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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Kris Gourlay

Raging Edinburgh train passenger says she was 'forced to stand' in empty coach

A raging Edinburgh train passenger has hit out after being "forced to stand" when a VIP allegedly booked 80 seats in a carriage during a long-haul journey.

The passenger took to Twitter to ask LNER why her, and several other passengers, were made to stand while a "bouncer" refused to let them sit in one of the dozens of empty seats that were not being used.

Yara Fowler said that the carriage was subsequently crowded after it was booked out for a supposed 'confidential meeting'.

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She tweeted: "Just got off this Edinburgh-London LNER train. People were crowded & standing in the corridors but *stopped by a bouncer* from sitting in the many empty seats in coach B, because a “VIP” had booked them out for “a confidential meeting”. Wtf? This is publicly owned public transport."

Responding to Yara's tweet, LNER apologised for any inconvenience caused and that coach B was booked for 80 people through the company's Platinum Booking Team.

Yara added: "How can you think you are entitled to a 'confidential business meeting' on a train??! Meanwhile people who could have disabilities or be vulnerable to Covid were packed in and just standing for hours.

Yara alleged that of the 80 booked seats, around 30 were being used. (Yara Fowler)

"As the girl next to me said, you wouldn't hold a confidential business meeting on a bus. All the train staff agreed but train manager (nice man with a RMT lanyard) said the instructions had come from 'high up.'

She then suggested that the people who booked the carriage had been given "preferential treatment" to which LNER responded saying that all passengers receive the same entitlement.

Yara continued: "They didn’t have 80 passengers, at most 30 I would guess, saying they needed the empty seats for 'confidentiality'. Another train was cancelled and the rest of us (including elderly people, potentially disabled people) were standing. Why were they given preferential treatment?"

LNER replied: "They will receive the same entitlements as everyone else and would have a Standard Class ticket valid for the booked train as part of their travel. . LNER offer business, Group and VIP travel as part of their service but entitlements remain equal."

Yara uploaded images of multiple people standing in the aisle of the coach along with another picture of the empty seats that had been booked out for the large party.


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