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Virgin Trains 'sorry' for Louis Smith ticket check

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Olympian Louis Smith and one other black passenger were asked to show their first class tickets on a train
Virgin Trains has apologised to Olympic gymnast Louis Smith after he claimed staff only checked the tickets of black people in his first class carriage.Smith, who was the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing champion in 2012, tweeted about the incident on the East Coast train on Thursday evening.He said only he and one other black passenger were asked to show their tickets.The company apologised and said it would be investigating the incident.Smith, who grew up in Peterborough and trained in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, documented the incident on his Twitter account as it was happening.
It is understood he was travelling on a train from Peterborough to London King's Cross.He described it as an "interesting and political" journey when he began tweeting shortly after 17:45 BST.
Skip Twitter post by @louissmith1989
Well this train journey certainly got a lot more interesting and political!!! The man serving tea and coffee is working his way down the 1st CLASS carriage when he serves the man next to me randomly asks for his ticket to prove he’s in 1st class then he serves the lady behind 1/2— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) June 7, 2018
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End of Twitter post by @louissmith1989
Skip Twitter post 2 by @louissmith1989
Me to where he goes back to just serving teas and coffee. When he gets to me he asks if I want any I decline he then asks if I have a 1st class ticket I said yes!! He said can I see it I said yes but don’t you believe me. I show him he accepts it and carries on serving!! 2/3— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) June 7, 2018
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End of Twitter post 2 by @louissmith1989
Smith said the member of staff serving refreshments in the first class compartment only asked two people to show their tickets - himself and one other black passenger. None of the white passengers were asked to prove they had tickets for the carriage, he said.A fellow black passenger was asked by the staff member to show his ticket, then Smith wrote: "...he then asks if I have a 1st class ticket I said yes. He said can I see it I said yes but don't you believe me."He said the waiter's actions had been noticed by a passenger who questioned the staff member about "why he's only asked the only two black passengers if they are meant to be in first class and to prove it".
Skip Twitter post 3 by @louissmith1989
The next 3-4 people he serves tea and coffee to and I or the gentleman next to me to notice he doesn’t ask anyone else if there supposed to be in 1st class or to show proof of ticket. Well the gentleman kindly asks why that is and the waiter says it’s my choice who I ask.— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) June 7, 2018
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End of Twitter post 3 by @louissmith1989
Skip Twitter post 4 by @louissmith1989
Well the quite upset and understandably intrigued gentleman asks why he’s only asked the only 2 black passengers if they are meant to be in first class and to prove it.. yikes!! This escalated quickly .. is it just a coincidence or not, what do you think!Report
End of Twitter post 4 by @louissmith1989
Smith, who won the silver medal on the pommel horse at London 2012, went on to ask his 255,000 Twitter followers whether this was "just a coincidence or not".
Smith, seen here in 2015, has a number of Olympic, World, European and British championship accolades to his name
He said the passenger who queried the waiter's actions asked a senior member of staff on the train about it, who apologised, but said the waiter was allowed to ask about tickets if people were seated in first class.
Skip Twitter post 5 by @louissmith1989
So the gentleman just went and spoke to the train manager aboard this @Virgin_TrainsEC and the manager said it’s was wrong and apologised for the mans behaviour and to Tweet and complain, the waitor isn’t allowed to check tickets anyway but can ask if your seated in 1st class!!— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) June 7, 2018
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End of Twitter post 5 by @louissmith1989
Virgin Trains East Coast quickly apologised to the Olympian on Twitter, offering its "sincerest apologies" and saying the incident would be investigated.
Skip Twitter post by @Virgin_TrainsEC
Hi Louis. Please accept my sincerest apologies for this. I have spoken to the Train Manager on this service at length about what has happened and there will be a complaint logged and investigated. ^BG— Virgin Trains EC (@Virgin_TrainsEC) June 7, 2018
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End of Twitter post by @Virgin_TrainsEC
A spokesman for the company told the BBC: "We're extremely sorry for the experience of Louis and fellow passengers. "We are looking into the incident as a matter of urgency."
Huntingdon
Peterborough
Virgin Trains
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