Avanti West Coast, the main rail operator between Manchester / Birmingham and London, has introduced ‘Standard Premium’.
This was originally announced back in 2019 but a trial did not begin until late October and only now is it widely available.
Standard Premium doesn’t seem to be bookable yet when you buy your ticket. It is only available as an upgrade via the train manager on the day.
Basically, Avanti has converted one First Class carriage to Standard Premium. This means that you get the usual First Class seat – including a guaranteed table and plug socket – but without the free food.
Details are on their website here. No pricing is indicated and, in any event, it will depend on where you are travelling and potentially the time of day.
It isn’t clear how Avanti’s Standard Premium service will work alongside the Seatfrog app, which Avanti uses to auction off First Class upgrades close to departure.