We use cookies to track usage and preferences. You can view our cookies policy here.

Seat reservations

Seat reservations

We know it can feel a bit awkward if there’s someone already sitting in your reserved seat.

If you’re absolutely certain it’s yours and no other suitable seats are available, there’s only one thing to do. Simply ask the person politely if they’ll move. It’s often just an honest mistake and can easily be sorted.

Of course, if there are lots of unreserved seats, you might just want to keep it simple and sit in one of those.

last update:

Railsmartr doesn’t offer seat maps, like airlines, yet. Watch this space for future updates!

last update:

At the moment, you cannot reserve a space for your bike… but watch this space, as this is a feature we will be adding soon!

last update:

Unfortunately, there aren’t seat reservations on rail replacement buses and coaches. That is because a rail replacement is a bus or a coach, not a train.

last update:

Yes. You can sit in a seat that is reserved, but unoccupied. If the seat is still empty a few minutes after departing the station it’s reserved from, go for it! You are allowed to sit in unoccupied reserved seats even if you don’t have any seat reservation. But make sure the seat is in the same class of accommodation for your ticket type.

More details on seat reservations are available here.

last update:

If you have an Advance ticket, you should sit in your reserved seat, especially on busier services.

If you have a flexible ticket (such as an Off-Peak or Anytime ticket), there’s no obligation to sit in your reserved seat. You could even travel on a different train altogether (just be sure to check the restrictions on your ticket first). But remember – your original reservation won’t be valid on a different service – so it’s safest to keep to the service you booked if you want a seat!

last update:

If your seat reservation is missing you can sit anywhere in the same class of accommodation shown on your ticket.

Can’t find any reservations on the train at all? This usually means that every seat is classified as ‘unreserved’. Sometimes, train operating companies are not able to add reservations to a train so representatives are usually available to guide you through what to do.

Some train operators (such as LNER) offer a seat reservation guarantee. This means you could receive compensation up to 100% of the value of your ticket if your reservation is missing and you can’t get a seat at all as a result. More details on seat reservations are available here.

last update:

Unfortunately, seat reservations are not guaranteed. Railsmartr depends upon the National Reservation System to obtain seat reservations for customers. Train operators use them to print out the reservation cards that are attached to seat backs. Your ticket is still valid without a seat reservation. Therefore, you can sit anywhere in the same class of accommodation shown on your ticket, whether or not you hold a seat reservation.

last update:

It is not always possible to meet your seat reservation preferences, however we will try and match your preferences to the seats available. In fact, seat reservations are subject to availability and we cannot guarantee that your preferences can be met. In particular, seats with tables are often in limited supply. Therefore, it may not be possible to get one.

last update:

We request from the reservation system that seats are grouped together for multiple travellers. Sometimes, it might look like your seats are not grouped together, even though they are. For instance, seats around a table may not have consecutive numbers. When the train is busy, it may simply not be possible to group passengers together. That is because most seats have been booked already. However, you may be able to sit together in a carriage that does not have seat reservations. In fact, there is at least one carriage, or part of one, which is left without any reservations in longer distance trains.

last update: