Woman travelling on train to Scotland praised after refusing to give seat to elderly passenger

The woman was travelling from London to Aberdeen
The woman was travelling from London to Aberdeen -Credit:Getty Images

A woman travelling on a train to Scotland has sparked debate after refusing to give up her booked seat to an elderly woman.

Priority seats are reserved for the elderly, those with disabilities, or expectant mothers, but the traveller stood her ground after she had been assigned the seat when making a first-class reservation.

The woman explained how as she was travelling from London to Aberdeen she splurged on a first-class ticket to secure a solo seat, aiming for a quiet journey to focus on work without interruptions from fellow passengers, reports the Mirror.

It kicked off when a woman, estimated to be in her 60s, boarded and insisted on the seat, telling her to move but the passenger refused to budge.

Venting her frustration on Reddit, the woman recounted: "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.

"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."

A member of staff eventually came to resolve the situation when they discovered that while the older woman had a first-class ticket, she hadn't booked a seat so therefore wasn't guaranteed to get one.

The staff asked if someone would move into the standard class where they would be able to get a seat but the woman who reserved the seat refused to budge.

She recounted: "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, 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.

Online opinions were split on the incident, with some siding with the woman's right to her booked seat, while others criticised the train company for not clearly marking the priority nature of the seat.

One commenter argued: "The train company are the a**holes here. They sold the disability seats as the most expensive seats on the train. Those seats should never be sold unless the occupier is disabled. That's on the train operator. It's not on you."

Another chimed in: "If it was a first-class seat on a plane and someone asked you to move to economy, you'd tell them to f**k right off. Same applies here, in my mind."

Yet another voiced their opinion, stating: "The woman was for 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."

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