Is a First Class Rail Ticket Worth the Money?

I took my first ever first class rail journey in UK in November 2011 on the East Coast service from London King’s Cross to Berwick upon Tweed.  It cost about £15 more than a standard class single ticket. The last few return trips I’d made from London to Berwick had been pretty bad, as standard class was really packed. I reckoned I’d have more space in first class so I could type without banging my elbow into the person sitting next to me. Wifi is free of charge in first class, it normally costs £5 for one hour or £10 for 24 hours, with 15 minutes free for all passengers. You also get complimentary food and drink in first class.

East Coast first class

Crayfish & Noodle Salad lunch in East Coast 1st class

As soon as I sat down in the carriage I appreciated the extra space; there are three seats across the carriage, whereas it’s four in standard class. The first class seats are more comfortable too.  As soon as the train pulled out of King’s Cross tea and coffee was served.  Next there was a cold drinks trolley with a selection of fruit juice, water, fizzy drinks, beer and wine.  A little later, lunch orders were taken; there was a salad, vegetarian shepherd’s pie or sandwiches. I had the crayfish and noddle salad which was good. There were also bananas, apples, fruit cake and crisps on offer.

Now while you could have unlimited drinks, including alcohol, throughout the journey, you weren’t permitted to have any more sandwiches although there was shortbread and fruit cake. This seemed strange to me as I can’t see sandwiches costing East Coast any more than drinks.

East Coast first class

1st class seat on East Coast train

I was able to do quite a bit of work on the journey because I had plenty of space, especially as the seat opposite me was unoccupied. I’d definetly look into travelling on East Coast first class again, depending on the price differential.