Newest Review: ... free tea, coffee, juice, water - still or sparkling and biscuits. We were also given the free newspaper too. The compartment was quite... more
All that money for weak tea and a bit of fabric?
First Class Train Travel
Member Name: murphymurphymoo
First Class Train Travel
Advantages: Comfort and service
Ok, let me first say I am not fortunate enough to travel first class off my own back. I only travel first class when I am travelling through work and I have only been in my job for ten weeks now. So what I'm trying to say is I'm not used to it and I definitely don't take it for granted.
The first time I booked my train tickets at work I felt really guilty selecting first class, especially when I saw the price difference. I travel from Sheffield to London about once a week and it adds just over £100 onto my journey.
So, is it worth the £100 extra?
Well, basically the differences between First Class and Standard are a piece of fabric with the word 'First' on it and lots of weak luke warm tea.
However, what seperates the two is the level of service you receive in First Class. As soon as you get on the train you are offered a 'Times' in the morning and an 'Evening Standard' in an afternoon/evening. Yes, I'll admit the cost of the paper hardly dints the £100 price difference.
You have the option of ordering your breakfast and having it brought to your table, small touch but much better than queueing up whilst trying to answer and email on your Blackberry.
A few weeks ago my train was stuck behind another train that had broken down. We were stood on the track for about an hour, in that time we had two rounds of tea/coffee brought down biscuits and savoury snacks. This makes the whole experience seem less stressful.
You get much more leg room when you are sat in First Class, which results in a much more comfortable journey. There is also only ever three seats in any row, as opposed to four in standard. This means the seats are more spacious. You also have the option of sitting in a seat on it's own, not sitting next to anyone else. Good for when you want to read some papers, or simply feel like being unsociable.
Another factor which I like is the fact that not alot of people sit in First Class. This means that if you miss your allocated train with your seat reservation you have a good chance of being able to sit in an unreserved seat. Anyone who has travelled home from London in heels, with a suitcase and stood up all the way will know how important this is.
However, I only travel First Class when I am travelling a fair way. If I am travelling between Sheffield and Leeds I do not bother. Its only 40 mins which is barely time for one cup of tea, so in my opinion not worth the extra money.
All in all First Class is good and essential if you are travelling quite a way on a regular basis. But if you are travelling for social reasons I wouldn't bother, you can relax when you get there, so don't part with your cash.
Summary: Lovely if you can afford it, but I wouldn't splash out on a regular basis.
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