To justify their high fares in first class at least two train firms are planning improvements.

Avanti has indicated it will upgrade first class next month while an LNER executive hinted that his firm was preparing to upgrade the afternoon tea offer.

Mark Plowright, head of sales and distribution for LNER, tweeted a photo of the new and elaborate offer.


Hosting a group of partners he said “Watch this space for bookable experiences for our customers coming soon.”

We can assume that this more elaborate afternoon tea will have to be pre-booked. And judging by the seating in the photo, it would be limited to first class customers. LNER already provides complimentary at-seat catering to first class passengers.

In other news LNER has opened a new first class lounge at York. This northern city is an interesting one for travellers as it lacks a direct connection to the A1 (the nearby trunk road) and also lacks its own airport – the nearest airports would be Leeds, Doncaster, Humberside or Teesside. Hence the main way to reach York is by mainline train.

Claire Ansley, customer experience director at LNER, said:

“A first class lounge facility at York has been on the wish list for people travelling through the station for some time, so we’re really excited to roll out a warm welcome to business and leisure travellers.”

For further details on the lounge, see here.