Friday, 27 July 2007

Tickety boo

So I was travelling to Halifax earlier in the week, and I got to the station early. Being in possession of a first-class ticket, I decided to go and wait in the lounge. So I went to the lounge, and presented my ticket to enter:

Major: "What ho, my good man. I would like to come in and enjoy your facilities, and rest my tired formerly military feet, please. Here is my ticket to enter."

GNER lackey: "Well you are very welcome. Let me just go through the formality of checking your"

(Leans forward to inspect ticket)

GNER lackey: "I'm sorry, sir, but I cannot let you in. You have the wrong first class ticket."

Major (somewhat perplexed tone): "But aren't all first class tickets valid for the lounge, it being called 'first class lounge' and not 'some of first class lounge'?

GNER lackey (officious monotone): "No, sir. Advance purchase tickets are not valid for the lounge as they are cheaper."

(exit Major, door left)

Now, you will all know that I do not particularly care for railway operators, they make the Major late for his parades and inspections, and their trains are not comfortable. And their excuses are more creative but less credible than ever, such as the recent announcment that the train I was waiting for had been stopped and cancelled "due to overcrowding", which is neither a
valid reason nor a reason that will be solved by pushing all of those passengers off the train on to the next one. But I digress.

I went to check on the price of an open first class ticket to the first station, and it was less than the price of my ticket. Meaning that others who had spent less may have been admitted.

But that's not the real inconsistency. If you have an open ticket, surely you are going to take the first train, rather than wait in the lounge. So the only people who really need the lounge are the ones with advance tickets, who are not allowed in. Which is nice.

I don't know why GNER thought that might be a good idea, but I'd like to find the man who thought of it and shake him firmly by the head.

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