Virgin Trains are amazing. I can't imagine travelling North-South with anyone else now. Their carriages are always clean and smart, their shops have lots of choice (I mean, for a train, it's impressive!) and at least there's a real person that talks to you over the tannoy and not a plink-plonk recording!
Also need to note one incident at a certain UK station where, travelling back late at night, I was getting heckled by a clearly wasted, burly man in the waiting room who was, of course, drinking in there. I defended myself and walked quickly away from the situation. Luckily, there happened to be a member of Virgin Trains staff on the other platform. I ran over to her and told her what had happened, in case other people would walk into the same trap.
I wish I could remember her name but she left her spot (she was waiting for a train home herself!), checked out the situation, assured me it was safe, alerted other staff and even walked back across and waited with me for my train - even though hers was leaving soon after mine!
Best customer service EVER.
£140 for a standard class ticket booked a week in advance from Manchester to London- train arrived 2 hours late and so i was 2 hours late for my train home - but that pushed me into the 'peak time' for returns, so regardless of the fact that it was their fault i was late they tried to charge me an EXTRA £125 for a new ticket !!!
I refused to pay and the train manager threatened to get the police to throw me off the train, i refused and we ended up in a big argument he eventually just ignored me but it was humiliating and very stressful.
AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL and - its double the cost of flying.
I travel on Virgin trains from Preston or Manchester to London fairly recently - I got used to traveling first class when work paid I no longer travel on business to London and if I did, they wouldn't pat first class - However, by planning ahead and being flexible on the travel times, I've found that I can get reasonably priced first class tickets which are better value that driving. If I can't get first class, I don't travel. However, the number of affordable first class tickets does mean that first class has started to get a lot busier and the service can be varied. Usually, the stewards are friendly and helpful but occasionally, there is the odd steward who is not quite up to standard
The only time I've been really disappointed with the service has been when the train was de-classified - I suspect it was the same day that another reviewer was traveling - I was lucky to get my seat but the train was horrendously full with a lot of less than sober football fans who hadn't been able to get on their train to Liverpool - I heard that extra trains where being put on to cope with the situation but it was chaotic at Euston and I suspect there were just a lot of people who jumped on any train heading north - So not really the fault of Virgin trains
When nothing goes wrong with the booking, Virgin are excellent. The site is easy to use and there are plenty of different options for the train fare.
The staff on board the train are generally very helpful.
However - when there is a problem, good luck in getting it sorted. Their customer service line is appalling and unhelpful.
For my 50th birthday I didn't want a party or celebration at home but instead to travel by train to London in first class. Memories of being a student and sitting on a case in the aisles or in a draughty corridor outside the toilets was to be times long gone. This is the return leg of the journey. We did have reserved seats but no means of getting into the correct carriage to get to them. When we were told to get into this carriage the train manager let my husband and daughter board the train and tried to stop me as he said the train was full.
As you can see from the photo this is what it is like nowadays. The gentleman at the forefront of the picture actually gave up his seat for most of the journey so that I didn't have to sit on the floor. The 2 others of my family who were with me, including my husband who is still recovering from a stroke last year, had to stay on the floor together with others. No-one could use the toilets as the nearest one was blocked and as people were either sitting or standing throughout the whole of the train you couldn't access any other toilets either. No-one could buy or be served any food or drink. They even had to stop the train outside Milton Keynes to hook us onto another engine due to the numbers of people in the train, and then we had to travel at reduced speed. At one point the train manager even passed bottles of water along the train 'to be given to children and infants only'.
This is certainly one birthday trip I shall not forget and I shall keep contacting Virgin until we get a response, an apology and a refund.
Well i have complained to Virgintrains and i am still waiting for my reply its been 7 WEEKS Now not even acknowledgement, there trains are horrible smelly and the staff look scruffy. you cancelled my train no explanation and no apology you cost me my holiday by 1 day as i missed my flight many thanks
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