Reservation-only services on LNER

17 August 2021

In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, LNER introduced a requirement that passengers have a reservation to travel on its trains known as ‘Seat Assurance’. This policy was intended to help LNER control passenger numbers and facilitate social distancing by ensuring all passengers had an allocated, socially distanced seat. Transport Focus commissioned research, in conjunction with LNER, to understand passengers’ views about a continuation of this policy after Covid-19 restrictions eased. This looked at the attitudes and behavioural impact of the policy among frequent and short-distance LNER passengers and the key selling points and drawbacks of this ‘reservation-only’ concept.

This research was conducted before the end of most Covid-19 restrictions in England in July 2021 and before the introduction of LNER’s ‘Seat Sure’ policy. Under the ‘Seat Sure’ policy reservations are no longer required on LNER services but are highly recommended.


Reservation-only services on LNER - qualitiative agency report