Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
robing
Posts: 1172
Joined: 7 Sep 2014, 9:11am

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby robing » 1 Aug 2017, 8:22am

I booked a ticket and bike reservation to Holyhead last week (unfortunately couldn't use it as was knocked off my bike en route to the station!) But was able to book online with east coast Virgin with no problems. I did attempt to use the beta site but gave up when it said I needed to register all over again.

The question is I suppose, will they eventually withdraw the existing website and the ability to book bikes on?

robing
Posts: 1172
Joined: 7 Sep 2014, 9:11am

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby robing » 1 Aug 2017, 11:41am

robing wrote:I booked a ticket and bike reservation to Holyhead last week (unfortunately couldn't use it as was knocked off my bike en route to the station!) But was able to book online with east coast Virgin with no problems. I did attempt to use the beta site but gave up when it said I needed to register all over again.

The question is I suppose, will they eventually withdraw the existing website and the ability to book bikes on?

Looks like they have, as of today :(
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=116330&p=1151200#p1151200

mercalia
Posts: 13186
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby mercalia » 1 Aug 2017, 12:34pm

robing wrote:I booked a ticket and bike reservation to Holyhead last week (unfortunately couldn't use it as was knocked off my bike en route to the station!) But was able to book online with east coast Virgin with no problems. I did attempt to use the beta site but gave up when it said I needed to register all over again.

The question is I suppose, will they eventually withdraw the existing website and the ability to book bikes on?


very sad to hear that and bad luck :(

robing
Posts: 1172
Joined: 7 Sep 2014, 9:11am

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby robing » 1 Aug 2017, 3:44pm

mercalia wrote:
robing wrote:I booked a ticket and bike reservation to Holyhead last week (unfortunately couldn't use it as was knocked off my bike en route to the station!) But was able to book online with east coast Virgin with no problems. I did attempt to use the beta site but gave up when it said I needed to register all over again.

The question is I suppose, will they eventually withdraw the existing website and the ability to book bikes on?


very sad to hear that and bad luck :(

Thanks. Luckily escaped with minor injuries and looks like I should be fully reimbursed, so all good.

AMMoffat
Posts: 225
Joined: 1 Dec 2007, 1:05pm

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby AMMoffat » 3 Aug 2017, 11:44am

According to my local Sustrans, Virgin is working on adding cycle reservations to the new website and the work should be completed soon

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 6149
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby Sweep » 3 Aug 2017, 3:13pm

AMMoffat wrote:According to my local Sustrans, Virgin is working on adding cycle reservations to the new website and the work should be completed soon

Thanks for the uodate.

Perhaps folk could update us if there is any movement on that.

Though I take it that cyclist come hither message is just for the virginal east coast, not the slutty west coast?
Sweep

User avatar
WorldWideWilby
Posts: 28
Joined: 26 Oct 2007, 9:52pm
Location: Conwy
Contact:

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby WorldWideWilby » 2 Sep 2017, 1:22pm

My policy is not to book the bike. But bundle it on the train. Then tell them if asked the bike booking didn't work

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my SM-G901F using hovercraft full of eels.

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 6149
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby Sweep » 2 Sep 2017, 2:33pm

WorldWideWilby wrote:My policy is not to book the bike. But bundle it on the train. Then tell them if asked the bike booking didn't work



but what if another person with a booking turns up - or it is just plain full? I have travelled on a few west and east coast trains where, at least, at some part of the journey, the bike stowage was completely full.

Your system sounds like an invitation to being left on the platform with a totally wasted ticket, being chucked off half way, a lot of fraught discussions/arguments as a train waits to leave.
Sweep

softlips
Posts: 597
Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby softlips » 3 Sep 2017, 6:34am

Sweep wrote:
WorldWideWilby wrote:My policy is not to book the bike. But bundle it on the train. Then tell them if asked the bike booking didn't work



but what if another person with a booking turns up - or it is just plain full? I have travelled on a few west and east coast trains where, at least, at some part of the journey, the bike stowage was completely full.

Your system sounds like an invitation to being left on the platform with a totally wasted ticket, being chucked off half way, a lot of fraught discussions/arguments as a train waits to leave.



Yep, saw two people waiting on the platform several weeks ago for a train with bike spaces free. It probably didn't help it was the Ride London weekend, which despite being at Kings Cross they were oblivious to.

willswitchengage
Posts: 93
Joined: 23 Oct 2018, 7:37pm

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby willswitchengage » 14 Apr 2019, 1:30pm

Not sure if this is the most up to date thread but I have just wasted an hour of my life trying to book a bike onto a train - which for my KX York return is £50 more expensive than driving and involves me riding several hours to the station either side of the journey. If I wasn't a tree hugger who didn't like riding my bike I just wouldn't have bothered.

Previous operator East Coast allowed bikes to be reserved online. For whatever reason this functionality has been withdrawn. I tried to buy tickets at the train station - for whatever reason the salesman couldn't book a reservation and seats together, couldn't get the web discount and just tried to sell me an open return. Gave up after twenty minutes (I believe their booking system is fairly idiosyncratic and slow anyway) and rang up LNER instead. A long phone call. Booking seats and getting the correct fares seemed to work, however booking a bike required her to put me on hold for ages as somebody else was contacted. A couple of the services I wanted were booked up which each took a couple of minutes to confirm. Ultimately I succeeded by my email confirmation doesn't actually include the bike reservation - I had to write down the number pen to paper. I have no proof that I booked it. How [inappropriate word removed] can this service be?!

Look forward to travelling on a new IET with only three spaces for child's bikes. The old HSTs worked well - six 'proper' bike spaces but in reality you could fit loads more in. GWR at least had a fairly pragmatic unofficial policy whenever I travelled with them (I live in Reading) of basically letting anybody on providing they didn't contribute to the train being late.

Distraught, rant over. Not seeing much light at the end of the tunnel.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15366
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby mjr » 14 Apr 2019, 1:44pm

willswitchengage wrote:Previous operator East Coast allowed bikes to be reserved online. For whatever reason this functionality has been withdrawn. I tried to buy tickets at the train station - for whatever reason the salesman couldn't book a reservation and seats together, couldn't get the web discount and just tried to sell me an open return. Gave up after twenty minutes (I believe their booking system is fairly idiosyncratic and slow anyway) and rang up LNER instead. A long phone call. Booking seats and getting the correct fares seemed to work, however booking a bike required her to put me on hold for ages as somebody else was contacted. A couple of the services I wanted were booked up which each took a couple of minutes to confirm. Ultimately I succeeded by my email confirmation doesn't actually include the bike reservation - I had to write down the number pen to paper. I have no proof that I booked it. How <i>[inappropriate word removed]</i> can this service be?!

Very. :( Please make complaints. I think you have at least four grounds, the most unusual of which is the train station salesman being unable to book reservation and seats together. The website downgrade, the overlong phone call and lack of bike reservation confirmation are also grounds for complaint but I suspect they will have heard those before and have copy-pasta replies ready-cooked for.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
The utility cyclist
Posts: 3170
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby The utility cyclist » 14 Apr 2019, 7:12pm

My EC train journey cost is now almost double to what it was last year and up from £38 to £50 since March :evil: and still all the aggro of bike booking. I haven't actually booked the journey for May as seriously considering putting the car back on the road.
Actual cost by car is £40 including 2x bridge toll, but it's cutting out the hassle and less travel time that's attractive AND being able to come and go as I please and not have to be fixed to limited journey's on the train to get the cheapest trips.
Trips across country are even worse, a 37 mile each way journey that takes less than an hour (no motorways or trunk roads) is 2.5 hours by train incl the approx 15 mins getting to/from stations by bike. £9 in fuel or almost £30 by train!

willswitchengage
Posts: 93
Joined: 23 Oct 2018, 7:37pm

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby willswitchengage » 14 Apr 2019, 7:27pm

It hasn't gone well since I wrote that post earlier this morning.

I received two confirmation numbers, one by phone as my bike reservation and one on the confirmation email.

Waited two hours as the email suggested before trying to collect my tickets.

As predicted the tickets worked fine and I now have these in my wallet, but the bike reservation code was not recognised by the ticket machine. Look forward to more phone calls with LNER (outsourced call centre too).

I should reiterate that I have bought numerous bike reservations online before (not for a year or so mind), but for whatever reason this useful functionality has been removed. There have been loopholes in the past where one random TOC will allow you to book bike reservations on their website, i.e. I used to use East Coast to buy Virgin tickets for example, but AFAIK none of them now offer this service.

willswitchengage
Posts: 93
Joined: 23 Oct 2018, 7:37pm

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby willswitchengage » 14 Apr 2019, 7:32pm

IMG_20190119_133244145.jpg


Incidentally as I previously have indicated, GWR don't seem that fussed about bikes. I've travelled a few times between London and Reading since they introduced the bike ban and I've never been challenged. Earlier this year I ended up on an IET. The guard on the platform didn't seem to know where the bike storage was so just suggested I leave it in the vestibule. It fitted ok, but this was a relatively quiet weekend service.

mercalia
Posts: 13186
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Virgin East Coast Line website revamp bad news

Postby mercalia » 14 Apr 2019, 8:51pm

willswitchengage wrote:IMG_20190119_133244145.jpg

Incidentally as I previously have indicated, GWR don't seem that fussed about bikes. I've travelled a few times between London and Reading since they introduced the bike ban and I've never been challenged. Earlier this year I ended up on an IET. The guard on the platform didn't seem to know where the bike storage was so just suggested I leave it in the vestibule. It fitted ok, but this was a relatively quiet weekend service.


all their services?