Thursday, 18 February 2010

CrossCountry / FGW update

I have now had responses to my comments on the variable First Class offerings from CrossCountry and First Great Western.

Maxine Patrick of CrossCountry tells me that: "all refreshments that we offer are complimentary and do not form part of the upgrade price.With this in mind we always say that all refreshments are subject to availability. You pay the upgrade to sit in the First Class Carriage where you enjoy extra legroom, wider seats and a quieter ambience. Full details of what you can expect from us and to clarify this, you can view the service we offer by visiting the 'travelling with us' section on our website" (the actual page is

To which my comment is first, CrossCountry clearly see First Class as an 'upgrade' rather than a choice; secondly, you have to look very thoroughly for the 'availability' disclaimer (it is the last bullet point on the page); and finally, it still doesn't explain the variability in approach from the First Class hosts.

Claire Roth of First Great Western simply points me to the relevant web page but doesn't address the variability in service received either. Interestingly, the FGW First Class page makes no mention of 'availability', rather giving the impression that daytime trains should be fully serviced!

So, alas, no real appreciation of the poor service that seems to pertain on some of the trains that both companies run. A pity, because as have said in a previous post, the actual timings of the trains could make the Paddington-Birmingham route competitive if the price was right and the service level guaranteed...

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