Last week, I travelled some distance across the country, costing me a grand total of £82 ( no, none of that was paid by you, the tax-payer!) to give a speech. (Many people actually get paid for giving speeches. I've obviously got something badly wrong.) Anyway, I paid quite a hefty fare for my train journey only to find, joy of joys, that standard class was absolutely chokka. People were slotting themselves into luggage-rack gaps, had filled the buffet car and some had taken up camp in the carriage corridors themselves. Happy days.
It was then I had a brainwave. Surely the little table, just past the Class-Barrier of the buffet-car, on which free copies of The Times are often arrayed for First Class customers wouldn't be actually First Class?
I squeezed down the train, past the buffet, to confirm my suspicions. The carpet didn't actually begin until after the little table-bit at the end of the carriage. What's more, I reasoned, one pays for a First Class seat, surely? Throwing caution (and images of 'MP travels in First Class with Standard-Class Ticket' headlines) to the winds, I perched myself on said little table, tucked my feet in, and muttered to myself about how much I'd just paid for this dubious comfort.
|Grrrrr. Very annoying. Especially when you've been sitting in a packed Standard Class luggage rack.|
What made things more galling is that the First Class carriages were virtually empty. More muttering. After some considerable amount of time squished up on a small table, this is why I have quite a bit of sympathy for calls to re-think the Standard:First Class ratio on trains.
You can read a bit more about it here: