VTEC mangled ad

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MarlowDonkey

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I recently received an email from VTEC advertising comparable times from London to Newcastle between air and rail. On the train, the times quoted seemed to ignore minimum connecting times at Kings Cross whilst using the recommended security times for Heathrow.

Looking at the small print, they had garbled it.

This is what it says

VTEC said:
Train gain
Travel to station out of rush hour is 8 mins (Piccadilly Circus Underground Station to London King's Cross station via tfl.gov.uk)
Hop on board is 5 mins (Newcastle Railway Station entrance to platforms)
Average train journey time is 171 mins (Newcastle Central Station to London King's Cross station) via virgintrainseastcoast.com)
Travel to city centre is 10 mins (Newcastle Central Station to Newcastle City Centre via Google Maps)
 
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najaB

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I recently received an email from VTEC advertising comparable times from London to Newcastle between air and rail. On the train, the times quoted seemed to ignore minimum connecting times at Kings Cross whilst using the recommended security times for Heathrow.
That's a bit sneaky, but not disingenuous as you *have* to leave time to clear security at the airport but you can make a connection in less than the minimum connection time at a train station (assuming the planets align correctly).
 

AlterEgo

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That's a bit sneaky, but not disingenuous as you *have* to leave time to clear security at the airport but you can make a connection in less than the minimum connection time at a train station (assuming the planets align correctly).

Depends which airport they mean. London City's conformance is 35 minutes. I've also been on the Edinburgh tram 9 minutes after touchdown.

It's a bit sneaky of them.
 

MarlowDonkey

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Depends which airport they mean.

This is what they say about the air option. It's a "recommended" time. If time rather than money was of the essence, wouldn't you go via Paddington and Heathrow Express?

Plane pain
Travel to airport out of rush hour is 50 mins (Piccadilly Underground Station to Heathrow Airport (T5) via tfl.gov.uk)
Airport checking in/security checks with 90 mins allowance time as recommended by Heathrow Airport (Heathrow Airport Check In Guide)
Flight journey time 80 mins (Heathrow Airport (T5) to Newcastle International Airport via BA.com, 07.10 flight from London, arrives 08.20)
Travel from Newcastle International Airport to Newcastle Central station is 30 mins (by Metro or bus via http://jplanner.travelinenortheast.info/nexus)
 

AlterEgo

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This is what they say about the air option. It's a "recommended" time. If time rather than money was of the essence, wouldn't you go via Paddington and Heathrow Express?

Plane pain
Travel to airport out of rush hour is 50 mins (Piccadilly Underground Station to Heathrow Airport (T5) via tfl.gov.uk)
Airport checking in/security checks with 90 mins allowance time as recommended by Heathrow Airport (Heathrow Airport Check In Guide)
Flight journey time 80 mins (Heathrow Airport (T5) to Newcastle International Airport via BA.com, 07.10 flight from London, arrives 08.20)
Travel from Newcastle International Airport to Newcastle Central station is 30 mins (by Metro or bus via http://jplanner.travelinenortheast.info/nexus)

Someone can't do their maths at VTEC if they think 0710 to 0820 is 80 minutes.
 

cuccir

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On the other hand, VTEC are underselling themselves by saying it's 10 minutes to 'Newcastle City Centre'. Presuming they mean the Monument then that's a pretty slow 10 minutes, and it's not like everyone's heading there: frankly, the station is in the city centre!
 

Butts

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Did they used to dish out this bull**** when they ran Little Red - before BA blew them out of the water (or Air as the case might be) :p
 

All Line Rover

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In an unusual display of innovation, Virgin Trains East Coast appears to have invented teleportation (or else altered the geography of London). According to an email I received, passengers only need to leave "0 mins to get to the city centre [of London, from Kings Cross station]". Now this is impressive, as I often struggle to get from Euston station to Gordon Street in under 10 minutes (usually because of the length of time it takes for the traffic lights on Euston Road to change to allow safe crossing as a pedestrian), let alone to Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus (note that the VTEC email is drawing a comparison with a tube journey from Heathrow to Piccadilly tube station - "into town" - not Kings Cross!).

Virgin Trains East Coast has also generously waived the expectation that passengers arrive at their departure station in good time for their train, for the company now condones leaving 5 minutes to get from Edinburgh city centre to being on one of their trains at Edinburgh Waverley when the wheels start rolling.
 

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All Line Rover

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I have attached a PDF of the email and the proposed "journey" is rather more interesting (not that the one highlighted by MarlowDonkey is that much better).
 

route:oxford

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Did they used to dish out this bull**** when they ran Little Red - before BA blew them out of the water (or Air as the case might be) :p

Or simply bought Aer Lingus who were the ones providing the planes and crew.

Bit awkward Virgin contracting IAG to fight IAG.
 

SaveECRewards

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Being economical with the truth is the Virgin way! When the Which survey rated VTWC third behind Hull Trains and Grand Central they said Virgin Trains was the highest rated franchised operators. I disagreed with the Which report but I didn't like the way Virgin spun it - most people don't know the difference between franchised and open access.
 

SaveECRewards

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Many believe it was Delta that forced VS to abandon Little Red as Delta wanted their new 49% investment to focus on profitable routes not some petty battle with BA. Even when Little Red was running Virgin Trains was happy to do anti-flying ads. When VS launched LHR-MAN VTWC ran a 'Fly Virgin Trains' campaign.
 

route:oxford

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I recently received an email from VTEC advertising comparable times from London to Newcastle between air and rail. On the train, the times quoted seemed to ignore minimum connecting times at Kings Cross whilst using the recommended security times for Heathrow.

Corporates always play games with timings. Both rail and air have their uses.

If I'm at a meeting in Edinburgh, a fairly frequent occurence, it's great to be able to leave the office, walk along to Waverley and grab the first fast Virign. Whereas with a flight I have to plan for a late running meeting with my timings - although at least now the tram gives far better security of transit time.

On the other hand, heading North, I can't leave the office in Oxford at 5pm and get to Edinburgh the same evening by train. By plane it's easy.

(I was more interested in the £60 return first class fares.)
 
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Darandio

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Being economical with the truth is the Virgin way! When the Which survey rated VTWC third behind Hull Trains and Grand Central they said Virgin Trains was the highest rated franchised operators. I disagreed with the Which report but I didn't like the way Virgin spun it - most people don't know the difference between franchised and open access.

Regardless of whether people know the difference or not, that isn't being economical with the truth.
 

SaveECRewards

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Regardless of whether people know the difference or not, that isn't being economical with the truth.

They used Virgin Trains in the collective (EC & WC) sense and on Twitter due to their character limits VTWC Tweeted:

"We've only gone and been rated as the best long distance operator in the country"

That is certainly misleading as the two above them were also long distance.

http://saveecrewards.co.uk/blog/does-which-survey-tell-us-much
 

Jonny

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On the other hand, VTEC are underselling themselves by saying it's 10 minutes to 'Newcastle City Centre'. Presuming they mean the Monument then that's a pretty slow 10 minutes, and it's not like everyone's heading there: frankly, the station is in the city centre!

I think they mean the other side of the city centre, or if you wait for the green man at every pedestrian crossing.

Then it does fall down slightly if you take into account that the TW Metro runs straight into Haymarket and Monument from the Airport... in that order. On the other hand, the only viable air service at present between Newcastle and London is into London Heathrow so that might hand an advantage to VTEC.
 

AlterEgo

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I think they mean the other side of the city centre, or if you wait for the green man at every pedestrian crossing.

Then it does fall down slightly if you take into account that the TW Metro runs straight into Haymarket and Monument from the Airport... in that order. On the other hand, the only viable air service at present between Newcastle and London is into London Heathrow so that might hand an advantage to VTEC.

It seems a rather pointless battle by Virgin. The domestic air market has shrunk considerably.

Most of the people on BA's LHR-NCL route will be connecting from elsewhere and not using it as a point to point service. 51.2% according to this article:

http://www.routesonline.com/news/29...ia-british-airways-domestic-transfer-traffic/

Bear in mind that will only pick up passengers travelling on a through air ticket. The overall percentage of connecting traffic will be a bit higher if passengers split their tickets (quite common).
 
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Tetchytyke

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On the other hand, VTEC are underselling themselves by saying it's 10 minutes to 'Newcastle City Centre'. Presuming they mean the Monument then that's a pretty slow 10 minutes, and it's not like everyone's heading there: frankly, the station is in the city centre!

Google Maps says it is ten minutes walking from Central Station to the Monument. It's probably about right, especially if you catch all the red lights walking up Grainger Street.

AlterEgo said:
It seems a rather pointless battle by Virgin. The domestic air market has shrunk considerably.

I'm not so sure. I spent a year in a long-distance relationship after moving back north from Hemel Hempstead, and I switched my custom from VTEC to BA because BA suddenly decided to compete on price. I know I wasn't alone, BA were often as cheap as VTEC standard class, and you got a better service.

Obviously BA have now decided to turn into a crappy version of EasyJet so it's probably a moot point now, but I think BA were attempting to muscle in on domestic travel to try and improve the financial performance of their domestic routes.
 

DarloRich

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I have noticed before on this board how many of you seem unable to understand the point of PR or interpret/identify what is an obvious PR puff piece.


Being economical with the truth is the Virgin way! When the Which survey rated VTWC third behind Hull Trains and Grand Central they said Virgin Trains was the highest rated franchised operators. I disagreed with the Which report but I didn't like the way Virgin spun it - most people don't know the difference between franchised and open access.

but it was a true statement. There is nothing economical there. They were the top rated franchised operator.
 

Deepgreen

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Unless I've missed it, no-one has mentioned the glaring issue - that the overall journey is broken down into oddly-ordered segments - why is the London Underground element immediately followed by the Newcastle station entrance part? Whether the times claimed are correct or not, the whole thing is needlessly confusing.
 

FordFocus

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Many believe it was Delta that forced VS to abandon Little Red as Delta wanted their new 49% investment to focus on profitable routes not some petty battle with BA. Even when Little Red was running Virgin Trains was happy to do anti-flying ads. When VS launched LHR-MAN VTWC ran a 'Fly Virgin Trains' campaign.

Little Red was set up as the slots were available from Heathrow after BA took over BMI. Obviously competition and monopoly issues were present so BA had to give up I think around 12 slots from LHR for UK domestic routes. easyJet were rumoured to be sniffing at them along with Aer Lingus prior to it's takeover by BA/IAG.

I think Virgin wanted the little red domestic network as a feeder for it's long haul flights. The idea was there but would never seriously compete domestically with BA, especially on routes like Manchester - LHR where the train beats air hands down on point to point routes.

Virgin could never really compete with BA as they had a huge hub with loads more destinations that you could connect to, especially after Virgin and Delta decided to concentrate on North America where there are plenty of airports in the north you can fly out of for it without having to touch Heathrow.
 

Butts

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Little Red was set up as the slots were available from Heathrow after BA took over BMI. Obviously competition and monopoly issues were present so BA had to give up I think around 12 slots from LHR for UK domestic routes. easyJet were rumoured to be sniffing at them along with Aer Lingus prior to it's takeover by BA/IAG.

I think Virgin wanted the little red domestic network as a feeder for it's long haul flights. The idea was there but would never seriously compete domestically with BA, especially on routes like Manchester - LHR where the train beats air hands down on point to point routes.

Virgin could never really compete with BA as they had a huge hub with loads more destinations that you could connect to, especially after Virgin and Delta decided to concentrate on North America where there are plenty of airports in the north you can fly out of for it without having to touch Heathrow.

What about Edinburgh and Aberdeen the train can't touch the plane on those routes. Of course little red didn't get Glasgow as part of the package either which cut out half the business/leisure traffic from Scotland.
 

FordFocus

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I'd say both of those destinations are very competitive so the load factor for Virgin would have been a struggle against the established players, especially the low cost airlines.

easyJet into Luton and Gatwick
BA into Heathrow and London City
Flybe into City
Ryanair into Stansted from Edinburgh
 

Butts

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I'd say both of those destinations are very competitive so the load factor for Virgin would have been a struggle against the established players, especially the low cost airlines.

easyJet into Luton and Gatwick
BA into Heathrow and London City
Flybe into City
Ryanair into Stansted from Edinburgh

But they were not a start up they effectively took over British Midland existing services and routes. Did they offer free catering like BA ?
 

gimmea50anyday

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Being economical with the truth is the Virgin way! When the Which survey rated VTWC third behind Hull Trains and Grand Central they said Virgin Trains was the highest rated franchised operators. I disagreed with the Which report but I didn't like the way Virgin spun it - most people don't know the difference between franchised and open access.


Not exactly untrue as VTEC is indeed a franchise whereas HT and GC are both open access operators. Most people quite rightly as you say cant (or wont) tell the difference between trains, even when they are blatantly painted in different colours!
 
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