supposed to know what a Virgin Trains ticket is?
If I have, for the sake of argument, an walk-up FOR for the following, do they let me in:
Euston (Any Permitted, but joining the LM service)
Birmingham New St (Any Permitted FDR, joining XC)
Bristol TM (Not via London, joining XC)
Manchester Stns (Any Permitted FDR, joining NT)

None of these say "Virgin" (or any other TOC) on the ticket.
The last 3 are, according to Avantix 11, set by Cross Country.
Can Virgin ban use of their lounges for such interavailable tickets?

A bit later, on the platforms, I noticed the XC and NT departures to Manchester had the message "Virgin Tickets Not Valid" scrolling around.
The same applied to the LM departure for Euston.
What nonsense is this? The TOCs are pretending interavailable tickets do not exist.
I think a great deception is being played out on the public's ignorance of the ticketing system.
I bet most of the public think a Virgin ticket is one they have bought from a Virgin station, or via VT's web site.
Does anybody agree?
 
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SprinterMan

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I agree completely, the fares system is very confusing at best, and its faults are highlighted by things like this.
Adam :D
 

calc7

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Does it actually say "Virgin tickets not valid"?

The announcements at Milton Keynes Central and London Euston say "Tickets marked 'Virgin Trains Only' are not valid on this service" (also substitute for 'London Midland') which is far more clear.
 

yorkie

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In the first scenario they mean a ticket that has validity on Virgin (so yes a ticket being used on another TOC is fine providing you could have used it on Virgin)

In the second scenario they mean a ticket that is routed Virgin Trns Only.

How is the general public to know that, I wonder....
 

Flying Snail

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Small rant here.
I was passing the First Class Lounge at Stoke on Trent today, and it had a rather tatty notice on the door saying:
"Entry only for holders of Virgin Trains First Class Tickets.
First class tickets of any other operator are, unfortunately, not accepted".


I am aware this is a device to prevent users of XC and LM advance tickets getting in.
But how is the general public supposed to know what a Virgin Trains ticket is?
If I have, for the sake of argument, an walk-up FOR for the following, do they let me in:
Euston (Any Permitted, but joining the LM service)
Birmingham New St (Any Permitted FDR, joining XC)
Bristol TM (Not via London, joining XC)
Manchester Stns (Any Permitted FDR, joining NT)

None of these say "Virgin" (or any other TOC) on the ticket.
The last 3 are, according to Avantix 11, set by Cross Country.
Can Virgin ban use of their lounges for such interavailable tickets?

A bit later, on the platforms, I noticed the XC and NT departures to Manchester had the message "Virgin Tickets Not Valid" scrolling around.
The same applied to the LM departure for Euston.
What nonsense is this? The TOCs are pretending interavailable tickets do not exist.
I think a great deception is being played out on the public's ignorance of the ticketing system.
I bet most of the public think a Virgin ticket is one they have bought from a Virgin station, or via VT's web site.
Does anybody agree?

On your first point, any 1st class ticket valid on VT services should permit access to the lounge. I agree that the note is misleading.

The messages on the information screens are there because cheaper TOC only tickets are popular and I would bet regularly used on operators they are not valid on. VT only CDR and SDR tickets Stoke-Manchester are around #4 cheaper than the any permitted fares.

Using "Virgin Trains Only tickets not valid" would be better wording for this.
 

BigVince76

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At Stoke you have to show your ticket to a camera and they let you in remotely. The person that lets you in is also the station announcer and I know from trial and error that some don't care and one is very strict about making sure your ticket is for a VT train. With an XC first ticket I wait until there is a train announced and if it 'her' then I head for pumpkin, if 'him' then free coffee and mouldy apples!
 

calc7

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Does anybody who has used Manchester Piccadilly recently get the impression that the camera is broken?

Instead of looking at the tickets (presumably), they ask you what time train you're getting or have arrived on.
 

calc7

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Yes...

At P3, which only sees the hourly NT stopper to Manchester, it scrolls around for 59 minutes and then moves on immediately to the next...

I would probably write a letter to Virgin Trains in that instance advising them that the screen at SOT (and perhaps those at other stations falling under the same screen control group) is confusing and misleading.
 

barrykas

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Does anybody who has used Manchester Piccadilly recently get the impression that the camera is broken?

Instead of looking at the tickets (presumably), they ask you what time train you're getting or have arrived on.

I suspect the reasoning for asking the time of your train at Piccadilly is because of the limited capacity in the lounge.
 

tannedfrog

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With an XC first ticket I wait until there is a train announced and if it 'her' then I head for pumpkin, if 'him' then free coffee and mouldy apples!
Watch out for RPIs! In some areas of the country you'd get a penalty fare for taking coffee you were not entitled to!
 

Wiggler

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11 Aug 2011
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I miss the days of buying a single first class from stoke stafford on a cold winter afternoon and getting a load of freebies from the lounge and a burger n beer on the crosscountry voyager... Best fiver ever lol

Sent from my SK17i using Tapatalk 2
 
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