Tourist blasts LNER after mother-in-law, 71, forced to sit on floor

Brazilian tourist blasts LNER for treating customers ‘like cattle’ after his mother-in-law, 71, is forced to sit on the floor of a London to Edinburgh train without access to a toilet for four hours

  • Alexandre Viana, 43, was travelling from London to Edinburgh with his family
  • His 71-year-old mother-in-law was forced to sit on the floor without toilet access
  • The train was so packed that Mr Viana said LNER was ‘treating clients like cattle’
  • Crippling strike action is causing overcrowding on trains due to cancellations 

A Brazilian tourist has blasted LNER for treating its customers ‘like cattle’ after his 71-year-old mother-in-law was forced to sit on the floor of a four-hour London to Edinburgh train without access to a toilet. 

Alexandre Viana, 43, and his family were on a once of lifetime trip visiting relatives in London, who recommended they come up to Edinburgh for a sightseeing break. 

The tourists were excited to experience the beautiful Scottish capital but sadly were left shocked and disappointed after being ‘treated like cattle’ on a packed LNER train. 

Rail chaos in recent months, in part due to strike action, has meant trains have been cancelled last minute, resulting in overcrowded services as people on cancelled journeys take the next one.

A Brazilian tourist has blasted LNER for treating its customers ‘like cattle’ after his 71-year-old mother-in-law was forced to sit on the floor of a London to Edinburgh trai,n without access to a toilet, for four hours

Alexandre Viana (right), 43, and his family were on a once of lifetime trip visiting relatives in London, who recommended they come up to Edinburgh for a sightseeing break

Network Rail also warned of fewer and busy services in between crippling festive walk outs.

Mr Viana was alarmed that his 71-year-old mother-in-law had to sit on the floor for four hours in a space so cramped she was unable to go to the toilet. 

He feared what would have happened if his family had not brought their own refreshments on board as there was no chance to move on the train to purchase water. 

The experience only got worse towards the end of the journey when a fellow passenger vomited next to the family in the carriage as they were unable to access a toilet.

One customer travelling with two young children in the next carriage described the trip as a ‘journey from hell’ on Twitter and offered her sympathy to the tourists.

He said: ‘We are a party of four people, from Brazil and we decided to visit our family in Guildford, London.

‘Our family there suggested we go to Edinburgh. So, we bought the tickets in November with reserved seats trying to avoid any problems.

‘My family got separated in different parts of the train, the journey was terrible.

‘The departure had a delay of two hours and it took five hours instead of four and a half.

‘They are treating customers like cattle. For the whole journey, we had to sit on the floor between coaches despite reserving seats, and there were other passengers in the corridors, as well.’

He continued: ‘It was packed full and we were all squeezed in the corridors and between the coaches.

The tourists were excited to experience the beautiful Scottish capital but sadly were left shocked and disappointed after being ‘treated like cattle’ on a packed LNER train despite booking and reserving seats in November

One customer travelling with two young children in the next carriage described the trip as a ‘journey from hell’ on Twitter and offered her sympathy to the tourists

‘My mother-in-law was seated on the floor on the bag during the entire journey. It was impossible to go to the toilet because the corridors were totally full.

‘Fortunately, we brought some water, otherwise, the situation could have been so much worse.

‘Not one staff member came to offer support or see if there were people in trouble, like my mother-in-law who is 71.

‘Near the end of the journey, a teenager got sick and vomited near us too.’

The family is now recovering from the experience and Alexandre says he will pursue a refund with the company but for now, are enjoying the sights of Edinburgh trying to get their holiday back on track.

LNER told MailOnline: ‘Other operators had a number of cancellations that day. A lot of other passengers had to travel with us. We tried to help people but obviously it meant our services were busier.

‘We apologised to the customer directly on twitter and advised him on how best he could claim compensation.’ 

It comes after Conservative Stoke-on-Trent MP Jo Gideon complained of being forced to sit on the floor of an Avanti West Coast train in November. 

She said there were ‘people in every seat, aisle and like me sat on the floor which is truly unacceptable.’

Avanti West Coast have cut trains since August, blaming ‘severe staff shortages’ and ‘unofficial strike action’ by drivers – as nearly all drivers currently refusing to work overtime on rest days.

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