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But the big VIA Rail logo that spans 2 coaches doesn’t? posting this a second time because you clearly missed it the first time View attachment 563616
This is the coach that will be behind the locomotive as evident by it being sealed off, as seen on the other sets. Means the logo will be on the locomotive not just another random car.
 
This is the coach that will be behind the locomotive as evident by it being sealed off, as seen on the other sets. Means the logo will be on the locomotive not just another random car.
Hopefully then car 3 or 4 will have another logo
 
That's the biggest problem for vias operations. It thinks as if it's an airline and operates that way...
Sure, of all the problems VIA faces (most importantly: its dependence on federal subsidies and CN, which places it at the mercy of politicians, paper-pushers and CN‘s dispatchers), charging its customers $7 for seat selection (a service it didn’t even offer untill 7 months ago unless you called them up after booking to get your seat changed manually), while offering that service for free to anyone willing to pay just $10 more for „Economy“ fare which also offers partial refundability and exchangeability must be the most important problem…^^
 
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Sure, of all the problems VIA faces (most importantly: its dependence on federal subsidies and CN, which places it at the mercy of politicians, paper-pushers and CN‘s dispatchers), charging its customers $7 for seat selection (a service it didn’t even offer untill 7 months ago unless you called them up after booking to get your seat changed manually), while offering that service for free to anyone willing to pay just $10 more for „Economy“ fare which also offers partial refundability and exchangeability must be the biggest problem it is facing…^^

I have never seen data reported on what percentage of air travellers do take advantage of paid seat selection, but I'm sure that the rates airlines charge are carefully crafted and monitored to optimise revenue.
While there is good reason to make informed decisions about seats on an airplane ride - and resources like seatguru to back that up - I suspect that the number of rail travellers who care about getting a "good" seat on a train is somewhat smaller, and their knowledge base for which seats are "superior" is limited. Seat61's writeup about Canadian trains doesn't even mention seat selection....it's a pretty small group of enthusiasts who know to ask for Bedroom F etc. I suspect the number of riders who will pay to select their seat on VIA is smaller than for air.
The issue for me is that rail travel is competing with air travel, and any selling feature which differentiates rail from air is desirable as a matter of good marketing. So I would wonder why VIA would copy airline marketing strategy where it could take a "we don't gouge you like airlines do" messaging and possibly attract more business and revenue than by pretending to be an airline with all the aggravations of air travel. "Choose your seat....for free" is a very attractive marketing slogan imho.
So while the majority of passengers may not mind the payment, or may not see any need to choose their seats, this decision does seem wrong to me.

- Paul
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PS As a matter of disclosure - I reasearch my seat choices very carefully, down to knowing that the HEP I coach is the last car on train 73, and the seats without a window pillar are xyz.... but if you are in that headspace, you aren't a "typical" VIA rider.
 
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The mere fact that charging $7 for seat selection with ESCAPE fares causes angry media articles, but making these ESCAPE non-exchangeable goes unnoticed, shows you that it‘s just the usual foamers whining around, not normal passengers…
 
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The mere fact that charging $7 for seat selection with ESCAPE fares causes angry media articles, but making these ESCAPE non-refundable and non-exchangeable goes unnoticed, shows you that it‘s just the usual foamers whining around, not normal passengers…
Well in a world of social media and 24 hr news cycle, regardless of the actual efficacy if this new policy the optics of it will surely damage via in the near term. Who knows, when this blows over they may feel emboldened to nickel and dime even further, just like airlines because riders can either shut up and ride or take a plane. Either way they're not helping themselves in the long run my emulating their direct competition instead of finding ways to beat them
 
Well in a world of social media and 24 hr news cycle, regardless of the actual efficacy if this new policy the optics of it will surely damage via in the near term. Who knows, when this blows over they may feel emboldened to nickel and dime even further, just like airlines because riders can either shut up and ride or take a plane. Either way they're not helping themselves in the long run my emulating their direct competition instead of finding ways to beat them
Yet, the same people whining now still use the plane, even where VIA is a credible alternative.

But let‘s face it: the mistake was to temporarily offer the service of seat selection for free to ESCAPE ticket holders, when such service was first introduced with the launch of the new fare system last fall…

Anyways, I invite anyone upset here to compare the fare restrictions of VIA, Air Canada and any bus operators of their choice for any of VIA‘s Corridor routes, so that we can finally comment on the actual similarities and differences…
 
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The mere fact that charging $7 for seat selection with ESCAPE fares causes angry media articles, but making these ESCAPE non-refundable and non-exchangeable goes unnoticed, shows you that it‘s just the usual foamers whining around, not normal passengers…

We may all have our opinions, but in business these decisions do reflect someone's sage observations about human behaviour and what constitutes "value".

If people perceive value in something, they will pay to derive the value. Buying a non refundable booking to secure a lower price point, at greater risk, has its value (I have eaten a few of these in my lifetime) just as buying a flex booking at higher price may offer greater value, if the risk of changed dates or connections is seen as material (I do lots of that, and certainly feel it's money well spent).

Offering a super low fare package where the traveller accepts less flexibility across the board (including seat assignment) to secure a lower price makes perfect sense to me - whether or not it fits anyones' personal choice is irrelevant.

But it's a PR fail if VIA has introduced that in a way that gave rise to media blowback. Perhaps the explanation was lacking. And certainly if seat selection is the amenity that the media has chosen to gripe about, that may be evidence that the value-money tradeoff for that amenity is weaker in the average reader's mind. I do think the airline industry is on shaky ground with many of its low-flexibility cultural attributes, and VIA would be wise to differentiate from that.

- Paul
 
Regarding the seat selection fee for Escape fares, I suspect the wrath is coming from a lack of understanding/clarity on what happens when you don't select a fee. With airlines, they don't assign you a seat until check-in, risking your party not siting together, and if the flight is overbooked, you risk being bumped. If VIA is doing something similar to that, then there is some validity to the concern. If they will still assign you seats at booking (with your party sitting together if possible), but you can't change your seat, then it is a Much Ado About Nothing.
 
Regarding the seat selection fee for Escape fares, I suspect the wrath is coming from a lack of understanding/clarity on what happens when you don't select a fee. With airlines, they don't assign you a seat until check-in, risking your party not siting together, and if the flight is overbooked, you risk being bumped. If VIA is doing something similar to that, then there is some validity to the concern. If they will still assign you seats at booking (with your party sitting together if possible), but you can't change your seat, then it is a Much Ado About Nothing.
All trains we been on we have requested a seat including VIA. You can request a seat on an airplane when booking at an extra $25 per seat. I prefer a window seat that allows me to take photos and videos while taking off/ landing or flying over places. Same on trains.
 

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