Yesterday I started to book a train ticket to Wolverhampton. Firstly, I tried Virgin Trains - logical as it is the operator of trains between there and Lancaster. However, having got as far as the payment stage in the on-line process I abandoned the attempt.
Although that was the end of the matter as far as I was concerned, Virgin Trains wasn't going to let me go quite so easily. Today, I received this in an email from it.
|Email from Virgin Trains|
Firstly, it charges you £1 to send the tickets through the post. You can get the same tickets - and the same fares - from Arriva Trains Wales posted to you for nowt!
But secondly, and more importantly, Arriva offers a service that Virgin doesn't. When you book an advance ticket Arriva tells you the seat number you've been allocated, even on a Virgin train - something that company can't be bothered to do for its own
As it happened, the seat that Arriva wished to sell me was just one of those seats that offer only a view of a blank wall, so I abandoned that attempt as well and tried again later, with more success.
But why can't Virgin offer this facility - or even go one step further like publicly-owned (but not for much longer) East Coast Trains, which not only tells you which seat you've got but also offers the option of changing it if you don't like it!