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Virgin Trains -- Can I exchange for a earlier time?

Virgin Trains -- Can I exchange for a earlier time?

Old May 26, 16, 10:59 pm
  #1  
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Virgin Trains -- Can I exchange for a earlier time?

Hey y'all, I did a long search and didn't see this answered so looking for some recent data points please.

Will be taking a Virgin Train from Manchester Airport to London next week and I scheduled our departure about 4 hours after our plane was scheduled to arrive in case of a delay, etc. Does anyone know if we do arrive on time can we exchange our tickets for a earlier departure?

Looks like the T&C's say no but saw a few posts a few years back that allowed it or their lax about it, especially on the weekends.

Not sure if the type of ticket matters but its a advanced purchase first class ticket and we will be traveling on a Saturday.

No worries if we can't I made alternate arrangements to pass the time but would rather get down to London earlier if allowed.

Thanks so much!!!
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Old May 27, 16, 12:11 am
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Yes, you can, but you'll pay the difference between the fares and a 10 change fee per ticket. You can do it online if the tickets aren't printed yet, or else take them to a station.
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Old May 27, 16, 12:36 am
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Fairly sure that Virgin don't go direct from the airport to London (or to the airport full stop), so I'd take a guess that your ticket will involve a change at Piccadilly, so unless your ticket mentions a specific train on that connection then you may as well take the first train available to there and then spend some time in the city centre instead, which is a damn sight nicer than the hell hole which is MIA

Obv if you go south first and connect at Wilmslow/Crewe don't bother
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Old May 27, 16, 2:34 am
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Ah, I think the flexibility thing may be referring to the Airport Advance fare. Unfortunately, this is for TransPennine trains only.

As jt82 says, the train will either be via Piccadilly or Crewe, and it's unlikely your connection from the airport to either of these stations will be booked on a specific train.

In that case, the only thing you can really do is ask the guard before you join the London train. It's unlikely they'll say yes, to be honest, unless the trains are disrupted.
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Old May 27, 16, 1:55 pm
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Thanks for the replies. We're taking a Northern Train to Crewe to catch the Virgin Train to London, was about 20 minutes shorter this way.

Looks like we will just stick with our original itinerary. For a small fee we can use the showers and facilities at the Radisson Blu that's attached to the airport which will pass some time and be refreshing after our overnight flight.

Thanks again for you help.

Originally Posted by stut View Post
Yes, you can, but you'll pay the difference between the fares and a 10 change fee per ticket. You can do it online if the tickets aren't printed yet, or else take them to a station.
Originally Posted by jt82 View Post
Fairly sure that Virgin don't go direct from the airport to London (or to the airport full stop), so I'd take a guess that your ticket will involve a change at Piccadilly, so unless your ticket mentions a specific train on that connection then you may as well take the first train available to there and then spend some time in the city centre instead, which is a damn sight nicer than the hell hole which is MIA

Obv if you go south first and connect at Wilmslow/Crewe don't bother
Originally Posted by stut View Post
Ah, I think the flexibility thing may be referring to the Airport Advance fare. Unfortunately, this is for TransPennine trains only.

As jt82 says, the train will either be via Piccadilly or Crewe, and it's unlikely your connection from the airport to either of these stations will be booked on a specific train.

In that case, the only thing you can really do is ask the guard before you join the London train. It's unlikely they'll say yes, to be honest, unless the trains are disrupted.
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Old May 29, 16, 7:15 am
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Please don't be shocked by the state of Northern trains. They're like at best, your high school buses in the USA! eg they're dreadful inside.

Last edited by Guy Betsy; May 29, 16 at 8:03 am
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Old May 29, 16, 9:23 am
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That rather depends on the train. The Pacers are literally buses on rails. The ones from MAN to Crewe are hardly luxurious, but not nearly as bad.

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Old May 29, 16, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
The ones from MAN to Crewe are hardly luxurious, but not nearly as bad.
Very true. I do believe these are the same trainsets that serve the Cross-City high-density suburban line in Birmingham. They're now around 20 years old, but still provide the smoothest ride I have ever had on a suburban train.

Patron-wise, if the chaviness and feet-on-seats were to disappear, and the 5-across seating replaced with 2x2, it would be a great product.
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Old May 29, 16, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
That rather depends on the train. The Pacers are literally buses on rails. The ones from MAN to Crewe are hardly luxurious, but not nearly as bad.
I've been stuck with those trains on my route for the past 25 years and the only thing they have in their favour is they're not Pacers
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Old May 31, 16, 6:02 pm
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I never had a problem catching an earlier Virgin West Coast train,you just need to ask the train manager before boarding,they don't have to let you on,but they would unless the train is packed.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
In that case, the only thing you can really do is ask the guard before you join the London train. It's unlikely they'll say yes, to be honest, unless the trains are disrupted.
Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post
I never had a problem catching an earlier Virgin West Coast train,you just need to ask the train manager before boarding,they don't have to let you on,but they would unless the train is packed.
I know stut is knowledgeable about trains (from railforums) but in this case I tend to agree with Rami Tamimi.

Perhaps it depends on the type of person who is more likely to ask.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I know stut is knowledgeable about trains (from railforums) but in this case I tend to agree with Rami Tamimi.

Perhaps it depends on the type of person who is more likely to ask.
I agree with stut. The Advanced tickets are non-flexible (if you want a flexible ticket, buy a flexible ticket rather than one which ties you to a specific train only) and the chances of being let on a different train are low. You might get lucky but don't expect to.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by bibbju View Post
I agree with stut. The Advanced tickets are non-flexible (if you want a flexible ticket, buy a flexible ticket rather than one which ties you to a specific train only) and the chances of being let on a different train are low. You might get lucky but don't expect to.
We have a stalemate then . I've always been "lucky" so I will continue to "expect" it, while knowing what the official rules are.
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Old Jun 2, 16, 2:06 am
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My experience on Virgin West Coast is limited (I tend to travel up the east coast or down on GWR) so I would go with those with more direct experience!
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