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Seat reservations

Seat reservations

Not yet. Watch this space for future updates!

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At the moment, no… but watch this space, as this is a feature we will be adding soon!

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Unfortunately not. That is because a rail replacement is a bus or a coach, not a train.

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Yes, you can. If the seat reservation has not been taken up within a few minutes of departing the station from which the seat is reserved, then it is considered to be unused and you may occupy it. You are allowed to sit in unoccupied reserved seats even if you don’t have any seat reservation. However, the unoccupied seat must be in the same class of accommodation that your ticket is valid for. Unused seat reservations happen because many passengers get a seat reservation with a flexible ticket, then decide to travel on a different train. Therefore, the seat reservation becomes unused.

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If you have an Advance ticket, then you should sit in your reserved seat, especially on busier services, as it is more considerate to other passengers. Otherwise, if you have a flexible ticket (such as an Off-Peak or Anytime ticket), then you do not have to sit in your reserved seat. Indeed, you could travel on another train service for which you don’t have a seat reservation. If you are travelling on the train service on which you made a seat reservation, it is considerate of other passengers to sit in your reserved seat. 

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First, check your ticket to be sure you are looking at the correct seat in the correct coach (and on the correct service!). If you are certain that you are correct, ask the other person politely if they would move. In most cases, this is an honest mistake and is simply resolved. Of course, if there are lots of unreserved seats, then you may prefer to sit in one of those.

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Sometimes, usually for operational reasons, train operating companies are not able to add reservations to a train. This usually means that every seat is regarded as unreserved. In this case, you should sit anywhere in the same class of accommodation as your ticket is for. Train operating company representatives are usually available to guide you through what to do under such circumstances. Some train operators, such as LNER, offer a seat reservation guarantee. This means that, if you are unable to get a seat at all (not just the one you originally reserved), as a result of missing reservations, you will receive compensation up to 100% of the value of your ticket.

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Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee seat reservations. Railsmartr depends upon the National Reservation System to obtain seat reservations for customers, which the train operators use to print out the reservation cards that are attached to the seat backs. Your ticket is still valid without a seat reservation, and you can sit in any vacant unreserved seat for the appropriate class of travel for your journey, whether you hold a seat reservation or not.

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We will try and match your preferences to the seats available, however it is not always possible to do so. 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 and it may not be possible to get one.

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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.

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