Now this blog has been up and running for a few months, and I’ve reviewed a few trips, both on trains and in the air, I’ve decided to change how I score the various journeys I go on. Hopefully the new ratings system I’ve decided on will better look at all the relevant criteria and better place trips on the league tables that will soon go live on the website. I should also be able to use this scoring system on all journeys whether they be by train or plane, in standard class, first, economy or business.
Although the blogs are yet to go live, I’ve been using this system on trips since the start of August and so far I feel it’s given a fair representation of the journey. Therefore, I’ll be rating the following five areas on all trips going forward: Lounge; Seat/Facilities; Food; Service; and Punctuality. A little bit of detail for each area can be found below:
This will look at whether lounge access is included in the ticket price, whether the lounge is open at the times of my journey, how comfortable/spacious the lounge is and what food & drink are on offer.
This will look at both the seat itself and what facilities are available such as power sockets and Wi-Fi. Initially I wasn’t going to factor in entertainment for train journeys, however I’m aware that the BEAM entertainment system is available on Virgin Trains and so I feel it is fair to include this in the rating for all rail journeys.
In terms of the seat, I’ll look at comfort, width, legroom and general functionality. You’ll find that a couple of LNER journeys will have lost a point here due to seats self-reclining.
Nice and simple this one. I’ll look at what food/drink is provided in the price of the ticket, how expensive buy on board food is, as well as the quality of the food available. If I’m in first or business class I won’t purchase any food as I’d expect some included, whereas in standard or economy I’ll try to purchase something similar each time to allow some comparison.
Service can make or break a journey for me and I feel on those journeys where the on-board crew are excellent, this should be rewarded. This will factor in how accessible the crew were as well as how looked after I felt on my journey. If I’m travelling in first on a rail journey, I would generally expect to see the crew more than once.
A nice easy one and one that could make or break the overall score for a journey. I’m going to be nice and give all journeys a five-minute window for arriving on time and therefore 0-5 minutes late will get 5*s. 5-15 will get 4*, 15-30 3*, 30-45 2*, 45-60 1* and anything more than an hour late will get 0*. Whilst this score will be rather black and white, I’ll include the context of the delay in the review where I can.
Overall this system should give journeys a score out of 25 and I’d expect that first/business class journeys will score higher overall than standard/economy ones. However, as the system is fairly subjective, there will be cases where an excellent standard class trip may outscore a mediocre first-class trip.
After I’ve used the system for a few trips I’ll launch a ‘league table’ page on my website where you’ll be able to view the various trips in comparison to each other.