Why has Avanti West Coast got rid of the seat selector?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by VT 390, 8 Dec 2019.

  1. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Does anyone know why Avanti west coast has got rid of the seat selector when booking tickets as they are giving reservations but won't let you change the seat?
     
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  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    At least they haven't gone for the awful booking site Trenitalia have on c2c.

    Trainsplit and Trainscanbecheaper have a seat selector, so really no need to use Avanti at all to book tickets.
     
  4. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Where on those sites is the seat selector as I can not see it?

    Edit: Found it now
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2019
  5. westv

    westv Established Member

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    How do you get to the trainsplit seat selector?
     
  6. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    There's time yet, neither First or Trenitalia use Trainline so I would expect a Worldline or Pico4UK site sometime soon
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Click "Choose my seat" next to the seat you have initially been allocated.

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Ah, I see. Many thanks.
     
  9. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Who are Trainscanbecheaper, Raileasy and Trainsplit? are they like trainline? Do they charge a booking or credit/debit card fee? Have other forum users used any of these sites? They seem to be one company, as the pictures on their pages all seem to be around York Railway Station.
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Trainscanbecheaper is a website that is the same as Trainsplit but only offering through fares.

    Trainsplit.com is a partnership between Raileasy and Trainsplit, retailing rail fares that may consist of more than one ticket where it is either necessary to do so, or cheaper to do so.

    You met creators Nick and Mike, both forum members, in 2013 at a restaurant called Mediterraneo near King's cross.
    I'm not sure what attributes you associate with Trainline but they are third party retailers.
    No.

    Trainsplit.com charges a share of saving fee, based on 10% of any saving, if a cheaper combination of fares is found.
    Yes, and it goes beyond that: it was founded by forum members and they take a lot of feedback on board from forum members.
    Raileasy and Trainsplit are two separate companies working in partnership.
     
  11. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Certainly I will be using the Trainscanbecheaper website when booking Avanti WC services as there is only a few decent seats I like on those Pendos and the automatic seat selector will probably ignore preferences and put you where it wants
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed, TCBC/Trainsplit have just ensured my custom, and Avanti have just ensured I won't even bother signing up an account.

    Not a great start to remove a well-liked feature on day one, is it?
     
  13. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Many thanks for this comprehensive reply, very helpful. (Amazing that meal you mentioned was back in 2013.) :D All the best.
     
  14. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    The GWR one sticks you in one of the IET windowless seats even when the rest of the carriage is empty.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That isn't so much conspiracy as that they just start from one end, don't they? Many TOCs do that, cramming people up in double seats on services that carry one man and his dog and bicycle.

    Selectors make a slightly inefficient use of seating over allocation (as you can stack short reservations up without one) so I can see the downsides for the TOC. However, this could be resolved by way of a small fee for selection (say £2) which is enough to deter people for whom it is not important from doing it anyway, while still providing the service for those who really want it. It's also part-resolved by the way VTWC had it that you get to the end of the booking and click "I'm not happy with that seat" to change it rather than being offered it up front.
     
  16. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Good to see the website up and running and a page where you can see the actual seat on a plan (just like Virgin had) but very disappointed that although you can ask for a type of seat, you can't change the one allocated.
     
  17. Phil from Mon

    Phil from Mon Member

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    Just took a quick scan through their Twitter feed. Apart from a few gripes about late running the vast majority of complaints are about the removal of the seat selection facility. These are apparently being fed back to management, so hopefully it will reappear.
     
  18. chrish2

    chrish2 Member

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    The tone of messaging from Twitter seems to have changed

    https://twitter.com/AvantiWestCoast/status/1204317366965932034

    Suspect when they tendered for booking engine they overlooked the importance of seat selection for long distance services. If it's not already been developed on the engine they are using then a hefty development cost is now been considered.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10 Dec 2019
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    They are getting a lot of complaints through Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/markjennion/status/1204386785196957696
    https://twitter.com/tandleman/status/1204385707323772928
    https://twitter.com/SarahBunty/status/1204385149409996800
    https://twitter.com/stowtom2010/status/1204388571588808705
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I bet Trainsplit is going to make a packet out of this debacle :D

    (And Avanti lose, as of course if you're using Trainsplit you might well split!)
     
  21. Laurencew

    Laurencew Member

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    Thanks for the helpful suggestions to use trainscanbecheaper or trainsplit. One snag is that these two sites only have booking horizons to the 10th March whereas Avanti have advance fares posted until the 8th May (weekdays).
    Luckily the Avanti website's non-selector gave me exactly the seats I wanted for late March (table seats in the shop coach in a Voyager).
    I suspect their Twitter team are going to be inundated with requests to change seats and they will soon see the error of their ways.
     
  22. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I know that the Trenitalia Pico4UK system that was offered to us included a seat selector. So changes may be just around the corner.
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Yep, more and more people may realise that at peak times Avanti are charging far more for journeys like London to Birmingham, Manchester, etc than the sum of the intermediate fares!

    I expect they will hastily introduce a seat selector, but even then it could take a few weeks!
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Although as I notice on my work's discount website the 20% discount for advance tickets has rolled forward to Avanti puts me in a pickle. Risk a rubbish seat for the 20% discount or the ability to select a decent seat [I prefer the ones where you can use the window sill as an armrest, where the seat opposite has a view of plastic]
     
  25. Intermodal

    Intermodal Member

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    Use the 20% discount and sit in another seat. Simples!
     
  26. BH256

    BH256 New Member

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    I've just received this reply from Mark Wilkins at Avanti re Seat Selector:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Dec 2019
  27. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    But perhaps not without checking to see if Trainsplit can find a cheaper fare first; the difference between the price charged by Trainsplit and Avanti can be staggering, especially at peak times for longer distance journeys, such as Manchester to London, and could easily exceed 20%.

    I think passengers will see an increase in unoccupied yet reserved seats, as anyone who books through Avanti and ends up with a sub-optimal seat is likely to go looking for a better seat. This can cause issues because people don't know if the person who reserved the seat is going to turn up or not.
     
  28. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Works if you are boarding at the start point where you can choose a decent seat in coach C (or U), but if boarding a Manchester - Euston service at Crewe or Stoke and all the decent unreserved seats are taken.
     
  29. MalaiseForever

    MalaiseForever Member

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    I’ve got a 100% record of A45/46 upon boarding at Crewe - long may it continue!
     
  30. nedchester

    nedchester Member

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    Just purchased a ticket through Avanti for tomorrow. Offered an e-ticket and it was downloaded as an m-ticket. I'm not overly bothered like some on here but thought I'd mention that in case.

    Pleased to buy to get the 500 extra Nectar points.
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's the same as LNR, you get an email containing a proper e-ticket as a PDF but the app shows it as if it were an m-ticket. Travelling on one now.
     

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