Trains UK – How to get FREE or Cheap First Class Travel!

UK trains can, at times, get busy and uncomfortable. I recall one or two journeys where the train was so full from London to Birmingham that people were sitting in the isles! Food is also expensive on UK trains, so a complimentary tea or coffee in first class wouldn’t go amiss! Today, I am blogging about how to get free or cheap first class seats on UK trains.
Train travel in the UK is expensive. If you are interested in how to book trains cheaply, first read my article on Travel Hacking UK Trains.

Why Travel on First Class Trains UK?

  • More leg room
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Newspapers
  • Quiet
  • Free WIFI
Virgin Pendolino Train
Image Credit: Simon Pillow (Creative Commons on Flickr)

Virgin Trains

How to get a free upgrade to First Class on UK trains

When there has been a previous train cancelled and your train is packed out, it is easy to upgrade to first class, especially if you have a reserved seat that is taken or can’t actually get to your seat.
Quite often, when it gets to the point of people standing in the Isles or sitting between carriages, the train driver or manager will open first class for all. If in doubt, try sitting in First Class, and when the conductor comes round, apologise, and say ‘I’m so sorry, I couldn’t get to my reserved seat because the train is so busy’. Twice this has happened to me on journeys from Manchester to Birmingham, and I have been allowed to stay sitting in First class.

Kings Cross Station
RPM on (Creative Commons 2.0)

How to Upgrade to First Class Trains UK

With Virgin Trains, on weekends, you can upgrade your ticket to first class for an extra £10. This is well worth it as a travel blogger, because you get free wifi. It is also worth it if you were going to buy a tea or coffee, as these are complimentary in First. So if you were going to buy a coffee and an hours WIFI, you might as well just go ahead and pay for the upgrade.
Simply sit in First class trains UK with your standard ticket. When the conductor comes round, hand over your ticket with an extra tenner and hey presto!
Book your UK train ticket here with Virgin Trains.
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