Today (18 May 2016) Android Pay launches in the UK and I believe this is a great thing for mobile payments in the UK. One of the main benefits of mobile payments is security as fraud is reduced by the retailer not getting your actual card number.The BetterRewards article Apple Pay - if you can you should addresses the reasons why it's better to pay with your mobile, it was based on Apple Pay but the same reasons also apply to Android Pay.
For all journeys from 16 May 2016 onwards Virgin Trains East Coast are offering a free WiFi code if you book your tickets direct. This is only in standard class as WiFi is free to all in first class. If you've booked your tickets already you should still receive a WiFi code via email. This only applies if you book your tickets direct on virgintrainseastcoast.com
It was announced today that FirstGroup would be allowed to run an open access operation from London to Edinburgh calling additionally at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth. This service has been said to be a budget service with average fares under £25. There will be no first class service on this train.
The franchise consultation for the InterCity West Coast franchise (currently operated by Virgin Trains) is now open. This is the opportunity to have an influence for what goes into the official invitation to tender when the government invites bidders to put forward their proposals later this year.
There's a competition called #VOOM 2016 (formerly called 'Pitch to Rich') where people submit pitches to a public vote, and the top teams then get to pitch their idea to a panel of judges, including Richard Branson. Recently some of us have been thinking of ways that we could use technology to improve loyalty schemes and also make it easier for the small business to have something more sophisticated than the stamp card.
There's a few reasons why we decided to do the #BetterRewards May giveaway. The first was to help draw attention to the new East Coast Rewards points calculator - if you enter your average monthly or annual spend on rail travel it calculates what rewards you would have earned as well as the equivalent value you'd get with Nectar over the course of the first year of Virgin Trains East Coast. Even if you were never a rewards member why not give it a go and see what you missed out on!
Although many of us who travel regularly know who operates particular routes and have a rough idea how ticketing works for the less frequent traveller (or even a frequent traveller on an unfamiliar route) there's a lot a traps that can end up leaving the customer annoyed and out of pocket.
We've been told that Virgin Trains East Coast is launching a new menu and a collaboration with celebrity chef James Martin (although the press release makes it sound like he was born in York station we don't think that's the case). The first class menu will launch on 16 May 2016 and standard class will launch in the autumn.
Important note: posts in the blog section on Save East Coast Rewards reflect the views of the individual poster and don't necessarily reflect the views of others involved in the campaign. ^DH