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Unread 22-09-2017, 17:31   #1
James Howard
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Default Booking is a mess

Having just come gone cold turkey after nearly 15 years of a commuter pass, I'm a bit of a newbie regarding booking seats. That being said I do have my preferences for a seat based on long experience of which are the quieter cars on the Sligo line and what works best for getting a bit of work done.

So it is somewhat bizarre that despite my long years of commuting it is not possible to figure out from the seating chart that I can request a rearward facing window seat with the window to my left on the 2nd carriage from the back of an up Sligo train. God help anyone with no experience.

Even then when I manage to guess the correct carriage and the correct direction, the probability of my booking being indicated above the seat is about 50% at best. And then even if my booking is honoured, every single time there has been somebody sitting in my seat so it is less hassle to just pick a random seat rather than do battle for my seat.

I would actually rather do without the seat reservation at all yet this is not possible with online booking. Kudos to Irish Rail for turning the perk of seat reservations into an actual hindrance. Seriously though, why do they even bother with this ridiculous system that just wrecks everyone's heads.
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Unread 22-09-2017, 18:34   #2
Jamie2k9
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ICRs get turned so often it would be fruitless to attempt to bring it in. From experience its never really an issue, you get the odd one or two who swap sides when possible.
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Unread 23-09-2017, 07:14   #3
James Howard
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Just adding a no seat reservation required option to the booking website would solve most of the issues. On Sligo there seems to be quite a big issue with people not sitting in booked seats. Well, it's not so much of a big issue as just being quite widespread. The entire concept of having seat reservations just doesn't work on the Sligo line.

I'd say the reason is a combination of people not caring, people not knowing which end of a 170m long train is which and people wanting to travel facing forward who have accidentally booked a rearward facing seat.
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Unread 23-09-2017, 13:32   #4
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
Just adding a no seat reservation required option to the booking website would solve most of the issues. On Sligo there seems to be quite a big issue with people not sitting in booked seats. Well, it's not so much of a big issue as just being quite widespread. The entire concept of having seat reservations just doesn't work on the Sligo line.

I'd say the reason is a combination of people not caring, people not knowing which end of a 170m long train is which and people wanting to travel facing forward who have accidentally booked a rearward facing seat.
I agree it would be nice, I reckon 30-40% pre booked seats are not taken up by those who book and I must admit at times I am guilty of booking a seat and not sitting in it. Most turn up but just can't be bothered looking for it.
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Unread 27-09-2017, 07:49   #5
Mark Gleeson
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Let us know the exact dates and time of trains where the names did not display so we can follow up

Hard data gets results.

Seat direction is only available Dublin Belfast and on select Dublin Cork services as there is no way to know which way around the train will be as the sets get turned around at Limerick Junction and Kilkenny on a regular basis
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Unread 01-10-2017, 21:18   #6
Jamie2k9
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One thing I have noticed twice in the last week is reservations have disappeared once a driver moves ends.

Not paid much attention before but I don't think it happened a lot before.
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Unread 02-10-2017, 07:10   #7
Inniskeen
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Judging by the Irish Rail social media feeds failure to display reserved seating is commonplace. This probably doesn't matter too much a lot of the time as there would be plenty of seats available on the majority of Heuston based services anyway. The fun starts on busier morning and evening services especially those with a high proportion of commuter traffic where load factors would be higher. A particular problem appears to arise when trains are boarded with no names displayed and then magically the names appear. Those alreadly settled are none too pleased when asked to move by people who have seat reservations and the latter get quite annoyed when the occupants refuse to move or do so with bad grace.

The root cause would appear to be a system that is good in theory but poor in application and reliability. It might be better to simply allocate a coach letter to each reservation and restrict access to these coaches to those holding a reservation. It is a bit crude but might be clearer and less dependent on unreliable technology.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 02-10-2017 at 07:12.
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Unread 02-10-2017, 12:50   #8
Jamie2k9
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It failure rate is much less than it was. I am sure at some stage they might get it right....
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Unread 04-10-2017, 16:57   #9
James Howard
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The 1705 from Sligo today was late opening doors - I had a booking for car F which I thought was the second from the back of the train. But I obviously got that wrong since in order from back to front the car indicators were A,B,C,?,?,?,?. I went for the second last ?. Then once I got myself settled into what I though was the correct seat, that changed to car B. This was 10 minutes before departure.

How are people expected to deal with this system? It is quite frankly pathetic. I've been using the train on a daily basis for more than a decade and I still can't work it out. I'm perfectly happy to turn up early enough to choose my seat.

It used to really annoy me as a commuter to see booked seats not being taken up and I find it quite embarrassing to not take my booked seat but I have no idea where on the train my seat is and I'm not likely to get out of a seat to walk the length of the train to my booked seat only to find somebody already in it.

I guess I should just choose car D.
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Unread 04-10-2017, 23:29   #10
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
The 1705 from Sligo today was late opening doors - I had a booking for car F which I thought was the second from the back of the train. But I obviously got that wrong since in order from back to front the car indicators were A,B,C,?,?,?,?. I went for the second last ?. Then once I got myself settled into what I though was the correct seat, that changed to car B. This was 10 minutes before departure.

How are people expected to deal with this system? It is quite frankly pathetic. I've been using the train on a daily basis for more than a decade and I still can't work it out. I'm perfectly happy to turn up early enough to choose my seat.

It used to really annoy me as a commuter to see booked seats not being taken up and I find it quite embarrassing to not take my booked seat but I have no idea where on the train my seat is and I'm not likely to get out of a seat to walk the length of the train to my booked seat only to find somebody already in it.

I guess I should just choose car D.
When you book online you will see the 4 car unit is labeled A-D, therefore once the driver entered the ID it will always follow that order so if the 4 coach is at Connolly end of the station train will be labeled A-G and if not G-A.
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Unread 05-10-2017, 09:20   #11
James Howard
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Ah, so that's the pattern. Not exactly user-friendly.
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Unread 05-10-2017, 09:38   #12
Jamie2k9
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Quote:
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Ah, so that's the pattern. Not exactly user-friendly.
I think so but don't know for sure, keep an eye out and see if thats how they appear.
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