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

Kite159

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How long before some Train Managers start to enforce the "you must sit in your reserved seat" condition when you get a passenger such as those above who get given a seat they don't want.

I can see coach C (and U) becoming even more popular with passengers ditching their reservation for a free pick, i.e. those wanting a table seat but got given an airline seat.
 
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Bungle965

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How long before some Train Managers start to enforce the "you must sit in your reserved seat" condition when you get a passenger such as those above who get given a seat they don't want.

I can see coach C (and U) becoming even more popular with passengers ditching their reservation for a free pick, i.e. those wanting a table seat but got given an airline seat.
Allot already don't bother with their reserved seats.
Sam
 

airbusA346

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I've just come to book my first ticket with Avanti since the changeover from Virgin. As a disabled traveller it makes my life harder that I can't chose my own seat. In the past I always tried to book in coach K or J at a push. Also meant I knew exactly where to stand on the platform for when the train arrived.
 

ainsworth74

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I've just come to book my first ticket with Avanti since the changeover from Virgin. As a disabled traveller it makes my life harder that I can't chose my own seat. In the past I always tried to book in coach K or J at a push. Also meant I knew exactly where to stand on the platform for when the train arrived.
I'd suggest using www.trainsplit.com who do have a seat selector so you can still choose your own seat even though Avanti have removed this functionality.
 

airbusA346

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I'd suggest using www.trainsplit.com who do have a seat selector so you can still choose your own seat even though Avanti have removed this functionality.
Thanks.

I've managed to get the seat changed with Avanti via Facebook Messenger. They don't amend the physical seat reservation on the ticket though (so it still shows the original seat reservation). The bloke at Avanti has just sent me a screenshot of the seat booking and told me to use the new seat instead of the original one. Could be interesting when booking the return journey which I only do when I'm back at the station (after finding out the expensive way, not to book a return ticket when attending hospital appointments). He said advanced tickets automatically chose a seat for me, but open tickets will require me to chose a seat, but he couldn't tell me time wise when the ticket type changes.
 

Hadders

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Avanti clearly have an issue. Seating preferences are ignored if you book through them. I've done a number of dummy bookings using the 11:03 service from Euston to Birmingham New Street on Wednesday 18th March. In each case I requested a forward facing window seat in the quiet coach.

Trainsplit allows me to select a suitable seat. I can see that there are 42 seats available out of in Coach A which is the quiet coach on the service. There are plenty of suitable seats that match my preferences.

- Transpennine Express website allocates me Coach A seat A25 which meets my preferences
- Chiltern's website allocates Coach A seat 04
- Greater Anglia gives me Coach A seat 25

Avanti's website gives me Coach F Seat 71, ignoring completely ignoring all of my preferences.

For completeness Thameslink's website allocated Coach F seat 72 and LNER inexplicably won't even allow you to search for a journey on 18th March saying that it is too far ahead!
 

VT 390

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Interesting that Chiltern allocated a seat number, I thought that now they just allocated a timed train if you have a special discounted ticket, but with no seat number.
I think that is just if you are travelling with Chiltern not if you book through their website for another operators service.
 

Hadders

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I think that is just if you are travelling with Chiltern not if you book through their website for another operators service.
That's right. Chiltern's own trains do not have seat reservations. They operate counted place reservations to allow them to offer Advance fares on their trains.

If you book a journey on a service that offers proper seat reservations through Chiltern's website then you will get a seat reservation.
 

Adam Williams

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For those of you using Trainsplit's seat selector, since Sunday there is now functionality to tell you about Avanti Voyager & Pendolino seats which:
  • Have a poor view
  • Have a power socket available
  • Are marked as priority seats
I know this functionality was requested from some folks via social media.
 
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I had this response this morning on FB to my enquiry about the seat selector

"We're looking to reinstate the seat picker in the near future "

I imagine who made that decision to get rid of it has had some explaining to do
 

trainophile

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Stuck here :(
I couldn't understand how Trainsplit has access to the seat selector, and the functionality to change your allocated seats, while Avanti, whose trains they actually are, seemed unable to provide this. Some software programming glitch at their end I expect.
 

Adam Williams

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I couldn't understand how Trainsplit has access to the seat selector, and the functionality to change your allocated seats, while Avanti, whose trains they actually are, seemed unable to provide this. Some software programming glitch at their end I expect.
TrainSplit have invested in having their own seat selector application built.

Whilst the old VTWC solution and TrainSplit's seat selector would both talk to NRS (the National Reservation System) at the lowest level to e.g. actually update the reserved seats, there's still a substantial amount of effort in building the frontend and systems that sit above this. For whatever reason, I guess Avanti didn't license the original Virgin seat selector and haven't commissioned their own system either.
 

Bletchleyite

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An advantage for me of it being missing is that Coach A seat 45 (extra legroom) is back to being easily available for walk up use :). Indeed I'm sat there right now.

Does any site do preferences in a way that works? I booked a journey with a non Avanti site (forget which) last week and they appear to have been ignored entirely.

(Edit: I specifically wanted[1] an Advance out and an Off Peak Single Online back - it was a bit hard to see on Trainsplit if I was getting that, and you can't set it to do Advance out and flexible back, so I used another site to get that).

[1] Unusual for me, but the Advance was very, very cheap due to the train being near-empty - MKC to Lancaster for under 20 quid - and was the only practical train to take for what I intended to do anyway.
 
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Skie

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Virgins very old one is much better if you need to see priority seats/view information: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/11747649/seating-plan-virgin-trains
The Avanti pdf is the updated (made-worse) one Virgin started using a few years ago, and it looks like they've done nothing to fix the issues with it.

Also dont expect the interim process to be much use. They slapped a large group who'd specified tables into limited view airline seats and then were unable to fix it themselves with their own tools, a colleague had to use the trainsplit seat selector to list the free tables for them!

Should also ironically say that had this not been a group, he could have just booked tables using the Evolvi system which lets you specify coach/seat numbers.
 
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mancunian lady

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Train split has worked very well for me, allowing me to select specific seats, but I see that they've now introduced a £1 booking charge, whereas the tickets I booked with them a fortnight ago incurred no booking charge. Perhaps they've had so much extra custom with the Avanti lost seat selection facility, that they're now trying to cash in on it.
 

Adam Williams

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Train split has worked very well for me, allowing me to select specific seats, but I see that they've now introduced a £1 booking charge, whereas the tickets I booked with them a fortnight ago incurred no booking charge. Perhaps they've had so much extra custom with the Avanti lost seat selection facility, that they're now trying to cash in on it.
No?
Screenshot_20200113-172310~2.png

Screenshot of checkout page showing booking fee of "£FREE"

This is on trainsplit.com - not an affiliate site.
 
Last edited:

mancunian lady

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No?
View attachment 72685

Screenshot of checkout page showing booking fee of "£FREE"

This is on trainsplit.com - not an affiliate site.
Yes - you're right, Blechleyite and Adam Williams. Have just gone to the website you identified and booked, selected a specific seat and was charged no booking fee! Many thanks. I don't know where I ended up earlier, but it specifically said, 'You will be charged £1 booking fee' - most peculiar, because it looked just the same as the site you directed me to. Anyway, thanks again for clarifying. That's a relief.
 

jfollows

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An advantage for me of it being missing is that Coach A seat 45 (extra legroom) is back to being easily available for walk up use :). Indeed I'm sat there right now.

Does any site do preferences in a way that works? I booked a journey with a non Avanti site (forget which) last week and they appear to have been ignored entirely.

(Edit: I specifically wanted[1] an Advance out and an Off Peak Single Online back - it was a bit hard to see on Trainsplit if I was getting that, and you can't set it to do Advance out and flexible back, so I used another site to get that).

[1] Unusual for me, but the Advance was very, very cheap due to the train being near-empty - MKC to Lancaster for under 20 quid - and was the only practical train to take for what I intended to do anyway.
Per my earlier posts #52 and #66, I likewise wanted to book an advance ticket to London and and off-peak single back, but I ended up only able to book advance tickets in both directions. For this trip, it didn't matter. For future trips it will. The seat "preferences" gave silly seat bookings but I was able to amend them to specific seats which were honoured when I travelled; fortunately on a Sunday because both the 12:37 and (the one I chose) 13:37 departures from Euston have been busy in First Class when I've used them.
 

petter2

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Transplit doesn't show the 1857 Euston-Manchester on the 21st of February, why is that? Even when I force only trains via Crewe with no changes it dosn't come up
 

yorkie

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Transplit doesn't show the 1857 Euston-Manchester on the 21st of February, why is that? Even when I force only trains via Crewe with no changes it dosn't come up
It works if you specify avoid: SOT

I think there might be a bug here, as via: Crewe should work, so I will bring this to their attention :)
 

route101

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How long before some Train Managers start to enforce the "you must sit in your reserved seat" condition when you get a passenger such as those above who get given a seat they don't want.

I can see coach C (and U) becoming even more popular with passengers ditching their reservation for a free pick, i.e. those wanting a table seat but got given an airline seat.
Seen it at Euston people making a beeline for tables in U. Some people of course dont care where they sit.
 

SteveM70

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Another issue with Avanti reservations (apologies if it’s been mentioned before)......their website has the option to reserve a bike space when making a booking, which is pretty straightforward you’d think. But if the journey involves a leg where bike reservations can’t be made, it removes the option to make them for the leg where they’re mandatory.

And according to their phone support people the only option is to buy a ticket and then ring and see if there’s a bike space available......but if there aren’t and it’s an advance ticket then no dice and no refund.

Madness
 

yorkie

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Another issue with Avanti reservations (apologies if it’s been mentioned before)......their website has the option to reserve a bike space when making a booking, which is pretty straightforward you’d think. But if the journey involves a leg where bike reservations can’t be made, it removes the option to make them for the leg where they’re mandatory.

And according to their phone support people the only option is to buy a ticket and then ring and see if there’s a bike space available......but if there aren’t and it’s an advance ticket then no dice and no refund.

Madness
The Advance FAQs state:
Q: What happens if a customer travelling with a bicycle has purchased an Advance
ticket for a train on which cycles are permitted but cycle reservations are not
possible and there is no room for the cycle on the booked train for the Advance
ticket?

A: The customer is allowed to travel with the Advance ticket on the next train on which
there is cycle space available. Or, if they choose to abandon their journey, the ticket is
endorsed and they are exceptionally allowed a refund.
Under the spirit of the rules, then given the situation described, I'd say a refund without admin fee should be made in these specific circumstances.
 

SteveM70

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The Advance FAQs state:

Under the spirit of the rules, then given the situation described, I'd say a refund without admin fee should be made in these specific circumstances.
Interesting, and thanks for that, but they were very clear on the phone that they wouldn’t refund. I’ll raise a complaint and see what happens. It’ll be cathartic if nothing else :D
 

williamn

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Any idea why Trainspit isn't showing the best fares for 26 March? Avanti has advance fares for £25 from London to Manchester but I can't get Trainsplit to show them.
 

IrishDave

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It works if you specify avoid: SOT

I think there might be a bug here, as via: Crewe should work, so I will bring this to their attention :)
The 1857 from Euston stops at Crewe to set down only - could that be why "via Crewe" isn't working? Should it work in such circumstances?
 

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