A passenger in the UK has been praised on social media, after it was revealed she refused to give up her train seat to an older woman in her 60s.
However upon taking her spot on the train, the woman realised she’d been given a ‘priority’ seat on the carriage — which is typically assigned for those who are elderly, disabled or pregnant.
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Taking to Reddit to explain the situation, the woman — who remained anonymous — said she needed to use the journey to work on the train, and didn’t have any control over the fact her first class ticket was also a ‘priority seat’.
“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,” she explained on the forum.
“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.
“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.”
The woman went on to explain the elderly passenger about the circumstances around why she was in the ‘priority seat’, however she claimed the disgruntled passenger continued to push for her to move along.
“I told her I’d booked the seat and she’d need to speak to a member of staff to find her one,” she explained on the thread.
“She pointed out that the train was full and there were no other seats. I apologized but reiterated that I’d booked the seat and wasn’t going to move.
“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.”
The woman said while she felt quite bad about the situation, she stood her ground because she didn’t want to put herself at a discomfort because someone else didn’t “think ahead” and reserve a seat.
Reddit users were quick to defend her decision, shifting blame onto the train company over the debacle.
“The train company are the a**eholes here,” one person wrote.
“They sold the disability seats as the most expensive seats on the train. Then they tried to get the person who bought those seats to move to standard. Those seats should imo (in my opinion) never be sold unless the occupier is disabled. That’s on the train operator. Its not on you,” one person wrote.
“To ask someone who had paid extra for the space to move, and back to standard, no less, is arrogant,” another said of the situation, adding that 60 was not exactly “elderly.”
Others said they’ve had similar experiences, and that if you pre-book and pay for a seat, you should be entitled to keep it.
“I travel solo a lot, and I’ve been asked to move seats often. Just because I’m travelling alone doesn’t make me any less entitled to the seat that I PAID FOR. I’m VERY comfortable saying no, and I don’t care how the other person feels,” was one comment.