19th August 2011 at 15:34 #488865
Anonymous19th August 2011 at 15:34 #488866
For a long time Virgin would have been one of the best operators with the Pendolino services Travelling North from Euston.
The decor in the First Class lounge has been changed, but the offerings there are pretty dire these days. On Board after 9.30am, the breakfast service is now very poor. Last two trips, I have been given a bacon roll, a dry white “Bap”, and bacon which is cheap and still has the rind on. If you want to eat it, you have to pull it apart, it really is cheap, poor quality and little effort made for presentation.
3/4 in my area did not eat it!
Pretty shameful considering they still employ a chef on these services, he could make simple dishes and make decent use of his skills.
This is the sort of food you see left in airport lounges, that you seriously would not buy or pay any money for outside.
Afternoon is better standards, with many options from the trolley, though all pre-packed, no fresh food made on board as before.
Highly advise travellers to buy yr morning food at the station before you get on board a Virgin Train, unless you travel early for the full breakfast services.19th August 2011 at 15:43 #488867
I’d agree – no where near as good as it used to be (which was originally a class leading train experience). Sadly, feels like Virgin Trains are going the same way as Virgin Atlantic is going19th August 2011 at 15:59 #488868
I had a very poor experience on Virgin Trains first class recently. I didn’t even get a cup of coffee, let alone a breakfast roll.
I telephoned their customer care line while on board, only to be told I had to write in. This I did, and after one month received a reply which failed to deal with the issues I raised. I asked for my complaints to be escalated, but do not expect anything except a generic answer.
The only benefit I could see in the Lounge in Birmingham International was a decent cup of coffee, otherwise little else.
A disappointing experience with dismal customer relations.
I thought I had caught Virgin Trains on a bad day, seems I am not alone.
Pat19th August 2011 at 16:53 #488869
It has been a while since I travelled on Virgin and my experience then was good. However, colleagues tell me it is not as good as it was. It is a shame as the service and quality were very good.
Pat did you travel on a Saturday or Sunday as there is usually no service on those days. You could send your complain to Passenger Focus who act as a “watchdog” to the rail industry.
I made a comment recently to East Midlands Trains after watching a guy making repeat journeys back and forth from the kitchen to replace cups and glasses on tables. My point was why have them on the table when a trolley comes through with drinks and snacks the first time that could issue out cups as required. Customer service response was quite poor.19th August 2011 at 18:14 #488870
it was a Monday. I’ll give Virgin a week or two (just to be absolutely fair) and then I’ll take up your suggestion.
Pat19th August 2011 at 21:11 #488871
I travelled with them last week in 1st class from Euston to Brimingham. First time i have bothered to pay the extra to travel in 1st as only short journey, but took advantage of a recent promotion for a trip to see friends. Was a weekday service departing Euston at about 12.20.
Firstly i was extremely disappointed with the lounge at Euston. Small, cramped and overcrowded even at that time, nowhere to sit, one type of ‘nibble’ – only benefit was a beer (can) for £2 !!
On board, as expected for time of day, carriage empty apart from myself but noticeably dirty floor and tables however, nice feel to carriage and comfy seats.
Just after leaving Euston, someone pretty much ran through the carriage offering tea or coffee. Followed mins later by someone running through offering cold drinks/wine/beer, again followed few mins after by the snack cart. You really had to be quick off the mark to stop them, blink and you would have missed them in their haste. They ran back through the carriage about 35 mins later.
Im no snob, im no first class officianado, im happy slumming it in economy (well not happy..) but all three sprinting staff looked like they needed a good wash, haircut and clean uniform.
To summarise… massively under-impressed.. will definately never pay full fare for it!!19th August 2011 at 23:03 #488872
I use them a lot between BNS and EUS. The service today is, in my view, pretty non-existent.
I remember a couple of years ago travelling between New Street and Milton Keynes at a last minute client request and paying something like GBP 160 return for the privilege (this is a 50 minute each-way journey). However, the service was great – a choice of hot meals served at your seat, pasta etc.
In recent years, it is now a sandwich. I don’t remember the last time I was offered a hot meal. The same is true on CrossCountry which I use a lot from Southampton Central to Leamington Spa. On the Virgin route it’s only one drinks run (unless you’re a cheeky bugger like me and catch them on the way back too). However, I still take the view that (at least with advance purchase) the fares are great, the seats are good and (generally) you don’t have to put up with chavs and their over-loud iPods disturbing you.
Having said that, some business travellers are a total pain (cue the “Obnoxious kids v Obnoxious adults thread)……
Love to all and have a great weekend.
Simon20th August 2011 at 04:37 #488873
Turn up, buy a reasonably priced ticket (cheaper after 9.30 or for day returns)
1st Class waiting rooms
Clean trains, crisp linen table cloths with reasonable food at a reasonable price served by uniformed personnel who took a pride in their work.
All run by BR, and actually still found today in most of continental Europe.20th August 2011 at 06:08 #488874
I used to really like travelling on the Virgin Trains 1010 departure from Edinburgh. There would be toast and pastries served after Haymarket together with fresh orange juice and tea/coffee. At the same time, your order for breakfast was taken which came a few minutes later.
After leaving Lockerbie they would come through with the bar, and again just before Preston.
After leaving Preston the lunch service would start which would have a salad, something warm as well as fresh sandwiches. A seperate run was done with the bar and snacks, fruit, cake, biscuits etc.
One final sweep through the train on leaving Rugby before arrival into Euston at around 2.20pm.
They no longer operate this train though I doubt it’s equivilent from Glasgow is as good.
I managed to get a relatively cheap £37 single from Euston-Birmingham at 1843 on a Friday in Sept so will see what the hot dinner is like but fully expecting to have room service supper whilst getting ready to go out in Brum.25th August 2011 at 17:21 #488875
Ah the power of marketing. Reading their blurb, you’d think you all were travelling with a different operator.
Just what are the “complimentary mouthwatering delights” on offer these days?25th August 2011 at 21:29 #488876
my experience was that there was no food on offer, mouthwatering or otherwise.
And I still await a further reply from the Virgin Trains customer service.
Do these people not realise that customers have a choice, that there are alternatives to enduring non-existent service??
Pat26th August 2011 at 07:51 #488877
Thanks all for yr experiences…
The fares are very good in advance, on off peak trains, and the seat in First is fine.
As for the morning services, personally i shall take my own decent coffee, and Upper Crust or Pret for food, with me from Euston.
The food they give out even with a chef on board is very poor, you would not pay for or choose from a cafe.
There is little to relish on any UK long distance train services, as Virgin trains were the best.
I agree Europe has far better services for premium travel.16th September 2011 at 23:45 #488878
Pendolinos make me seasick.17th September 2011 at 11:33 #488879
I did an impromptu journey to Manchester on Thursday getting a 1st class one way ticket for £34.50.
I have to say the lounge was poor at Euston, busy, with hardly any nibbles out and no orange juice.
Service on board was sketchy. It was obviously too much effort for them to get me a cup of Earl Grey so I just made do with a coffee.
Salt beef sandwich and crisps was quite tasty and they came round with the bar twice, though they came round 4 times with tea/coffee.
I am going to Birmingham this week so will see what that is like but as per my comment above, I suspect I will be having room service when I arrive.
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