Indra’s blog: About experiencing a true First Class Service!
Going around to different courses often takes me all across the country. You might know that I now prefer to travel by train where possible, I have blogged about it before. It is usually comfortable and gives me a chance to catch up on work instead of keeping my attention on the road ahead. Especially before I had kids, I would take the car and drive for hours to Manchester, to Leeds, to where-ever the course happened to be. I thought it was easy, no waiting for a train to leave or rushing to get away from a course early as otherwise I could not get home. No big delays or getting stuck on a remote train station. I had enough of those student years where catching a train was necessary evil to get home or to university. All changed when I got pregnant and travelling alone felt less safe… what if anything would happen? I was tired more easily and did not feel a 3.5-4 hours in a car was a good idea. The husband said NO to the long car journeys and I happily obliged and started touring by train again. I learnt when to get cheaper train tickets and making sure to book seats as when it gets busy you still can’t work if you must stand… …or sleep when you are (heavily) pregnant and can use a bit of a snooze.
Often my courses bring me to London; the service used to be run by East Coast and is now Virgin trains. Both are usually great. It is a straight train from Berwick-upon-Tweed and a good 3.5-4 hours later you arrive on Kings Cross. You cannot really do that journey by car any quicker so I never attempted that anyway. I would either fly or take this train. There is always a service carriage, where you can buy some food, snacks or drinks. So, this being the only long train experience I had in the UK, I did not realise not every service provider was the same. I did not think anything else.
One day, I came back from one of my courses and was just able to catch the train back up to Berwick. I had a long journey ahead of me and I was screamingly hungry. Very pregnant, I really needed instant food as I felt I was going to faint. Nothing surprised me more than to find that there was no food on the train. The little service trolley was completely sold out, even though we had just left a big city. I think it was Manchester, but can’t remember exactly. So, I asked where the service carriage was as I could not see a sign and there was none. I could cry… I had no food left and with a few hours ahead of me and already feeling light in my head I just could not believe there was nothing I could buy. Fortunately, there were some lovely people around me that overheard the conversation and offered me an apple, a banana and a cookie of theirs. So, I did not die that day and found humanity, but boy was I disappointed in the service I took for granted.
I started using First Class as often as I found it was economically worth it compared to Standard Class. And again the East Coast, now Virgin train to London is great. Comfy seats, free wifi, you get fed and the drinks keep coming. You think I would have learnt from that experience a few years ago though. However, when Liam and I went to Nottingham two weeks ago around dinner time, I was very surprised the only thing we got was a single drink and a cookie. Also First Class, but different provider. I did not bring any food or drinks on the train, thinking we were sitting First Class so all was taken care of. Therefore, we found ourselves very lucky the hotel was running a late dinner service and we got fed when we arrived there at about 22.30 hours.
Today Liam and I are on our way to another business course, this time in London again. As it is a Sunday the evening dinner choice is not great, but there is a choice and there is plenty of food and drink. What a relief. Well done Virgin.
Today’s blog is no advertisement for Virgin, even though it almost looks like it is. What I am trying to say is that even though you think you are booked in for the same thing; a train journey in this case, whether Standard or First Class, the way the service provider executes your experience can turn out to be completely different. Same goes for dentistry.
A private practice and an NHS practice both provide a dental service, but when you pay more by choosing to go private, you usually get more (higher quality materials, more time, more service). Most people know and expect this. Having said that; it definitely does not mean that every private dentist provides the same level of service, has the same dental back ground, uses the best materials and gives you the same great experience. Here at Berwick Smile Dental Care we continuously try to excel and make the patient journey better and more comfortable than what you are used to. Come and see for yourself! We would love to help you on your way.