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Woman praised for 'refusing to give up' first-class train seat to elderly lady

Woman praised for 'refusing to give up' first-class train seat to elderly lady

The woman shared her experience on the London to Aberdeen train on Reddit

A woman has defended her decision to move seats so that an elderly woman could sit down on the train.

Obviously, when you pay for a seat you are entitled to it and shouldn’t have to move, but sometimes it might simply be the right thing to do, for example, if a disabled person or someone pregnant needs it more than you do.

When you’re sat in one of those ‘priority’ seats, you’re expected to give up the seat for those in greater need, but you’re not actually compelled to if you don’t want to.

Explaining the situation on Reddit, the woman argued that she’d paid for her first-class seat, therefore, she wasn't going to budge.

The woman booked her ticket in first class.
Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

"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 wrote.

"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."

The woman got on the train at London and realised that the seat she had been assigned to 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." she explained.

“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.

"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."

They couldn't force her to leave her allocated seat.

In the end, the staff discovered that while the older woman had a first-class ticket, she hadn’t reserved a seat and therefore wasn’t entitled to one.

The train employee tried to find a compromise that would have left one of them sitting in an available seat in standard class, but the woman with the seat reservation still wasn’t moving.

“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." she continued.

"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, he took the woman to standard class and I assume found her a seat there.

"I felt bad, but I also don't think I needed to put myself in severe discomfort because someone else didn't think ahead and reserve a seat."

Well, it’s fair to say that the post has divided opinion online, however, many seem to be supportive of the first woman’s course of action.

Most people supported the woman's right to stay where she was.
Yannis Vythoulkas/Alamy

One person wrote: "The train company are the a**h*les here. 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 never be sold unless the occupier is disabled. That's on the train operator. It's not on you."

Another said: "The fact it was a priority seat is on the company not you. Why should you move to standard class when you paid for 1st class? If anyone is at fault, it's the company. They sold a 1st class ticket for a priority seat."

A third user, who claimed to be a train attendant, commented: "You booked and paid for that specific seat. If the lady had specific requirements, she should have booked and stated as such in her reservation."

Featured Image Credit: Shaun A Daley / Alamy Stock Photo PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Travel