On Sunday, 13th August I was returning from a convention in Leicester. I am a bit of a panicker so I pre-booked my tickets on Midland Mainline's website, which they sent to me in the post. This gave me a reserved seat for the duration of the journey, which is only a few hours long or so but it's nice all the same.
When the train pulls in at Leicester, I couldn't find my number coach. I ask one of the staff members which coach to get on and she tells me, "I'm afraid our reservation system is down, but please feel free to take a seat anywhere on the train." Fair enough, they decided to go for a system where a little screen tells you if the seat is taken, rather than GNER's rather lovely ticket-in-the-back-of-the-seat which I much prefer cause it makes a handy bookmark and doesn't go wrong. ^_~
Well, I went all the way through standard, lugging my suitcase because there are *no* spaces to put my luggage. I don't mean that the spaces were taken; I mean that the train simply had no place to put luggage except in gangways, above heads, and in front of exits, which obviously isn't ideal. There were a lot of convention goers coming back on the same train as me, so there's a lot of luggage everywhere.
As I was saying, I went through Standard, and there were no seats. This was a bit of a pain because frankly, I've paid for a seat, and I don't see why I should have to stand. Well, never mind. In this sort of situation where someone's taken my seat on a GNER train that's fully reserved, GNER staff were happy to seat me in First Class. I can't see any staff member so I go up to First class, which has a total of ONE person in the entire set of carriages, sit down, and take out my book.
The ticket inspector comes around and takes a look at my ticket. "I'm sorry, this ticket is for standard only." Fair enough, expecting that.
"Yes, I know, I had expected to take a seat in standard but they've all been taken already."
"Well, you have to pay £6 extra to sit here."
"But my seat, in standard, has been taken already."
"You can either pay the extra, or you can stand. That's all."
So, I stood, all the way home. Being a tired anime convention gopher who had to spend the past three days standing for *lots* of hours straight each day, often wearing heels, you can imagine how much I liked that. -__-
Is it bad enough to write to Midland Mainline about this, or do you think I should forget about it? I'm inclined to write and just ask them to outline their policy regarding this at least, because IMO it was pretty crappy service to recieve.