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Avanti West Coast = BA busier MAN/LHR or justify MAN/LCY

Avanti West Coast = BA busier MAN/LHR or justify MAN/LCY

Old Dec 10, 19, 11:37 am
  #1  
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Avanti West Coast = BA busier MAN/LHR or justify MAN/LCY

It seems like while the Virgin leadership team went over to Avanti they forget to take the seat booking system with them! Lots of frustrated regular VT travellers, me included, none to impressed and reports already of people on the same booking being sat apart.... So this is progress.... Hmm?

What's that got to do with BA, well there's lots of people talking about alternate modes of transport from North West to London... I've always preferred the train heading to Central London, equally with a tube ride at the end to the West of London like Brentford, however now for the latter for sure LHR flights look like an alternative (while not doing my carbon footprint any good).

I also wonder if there's a case, given the amount of disgruntled business travellers who can't select the train equivalent of 1A (for me it was J35 and J32), for a MAN/LCY service to compete with Avanti?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 11:58 am
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There is already a BA LCY/MAN service. However, it’s limited to one flight a week.

I can’t see them introducing this service on a fuller basis.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:00 pm
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I somehow don't see the seat reservation system as having been migrated to new software etc. with the change to Avanti on Sunday. Even if it was, it would only affect people booking since then. Any pre-booked tickets and associated reservations would have been created under the previous franchise.

Even with these glitches I wouldn't consider flying from MAN to LHR unless I was heading to somewhere really close to LHR, and definitely not if it was the City or the West End or Docklands.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:01 pm
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Just wait until they bring "Premium Economy" to the service and price it like advance First class tickets used to be.

I got used to the 20:03 to Wolverhampton in First Class being £23 advance most days of the week. Bit of booze and a sandwich for the price of half a standard return.

I don't expect the booze to last. First did run First Great Western before they binned it. I'm not sure if they had booze before, and whether they had booze afterwards.

But yes, a lot of us start our BA journeys via what used to be Virgin trains. I'm not expecting much from this new lot. The bare minimum, which will then be redefined to be less...
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by madfish View Post
There is already a BA LCY/MAN service. However, itís limited to one flight a week.

I canít see them introducing this service on a fuller basis.
It seems to come up on a Friday late and down on a Sunday midday. So good for spending a week working in The City (which I never do).

Obviously the LHR flights are feeding the onward connection business.
I have never flown MAN-LHR just to go to London as the train is way more convenient for me.
Although I might be tempted if there was a Friday MAN-LCY early evening and a Sunday LCY-MAN early afternoon (the reverse of the current arrangement).
Since I work near MAN but don't live near there this would allow me to 'park and ride' and get conveniently to central London for a weekend break.
Not sure there are enough similar minded folk to make money from it though.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:14 pm
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It probably doesn't help that their obvious Twitter profile name was taken by a parody account.

https://twitter.com/avanti_trains/
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by DeathSlam View Post
It seems to come up on a Friday late and down on a Sunday midday. So good for spending a week working in The City (which I never do).

...

Although I might be tempted if there was a Friday MAN-LCY early evening and a Sunday LCY-MAN early afternoon (the reverse of the current arrangement).
.
The plane flies to MAN on a Friday and back to LCY on the Sunday so it can be used on ex-MAN flights over the weekend whilst City is closed from Saturday to Sunday Lunchtime.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
I somehow don't see the seat reservation system as having been migrated to new software etc. with the change to Avanti on Sunday. Even if it was, it would only affect people booking since then. Any pre-booked tickets and associated reservations would have been created under the previous franchise.

Even with these glitches I wouldn't consider flying from MAN to LHR unless I was heading to somewhere really close to LHR, and definitely not if it was the City or the West End or Docklands.
Existing seat res from VT bookings are fine, I have one for tomorrow which will be my first journey with Avanti, hopefully the WiFi is fixed, though as a BA regular my expectation of WiFi when travelling is pretty low 😂

They've simply chosen not to pay for that aspect of the booking platform they use, they are now, rather hastily, overing to move people to the seat they want via Twitter so I can see them getting flooded quickly.

A quick Google suggests a website like trainsplitter will still allow seat selection, of course with Avanti supposedly refurbing trains, adding a 3rd class and adding new stock those seat maps could be as reliable as seat guru!
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:29 pm
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Imagine the new class will see First tickets bumped up and the "premium economy" ticket being the same seats as first, but with the other benefits "enhanced".

I don't think they'll divert people to planes, but they just might if their new stock contains those same god awful seats that LNER and GWR fitted* to their long distance trains.


*were mandated to fit by the DfT.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:30 pm
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Even with a sub-optimal seat iíd still rather take the train than endure the purgatory and wasted time of a domestic flight. Especially if it involves MAN airport

Last edited by Swanhunter; Dec 10, 19 at 1:40 pm
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Old Dec 10, 19, 1:27 pm
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Apparently you can book seats on other train operators websites from what I gather on twitter.

Also there’s now two flights up on a Friday from LCY and two flights back from MAN on a Sunday.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Smid View Post
Just wait until they bring "Premium Economy" to the service and price it like advance First class tickets used to be.

I got used to the 20:03 to Wolverhampton in First Class being £23 advance most days of the week. Bit of booze and a sandwich for the price of half a standard return.

I don't expect the booze to last. First did run First Great Western before they binned it. I'm not sure if they had booze before, and whether they had booze afterwards.

But yes, a lot of us start our BA journeys via what used to be Virgin trains. I'm not expecting much from this new lot. The bare minimum, which will then be redefined to be less...
As far as I know First Group still run Great Western Franchise
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Old Dec 10, 19, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
....Also thereís now two flights up on a Friday from LCY and two flights back from MAN on a Sunday.
This may have something to do with the rumour that there may be BACF flights from DUB to Faro and Reus for summer 20, so an aircraft wonít be doing LCY-DUB-MAN on Fridays, just LCY-DUB, and thus an additional flight by another aircraft is required to position to MAN from LCY.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Bohinjska Bistrica View Post
Imagine the new class will see First tickets bumped up and the "premium economy" ticket being the same seats as first, but with the other benefits "enhanced".
That looks likely resulting in the new class looking very much like the current First service at weekends.

I live very close to a West Coast mainline station but an hour away from MAN. By train I can be in central London at around the same time I would be enduring T3 security so I see no reason whatsoever to fly.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
Apparently you can book seats on other train operators websites from what I gather on twitter.
Yes, I use crosscountrytrains.co.uk, which I find to be nice, concise and informative.

It seems to me that Avanti are reducing amenity and increasing advance fares, at least from what I can see for my usual routes EUS-BHM/CRE/MAN/PRE and vv.

But who thought it would be otherwise?

And, yes, if I didn't like what was being offered by Avanti I would book MAN-LHR on BA, unless of course, I was very time constrained.
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