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Unread 13-10-2006, 09:47   #1
choo choo
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Thumbs down Reserved Seating

Hi, Long time complainer first time poster. Just thought I'd mention this as I'll probably face the same situation this evening. I get the 17.05 service every friday to Limerick and as my arrival to the station varies and with standing room only available 5 mins before departure I usually book my ticket online and get a normal seat in the first class carriage. All was well during the summer. The nice attendents with their lovely bright yellow t-shirts were there to make sure people got their seats or to direct other passaengers to vacant seats.

But since the students (nothing against students) have started back and numbers on this train (always people standing between every carriage) increasing the system has fallen into chaos. The bright t-shirts are gone and have been replaced by an ageing conductor who hides at the top of first class. I've had to ask people to move (sometimes with not a pleasent response), seen a team of 13 rugby players accomadadted in the dinning car as their seats were taken and on only 2 occasions acctually getting the seat i booked (call me old fashioned but i'm not gonna ask an old person or a woman to move).

I know there are bigger issues out there but it just annoys me that if they provide a service they should at least try to implement it.

Regards
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Unread 13-10-2006, 14:17   #2
Mark Gleeson
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I've suffered here as well, out of 4 attempts only once did it work as it should and all 3 failures where IE's fault and yes I even met a nun on the way. Thankfully I always got a seat, while I must add not everyone did.

The seats are clearly marked with the sticker at eye level so the general ignorance of some members of the public is the biggest challenge. You won't find nice people to help you elsewhere in the world.

The problem actually has three fronts

1) If the wrong train type is put into the system by IE the bookings go missing (Dublin Cork its common)
2) It all depends on some lazy IE employee sticking the seat cards into the slots at the windows (extremely frequent they are missing)
3) It assumes the Irish public are not thick about it

All three issues can be sorted by IE if there bothered

There is no talking to some people and even with a big seat reserved sign in place they won't shift and its not your responsibility to make them shift. Its totally legal for the guard to throw someone off for sitting in a reserved seat which is not theres, they can even be fined.

Firstly if you ever had to stand as a result you are entitled to a 100% refund. If you encounter an IE employee (not catering staff) who is troublesome and refuses to assist you (even with the granny scenario) follow the following steps

Ask for the name of the member of staff and where they are based, thats a basic right you have, if they refuse its no matter since IE know from the roster,
Insist they initial the back of your ticket to indicate that seat reservations where not provided
Indicate you will make a complaint to Steve Murphy General Manager (or Myles McHugh Service Planning Manager if heading west) not that you will but should have the desired effect
Mention Platform 11

At this point I'd make a phone call but its never come to that

BTW the pesky students can book seats as well

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 13-10-2006 at 14:25.
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Unread 13-10-2006, 14:26   #3
comcor
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This problem doesn't go away, not even in countries that have had it for years.

I've found people in my reserved seat in France and on Thalys services between France and Belgium/The Netherlands.

In fact the Thalys only has reserved seats. On this one the culprits seem to almost always be inter-railers who are supposed to got to the ticket desk to get a reservation, but instead seem to just get on and take any available seat.

It's quite annoying, especially when you can't just decide to go off and get another seat instead yourself.
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Unread 13-10-2006, 15:17   #4
Donal Quinn
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similar problem on 18:05 galway to dublin on sun 1 oct

i booked two ord class seats in the first class carraige. booking system said they were in the first carraige but when the train arrived there was a normal carraige first and then the 1st class carraige. i'm getting on at athenry so i know there's a v good chance the seats will be gone and as i find two in the normal carraige i grab them. after train pulled off i wandered down to see if my seats were there and they are taken of course and no sign of anything indicating that they were booked

i didn't follow it up as i had seats and i'm lazy but looks like they weren't there.

would it be worth ringing galway station in advance and tell them i expect the seats reserved - maybe i could post my booking here and barry kenny (hi barry!) could tell the lads in galway to get the finger out...!!!
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Unread 14-10-2006, 09:20   #5
TomB
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Welcome to the board choo choo, and as a regular sufferer of the 1705 to Limerick on a Friday I feel your pain!

This seat booking thing really annoys me because IE have claimed for the past two years that you can book a standard class seat on that service, and it's never worked properly (except, as you point out, when the yellow jackets briefly descended)

It's obviously the problem of the conductor who hides in 1st class. Problem is if you manage to get a seat -- any seat -- you're so thankful that you couldn't be bothered trying to find him to assert your right to the seat you had booked. I know this is what I do.

And if you did find him the response would be along the lines of "ah jaysis, that system doesn't work at all, nobody tells me anything"

Let us know how you got on on Friday. Any other problems with that service these days? I used to find that we'd often get stuck behind the late 1700 to Cork, causing the train to run late (of course they 'fixed' that problem by banging in another 5 minutes journey time in the timetable...)
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Unread 17-10-2006, 14:58   #6
choo choo
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Just to give a quick update (I know ye are all dying to hear.. lol) Well journey time came along and low and behold there was the queue for 17.05 to Limerick, but this week it was split in two with some people queing toward the door and the rest snaking around confectionary stands, seats etc.

Queing has now become the norm because for the last 3 weeks the train hasn't arrived for boarding until at the earliest 16.55 (Iarnroid Eireann would like to apologise for the late boarding blah blah blah). And then once the queue starts moving it descends into chaos and everyone just starts running at the ticket guys.. 5 abreast.. no real point in queing.

Anyhows, got to the top carriage eventually, packed as always, my seat gone, so i slip into another seat. A few more people board and predictably someone has a booking and no seat. I must add at this stage that they have never put reserved/people's names in the holders or those orange reserved signs on the seats. Maybe I'm crazy but if they got the train in on time they might be more organised!!! MIGHT.

Well the guy beside me is the unlucky fella with no booking and is in the reserved seat. He chooses first to ignore the conductor and then when told of the situation is a bit reluctant to move. I don't blame him as theres no signs/notification. Eventually he storms off barging into the person who's seat it was (Not her fault buddy).

The conductor dealt with it well explaining the situation but i think both the passenger and the conductor should not have to go through this...

Roll on the Bank Holiday weekend.. what fun...
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Unread 17-10-2006, 15:43   #7
Mark Gleeson
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Even with a hour to stick in the cards above the seats they can't manage it.

Now from what I have seen the front coach has a very clear sticker below the luggage rack indicating the seats are reserved

Key to remember is you are in control and if they don't seat you are entitled to a 100% refund that even applies if they bump you to first since the charter is worded strangely since they expect only first class to book

Quote:
If we fail to honour your seat reservation, and no other seat of similar standard on the same service is available for you, we will refund the fare of your single journey in travel vouchers.
You have nothing to lose by challenging the guard or ticket checker its their job. Stay calm stand your ground its their problem if we all did this you would be damn sure they would sort it out. Keep it simple always get the name of the person you are dealing with and be clear that you will complain
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Unread 17-10-2006, 16:56   #8
houstyl
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Same story with no cards stuck in on the 7.10 Galway-Heuston for my reserved ticket on Monday morning, not that it mattered given the train wasn't busy. At least they managed it on the 18.30 service from Galway the previous Friday when it did matter. Those signs about not occupying a reserved seat were in this carriage too.
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Unread 23-10-2006, 19:54   #9
Donal Quinn
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huge amount of advertising by IE on reserved seating for upcoming oct bank holiday

without much optimism i reserved my seats. i presume lots of reader of this thread will do the same. I suggest a test. if all those who do reserve report back on 31 oct then we'll get a clear idea of a)how often the actually mark the seats b) how often the seats are taken by other passengers c) what efforts the IE guy makes to get you into the seat you paid for....
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Unread 23-10-2006, 20:13   #10
Rashers
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Default Galway

I reserved seats last week to and from Galway, and it worked both ways. However, I think was because I reserved seats in carriage A, which is shared with first class. In Heuston, there was an additional check on entering the carriage, and a young girl brought me to my seat. No such luxury in Galway, but again no one went near my seat. These were both evening peak services, although they had plenty of seating.
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Unread 23-10-2006, 20:37   #11
John.
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If anyone could explain the principle of "Reserved Seating" and what it intends to achieve in the long run, I would be very obliged, and this from a company who regularly up until recently sent a Saturday evening Arrow out to Maynooth with no working toilets........
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Unread 24-10-2006, 04:36   #12
Alan G
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I am in two minds over the whole concept of reserved seating. I can see why regular travellers who always use the same busy trains would like it but as someone who prefers to have flexibility I usually can't reserve seats and don't see why I should be penalised in favour of someone else who paid the same price for a ticket.

In the instance mentioned above where a person was booted out of a seat that IE staff hadn't bothered to label as reserved I wouldn't have moved on principle. At least the person who had the reservation was entitled to a refund, the person who unknowingly occupied an unmarked reserved seat is I assume entitled to nothing.

When I lived in the UK, on certain routes it was common for most of the train to be littered with reserved cards. Every single seating bay would have at least one reserved seat as of course the majority of people chose facing window seats. On several long journeys I ended up having to move seats a number of times as the only available seats were ones partially reserved, not fun at all.
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Unread 24-10-2006, 17:37   #13
Oisin88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John.
If anyone could explain the principle of "Reserved Seating" and what it intends to achieve in the long run, I would be very obliged, and this from a company who regularly up until recently sent a Saturday evening Arrow out to Maynooth with no working toilets........
I've never seen a toilet on the 66 bus either. Is the bus much quicker than the train getting to Maynooth?

For inter-city services, it makes sense to have reserved seating. It prevents "ryanair syndrome" and "french queing" where old people and children are shoved out of the way in queues by people trying to get seats.

It also allows, subject to Irish Rail having sufficient rolling stock, to have proper efficient planning of train services.

It would also make things quicker if ticket checkers only had to check the unreserved seats.

Also, if you get on at an intermediate station you should be able to book your seats instead of being the equivalent of being at the end of the queue (or turning up at Heuston 2 minutes before the train leaves .
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Unread 24-10-2006, 18:26   #14
Mark Gleeson
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One of biggest issues we hear about is overcrowded trains and seat booking

If I could book I would avoid the queue in Heuston and crazy need to stand there for 1 hour plus. You are rightly stuck if you board beyond the starting station.

The system should favour the organised, you can book up to departure time but in reality about 60-50 minutes before hand will ensure your name over the seat. There is no cost to book which is good and booking available on all ticket except social welfare since they are not bookable and are sold only on day of travel thats not set by IE

The electronic booking system can rebook the same seat so if I book C33 Dublin Thurles someone else can book C33 Thurles Cork

There is talk of off peak discounts if you pre book, it is unlikely that full seat booking will be enforced except a very busy times

Only 1 coach is normally bookable and that coach has a clear sticker just above the windows which says do not occupy these seats unless you have a reservation. That satisfies the legal requirement under SI 109 1984 to give notice a seat is reserved and thus you could get fined for not moving
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Unread 24-10-2006, 19:35   #15
kevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
There is no cost to book which is good and booking available on all ticket except social welfare since they are not bookable and are sold only on day of travel thats not set by IE
What I'd like is to be able to use my annual ticket to reserve my seat during these busy weekends

oh well.

kevin
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Unread 24-10-2006, 19:37   #16
Mark Gleeson
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I know I know still looking for a answer
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Unread 24-10-2006, 20:08   #17
Oisin88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin
What I'd like is to be able to use my annual ticket to reserve my seat during these busy weekends

oh well.

kevin
I second that but my eyes are too tired to roll!
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Unread 27-10-2006, 11:12   #18
TomB
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Default Browser wars

If anyone has got the IE reservation system to work on any other browser than Internet Explorer running on a Microsoft Windows machine, can they let me know.

I use a mac for both work and home and I can't remember the last time I had to fire up a PC cause I couldn't view a site on my mac. And yes, I know the techie reason why the site won't work on my mac.

Also, while I'm at it, has anyone figured out how to change your credit card details without registering a new account? I have three accounts registered so far (work, personal, joint account with wife) and it seems ridiculous that I can't just change my credit card number.

This is 2006, having a functional online reservation system isn't rocket science anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donalq
I suggest a test. if all those who do reserve report back on 31 oct then we'll get a clear idea of a)how often the actually mark the seats b) how often the seats are taken by other passengers c) what efforts the IE guy makes to get you into the seat you paid for....
That's a great idea Donal, will report back after the weekend.

Hope everybody gets on OK with their bank holiday travelling, and watch out, due to the bank holiday chicken and stuffing sangwidges are predicted to be low, passengers are advised to bring their own to avoid disappointment.

Last edited by TomB : 27-10-2006 at 11:15.
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Unread 27-10-2006, 11:23   #19
Mark Gleeson
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It will work with Firefox on a mac and pc and I have booked using firefox on both
It won't work with safari on a mac, a fact I have pointed out in detail to the guy in charge of the seat reservation project, no response

Quote:
Safari the primary Mac OS browser fails on the select seats page, the continue button, bottom right doesn't do anything, looks like a javascript error, tried two different machines same result. A while back Firefox used to trip up but that was fixed.
At the payment page I can edit my credit card details
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Unread 27-10-2006, 13:44   #20
TomB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
It will work with Firefox on a mac and pc and I have booked using firefox on both
Didn't work with Firefox on my mac when I tried it. It's up to date too. Anyway, perhaps beside the point.

Will check out the edit credit card bit...
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