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

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Bletchleyite

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I hope we don't travel at the same time as they are the seats I go for. More leg room & nobody walking past all the time (except perhaps the guard or a cleaner)
The window one of that pair is mine :)

Handy luggage space opposite behind the "reserved cyclist" rows, too.

What on earth they were doing putting a priority seat pair at the opposite end to the door I have no idea, though. Perhaps they planned on assistance boarding through the staff area?
 
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The window one of that pair is mine :)

Handy luggage space opposite behind the "reserved cyclist" rows, too.

What on earth they were doing putting a priority seat pair at the opposite end to the door I have no idea, though. Perhaps they planned on assistance boarding through the staff area?
They really are the best standard seats on a Pendo. The only comfy seats when you're 6"4 and 19 stone.
 

jfollows

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Really poor idea from the new operator, I agree. Taking away something that most people will have become accustomed to and have started to take for granted will drive a lot of adverse comments about how "wonderful" Virgin Trains was, which will mainly be nonsense but it's the perception of the customer that matters rather than the reality.
I really like C1 but that's not reservable anyway .... good view and no neighbour, and I'm quite happy going backwards, just have to get on the train first at Euston (not too hard)!
90% of the time I travel I don't sit in my reserved seat anyway, never had a problem as long as it wasn't showing as reserved by someone else.
 

Kite159

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Really poor idea from the new operator, I agree. Taking away something that most people will have become accustomed to and have started to take for granted will drive a lot of adverse comments about how "wonderful" Virgin Trains was, which will mainly be nonsense but it's the perception of the customer that matters rather than the reality.
I really like C1 but that's not reservable anyway .... good view and no neighbour, and I'm quite happy going backwards, just have to get on the train first at Euston (not too hard)!
90% of the time I travel I don't sit in my reserved seat anyway, never had a problem as long as it wasn't showing as reserved by someone else.
Brings back memories of the days when C1 & C2 were reservable and were some of the prime seats for standard class.
 

brendan999

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My experience:
tried to book Man Picc to Eus for 0955 on 6jan20
tried to book quiet coach it booked me nto B53 (I always chose A42 or A38)
Now you have to then call their "help line" in India to change the seat si Now I have to go to the ticket machine to get my seat reservation in A38

OH MY GOD IT IS USELESS

I travel every week - so I will have to do this 200 time per year give or take.

Progress - thank you Chris Grayling
 

yorkie

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My experience:
tried to book Man Picc to Eus for 0955 on 6jan20
tried to book quiet coach it booked me nto B53 (I always chose A42 or A38)
Now you have to then call their "help line" in India to change the seat si Now I have to go to the ticket machine to get my seat reservation in A38

OH MY GOD IT IS USELESS

I travel every week - so I will have to do this 200 time per year give or take.

Progress - thank you Chris Grayling
The Avanti site won't allow this, but there is no problem doing this on the Trainsplit site (see attached)
 

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yorkie

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then there is a hassle getting a refund?
If you already booked with Avanti, it will probably be less hassle to not get a refund, and call them and ask if they can change the seat for you.

I don't know what Avanti's policy on refunds on this area is, but Trainsplit will give you a refund if you make the request online within 2 hours of booking (providing it is either an e-ticket or an uncollected paper ticket); Avanti may have a similar policy.

As @Hadders says, it may be best to use Trainsplit for future Avanti bookings to benefit from their seat selector (as well as cheaper prices in some cases where it can be cheaper to buy a combination of tickets rather than one through ticket)
 

brendan999

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If you already booked with Avanti, it will probably be less hassle to not get a refund, and call them and ask if they can change the seat for you.

I don't know what Avanti's policy on refunds on this area is, but Trainsplit will give you a refund if you make the request online within 2 hours of booking (providing it is either an e-ticket or an uncollected paper ticket); Avanti may have a similar policy.
ok - but will the coffee improve from the Virgin gloop?
 

Dbarclay81

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My experience:
tried to book Man Picc to Eus for 0955 on 6jan20
tried to book quiet coach it booked me nto B53 (I always chose A42 or A38)
Now you have to then call their "help line" in India to change the seat si Now I have to go to the ticket machine to get my seat reservation in A38

OH MY GOD IT IS USELESS

I travel every week - so I will have to do this 200 time per year give or take.

Progress - thank you Chris Grayling
Can also change seats over Twitter - still not ideal but easier than an Indian call centre. Only strange thing is they said my online account won’t be updated, and the printed tickets will show original seat reservation but my surname will be displayed on screen above new seat. Has this changed from Virgin days? They did send a screenshot from their system showing the new seats. Not travelling until May so may check with them again in the future
 

DaveB10780

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Can also change seats over Twitter - still not ideal but easier than an Indian call centre. Only strange thing is they said my online account won’t be updated, and the printed tickets will show original seat reservation but my surname will be displayed on screen above new seat. Has this changed from Virgin days? They did send a screenshot from their system showing the new seats. Not travelling until May so may check with them again in the future
Most definitely not ideal. Unless you can see what is available then it is a guessing game. I have done this with the call centre before and it is mental torture. Twitter maybe easier but unless you have proper proof of the seat it could be challenging when not boarding at the start e.g. Stockport.
 

jfollows

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The Avanti site won't allow this, but there is no problem doing this on the Trainsplit site (see attached)
Thank you for this pointer. I booked a trip in January and it worked perfectly, allowed me to select my seats and I ended up with an e-ticket, which is fine.
I previously used the Virgin Trains site, because of the automatic repayment in case of delay. But I've never been delayed enough to need this in the past.
In the up direction I just like H1 & H3 when there's two of us travelling, as in this case. No shortage of space, including behind the seat, and a good window view for me because I don't mind travelling backwards at all. It used to be a "quiet" coach also.
 
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island

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My experience:
tried to book Man Picc to Eus for 0955 on 6jan20
tried to book quiet coach it booked me nto B53 (I always chose A42 or A38)
Now you have to then call their "help line" in India to change the seat si Now I have to go to the ticket machine to get my seat reservation in A38

OH MY GOD IT IS USELESS

I travel every week - so I will have to do this 200 time per year give or take.

Progress - thank you Chris Grayling
You can, of course, book your ticket and desired seat in person at your local staffed station.
 

eandj

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I've booked two seats from Stafford to London 16 Feb via trainsplit. I was given two random seats in different carriages and can't find the option to change seats on the confirmation page. It just says: "Ticket used: Stafford to London Euston . You have reserved seats in coach K: 12 (individual, table). and coach J: 14 (individual, table). " All I asked for was table seats! I rang the helpline and was told to email the admin team. Why on earth is the seat selector not available on any of the sites??
 
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Fawkes Cat

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I've booked two seats from Stafford to London 16 Feb via trainsplit. I was given two random seats in different carriages and can't find the option to change seats on the confirmation page. It just says: "Ticket used: Stafford to London Euston . You have reserved seats in coach K: 12 (individual, table). and coach J: 14 (individual, table). " All I asked for was table seats! I rang the helpline and was told to email the admin team. Why on earth is the seat selector not available on any of the sites??
I've just tried reconstructing this, and I find that on the screen that first tells you what your seat reservations are, then on the same line as the seat numbers there is a link in blue 'Choose My Seat'. Clicking on that seems to let you choose (although I haven't followed the process any further than this). So maybe trainsplit needs you to make a decision earlier than the Virgin site used to require?
 

jfollows

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I've just tried reconstructing this, and I find that on the screen that first tells you what your seat reservations are, then on the same line as the seat numbers there is a link in blue 'Choose My Seat'. Clicking on that seems to let you choose (although I haven't followed the process any further than this). So maybe trainsplit needs you to make a decision earlier than the Virgin site used to require?
That's exactly what I did yesterday (to be clear, I followed the link in blue and chose my seats); the initial seat allocation was especially bonkers (as in a booking for two people in different parts of the same carriage, but perhaps that was because it was initially trying to implement my "preferences" for window seats for each of us or something like that?) but it was easy to select a suitable and sensible replacement pair of seats.
 

eandj

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Thanks for your help guys. Sadly, in the confirmation email the "Choose my seat" isn't available and I can't think if it was there before I completed the booking. Probably my fault. Just hope I get a response from my email.
 

Vespa

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I recently made a booking and noticed there's no seat selector unlike Virgin Train, I've been allocated seats without any say in it instead of my preferred seats.

I have emailed customer services about this.
 

Hadders

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I recently made a booking and noticed there's no seat selector unlike Virgin Train, I've been allocated seats without any say in it instead of my preferred seats.

I have emailed customer services about this.
First have probably tried to do things on the cheap and got rid of the seat selector (for example they don’t have one on their GWR booking site). There have been many complaints about this although they have said on Twitter that they currently have no plans to reintroduce it.

Thankfully if you book using Trainsplit they do have a seat selector.
 
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