Free upgrade….

I’ve always wanted to know how to get a free upgrade to first class…..have something to complain about, knowing you are in the right.

The Midlands train that pulled into Bedford station was a proverbial ‘half mile long’. Station staff couldn’t advise me where the cycle space was, and before I had time to find it, I was forced to board by impatient staff, with my bike blocking the entrance/exit to the carriage. No one assisted me, no one was there to direct me, despite having bike space booked, so I complained vociferously to the train manager.

The reason he gave for not allowing me the time to find the correct carriage for my boxed bike was because “every second counts”. I assume that is a company motto drilled into all the staff. To me that was a red tag to a bull. Controlling my rightful anger as a fare-paying passenger, I let him know a thing or two…..and he knew I was in the right, and didn’t try to defend himself.

Result? “Sir, let’s put you in first class along with your bike”. Strangely, my rightful anger receded almost instantly….. Mm…..

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 7, 2018, in Cycling Cuba and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I recall a 1st class trip with bike from Inverness to Peterborough returning from LEJOG. I was too late for early booking discount for 2nd class, but 1st class tickets were still available at discount. So a discounted 1st was cheaper than a regular 2nd! I had no complaints about trip!

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  2. Sometimes the dice roll in our favour, Peter…..like the time we got discounted tickets at Peterborough -Edinburgh, and because the air/con was not working, we were upgraded to first class….and all for £9

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  3. woohoo. glad you got into 1st class

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  4. Way to go! :).

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  5. I’ve never had an upgrade. I will need to do some complaining. 🙂

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  6. I’ll file this one for use ICoE.

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  7. Another occasion was when the air/con had broken down, and we were all transferred to 1st class…..

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  8. Reminds me of the first time I took a bike on a train, similar situation, long train, had to run to get to the cycle storage area, and the platform guard shouting the same phrase ” ever second counts”. Have learnt since to give enough time where possible and check online where the cycle carriage is on the trains , as it varies between different rail companies.
    Mind, felt a bit stupid when I asked at one station where the cycle area would be and he give a strange look and said “there is only four carriages” D`oh!

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  9. I reckoned asking one of the station staff would be enough….but obviously that wasn’t the case.

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