Train passenger praised for refusing to give up first-class seat for elderly woman

24 May 2023, 13:54

A woman has been praised for not giving up her seat
A woman has been praised for not giving up her seat. Picture: Alamy

A woman argued with a passenger after she asked her if she could have her train seat.

A passenger has been praised after refusing to give up her first class train seat for a 60-year-old woman.

The anonymous woman was on her way from London to Aberdeen in Scotland recently, a journey which takes seven hours.

After paying out more money for a first class ticket ‘well in advance’, she realised the seat she had been assigned was also allocated as ‘priority’.

Usually, this means those travelling who should consider giving up their position for elderly passengers, those with disabilities, or those who are pregnant.

A woman has been praised for her train etiquette
A woman has been praised for her train etiquette. Picture: Getty Images

In a post on Reddit, the woman explained: "I recently got a train across the UK from London to Aberdeen. It's a seven-hour journey so I booked myself a first-class seat well in advance.

"First-class seats on trains in the UK can be expensive, but I decided to treat myself because 1), I knew I'd have work to do on the train, so I wanted to make sure I had space/comfort to be able to work.

“And 2), certain trains in the 'individual seats' which means you're not sitting next to or sitting opposite anyone. I specifically booked one of those seats to enable me to work.

"I got on the train in London and sat in my seat. The seat they'd assigned me was also the 'priority seat'. Priority seats are the ones at the end of carriages for people with mobility issues due to age or disability.

Would you give up your seat for an old woman?
Would you give up your seat for an old woman? Picture: Alamy

“A woman got on after me who was around 60 years old and pointed at the sign above my head and, quite rudely, told me to move because she was elderly.”

Defending her decision to stay put, the anonymous woman went on: "I told her I'd booked the seat and she'd need to speak to a member of staff to find her one.

“She pointed out that the train was full and there were no other seats. I apologised but reiterated that I'd booked the seat and wasn't going to move."

The women were both seen by a member of staff who pointed out that the older woman hadn't actually booked a seat so she wasn't guaranteed to get one.

A woman has complained about an old woman on the train
A woman has complained about an old woman on the train. Picture: Alamy

She continued: "Eventually, a train guard came over to try to help. The lady had booked a return ticket, but she hadn't reserved a specific seat.

“For those who don't know how trains work, if you have a ticket but haven't also booked a seat reservation, it means you can travel on a train, but you aren't guaranteed a seat unless there's one available.

"He asked if either of us would consider moving to standard class if he could find us a seat. I again refused, explaining I'd booked the seat well in advance and that I needed it.”

Eventually, the woman was taken to standard class and found a seat, with the woman admitting she felt bad but didn’t want to put herself ‘in severe discomfort because someone else didn't think ahead and reserve a seat.’

There were plenty of comments, with people agreeing the Reddit user was right to keep her seat.

One person said: "The woman was thinking she was entitled to your reserved seat though. Elderly or not, you paid in advance and shouldn't have to move just because she showed up."

Someone else wrote: “There is disability seats in the standard class section too. So it’s not the only place, I think the lady tried to pull a fast one to save a few bucks by not reserving a seat.”

A third added: “On trains in the UK there are always priority seats in every carriage, so there would also be priority seats in standard class. The woman could have just gone to standard class.”

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