Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My latest on National Express

As I am sitting here on a National Express train, heading home after 10 days in London, I thought I would have a post about one of my favourite subjects: National Express! The Journal reported recently that the company is considering introducing a £1 charge for seat reservations to discourage people from booking seats who subsequently don't occupy them. They allege this is something of a problem.

Quite how it is a problem is not explained. If someone books a seat on a train from Newcastle to London and then decides to get a different service, that seat does not stay vacant all the way to London. Someone else very rapidly claims it. In fact, on a busy service, if you have no seat and all unrserved seats are filled, all you have to do is wait for the train to leave the station and find a vacant reserved seat which was supposed to be filled by a passenger from the station at which you have just boarded yourself.

I get the impression however that the proposal is just a wheeze to rake in more cash from passengers. Fares have just gone up well above inflation. Now other charges are being introduced. Let's hope they don't start charging for taking luggage or breathing the on board air!

I notice that Tyne Bridge MP Dave Clelland has backed the seat reservation proposal.
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1 comment:

Andrea Cave said...

Isn't Dave Clelland the "air travel happy" MP ? Sounds hypocritical to me.