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Old Apr 16, 11, 5:54 am   #1
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Reserving a specific seat with Virgin Trains

Other than going to the station and talking to a person, is there any way of actually selecting a specific seat when booking a ticket?
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Old Apr 16, 11, 9:59 am   #2
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Last time I booked London-Birmingham online and asked for a seat reservation, it didn't let me choose but it did assign me a specific seat. Maybe that's all you can do online?
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Old Apr 16, 11, 1:23 pm   #3
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There's currently no way to do it, except in person.

Well, there is a way... Each time you reserve a seat, it's blocked for about 10 minutes. If you're really determined, you can be assigned a seat, ask to change, get assigned a new seat, and keep trying until you get the seat desired. It's far from ideal, but does occasionally work (unless, of course, it's trying to avoid assigning adjacent seats on a quiet train, and you're trying to be sat next to a colleague...)

The downside is that you can effectively "sell out" cheap fares by doing this too much!
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Old Apr 17, 11, 4:23 am   #4
 
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25.Is it possible to book priority seats?

The priority seats cannot be reserved. If you would like to make a seat reservation please do so by calling the Traveller booking line on 08453 050 100.


Although I dont know if this works or not & think its for their frequent train club only.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 4:28 am   #5
 
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have you tried using trainline.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 4:50 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by origin View Post
have you tried using trainline.
Don't think that would make a difference - you still can't select a particular seat, other than using stut's method.

You could try using that technique to get a seat you vaguely want - then when you've got some time to spare, take it to a station and ask nicely for a new reservation coupon.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 6:34 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by teflon View Post
Don't think that would make a difference - you still can't select a particular seat, other than using stut's method.

You could try using that technique to get a seat you vaguely want - then when you've got some time to spare, take it to a station and ask nicely for a new reservation coupon.
You can go to the station up to the night before the trian leaves.

We used trainline a couple of years ago. I just cant remember if you could be as specific as you need on the seat location.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 7:09 am   #8
 
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You can go to the station up to the night before the trian leaves.

We used trainline a couple of years ago. I just cant remember if you could be as specific as you need on the seat location.
The Trainline and many of the train operators use the same system for booking, although the Trainline adds on a couple quid in fees that the TOC don't. I'm pretty sure the constraints you can place on seat selection are identical across the Trainline-based sites. Further, the EC/Chiltern/SE/etc. system doesn't allow specific seat selection either, in my experience. (This is really unfortunate when booking a cheap advance first ticket on EC. As a single traveller, I'd like to get a seat on the single side that doesn't share a table with anyone.)

(Posted from one of those seats on EC. Still waiting for the train manager to come through and check tickets from DEE, even though we're almost to EDB, so that I can pay my 25 weekend first upgrade supplement. Worth it when I need to be working and someone else bought the underlying standard fare. I guess I should get back to working and get off FT )

Last edited by mtkeller; Apr 17, 11 at 7:10 am.. Reason: Final paragraph
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Old Apr 17, 11, 5:12 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
The Trainline and many of the train operators use the same system for booking, although the Trainline adds on a couple quid in fees that the TOC don't. I'm pretty sure the constraints you can place on seat selection are identical across the Trainline-based sites. Further, the EC/Chiltern/SE/etc. system doesn't allow specific seat selection either, in my experience. (This is really unfortunate when booking a cheap advance first ticket on EC. As a single traveller, I'd like to get a seat on the single side that doesn't share a table with anyone.)

(Posted from one of those seats on EC. Still waiting for the train manager to come through and check tickets from DEE, even though we're almost to EDB, so that I can pay my 25 weekend first upgrade supplement. Worth it when I need to be working and someone else bought the underlying standard fare. I guess I should get back to working and get off FT )
Hmmmm...so, If I need two FC seats from KX to EDB a few months from now, I should buy them both at the same time and the system will assign them together, meaning, next to each other or across from each other, (-- I don't knowing what the seat layout looks like --) correct ? I'd like to be on the right side to have the better view - how do I know if that's what I'll end up with?
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Old Apr 18, 11, 12:00 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by lindaiah View Post
Hmmmm...so, If I need two FC seats from KX to EDB a few months from now, I should buy them both at the same time and the system will assign them together, meaning, next to each other or across from each other, (-- I don't knowing what the seat layout looks like --) correct ? I'd like to be on the right side to have the better view - how do I know if that's what I'll end up with?
At least East Coast provides maps of their train layouts. I'm not sure if the trick of going most of the way through a booking to see what seats it gives you and starting over if you don't like them works with the East Coast site, however.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 10:42 am   #11
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Virgin Trains have seat layouts on line too.

Thanks for the confirmation above. I may have to overcome my normal habits and actually go to the station and talk to someone.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 10:49 am   #12
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If it's any help for other journeys (although probably not for you, Swanhunter, being based in London), CrossCountry do allow you to select a specific seat on their website, on their own services.

The downside, naturally, is having to travel on CrossCountry.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 11:44 am   #13
 
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I called the customer service number for Virigin, with the seatmap in hand, and had no difficulty in getting the guy on the phone to change the seat the computer had auto assigned me at time of booking to one I actually wanted to sit in. That was December last year.
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