ukclique > railway

Recliner (20.09.2017, 13:43)
From:


Rail passengers unhappy at the prospect of a journey in standard class can
now bid for an upgrade.

Empty first-class seats on selected Virgin Trains East Coast services are
being auctioned through a smartphone app shortly before departure.

Prices start from £5 for a seat in first-class carriages featuring
complimentary food and drink, free Wi-Fi, reclining leather seats and extra
legroom.

Upgrades are initially available on some weekday services from London
King’s Cross to Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle and York, with more routes
expected to be added soon.

Regular walk-up first-class fares for London to Edinburgh journeys can cost
almost £90 more than standard class tickets.

Each auction opens approximately two and a half hours in advance and closes
about half an hour before the train departs.

Suzanne Donnelly, commercial director at Virgin Trains East Coast, said:
“We are really excited to be partnering with Seatfrog to offer customers
more opportunities to experience first class.

“Passengers can get upgrades from as little as £5 and there are real deals
to be had. The live bidding element means you can decide at the last minute
if you fancy treating yourself.”

The Seatfrog chief executive, Iain Griffin, said people wanting to
guarantee first-class travel should buy a regular ticket, as auctions would
not be held for all trains.

“For passengers who travel standard class and maybe want to experience
first class now and again, or be a little spontaneous on the day, then
Seatfrog is the perfect platform,” he said. “We give them the chance to get
a really good deal.”

Griffin said he was in discussions about rolling out the service with a
number of other travel firms. “I’d be really interested in working with any
train service in the UK,” he added.

“I see this working perfectly for a business like Eurostar. We’re already
talking to rail operators in mainland Europe. Outside of rail, we’ve also
got a big airline capability.”

Passengers who want to use the system for a first-class upgrade enter their
booking reference into the app and start bidding. Successful participants
are instantly sent a new ticket direct to their smartphone or tablet.
Roland Perry (20.09.2017, 16:13)
In message <dDrwB.1228046$ct3.254257>, at 10:43:21 on Wed, 20
Sep 2017, Recliner <recliner.ng> remarked:

>“Passengers can get upgrades from as little as £5 and there are real deals
>to be had. The live bidding element means you can decide at the last minute
>if you fancy treating yourself.”


I saw that earlier. Misdirection at its best. There's no correlation
between deciding at the last minute, and that choice being expressed via
an auction or a fixed-price offer.

The rest of the press release should be viewed through the same bullshit
filter.
R. Mark Clayton (20.09.2017, 18:32)
On Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:43:25 UTC+1, Recliner wrote:
[..]
> Passengers who want to use the system for a first-class upgrade enter their
> booking reference into the app and start bidding. Successful participants
> are instantly sent a new ticket direct to their smartphone or tablet.


I bet it won't be very transparent.

Given the numbers it should be a dutch auction.
mechanic (21.09.2017, 14:11)
On Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:43:21 GMT, Recliner wrote:

> The Seatfrog chief executive, Iain Griffin, said people wanting to
> guarantee first-class travel should buy a regular ticket, as auctions would
> not be held for all trains.


How much would one have to pay to guarantee not seating next to a
noisy second class upgrader?
BrianW (21.09.2017, 16:29)
On Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:11:56 UTC+1, mechanic wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:43:21 GMT, Recliner wrote:
> > The Seatfrog chief executive, Iain Griffin, said people wanting to
> > guarantee first-class travel should buy a regular ticket, as auctions would
> > not be held for all trains.

> How much would one have to pay to guarantee not seating next to a
> noisy second class upgrader?


Perhaps there should be two classes of First Class - "Upper First Class" for people who bought First Class in the first place, and "Lower First Class"for people who upgraded from Standard. But then Virgin will start auctioning upgrades of "Lower First Class" to "Upper First Class". At which point, the same complaint will kick in, and they'll have to introduce another class etc etc ...
Roland Perry (21.09.2017, 17:50)
In message <ec55ddc4-101a-498a-b5bc-6932b3f292cd>, at
06:29:14 on Thu, 21 Sep 2017, BrianW <brianwhitehead>
remarked:
>On Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:11:56 UTC+1, mechanic wrote:
>Perhaps there should be two classes of First Class - "Upper First
>Class" for people who bought First Class in the first place, and "Lower
>First Class" for people who upgraded from Standard.


I expect they will indeed have in effect two such classes. By selling
seats in different coaches to different buyers. Whether the ones in the
cheap seats get the same service from staff as others is something we
must wait and see.

An earlier version of this "Premium Economy" on GNER was a car crash
with their legendary staff refusing to serve freebies unless you made a
scene.
R. Mark Clayton (21.09.2017, 18:15)
On Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:29:18 UTC+1, BrianW wrote:
> On Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:11:56 UTC+1, mechanic wrote:
> Perhaps there should be two classes of First Class - "Upper First Class" for people who bought First Class in the first place, and "Lower First Class" for people who upgraded from Standard. But then Virgin will start auctioning upgrades of "Lower First Class" to "Upper First Class". At which point, the same complaint will kick in, and they'll have to introduce another class etc etc ...


In the past one carriage used to be kept for First Class only - no upgrades- e.g. at the weekend.
Charles Ellson (21.09.2017, 23:04)
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:53 +0100, mechanic <mechanic>
wrote:

>On Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:43:21 GMT, Recliner wrote:
>> The Seatfrog chief executive, Iain Griffin, said people wanting to
>> guarantee first-class travel should buy a regular ticket, as auctions would
>> not be held for all trains.

>How much would one have to pay to guarantee not seating next to a
>noisy second class upgrader?

The cost of the ticket for a pre-arranged silent companion ?
tim... (22.09.2017, 12:17)
"Charles Ellson" <ce11son> wrote in message
news:5fhh
> On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:53 +0100, mechanic <mechanic>
> wrote:
> The cost of the ticket for a pre-arranged silent companion ?


but that wont stop someone sitting there

reservations die as soon as the person they are reserved for doesn't turn up
jrawle (22.09.2017, 12:19)
On Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:04:22 UTC+1, Charles Ellson wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:53 +0100, mechanic <mechanic>
> wrote:
> >How much would one have to pay to guarantee not seating next to a
> >noisy second class upgrader?

> The cost of the ticket for a pre-arranged silent companion ?


Will people travelling in groups be able to bid for a group of
first class seats together, or will it be on a strictly
individual basis?

There is currently one GWR HST where coach D is a first class
vehicle serving as standard. Almost no-one dares to sit in there,
though, so as a result it tends to be nice and quiet. One one
journey, the train manager must have started telling people they
were allowed to sit in there, resulting in a sudden influx,
including a group of young men who thought it was funny to joke
loudly about how they were sitting in first class, and how they
needed to behave in a first class manner, which they certainly
were not doing. Funny for the first minute (on second thoughts,
no it wasn't) but after that I had to move to a different
carriage.

In that instance, it wasn't really first class. But such
behaviour can be avoided by not offering the upgrade to
groups. Of course, some of us think people should consider how
their behaviour impacts on others on the train, irrespective of
the class of travel...
Roland Perry (22.09.2017, 12:34)
In message <b3b2e13d-f374-4274-9db2-6f8791053915>, at
02:19:21 on Fri, 22 Sep 2017, jrawle remarked:
>On Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:04:22 UTC+1, Charles Ellson wrote:
>Will people travelling in groups be able to bid for a group of
>first class seats together,


Paging Jeremy Corbyn...

>or will it be on a strictly individual basis?


The original VTEC booking engine allowed passengers to pick a seat.

The new engine is so horrid I've never got that far.
Anna Noyd-Dryver (22.09.2017, 14:45)
<jrawle> wrote:

> There is currently one GWR HST where coach D is a first class
> vehicle serving as standard.


Just the one (Mrs. Wembley?)? We must be having a good week.

Anna Noyd-Dryver
Charles Ellson (22.09.2017, 20:57)
On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:17:37 +0100, "tim..." <tims_new_home>
wrote:

>"Charles Ellson" <ce11son> wrote in message
>news:5fhh
>but that wont stop someone sitting there Said companion might object to a stranger sitting on their lap.


>reservations die as soon as the person they are reserved for doesn't turn up

Silent companion not imaginary companion.
Charles Ellson (22.09.2017, 21:00)
On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:19:21 -0700 (PDT), jrawle wrote:

>On Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:04:22 UTC+1, Charles Ellson wrote:
>Will people travelling in groups be able to bid for a group of
>first class seats together, or will it be on a strictly
>individual basis?

When I last did it some years ago the seat selection occurred prior to
the sale of the upgrade tickets.
<snip>
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