Virgin Trains East Coast is aiming to capture market share from domestic airlines through a series of initiatives.
A more flexible reservation system is to be introduced allowing bookings to be made closer to departure to better suit travellers who make last-minute travel arrangements.
Customers booking online or via the company’s app will be able to collect two Nectar points for every pound spent, while passengers can also earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
The plans come as the rail operator approaches the 100th day of business since taking over the inter-city east coast franchise in March.
The company is promising faster journey times between London King’s Cross and Leeds of two hours and Edinburgh in four hours with improved catering designed by local chefs with menus changed regularly to include seasonal events.
Longer-term plans include the introduction of 65 new ‘Super Express’ trains from 2018.
Virgin Trains East Coast expects to carry more than 20 million passengers this year, with around half travelling on business.
Its flexible ‘Standard Anytime’ fares on long distance journeys to and from London have been cut by 10% in a bid to win market share from airlines.
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