We’re all first class now...

5 March 2013

Remember when first class rail travel used to be the preserve of stuffy business types and bigwigs? Well not any more. According to the latest calculations by the Association of Train Operating Companies, more than 11 million first class tickets were sold last year, many bought in advance by hen night groups toting bottles of pink fizz and inflatable knobs.

The amount of First class tickets sold have risen from 6 .7 million a year in 2003, and it seems that today’s youth are upgrading like their lives depend on it. Virgin has even attributed a rise in first class tickets on one of their routes to people who are travelling from London to Manchester to go to clubs.

It MIGHT just have something to do with the fact that you can buy a first class upgrade online for £5 more than a standard fare. Which basically, makes first class more like ‘Economy Plus’, or ‘Standard Extra’. You still have to share the carriage with rampant sociopaths, but you get a cup of tea delivered by a sad eyed train employee instead of having it thrown in your face at the buffet car.

Still, it’s good that we’re all getting a piece of the first class lifestyle. Ok, so the risk of someone vomiting Lambrini on your laptop at 10 am is greatly increased, but that's the price of democracy.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Yodel b.
    The irony is that most businesses now insist their employees buy the cheapest available ticket, so all the "stuffy business types and bigwigs" are now in standard while all the pissheads that used to make standard a misery are in first.
  • Captain C.
    "Virgin has even attributed a rise in first class tickets on one of their routes to people who are travelling from London to Manchester to go to clubs." That and the fact they often have 5 1st Class carriages for every 2nd class, so the train can be less than 1/3rd full and STILL you are crammed in tighter than a tin of American sardines in a UK sardine tin
  • Justin A.
    Is the London club scene so bad that they are coming to Manchester? Half the club events I want to go to mean doing the opposite trip.
  • Sicknote
    Oh for fucks sake; the rise in first class tickets is because the actual cost of first class train travel has plummeted for off-peak periods. Three years ago my employer was shelling out for my daily first class commute from Southampton to London but as I received the same shitty shit service as cattle class I told them not to bother any more.
  • Kevin
    They give you better service for very little extra and still people moan. Yodel is right, any publically funded employee is not allowed to take first-class whereever they are in the structure, CEO or office worker. Which is pretty stupid really as if you buy tickets in advance and for specific trains only it can work out even cheaper!
  • shiftynifty
    See you on the 8.15 ....juicy lucy...I`ll be sat by the window
  • Loafer1946
    Being a poor struggling pensioner I find myself in the fortunate position of being able to book rail tickets months in advance, if you take into account the free coffee and biscuit first class is equal in price to second and you don't get the riff-raff and kids.

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