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First -v- standard class on East Coast

Edinburgh, Scotland
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709 posts
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First -v- standard class on East Coast

I am looking to book the train down to Stevenage. Has anyone travelled in first class since they have changed it and you now get a meal in first class? What is it like?

Ayr, United Kingdom
1 post
2 reviews
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41. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

As we seem to have a regular Edin/Inverness traveller (Kettles) can you comment again please (or anyone else who knows)? You seem to have got some decent food servings - but two years ago from your post.

I hope to travel on this route and am finding it difficult to get info as to what food is available when and where and in which class on weekdays.

As the trip is going to be a present for Granny, I would like to do it in some style provided it is economic and a meal forms part of that consideration (i.e.meal on train vs possibly grotty station cafe)

Scotrail say that part of my journey is run by East Coast and their current web timetable seems to indicate no food service in 1st other than the Standard trolley or Buffet (tea/coffee ans sandwiches?). I am looking for a decent(ish) meal as we will have to connect to this service and have an overall journey time of over 6 hours.

Is First currently any better then than Standard class in this respect

Any help from someone in the know would be very much appreciated.

Edited: 5:58 pm, January 18, 2014
Edinburgh, United...
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42. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

Hello

The food may only be a choice of sandwiches plus crisps, cake, though could be a light hot meal - flan with salad or baked potato with beef chili were the recent weekday options. Free hot and cold drinks and newspaper.

Both ways the carriage had no heating otherwise pleasant journey.

East Coast train's website may provide details on menus. My husband travel on the first train to London and says you can get porridge or a cooked breakfast - but it is never guaranteed what is available.

Edinburgh, United...
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53 reviews
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43. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

Just looked and yes, you can check on its website which 2 hot food items to expect (they rotate, so need to know when you travel)

Stirling, United...
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1 post
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44. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

Mixed experiences to be frank. Trip Stirling to London on 04.07.14 spoillt by no air con. Sweltered for 5 hrs 30 in a late train. Staff and sandwiches all fine but no GNER. Not allowed into first class lounge at Kings X unless I paid a £5 suppplement as I had " advanced booked". Either it's first class or it isn't. Main drawback appears to be knackered old rolling stock but seats are comfortable. When on time Stirling to London in 5 hrs 18 min. Why fly?

Kent, UK
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7,259 posts
10 reviews
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45. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

>>Not allowed into first class lounge at Kings X unless I paid a £5 suppplement as I had " advanced booked". Either it's first class or it isn't. <<

It's well publicised that you need to a pay a supplement to get into the KGX Lounge, and as of fairly recently this is a restriction that applies to the KGX Lounge only, which if you'd been in there you'd know why. Anyway, it's possible to use Reward Points to obtain a Day Lounge Pass for 50 points, which is what I do

Quigley's Point...
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46. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

Hi

I have travelled 1st class many times Aberdeen to London and return & enjoyed the comfort and the free wifi

I have never been in the 1st class lounge at Kings Cross please could someone tell me what it offers at weekends

Many thanks

Annie

Edited: 8:31 am, July 09, 2014
Kent, UK
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10 reviews
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47. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

The KGX lounge offers a selection of hot drinks, soft drinks, snacks (biscuits and fruit - not sure if they still have the fruit though), newspapers, magazines, alcoholic drinks to purchase, a TV usually showing BBC News, and free WiFi. As far as I'm aware it's the same at weekends.

Edinburgh, United...
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82 posts
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48. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

Every time I have travelled 1st class on East Coast it has been because I got a good price. From my experience it has always been a more pleasurable and less stressful journey. The food is not great but they usually come around with drinks fairly frequently. Generally the staff have great with one or two exceptions.The main value to me is the more comfortable seats, quieter and less crowded and the free wi-fi. If you can get it for the right price it's great.

Surrey
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49. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

We recently went to the Commonwealth Games, based in Edinburgh, taking Virgin First Class up and East Coast back down. I have travelled Virgin First at weekends before on shorter journeys and the snack box is perfectly acceptable. However, a snack box filled with junk food for the journey from London-Edinburgh is very poor indeed. The train also broke down twice and was 45 mins late.. However, the seating was excellent and that is why we chose first. Coming south, East Coast was excellent in a British sort of a way, with two ladies regularly passing with pots of tea and coffee. The hot food choices, though limited, were good and as we were still hungry, the staff offered us generous quantities of sandwiches and cake. The wine glass measures were very generous too. Wifi worked reasonably well and the service was on time. I would recommend it (if the price is right of course). I'm disappointed that this government will re-privatise East Coast after is has paid almost £1 billion into the treasury in five years.

Newcastle
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1 post
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50. Re: First -v- standard class on East Coast

I travelled to London from Newcastle and back again recently, and opted for First simply to get out of the crush in standard. As a single traveller, when in standard you never know who will plonk themselves down next to you, and as I don't want conversation when travelling the whole 'you might meet someone great' doesn't apply - I want to read or watch TV in peace!

Of course in First I could book a single seat, so my own space is guaranteed. Gone is that nervous feeling on approaching a station, the sense of dread on seeing the packed platform and knowing you're about to have completely unpredictable company. That, in itself, would be worth paying extra.

I'll never travel standard again if I can avoid it. The ability to wait in comfort in the First Class lounge instead of on the platform was a bonus, even in a small lounge like Newcastle's. Before I was fifteen minutes into the journey my cooked breakfast was ordered and a cup of tea and croissant brought to be getting on with. Breakfast arrived hot and very tasty - I had the full English breakfast - and drinks were brought regularly during the trip. The wi-fi worked perfectly - although it might slow down a bit if more people are using it, things were quite quiet that morning. It was a relaxing, comfortable trip with pleasant staff and a lovely breakfast. Back in standard, apparently it was crammed full that day, with people standing, and there wasn't even a trolley service.

Similar experience coming back - it was lovely to be able to go into the lounge at King's Cross and relax for a bit before the train. Yes, there's a supplement but you can also use points, and if you make your booking on the East Coast website you'll have more than enough points even from the one trip you're on to use the lounge. I was travelling late so there was no hot food, but the sandwiches were tasty and more snacks and drinks were brought very regularly. Again, peace and quiet while back in standard it was manic.

Worth every penny to me, just to get out of the noisy, stressful crush.