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Cross country trains, save money!
Member Name: childofbodom123
Advantages: Comfortable travel, good service, not many stops along the way!
Disadvantages: Unless you use my money saving tips, the tickets are expensive
Okay so pretty bad ratings for cross country trains and i have to say i am not completely sure why!? I have used this train company so many times i have lost count and not just for short journeys but for journeys from newcastle to basingstoke and that is around 6 hours on the train and have been doing this for about 3 year. I have to say i think as far as trains go cross country leads the way, and below i will tell you how to get the best out of this train company (also known as HOW TO SAVE MONEY!).
I have had delays with this train but you get that with all trains. They DO over crowd there trains which are both big faults but every train company has this problem so you kind of have to focus of the positives. When me and my fiance were delayed at christmas for over an hour i complained and they gave me a full refund (as per their own policy but it was very quickly resolved) so no real issue there, i got a free journey! The staff are mostly very good and we mix up travelling first class (read below on how i do this) and standard class, and either way the staff are 90% good. So i will review both standard and first class (and remember to read below on how to save money when buying tickets).
Standard class -
Okay so i mostly travel with standard class and the seat room is like any other train company, not amazing but not too bad. The luggage racks are quite small considering the amount of people in the carriage and it can be very annoying but the key is if you cant get your bag on the rack wait till everyone is stood up to get off there stop and hope that someone moves a bag! There is little staff involved in standard class but the trolley service is a good little feature and the staff are very polite and always up for a laugh. The air conditioning is not amazing but again its no better or worse than any other train company.
First class -
So in first class you get the obvious .. A member of staff asking every 10 minutes if you are all right and you also get complimentary hot and cold drinks and also food. The hot food really is not that good but not much complimentary food is. The biscuits and crisps are good quality and the hot drinks are starbucks, so its not all bad. The leg room is very good and the luggage space is the same as standard but the majority of people in first class do not have big luggage bags. Okay so ... lets see how to save money.
Saving money with cross country trains.
Okay so cross country trains may not be perfect and i think i would agree more with the other reviews if i was paying the same amount of money as them, however using such a simple trick i pay a huge amount less.
If you know where you are travelling well in advance, then simply book as soon as possible, you can book 3 months in advance. Also always look at 2 single tickets before looking at a return ticket, it is often cheaper and in my experience i have found it is always cheaper. For an example, i used to travel from newcastle to basingstoke with a return ticket and i bought it a few days before i travelled and it cost me £116.00.
When i now buy me and my fiance a ticket here is what i do ...
I buy between 1 and 3 month before i travel (because i know the exact dates i am travelling), i book 2 singles to basingstoke from newcastle and 2 singles from basingstoke to newcastle with my dates. Some times first class tickets are available IF you book literally 3 month ahead and you can buy a first class ticket for £32.00 (basingstoke to newcastle), so its worth trying the way i do it.
If you travel more than 3 times a year and spend more than £200 on travel then it is also work looking at getting some form of rail card, there is different ones available but most save you 1/3 on train fare.
So to sum up on how to save money with cross country...
If you know your dates of travel then book one to three months in advance.
Look at 2 singles as well as a return to see what is cheaper.
If your timing is flexible look at different times in the day as off peak is always cheaper.
Follow these tips and your savings could be huge. Where i used to pay £116.00 for just myself from newcastle to basingstoke, following the above steps i now book tickets for me and my fiance and with at least first class one way (sometimes both ways) the total is £135.00, so obviously i now pay £67.50 instead of £116.00.
So yes this train company like all of them do charge far too much for travel, so follow my above steps and save yourself some money and i am sure you will agree that for the price you are then paying you get a good service and you do not pay extortionate prices!
Summary: Save money with my tips and this train company is better than those similar to it.
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