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OT: NXEC 5 tickets London - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness etc

OT: NXEC 5 tickets London - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness etc

Old Dec 9, 08, 4:52 pm
  #1  
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NXEC 5 tickets London - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness etc

National Express are "celebrating" (i.e. running a big old fashioned marketing campaign to remind us of) one year of operating the east coast mainline rail franchise (formerly GNER). They're doing so with a firesale of £5 one way tickets that started this morning. Move quickly because they're going fast. Includes London King's Cross to Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and pretty much everywhere in between, subject to availability.

Source: http://www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com/birthday

We’re celebrating our first year of operating on the East Coast by offering special £5 one way flat fares, for travel to top cities on our route.

Over 100,000 £5 tickets are available, but you’ll need to be quick to avoid disappointment – they’re sure to go fast!
When can I book?

* You must book between Friday 05 December and Monday 15 December 2008 inclusive.

When can I travel?

* Between Monday 05 January and Friday 27 February 2009 inclusive.

What do I need?

* Follow the 'Book now' links on this page to book your travel tickets.
* Print off the special offer voucher here. You must present this with your tickets when you travel. Every person travelling must have a valid travel ticket, but only one voucher is required for up to 4 people travelling together.
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Old Dec 9, 08, 5:09 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
They're doing so with a firesale of 5 one way tickets that started this morning.
Strange, because I got the e-mail and booked a couple of LON-GLA and LON-EDI 5 fares yesterday.
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Old Dec 9, 08, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
Strange, because I got the e-mail and booked a couple of LON-GLA and LON-EDI 5 fares yesterday.
And they've been promoted via Hotdeals since the start of the week. Besides that, yeah today.

Oh and no nipping off to the restaurant car either as you can't. Oh (#2) and the free wi-fi is so slow you may as well bring a couple of homing pigeons with you to send off to with a message to your intended recipient. If they are fast birds, they will get to your target audience and back with a reply in less time than the wi-fi will take to time out for the 100th time with no pages displayed.
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Old Dec 9, 08, 5:25 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by RAPC View Post
Oh (#2) and the free wi-fi is so slow you may as well bring a couple of homing pigeons with you to send off to with a message to your intended recipient. If they are fast birds, they will get to your target audience and back with a reply in less time than the wi-fi will take to time out for the 100th time with no pages displayed.
What is that wi-fi thing that you speak of?
Get youself a Three dongle!
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Old Dec 9, 08, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
What is that wi-fi thing that you speak of?
Get youself a Three dongle!
Homing pigeon, learning E.S.P. and two cups with a string between them would all be faster forms of communicating than the wi-fi

And yes, the dongles are indeed very good
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Old Dec 9, 08, 7:07 pm
  #6  
 
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I remember GNER ran a similar promotion just before the end of their franchise, meaning most of the 5 tickets were for travel during the start of the NXEC franchise.

Now does anyone see anything positive about NXEC? I'd rather take this as the mourning of the anniversary of the death of GNER.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 7:09 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by browserden View Post
I remember GNER ran a similar promotion just before the end of their franchise, meaning most of the 5 tickets were for travel during the start of the NXEC franchise.

Now does anyone see anything positive about NXEC? I'd rather take this as the mourning of the anniversary of the death of GNER.
Free wireless throughout the train (and yes, it is getting faster), about another 25 trains a day and a new London - Lincoln service. Oh, and unlike GNER they promise not to go bankrupt by paying too much for the privilege of running the service
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Old Dec 10, 08, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by browserden View Post
Now does anyone see anything positive about NXEC?
No.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Free wireless throughout the train (and yes, it is getting faster)
Debatable, but only from the depths. Way worse for First passengers than it used to be.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
about another 25 trains a day
Not until 2010 at the earliest, and certainly not if the DfT rolling stock procurement process dribbles along at its current rate.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
and a new London - Lincoln service.
Not until 2009.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Oh, and unlike GNER they promise not to go bankrupt by paying too much for the privilege of running the service
Promise? Promise?

Quite frankly, I'd say that NXEC are currently up there with Woolworths in terms of presenting a commercially sustainable proposition, and BAA for customer service levels (excepting some superb crews who do all they can to continue to deliver something that they can be proud of).

I know that the chap sitting opposite me the other day in a seat he'd paid 200 for, was particularly delighted to see a 5 tickets postcard on his manky unrefurbed First Class seat, on a set-swapped service with totally corrupted seat reservations and no facilities for hot drinks .
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Old Dec 10, 08, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
Debatable, but only from the depths. Way worse for First passengers than it used to be.
That's because people like me are back in standard class downloading music with it

Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
Not until 2010 at the earliest, and certainly not if the DfT rolling stock procurement process dribbles along at its current rate.
At least, unlike GNER, they've taken the initiative to propose new routes off their core franchise commitments.

Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
I know that the chap sitting opposite me the other day in a seat he'd paid £200 for, was particularly delighted to see a £5 tickets postcard on his manky unrefurbed First Class seat, on a set-swapped service with totally corrupted seat reservations and no facilities for hot drinks .
Not that bmi have ever swapped out an a/c or apologised to me for a lack of in-flight service between London & Scotland of course

Being in Glasgow, with a choice of Virgin and their Pendolinos to Euston or NXEC and their Mallard 225s to King's Cross, I will always choose to take the slower option and go with NXEC down the east coast (unless I need to travel on business in which case the sleeper is the easiest option). The trains are more spacious, have larger windows, more comfortable seats, more luggage space, commendably workable wifi (if not as reliable or fast as my home broadband, but then my home can't take me to London at 200km/h) and truly superior first class service with a full service restaurant (have you tried the eggs benedict? ) Yes the journey's longer, but the ECML has proved to be less prone to delays and I just prefer travelling on those trains, even if GNER take the credit for specifying their interior re-design.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
That's because people like me are back in standard class downloading music with it
Precisely. So we all get a rubbish service.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
At least, unlike GNER, they've taken the initiative to propose new routes off their core franchise commitments.
Some of these were in GNER's plans too, if only to try to head off competition from open-access operators like Grand Central/Union and Hull Trains.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Not that bmi have ever swapped out an a/c or apologised to me for a lack of in-flight service between London & Scotland of course
Ah, but you wouldn't get on to your bmi service to find that your seat physically didn't exist - and no cuppa on an 80 minute service is rather different to there being nothing hot on a long haul London to Edinburgh rail service.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Being in Glasgow, with a choice of Virgin and their Pendolinos to Euston or NXEC and their Mallard 225s to King's Cross, I will always choose to take the slower option and go with NXEC down the east coast [....]truly superior first class service with a full service restaurant (have you tried the eggs benedict? )
I have, as it happens. I had them for lunch on Friday heading South and they were lovely. Great service, great punctuality, comfortable etc., etc. So why should I have paid the same for the abject rubbish I got on Sunday?

However, the issue here is a comparison between NXEC and GNER. I've yet to find a single thing that NXEC have delivered that is an improvement, and a very great deal that is retrograde.

Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Yes the journey's longer, but the ECML has proved to be less prone to delays and I just prefer travelling on those trains, even if GNER take the credit for specifying their interior re-design.
I'm on shakier ground here, but I don't think they did. I believe that the DfT specified and GNER merely approved. As with everything on the rails, the TOC has next-to-no say about the hardware; their involvement is simply in making it move and delivering the soft on-board product - plus sales and marketing etc.

And 'Escape' is, thus far, a bit of a joke too. Quite why it has taken a year to develop a programme with higher spend requirements and lower rewards is beyond me. And my first three interactions with them (email, email and phone) have been, frankly, farcical.

Otherwise, they're great!
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Old Dec 10, 08, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
So why should I have paid the same for the abject rubbish I got on Sunday?
I quite agree. I find it puzzling how railways assume that all business travel ceases at the weekend and that it won't matter that a first class ticket holder is left with no catering, slower services and a carriage full of screeching shoppers who have upgraded for 10. Airlines don't make this assumption.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 1:04 pm
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Now does anyone see anything positive about NXEC? I'd rather take this as the mourning of the anniversary of the death of GNER.[/QUOTE]

this morning I priced a First class Open return between London and Newcastle over the Christman period - 683
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Old Dec 10, 08, 1:41 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ajamieson View Post
I quite agree. I find it puzzling how railways assume that all business travel ceases at the weekend and that it won't matter that a first class ticket holder is left with no catering, slower services and a carriage full of screeching shoppers who have upgraded for 10. Airlines don't make this assumption.
Even 10 is way too much to pay for the non-service onboard, let alone the First Class Bus operating parts of the journey on Sundays.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jamesbrownontheroad View Post
Free wireless throughout the train (and yes, it is getting faster), about another 25 trains a day and a new London - Lincoln service. Oh, and unlike GNER they promise not to go bankrupt by paying too much for the privilege of running the service
NXEC bid more for the franchise than GNER and the franchise period is shorter. Therefore they're paying significantly more to the government per year.

The only way to maintain this is to cut costs and raise prices.

GNER overbid for their franchise in a desperate attempt to keep their route when the government put it out to the highest bidder.

NXEC repeated the mistake, as did the government for giving them the franchise in the beginning.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by browserden View Post
Now does anyone see anything positive about NXEC? I'd rather take this as the mourning of the anniversary of the death of GNER.
Their website can sometimes provide decent fares (for other train companies), although that itself is rather slow.
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