Lyon-Paris on Trenitalia : weird service

While Trenitalia and its Executive Class are second to none on the Paris-Lyon route, the service varies greatly from trip to trip.

For this return trip I did not make the same mistake as the last time I booked in Business Première on SNCF. Indeed if our dear national rail company announced to have largely improved the service of its superior class on this route it turns out that the service in question does not work on all trainsthat certain services are not provided in certain stations and that in any case the service is cancelled on weekends and during vacations. In short, you pay full price for an improved service that does not exist. Many passengers then told me that the pseudo snack served on board was almost non-existent and in any case had nothing to do with what Trenitalia offered.

It’s crazy that they care so little about the customers.

In short, I chose to be wise because, although I would like to compare the two services, I am a little tired of being a guinea pig for Mr. Farandou’s (SNCF’s CEO) henchmen.

A reminder of the articles related to this trip to Lyon.

Review #TypePost
1TrainParis-Lyon, Trenitalia, Executive Class
2HotelMarriott Lyon Cité Internationale – Executive Room
3RestaurantLe bouchon des cordeliers – Lyon
4TrainLyon-Paris Trenitalia, Executive Classe

Booking

Return trip booked two weeks before the trip for 139 euros per leg i.e. 278 euros. Flat rate that never varies.

Arrival at the station and boarding

Knowing that Trenitalia does not offer lounges in French stations, I arrived in Lyon Part Dieu shortly before the supposed boarding time. Indeed I have little to wait before the platform is announced.

Tickets are checked before accessing the platform.

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I reach the platform and a few minutes later the train arrives, on time (which is also a change compared to my journey with the SNCF).

I just have to get into my coach, located at the back of the train.

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Trenitalia’s Executive Class cabin

I’ll be quick because you’re starting to know it by heart, otherwise I invite you to read the review of my first trip in Executive class on Trenitalia.

It is composed of 8 comfortable seats swiveling at 180°.

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The seats have individual tables for meals and recline.

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The journey and the service

I get in the coach and head for my seat. Oh! The train left a few minutes ago from Lyon Perrache station but the cleaning was neglected: a paper towel is lying on a seat.

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The host in charge of the Executive class comes to greet me and takes the opportunity to bring me the menu for the meal (included in the ticket). He will notice the towel that he will immediately remove.

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While discussing , he informs me that the menu changes every month. This is a good thing for the route’s regular customers.

However, I find the menu rather badly done. It is not easy to distinguish the starters from the main courses and moreover there are not many starters compared to the number of main courses offered. But it’s better than no menu at all! (Follow my gaze….).

I’ll have mozzarella for starters, pork escalope Massala for main course and lemon pie for dessert, all accompanied by an Italian red wine chosen somewhat randomly.

He quickly comes back to see me: since the escalope is served without side dish, he suggests that I add a pasta dish. Great idea, and good proactive service but that’s to add to the quirks of this menu.

The train starts, I will be alone in the coach. The least we can say is that I will travel comfortably and quietly.

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Shortly after departure I was brought a hot oshibori, something I had not had on either of my previous trips.

My meal tray is brought to me shortly after. As for the outward journey, the starter and the main course are served together, whereas this autumn each dish was brought to me separately. It’s a shame because it requires rushing to eat the appetizer so that the dish doesn’t get cold.

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The mozzarella is good.

The meat is melting and delicious but would benefit from being hotter. The pasta is a little dry but with the sauce it’s fine.

The host brings me my dessert while my tray is still in front of me and I finish the olive oil service with the mozzarella and the remaining bread. My tray is then taken away in front of my eyes as I was about to take a piece of bread and replaced by the dessert.

Absolutely no consistency in service between my different trips.

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The pie will be good but this time the accompanying espresso will not be served in a cup but in a paper cup.

I’ll have a prosecco to finish. This time I would have the bottle and not just a glass, but instead of a glass cup I will have another paper cup. No consistency.

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Before arriving in Paris I wanted to go to the bathroom. They are marked occupied, I wait, in vain, then return to my seat. The host seems surprised that the person who occupies it stays there so long.

Finally he will come and tell me that they are out of order. So he hadn’t noticed it since the beginning of the journey!

I will recline the seat and end the trip by watching a movie on my iPad.

The service

The cabin attendant was very friendly and smiling but I was surprised that he totally snatched my tray to serve dessert. And absolutely no consistency in service protocol between my three trips. He didn’t want to bother with crockery? And what about the fact that he discovers that the toilets don’t work when we arrive in Paris.

And about the menu, what’s the idea of offering dishes without side dishes?

Arrival in Paris

Arrived in Paris without any problem and on time.

Bottom line

I always enjoy travelling in Executive on Trenitalia but I am more and more surprised by the service protocol or, should I say, its absence. I have never been served the same way twice! This time, there was also a poorly done cleaning before departure and a weird attendant on board.

And the menu could be clearer, and all dishes served with side dishes.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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