The system works! Not a phrase you hear often in relation to FGW, but it seems that despite suggestions to the contrary, season ticket holders can reserve seats.
As I have mentioned before, I am the proud owner of a reserved seat on nine services from London Paddington over the next three weeks, and last night was the first: seat E27a.
The tube was functioning surprisingly well, so I arrived in good time for the train and did not have the satisfaction of booting someone out of my seat, but I was still pleased to see the little cardboard ticket poking from the back when I boarded coach E. The train was full by the time we left, and there were people standing, but unfortunately I was too happy in my private area of reservedness to remember to hand out badges to those passengers less well off than myself. Hey ho.
If you'd like to try this for yourself, the e-mail address you need is firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know if the system works for you too, or if I happened to catch the customer service team on a good day.