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National rail ripoffs

Fairmont Hot Springs
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National rail ripoffs

We recently went to England and made the mistake of using National rail service between London Liverpool Street and Norwich.

We paid for first class seats expecting some extras.However the only extra is free wifi.So we paid an extra 100 pounds extra for each of us for nothing.The ticket agent never told us that there was no difference and that nothing was included .No beverages or snacks are included.

So whoever has to travel by rail save your money and travel normal class and don't get ripped off by British National Rail.

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Bingley, United...
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1. Re: National rail ripoffs

You also got a quieter compartment with less seats in it. To some people that alone is worth the extra.

Personally I wouldn't go 1st Class unless someone else was paying for it or it provided something I needed that I wouldn't be able to have otherwise - but then I'd have had to find out what 1st Class offered.

I'd also point out that on that route 1st Class can be as little as £7 more than the equivalent 2nd Class fare - £18 instead of £11 - and because of the way seats are sold it's possible to pay less for the 1st Class journey than the 2nd Class journey (like airlines it's fare classes)

So who did you book through and how much in advance did you book as booking in advance with a UK based train company would get you those sorts of fares.

Edited: 16 November 2011, 13:51
Scotland, United...
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2. Re: National rail ripoffs

You would have been saved from sharing a cabin with common riffraff like me and had a bit more room.

Its possible to get first class seats relatively cheaply if you do a little research beforehand. How much did your ticket cost you and who did you buy it through?

London
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3. Re: National rail ripoffs

IMO first class is rarely worth it for train journeys in the UK, and many trains don't even have it (and yes, you can be sold a first class ticket on a route where there are no trains with first class!).

However, some train operating companies (not all) do price first class advance-purchase fares competitively and these can represent good value. Some (not all) do offer free food and drink during the journey, and often free WiFi too. Also, most (again, not all) train companies will allow an upgrade to travel in first class accommodation on Saturdays and Sundays, for a small supplement.

I know this is little consolation, having already made the journey, that the contract for London Liverpool Street - Norwich route is transferring to a new operator - Abellio - next Spring, and one of the promises made by the new company is that free food and drink will become available in first class.

Ultimately, I think your beef is not with National Rail or the train company, but with your agent who lacked awareness of the first class offering on this particular route.

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4. Re: National rail ripoffs

National Rail Rip Off? Or, Canadian Ticketing Agent Rip Off?

I know who my money would be on!

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: National rail ripoffs

I wonder if "raileurope" will raise it's ugly head?

England, United...
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6. Re: National rail ripoffs

I can understand your annoyance. Especially as ticket arrangements can be confusing at the best of times. However, a bit of clarification is required.

National Rail is actually made up of a lot of different companies. The companies that run the trains (as opposed to the track) are Train Operating Companies (TOC). Each TOC provides different services in their first class carriages. For example Virgin Trains and East Coast, who run the main West Coast and East Coast lines both provide free light meals/snacks and refreshments. In addition the seats are wider and more spacious.

The TOC that runs the trains to Norwich is National Express East Anglia. Interestingly, if you look at their website about food it says "We have a great selection of hot and cold food and drink available at our on board buffet bars to make your train journey even more enjoyable. For our First Class travellers." And there it ends, so even the website doesn't make clear what you should get as a 1st class customer!

If purchasing tickets in advance there are often very good prices for 1st class travel around the country. Looking at early Feb (the period 'Advance' tickets can currently be bought to), tickets from London to Norwich are just £8.00 Standard class and £12.00 1st Class. Fares from London to Edinburgh are £14.50 Standard and £53.00 1st class. Given the length of that journey and the extras you get, I would personally pay the extra £38.50.

Tickets bought on the day are usually the most expensive, especially for 1st class for which 'off peak' tickets are not available, only 'Advance' (must be purchased by 18.00 the day before) or 'Anytime'.

So if we wanted to be totally correct the title of this post should '1st Class Anytime tickets on National Rail East Anglia are a rip off'.

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National Express
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7. Re: National rail ripoffs

I can't say I am a fan of National Express East Anglia. Their trains are tired and they don't have the best reliability figures.

However - in this context - in what way were you ripped off?

They don't advertise free food or drinks. It seems unfair to criticise them for not providing something that they don't ever claim to offer.

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National Express
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Londinium born and...
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8. Re: National rail ripoffs

For £200' extra in top of whatever the 2nd class fare was, you could have been driven there by car!

My 81 year old dad gets the coach. Usually about a fiver, takes about -3 hours and he gets his drinks and snacks cheap at Victoria station to take with him. Rail isn't the only option and if the cost seems too much, go by coach instead.

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Victoria Station
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9. Re: National rail ripoffs

<< So if we wanted to be totally correct the title of this post should '1st Class Anytime tickets on National Rail East Anglia are a rip off'. >>

To be correct - '1st Class Anytime tickets on National Rail East Anglia bought on the day for travel off-peak are a rip off'

Assuming of course OP bought through a UK train company and not a foreign agency

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Dunfermline, United...
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10. Re: National rail ripoffs

Alanrow, you beat me to it. This smells of RailEurope or BritRail. Hope fully the OP will be able to clarify which agent they booked with. The extra has probably been taken in 'booking fees' so their beef is with the agent, not National Rail.

Travelmedia - Did you bother to go to National Rail's own site to book the tickets? Did you ask questions on this forum about train tickets? Did you ask the booking agent what you were getting for your extra £100? I think I would have

Edited: 16 November 2011, 14:44
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