Sunday 1 August 2021

Strained trained drained

Pricey and ordinary still

After a week in London, I was ready to return home with regrets I had not booked an earlier train back home. Arriving just an hour before my train at the station, I cooled off in the lounge which had taken on a rather exclusive veneer.

The lounge is usually quite busy on Sundays, but it was quite vacant, probably since Avanti West Coast has gone for price exclusivity over market share. Now, we get shown to our seats, and refreshments are served a la carte.

Reserved then unserved

When my train was ready to board, there was already someone in my seat, his ticket did indicate the seat number, but the idea that a seat could be double-booked did not seem that right. So, I asked if it was booked on the 16:12 train. He had a seat reserved alright, but on a different train, he had to vacate my seat and that was just lucky.

A few minutes before the train departed, the train manager unilaterally declared the tarin declassified with all seat reservations invalidated. Those with 1st Class tickets were to be compensated, but that was not the service paid for. Some ladies who were just asked to move to another carriage I advised to stay as per the notice we just heard.

Reasons most unreasoned

Engaging Avanti West Coast on Twitter, the responder suggested train declassification is usually a last resort for health and safety reasons. I begged to differ as the reason given was because trains were being cancelled and there were engineering works meaning another hour would be added to a typical London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly journey. The reason was commercial and logistical, not remotely anything to do with health or safety.

Then again, we should be used to the so-called compensation default in lieu of the services and goods paid for, it is the reality of rip-off Britain and annoying at that. I can afford the service I paid for in the first instance, I do not need pennies of compensation thrown at me to account for the inability of a setup to act professionally or aim at a modicum of excellence. They seek to get away with anything and you are to make do with the inconvenience and a handout.

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