An Edinburgh passenger has told of being left stranded for three hours in Newcastle while heavily pregnant after being told she would have to buy a new ticket despite already forking out £200.
Jody Yates was travelling from Edinburgh to London on Friday afternoon with her husband Joel after spending a few days in the city as their last holiday before her baby is born.
The mum-to-be had pre-booked tickets from September for the return to London, but says she was told they could board an earlier train back home to Sheffield after feeling the effects of walking around for two whole days.
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But she said a conductor ruled her ticket invalid and train firm LNER have reiterated advance tickets cannot be used on any other service other than the one it was bought for with the British Transport Police rightly called.
Jody told Edinburgh Live: “We went early on Friday morning to Waverley station to enquire if we could change our pre-booked tickets to catch an earlier train.
“I didn’t have my e-ticket with me, but the person at the desk for LNER said we could do this on the train for an admin fee and pay the difference should the journey cost any more.”
Jody said that she had actually tried to go online and change their ticket time the night before, but there were problems with the app and she was unable to sign in.
From the moment that Jody showed the member of staff her ticket, she said he approached them with an angry attitude.
She added: “I showed him our tickets and told him what the desk had said but he had an attitude from the beginning, saying our tickets were not valid. He said we would have to pay for a whole new ticket and that we couldn’t just pay the difference.”
With Jody’s husband trying to calm the situation down and explain it to the member of staff, she said more and more people started to notice what was going on – much to her embarrassment.
She said: “He wouldn’t accept anything we said, he told us he would have to get the transport police involved and we would have to get off at the next station, which was Newcastle.
“The one and a half hour journey to Newcastle was awful as we were worried about that the police would have us in handcuffs and we were very stressed.”
When the train eventually stopped in Newcastle, Jody said they noticed the police already waiting for them. She told how they got off and began to explain the situation, with the train manager still shouting at them on the platform.
Jody said the police were on their side and couldn’t understand the controversy surrounding the tickets.
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She added: “They told us the best thing to do was wait for the correct train and put in a complaint to LNER. This left us stood on a busy platform for two hours with nowhere to sit and all our luggage. LNER had zero sympathy and compassion or even a willing to help.”
Jody also noted that when they finally got on the train they were originally booked on hours later, nobody from LNER came around to check tickets.
LNER have responded to Jody’s complaint via social media, saying that advance tickets can’t be used on any other service other than the one it was bought for, and as a result of not paying for another, the British Transport Police were rightly called.
When contacted by Edinburgh Live, LNER declined to comment further. The British Transport Police have been approached for a comment on the incident.