to make a scene on the train

(363 Posts)
photographerlady Fri 24-May-13 22:06:34

I didn't but AIBU to just throw my hands up and really just make a scene next time. I commute over an hour to London on the train. In my third trimester of pregnancy I applied for upgrade for Mums to Be on southwest trains. Have the pass now to sit in first class if the train is full.

The past month I've sat in first class. I am slower now and especially after work when huffing my way to catch the train after quitting time I get on with only 5 minutes to spare. About five coaches down its first class (ten coach train) and its rammed so I get on and sit in FC as those first five coaches have no seats.

Today the ticket checker came to our carriage when we was moving she checked my pass and said that there were seats on this train I have to leave first class. I was more shocked but then she preceded to tell me that she could revoke my pass and I have to move now. So at 33 weeks I walked down two carriages on the moving train til I found a seat.

Now I am working til 35/36 weeks but after thinking about today AIBU to just say "No" next time that I am not moving and take it from there. I mean they can remove me from the train or say I am causing a scene but tbh I feel as though its not worth the strain and cramps in my stomach to hustle down the platform or weave through carriages to make sure all seats are taken before I go back to the pretty empty first class section.

YoniWidge Fri 24-May-13 22:08:16

Sorry, but yabu. Pay for a first class ticket, or sit in second. Your choice.

Rainbowinthesky Fri 24-May-13 22:10:21


SixFeetUnder Fri 24-May-13 22:11:15

While I understand where you are coming from I do think you should make some effort to find a seat before going straight to First Class. Or if you really feel strongly that First Class if the only place you would feel comfortable you could always buy a ticket for there?

LEMisdisappointed Fri 24-May-13 22:11:32

Wow yoni - have you left your sympathy and empathy somewhere this evening?

OP YANBU what a cow

Jinsei Fri 24-May-13 22:11:49

Do you have complications with your pregnancy? If not, then YABVU. Pregnancy is not a disability. Your pass allows you to sit in first class when the other carriages are full. If there were other seats available, then it was right that you should move.

WilsonFrickett Fri 24-May-13 22:12:04

Of course YABU. You have a pass to sit in first if the train is full. The train isn't full. Therefore you can't sit in first. It doesn't sound like she had the best customer skills in the world, but you were still breaking the rules. And you'll feel a lot worse office they revoke your pass and put you off at the next station.

yaimee Fri 24-May-13 22:12:50

Yabu to expect a seat in first class when there are seats on the train.
She wbu to ask you to change seats while the train was moving and if this happens again then it wouldn't bu fir you to say that you would find a new seat the next time the train stops.

FattyMcChubster Fri 24-May-13 22:12:57

The pass is for when there are no other seats. There were seats so you didn't need your pass.

ZZZenagain Fri 24-May-13 22:13:15

I think you have to go with the validity of your ticket. If there are seats available, you don't have the right to sit in first class with that pass. It does sound like a pain but I think the ticket collector was in the right really, she was just going by the book.

ReluctantBeing Fri 24-May-13 22:13:35

Yabu. If it is such a struggle, stop working.

Finola1step Fri 24-May-13 22:14:23

YANBU. On my train, there is always space in first. Always.

If it happens again, tell them you will move but you will need them to escort you to an available seat. Remind them that the train is moving and you do not want to be put at risk by having to negotiate your way through a moving train. Throw the whole health and safety, duty of care etc. at them.

I think you should only be using your ticket for the purpose that it was intended for. Why can't you just ask someone to give you their seat? I did that when I was pregnant, and was having a day when I felt ill/achy etc.

BornToFolk Fri 24-May-13 22:15:07

Have the pass now to sit in first class if the train is full.

Well, there you go then. If the T&Cs of the pass are that you can use First Class if the rest of the train is full, then yes, YABU to go straight to First Class.

gordyslovesheep Fri 24-May-13 22:15:24

I don't think YABU - yes pregnancy isn't an illness etc etc BUT if the OP got on the train and it was full is she expected to get up at every stop and look for a seat before returning to first class? - I think the ticket person was being rather petty

DiscoDonkey Fri 24-May-13 22:15:25

Yabu, your pregnant and perfectly capable of walking down a platform or through carriages unless you have spd which you haven't mentioned. You just don't want to.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:15:27


Just walk down the train

WineNot Fri 24-May-13 22:16:22

If it happens again, tell them you will move but you will need them to escort you to an available seat. Remind them that the train is moving and you do not want to be put at risk by having to negotiate your way through a moving train. Throw the whole health and safety, duty of care etc. at them.


BimbaBirba Fri 24-May-13 22:16:59

Gosh, people on here are so mean!
It was very harsh to tell you to get up and find another seat, IMO. At what point are you supposed to check for free seats with that pass? Are you supposed to get up and walk the length of the train every time it stops at a station in case someone has got off?
I'm sure that's not the case so IMO provided the train was pretty much choker, YANBU. Poor you commuting so late in pregnancy

DiscoDonkey Fri 24-May-13 22:17:24

Seriously finola, an escort? Put at risk? Good grief

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 22:17:46

YABU, sorry. If you want to sit in first class all the time with no restrictions, then you have to pay for that.

Cloverer Fri 24-May-13 22:17:59

YABU I'm afraid. There were seats you could move to.

If you are unable to safely walk through two train carriages, maybe you should get the GP to sign you off work? This doesn't sound sustainable.

Queazy Fri 24-May-13 22:18:23

I think the words 'pregnancy is not a disability' and 'pregnancy is not an illness' should be banned. This woman is heavily pregnant, exhausted and had a pass to sit in 1st class if she couldn't find a seat. Sure, have a look for a seat in standard when you get on, but no need to scour the whole train to find one! I think the guard should have just reminded you to have a good look for a seat, but should have left you be. How mean to send you packing.

I hate my trains. Luckily, recently some very kind people have given me a seat. I remember how much I loved getting a seat even before pregnancy, so it makes the whole thing a lot easier.

Hope the next few weeks go ok for you op

blondieminx Fri 24-May-13 22:18:28

YANBU to just want to sit down while heavily pg, YAB a bit U about making a scene.

On our line you have to send a letter off to the train co, from your HR dept confirming maternity leave dates and they send you a letter entitling you to 1st class for your last 8 wks of work.

Next time smile sweetly and say "as you can see, I'm getting really big now. I'm sure you can use your discretion here...?"

Enjoy your maternity leave!

Floggingmolly Fri 24-May-13 22:18:55

Did you know the train wasn't full when you went directly to 1st class?

IslaMann Fri 24-May-13 22:19:04

YABU You're pregnant, not ill. If you can't sit in any seat apart from first class then start your mat leave. Frankly I'm stunned at your sense of entitlement.

PoppadomPreach Fri 24-May-13 22:19:05

YANBU - have been there myself. Commuting in rush hour when heavily pregnant is very tough.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 22:19:44

Sorry, mis read your post. Actually if it was rammed, then no you shouldnt have to keep getting up to check for a seat after every stop.

ZZZenagain Fri 24-May-13 22:19:54

worth trying what blondie said

lottiegarbanzo Fri 24-May-13 22:19:58

YWBU to do it next time (and a bit of an embarrassment to all pregnant women).

The conductor informed you there were seats, saving you from having to check half the carriages. That was actually quite helpful. So 'ok, thanks, I only had time to look in half the carriages before the train started moving, so sat here for the time being. I'll make my way slowly'.

Do you need the train to be at a standstill to walk through? Does it pitch about particularly violently? If not, is walking very slowly and holding onto things not ok?

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:20:52

The OP has enjoyed first class for the past month

If there were seats on the train, she would have found them had she walked through the other carriages.

And anyway, in all my 44 years I have never seen a heavily pregnant woman refused a seat if she asks for one. No matter how busy the train is, someone will always oblige. They won't always offer but all you have to do is ask.

sjuperyoni Fri 24-May-13 22:29:46

yabu but i can see why you wouldn't want to move.

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:30:22

This is the side of MN I never can understand. The obsession with avoiding 'rule' breaking at all costs.

Fgs the train was pretty much full and the heavily pregnant lady cba to trek through the whole thing to find the couple of odd seats still spare.

Surely any ticket inspector who was not a complete jobsworth would just leave her be fgs. Why jump to the conclusion that people are being grasping and entitled, rathe than use a bit of common sense?

Some people on this thread even seem to be suggesting that she should make people in standard class stand rather than even use her 1st class pass. Why? Why do we hold those with lots of cash and their precious seating area in such reverence? Serious question.

Queazy Fri 24-May-13 22:30:56

We don't even have 1st class on my trains - I just rely on the kindness of strangers. I haven't had to ask since the bump got bigger

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:32:28

Perhaps I am just bitter because no fucker used to offer on train or tube in the long hot summer of 2006.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:33:34

Because if every pregnant woman sat in first class when there were seats available elsewhere, there'd be no room for anyone else would there?

I imagine elderly and infirm people would quite like to sit there too or people who suffer from backache etc...

But it's just not possible to accommodate everyone who fancies sitting there to make the journey nicer for themselves.

And we don't know the inspector was being a jobsworth, there may have been plenty of other seats for her to think to mention it.

Sirzy Fri 24-May-13 22:33:42

The OP only checked half the train for a seat before deciding she would just get into first class. If the pass is for when the train is full it should only be used when the train is full

photographerlady Fri 24-May-13 22:35:17

Flogg I always check the first five carriages while getting on the train before it leaves, the first five are always full (heaving). There are five more carriages but the last month as mentioned I am finding in hard to walk through them as the train is moving. Mainly because we'll, it's narrow, there's luggage, there's people in the spaces between carriages standing and well I am quite round now so getting pass them with nothing to hang on to isn't ideal for them or me.

So today was not different. Carriages 1-5 completely full. First class section at the end of 5 had two people in it. Was asked to move. Carriage six and seven was full but walked through them, through the packed in between bit and sat in an inner table seat in 8.

bobthebear Fri 24-May-13 22:35:49

'So at 33 weeks I walked down two carriages on the moving train til I found a seat. '

Ha, I was still driving the day DD was born. In a moving car and everything

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:37:08

Ok then let the pregnant, elderly, disabled and infirm have the passes too.

Then people who actually need seats have them.

Oh, hang on, but then some rich people might have to stand after paying all that extra for their special seats. Oh my god.

Why not get rid of 1st class but still have an area where people that need seats take priority at busy times?

MrsBertBibby Fri 24-May-13 22:37:27

Wow, you're a bunch of shits on here! Of course the train company are within their rights to be cunts if they want to, but you weren't being even slightly unreasonable. Being heavily pregnant isn't an illness or a disability, it's a temporary condition that occasions extra consideration and care in a civilised society.

Which is clearly something neither the posters on here nor the train company aspire to.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:37:53

So when you were walking through the carriages, why didn't you ask someone if they'd give up their seat as you're obviously pregnant? confused

Why did a free ride in first class seem like a better option?

bigbuttons Fri 24-May-13 22:38:34

be thankful that such a ticket exists in the first place. yabu.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:39:07

Ok then let the pregnant, elderly, disabled and infirm have the passes too.

They can but they have to pay for them, otherwise what is the point in offering first class carriages?

bigbuttons Fri 24-May-13 22:39:20

I don't really count 33 weeks as heavily pregnant.

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:39:22

Because then nobody had to stand Worra - I honestly and truly don't get your argument. There were plenty of seats for everyone.

BimbaBirba Fri 24-May-13 22:39:44

OP you were completely reasonable.
Clearly the point of the pass is to make your life easier and it's given with the proviso that you must make a REASONABLE attempt at finding another seat, which you did by checking the first half of the train.
People on here are just rule obsessed and mean, don't listen to them!

BOF Fri 24-May-13 22:40:43

I'm with you, OP. You reasonably thought it was full, and they were being petty jobsworths.

edam Fri 24-May-13 22:40:58

I think the guard was a right little nasty jobsworth. FGS, to make a heavily pregnant woman stand up and walk down a moving train... it's pathetic.

Pigsmummy Fri 24-May-13 22:40:59

I didn't even know that this ticket existed and my line is SW trains. This woman was obviously having a shite day/pmt/pregnancy envy/a pure cow. No need for her to behave like this but if there were seats available then she was in her right to ask you to move, BUT you were in your right to say that you wouldn't do so until the train was at a standstill. Next time fart and complain loudly about swollen feet and piles.

photographerlady Fri 24-May-13 22:41:01

As for offering a seat. The first stop is 45 minute into the journey no one wants to make eye contact and have to stand that journey. That's why I go into first class if the first half the train is full because yes part of me taking advantage as first class is empty but at the same time it's either miss my train cause I can't get to the end carriages before it leaves or make people give me enough space to get pass them when they are standing on the train.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 24-May-13 22:41:03


gordyslovesheep Fri 24-May-13 22:41:12

Jesus I was MASSIVE at 33 weeks - and I find walking down A moving train carriage hard anyway - very wobbly (although it could be because I view train travel as an excuse to drink wine) - but not the same as sitting down in a moving car really

Yettish Fri 24-May-13 22:42:51

Train companies won't get rid of first class because it's a huge money spinner. But people who pay a premium for first class tend to get a bit twitchy when people who haven't paid rock up expecting a free seat. Which was why the train manager tried to move the OP on. First class subsidises the whole train and must be preserved.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:42:54

I didn't say about offering a seat.

I said why didn't you ask for a seat?

Never in my life have I seen a heavily pregnant woman refused a seat on a busy train if she's asked for one.

Lweji Fri 24-May-13 22:43:15

Unless the train had about 30% empty seats, I think it's unreasonable to make a heavily pregnant to walk down carriages looking for a seat.

Are there no reserved seating?

blondieminx Fri 24-May-13 22:43:24

Is it full moon or something? Jeez there are some hideously unsympathetic responses on here tonight.

Abra1d Fri 24-May-13 22:43:31

I don't understand why 33 weeks means you find moving around so hard? You're not THAT big by then, surely? I would have liked a seat at that stage but moving down a train wasn't a huge issue.

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:43:34

There is not point to having 1st class carriages imo.

Pigsmummy Fri 24-May-13 22:43:53

WorraLiberty calm down dear, there are likely no more than 1/2 3 at a push pregnant women per train on SW trains at any time.

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:45:11

I am a bit socially stunted and found asking for a seat excruciatingly embarrassing. So I just fumed all the way home.

I really am not mature enough to be joining in this debate!! grin

BlueyDragon Fri 24-May-13 22:46:10

I'm surprised - I never got moved out of First on SWT when I had a Mums-to-be ticket. But I would have done if asked (my trains were usually full) because those are the conditions of the ticket. IME few people will volunteer a seat, preferring to go to sleep/immerse themselves in their Blackberries or newspapers, and lots of people not me are not comfortable with asking. As there are usually seats in First, it's a pretty good solution that leaves paying customers in their seats and gives the heavily pregnant some sitting space.

I wouldn't push the point, OP, you are just being asked to comply with the T's and C's of the ticket. If you're that concerned about changing whilst the train is moving, you could ask if it's ok to wait until the next station.

ohforfoxsake Fri 24-May-13 22:46:25

Fucking hell - what happened to kindness, and empathy?

Both on the train and on MN.

edam Fri 24-May-13 22:46:41

Also, what were the other passengers doing? Shouldn't they have been offering you their seats, as you struggled down the moving train?

If there are any nice human beings on your train, you may benefit from a top tip. Carry a scarf and 'accidentally' drop it in the lap of someone who is sitting down and has their head buried in a book/newspaper. When you say 'excuse me' they will look up and notice you are obviously preggers, and hopefully leap up.

Worked on me. blush I honestly had my head buried in my kindle and hadn't registered the preggers lady (crowd had moved down, she hadn't been next to my seat for more than a few seconds). Thought it was a very clever manoeuvre.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:48:05

WorraLiberty calm down dear, there are likely no more than 1/2 3 at a push pregnant women per train on SW trains at any time.

Fuck me. Michael Winner's come back to haunt us!

BoffinMum Fri 24-May-13 22:48:46

I would have said I was actually feeling quite sick and if she could overlook it I would be very grateful, as I didn't feel up to trekking down the train. wink

photographerlady Fri 24-May-13 22:50:10

No reserved on the train I go on no. The one thing I think this thread as shown me (that I will admit to agree with) is that I don't ask someone to give up their seat. Mainly cause standing 45 minutes is a tall ask when they had a seat and I have been rejected in the past asking. People going to Basingstoke aren't the same as those on the Tube and even pregnancy I found it hard to get pass people and luggage to get down the train.

edam Fri 24-May-13 22:50:15

(hers, I mean, not mine!)

Bollocks to 'First class subsidises the whole train and must be preserved', btw. I pay £4k a year for the privilege of cramming onto my commuter trains, I'm subsiding first crapital connect by giving them an interest free loan, I am staggered that anyone is so mad they think I should be tugging my forelock at those in first class.

ohforfoxsake Fri 24-May-13 22:50:22

Not entirely relevant but I once got moved from the VIP seats in the cinema.

We were the only two people in there.

Some people are just twats.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:50:54

Don't get me wrong, no-one can blame the OP for trying (I'd probably try it myself).

But having got to sit there for the past month, I think she would be VVU to cause a scene because her luck has run out.

ohforfoxsake Fri 24-May-13 22:51:55

But you wouldn't have to ask anyone to give up their seat when there are empty ones (even if they are in first class). Win/win.

Like I say, twats.

ExcuseTypos Fri 24-May-13 22:52:31


I came back from London today on Sw trains. It was absolutely heaving, I found it difficult to walk through the train looking for a seat. There were bags and people everywhere. I certainly wouldn't want to do it whilst heavily pregnant.

Of course the inspector shouldn't have made you move.

I agree with BoffinMum, next time tell them you feel ill and don't want to move.

schobe Fri 24-May-13 22:52:48

But worth trying to puke on the inspector's shoes, I'm sure you'll agree.

TSSDNCOP Fri 24-May-13 22:53:34

Why don't you walk down the platform? If you did that you wouldn't have to clamber over luggage.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 24-May-13 22:54:22

On reflection what really irks me about your post is nothing to do with your pregnancy. It is that your response of first resort, should you decide to make a case for staying is first would be to 'throw up your hands and make a scene'. Why not try asking nicely, appealing to the conductor's better nature, or reasoning with her calmly and pleasantly?

Making a scene aka throwing a tantrum is toddler's, or a very manipulative adult's, way of trying to get what you want; deeply undignified and embarrassing all round.

Avondale Fri 24-May-13 22:54:31

I never knew you could get a special pass for being pregnant! Wow! I got tearful once at 38 weeks when had to stand for an hour on train home but I was over it five minutes after getting off the train. Think you need to get a grip love

photographerlady Fri 24-May-13 22:56:52

I am not easily offended so reading all the comments smile I am glad some have easy 33 week pregnancy I myself feel like a beach ball on cankled stumps.

ExcuseTypos Fri 24-May-13 22:58:28

If the train is just about to leave, you have to get on it, at the first door.

The train won't wait for you to walk down a platform, along 10 coaches, looking for a seat.

MummytoMog Fri 24-May-13 22:58:33

It would be very annoying to have to move, but you should have seen it coming really. First class seats are bloody expensive. I don't really see the point of this funny pass thing, you could just ask for a seat like a normal, grown up woman if you need one (this is more directed at the irritating women who passive aggressively rub their bumps until some chump leaps up rather than asking the people in the allocated seats to let them sit down than you OP).

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 22:58:40

That's the impression I got lottie or my response might have been a bit different.

Though not all that different considering she's been using first class for a month so one journey out of god knows how many, isn't really bad.

MummytoKatie Fri 24-May-13 22:59:19

Just thinking that that is a really nice idea of the train company. Personally I would have said "Which carriage is that? Brilliant - thanks. Do you mind if I wait until the next station - I'm not that steady on my feet these days." and smiled nicely.

And then moved when the train stopped.

MummytoMog Fri 24-May-13 23:00:19

Avondale, why the frick did you stand? Were you travelling on the roof? Shout until you get a seat. Christ.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 23:00:31

Typos you walk through the train...not down the platform.

Fair enough the OP doesn't want to/feels unable to do that so the sensible thing to do is ask for a seat.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 23:02:06

You don't have to shout, you just have to ask.

Not everyone notices ever passenger around them during the commute. They're normally half nodding off or they've got their noses in a newspaper, book or kindle.

But once they're asked (ime) they'll oblige.

MrsBertBibby Fri 24-May-13 23:04:41

I think the monumental shittiness on this thread is precisely why women don't feel they can ask? WHo wants to ask for a seat only to have some smug mumsnetter telling them how their pregnancy ought not to be a problem, and not to be so entitled. Love.

IKnowWhat Fri 24-May-13 23:06:01

Can't you get to the station earlier or catch a later train??????

I am presuming you catch your train from a London station confused

I still think you are being U.

Yettish Fri 24-May-13 23:06:08

edam you misunderstood my tone. I was representing the train company's point of view. They don't give a shit what people in cattle class think. Believe it or not, first class IS a money spinner - that's why they have it. It costs ££ to sit there. It's not a free refuge for everyone who fancies a comfy seat. If it were, it would be as full and hideous as standard class and the people on expense accounts would get back in their cars.

Are you Mylene Klass? 'The first woman in the world to have a baby™'

ohforfoxsake Fri 24-May-13 23:06:23

Or, 'Well OP, you chose to get PG. what did you expect?' wink

TSSDNCOP Fri 24-May-13 23:07:19

Well I suppose it depends where you get on. I worked in London so the train was standing at platform. You arrive in good time (because you know you want to get a seat) and walk down the platform until you see a carriage with seats.

In the morning I knew from experience where there were likely to be seats so I positioned myself in the place where those carriages stopped.


YANBU. Not at all.

Some pretty harsh responses on this thread.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 24-May-13 23:13:13


thankfully I was always offered a seat until my last week 38 weeks pregnant I was huge the driver on the bus told a man to move he pretended he did not hear and he got a telling off from many of he passengers blush

I would not want to ask because of attitudes shown on here. but really so what you get to sit in first for a few weeks i am sure you have had your fair share of crap sevice, having to stand on journeys ad increase in fares
and squeezing though a crowded train while it is speeding along in not that easy when you are heavily pregnant.

MoonHare Fri 24-May-13 23:16:44

Good grief! I can't believe how mean spirited some people are.

Why should someone who is not pregnant and has paid for their seat be asked to give it up for the OP when there are empty seats in first class? Trains are very overcrowded the train companies are making a fortune out of us, lets co-operate and try to get as many passengers sitting down as possible instead of standing/sitting on bags/blocking corridor space.

Why begrudge a pregnant woman a bit of comfort? She won't be pregnant and sitting in first class forever, someone might as well make use of all those empty seats.

At 33 weeks I was certainly 'heavily' pregnant some of us do grow enormous unwieldy bumps, some of us suffer conditions of pregnancy that mean too much amniotic fluid is produced and makes our bumps much bigger than they should be.

The OP searched 5 carriages before opting to sit in first, she wasn't acting 'entitled'. She made it clear she would have taken a seat in standard had she found one there first. Must she scour the entire train? She complied with the spirit of the T & C, as someone else said are pregnant women meant to leap up and check the train every time it stops just in case someone has got off and left a spare seat?

If it happens again OP politely tell the inspector you are feeling very tired but offer to get up and look for a seat when the train next stops. If they insist you move then you should do so but shame on them. Write to the CX of SW trains and point out the issues you've experienced.

fragola Fri 24-May-13 23:17:13

I don't think you were being unreasonable. First Class wasn't full, so what difference did it make if you sat there? I don't understand the mumsnet thing of "pregnancy isn't a disability so you must stand for hours, pull pushchairs up flights of stairs while having a toddler on your back in a sling etc, etc. Of course pregnancy isn't a disability, but for some people it makes things harder, so a bit of understanding and the odd allowance from those around isn't a bad thing. It's just been nice!

ExcuseTypos Fri 24-May-13 23:17:39

TSSDNCOP- "you arrive in good time"

It not always easy to do that in London though is it? understatement of the century

fragola Fri 24-May-13 23:20:11

I apologise for grammatical errors in my post. It is the fault of the wine.

Sleepyfergus Fri 24-May-13 23:24:20

Mrs BertBibby - I totally agree with your post.

There are some right smug bitches on this thread. But looking at some of the posters, I'd expect nothing less. Same old, same old....must be great to be so flaming perfect.

OP - best of luck going forward!

TSSDNCOP Fri 24-May-13 23:26:04

Excuse well yes actually, particularly if you want a seat. I believe it's called planning ahead.

Of course you could just sit in FC and be told to move.

MsFlippingHeck Fri 24-May-13 23:30:35


Jan49 Fri 24-May-13 23:38:13

I think it was mean of her to make you move, but the whole First Class Pass thing seems ridiculous. Just ask someone for a seat. Also, if walking down 2 carriages of a train is physically difficult for you then it's probably time to stop work.

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Fri 24-May-13 23:59:34

YANBU and the ticket person was being a petty fool. And can we stop with the whole "pregnancy isn't an illness" shit?! Every pregnancy is different and I felt pretty fucking I'll through most of mine.

It's so weird and mean spirited.

GreyWhites Sat 25-May-13 00:17:11

YANBU. The train guard was being a twat. If you've done your best to find a seat on a service which is invariably packed and which has long intervals between stops then FFS what sort of arse would begrudge a pregnant woman a comfortable seat and make her walk back down the train mid journey to find a seat in second class halfway through the journey?. Even if you were a blatant piss-taker then as a heavily pregnant woman you've only got at best two months of piss taking to capitalise on. Any reasonable person would give you the benefit of the doubt.

Oh and ignore all those posters who are giving it "well at 38 weeks I scaled Mount Kilimanjaro daily whilst working full time running ICI". Every pregnancy is different and people should be treated in accordance with their individual needs, not the outer limits of human endurance.

RaspberryRuffle Sat 25-May-13 02:07:02

Pregnancy doesn't mean you can expect to sit in first class without paying the first class price unless the train is full. YABU to sit there without checking and more unreasonable not to move when asked. You were chancing your arm OP, some days you'll get away with it, but if not and there is a seat available in second class you should sit there. And not make life difficult for someone who is just doing their job (and who may need customer service training but that is besides the point here).

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 02:29:28

YANBU! You get this train regularly, as far as the eye can see its heaving and there are rarely seats. There are seats in first class.
For those saying, why does OP sit in first class at all, she has paid probably 4k for a season ticket which entitles her to a first class seat when pregnant. She is entitled to that seat. So she doesn't have to ask Lon
And ha ha to get a later train and go in earlier..... On my commute to
London that would have meant in at 6am and leaving after 7.30pm, OP may also have childcare commitments. So she doesn't have to ask for a seat and endure comments like your babymaking is not my problem, from
London commuters who in my experience are dog eat dog! Also, seriously, walk the length of the train and back when the first 5 carriages are full to packed, I think you can reasonably assume there are highly unlikely to be seats. On my 12 carriage train I would have missed my train walking the whole length and then been at the wrong end of the train for my stop even if I had been able to leave work 15 minutes early to do so. The woman has a shit commute as it is, the bastard train companies are meant to be making her life easier for the fortune she pays!

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 02:31:13

Ignore random, half sentence bloody ipad typinhg

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Sat 25-May-13 03:44:56

Never mind the train, if you get stomach cramps from a brief walk through a couple of carriages, have you mentioned it to your midwife? I really believe you should think about starting your maternity leave a bit earlier if possible.
I'm not being snarky, I'm serious.

BonaDea Sat 25-May-13 04:31:22


Ignore others on the thread. Perhaps they don't catch trains out of London at rush hour. Of course if the train is half empty (ha ha ha) you shouldn't be on 1st but the idea that you push and shove your way through all the carriages first is a joke.

That's a lot of awkward distance to cover esp at the end of a long day. Conductor a twat.

BoffinMum Sat 25-May-13 08:24:15

I commute first class, and really I don't think anyone in there would give a stuff if a pg woman sat for free in there, even for a bit of extra leg space or whatever. The end of pg is bloody uncomfortable and we should be nice to people, not compete to see who can act the least pg with all this female machismo 'it's not an illness' nonsense. Feminism gawn mad, if you ask me. FFS.

FWIW on my train line I think you just get a free upgrade, I don't think it has to be on the basis that Standard class has to be full.

ohforfoxsake Sat 25-May-13 08:54:56

I do wonder if any of those saying YABU have commuted on SW Trains at peak times. You wouldn't be allowed to transport cattle in the same way. And its not cheap.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 08:56:39

I think that YWBU tbh.

Wonder what her side would be?

Did it look as of you were about to make a fuss, OP & that's why she went on to say that she could revoke your ticket?

If you want a guaranteed seat in FC, pay for it.

Personally I think it's great that you have a pass to sit in FC if SC is full.

Queazy Sat 25-May-13 09:00:33

I agree with the comments about lack of empathy on this thread, and what seems an obsession with 'the rules'. Yes, the woman had no 'right' to be there, but a simple warning of that would have been fine. I think op was more upset at being asked to walk the carriages looking for a seat. I have a friend who's adamant that pregnant women don't need to be treated differently...she drives 10min to work in an air conditioned car. Give op a break - commuting in rush hour is a bloody nightmare, and sometimes we don't all react in a way we're particularly proud of. We're all human.

I don't understand judging or telling off a poster on mn. If I can't empathise or offer a rational response, I just move on.

ithaka Sat 25-May-13 09:05:40

I think YWBU, but I do empathise with how you feel. However, 1st class does cost more, so if you really have to sit there, you will need to pay for it. Otherwise, you will have to accept that it is only available to you if there are no other seats.

As for the 'needing an escort, duty of care' nonsense - I despair. As the OP is still working, I think we can assume she is still capable of getting about by herself as an independent adult.

I know 'pregnancy isn't an illness' annoys some people, but by the same token, when I was pregnant I didn't want to be infantalised and treated as if I had somehow become incapable of functioning as an adult - it cuts both ways.

Flojobunny Sat 25-May-13 09:07:42

YABU. I take it this is your first pregnancy? You are 33 weeks, if you were 40+ and baby had decided to move round, maybe but you aren't disabled and when/if you have DC2 you will realise that you can survive pregnancy on the go all day and sometimes half the night.

ShadeofViolet Sat 25-May-13 09:10:36

I commute twice a week and use FC. Its normally empty so that I am the only person in there.

I suppose if the price of a First Class ticket is much more than SC, they want to make sure you are not abusing their kindness, but it does seem a bit mean.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 25-May-13 09:14:46

I am struggling to see how this ticket operates on a busy train I mean surely there are seats coming available all the time as the train moves along. If you happen to have a quick snooze are you also breaking T and Cs the second seats come free. I would suggest that the spirit of the ticket is that you make a really genuine effort to find a seat elsewhere which probably means starting at the other end of the train and if you have done that I would strongly argue the point with her if there was a repeat performance. I think she was unreasonable with her over reaction too.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 09:17:26

Maybe OP was clocked heading straight for FC??

MrsFruitcake Sat 25-May-13 09:19:14


But what I find more interesting is that nobody in the other carriages would give up their seat for an obviously pregnant woman. That's sad...nobody gives a stuff these days whereas only ten years ago, people would offer to move/stand so a pregnant lady could sit.

I know that on pretty much every bus or train journey I did when pregnant with DD (now almost ten), at least one person would give up their seat.

I would always give up my seat for a pregnant woman, assuming I wasn't ill or something else at the time. However if I was on a train where I knew pregnant women were allowed to sit in first class if standard was full I wouldn't. Because actually, when I've paid for my ticket, and she had a seat available in first class but I didn't, I wouldn't see at all why I should stand.

Op ya probably nbu but it depends a bit on how you approached this. I think you'd have had much more chance if you'd been polite but firm rather than going off on a rant.

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 09:27:06


If you want to sit in FC when SC isn't full, buy a fucking FC ticket.


Blizzardofbuzzards Sat 25-May-13 09:28:26

I hope all you lucky people who've had neat bumps and easy pregnancies find their mean comments on this thread come back to haunt them if they're not so lucky next time. <former stranded whale impersonator>

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 09:28:40

You sound like the sort Of person who gives pregnancy is a bad name. It's not an illness or a disability. If you are well enough to commute for an hour each way and do a full days work in between, you are well enough to find your own seat. The pass is for when the train is full. When it isn't full, you don't need to use your pass. You clearly just would prefer to sit in first class without buying a ticket for it

jollyhappy Sat 25-May-13 09:30:27

Poor you OP. It us rubbish commuting when pregnant. Next time do some shut-eye.

Making you walk down through a moving a train is mad.

And some really unhelpful comments - loved the "give up work if it is too difficult" comment! shock

I remember when I was pregnant once I had to run to try get on a carriage as everyone had pushed me out of the way.

A staff member came to help or so I thought - no he actually said to me don't run you'll hurt the baby and you should just wait for the next train.

Some commuters can be awful and others can be indifferent.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. flowers

MechanicalTheatre Sat 25-May-13 09:31:39

God almighty. No wonder massive corporations get off with ripping us all off when there are people so desperate to follow the rules at all costs.

First class is ALWAYS empty on trains, even when the rest of us plebs are squashed in like sardines. Frankly, I would be more than happy if everyone just want "fuck ye" and sat in first class regardless.

BonaDea Sat 25-May-13 09:34:16

Janey - perhaps a more reasonable and sympathetic way to look at it would be to say: as she's had to do a full days work and endure an hour's commute each way, she should be allowed to take the seat in 1st without first making her way up and down the entire platform on the off chance there's a seat.

No, pregnancy is not an illness but it does involve massive physical changes, depletes energy levels and affects sleep. Let the poor woman sit in first ffs

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 25-May-13 09:37:35

YABU and very entitled.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 09:38:16

Actually I won't be giving up my seat for pregnant women now-if everyone stays out-they can all be in FC!

LEMisdisappointed Sat 25-May-13 09:43:41

What a bunch of curmudgeonly old bitches!!!

Serenitysutton Sat 25-May-13 09:45:40

This makes no sense- are you expected to check the whole train before sitting in first class? You'd have to do it after each stop because it would be emptying? You could walk up an down 10 carriages 10,12 times?

Yanbu. Email and get clarity

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 09:46:12


When you use a service, there are T&Cs attached. It's nothing to do with people being 'desperate to follow the rules at all costs'.

If everyone just did as they pleased, as you suggest, what sort of a society would we end up with?

I'd hazard a guess that you're someone who begrudges paying extra for food if you 'eat in' at a cafe and you think that illegally downloading content is fine, too.

Alligatorpie Sat 25-May-13 09:51:34

Although I think the inspector was OTT, you have been sitting in FC daily for a month (since you were 29 weeks) without paying for a FC ticket. The inspectors probably recognise you - and it sounds like you aren't even checking for empty seats.

Have you asked your boss if you could leave 5 minutes early (make up the time at lunchtime) so you can walk the length of the train on the platform?

You do sound a bit entitled, tbh. Unless there are complications with your pregnancy, it is reasonable to walk through a train while 33 weeks pg. If it is that difficult, maybe you should see your midwife and look at leaving work early.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 25-May-13 09:52:42

Not read thread, but can imagine ...
Op yanbu to sit because you needed to. And, while its always better to get what you want by being nice, the ticket collector was bring a cow.
I am sure you have heard lots of " pregnancy is not an illness" and " I ran marathons at 39 weeks" but just ignore it. When I was 31 weeks I was commuting in and out of central London, and found it really hard, standing on buses when your balance is totally off is actually quite hard, and crowded tubes and trains, when you are being crushed and shoved are stressful. I nearly lost ds at this point, ended up in hospital. I had been of the mindset that I could keep doing everything I had been doing, just the same way, pregnant or not. And in heels...
The lovely consultant sat me down, and basically said " you are just going on as normal. But you are not normal, you are pregnant. Slow down ! Sit down! Stop wearing heels and running for the bus!" I didn't listen to my own body, but I listened to him and kept ds thank god.
I dont know why some women are so angry about the very idea of a pregnant woman needing a bit of extra care. Not everybody is as robust as everybody else.being ill in pregnancy also made me very aware of how hard it must be travelling when old and infirm, and they need to sit too!

IKnowWhat Sat 25-May-13 09:54:38

HERE is SouthWest Trains Mum To Be Scheme.

It seems like a good initiative.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 25-May-13 09:59:07

OP, I think you've had some really harsh comments on here (perhaps from posters without much experience of the joy that is commuting long distance on SW Trains).

Surely if the train is so busy that there are only free seats in the last carriage, it is within the spirit of the scheme (which is described as "industry leading") to sit in first class, even if there are one or two seats free somewhere on the train. And similarly, you shouldn't be expected to scour the train between stops in case a seat has become available.

Yes, you could ask someone to give up their seat for you, but the point is that the train company themselves have recognised that it is helpful for pregnant women to be able to sit down on the train and have set up a scheme to make specific provision for that. It's not "entitled" to use a scheme as it was intended.

It sounds like the ticket inspector was a bit of a jobsworth (I'm no fan of SW Trains, but I should add for balance that an inspector once offered me a seat in first class when I was BF, so they aren't all bad). I don't ink you should make a scene, you just have to say very calmly "I'm sorry you think I'm in violation of the rules, I have tried hard not to be and checked all of the carriages ahead of the first class section but they were all packed. I've been using this route for X years, and the last five carriages have always been packed as well, so I decided that these were the circumstances the brilliant scheme had in mind when allowing pregnant women to sit in first class. If you have been told that it is company policy to move pregnant women out of first class in these circumstances it would be useful to know so that I can direct my complaint to the right person."

The SW Trains scheme now applies to women in the last five months of pregnancy, by the way, so clearly not just aimed at the beached whale stage.

Serenitysutton Sat 25-May-13 09:59:25

Alligatorpie- that's what I don't understand. So you get there in plenty of time to say, Victoria. You walk up and down the train and there are no seats so you sit in first class. 6 minutes later you arrive at clapham. Doors open, people leave and join. You're supposed to get up, gather your things, walk back up and down the 10 carriages through the internal doors to check their are still now free seats. There are none so you go back to FC. 1 minute later you arrive at the next station, people leave and join. You get up again and walk through the train.....

REALLY????? No one can be expected to do that.

Alligatorpie Sat 25-May-13 10:06:41

Serenity - I don't think the op is expected to check for empty seats each time the train stops. But i haven't read the train policy.
I think saying to the conductor "when i got on, there were no spare seats, please tell me where they are" is reasonable. Causing a scene is not.

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 10:13:25

Alligator, but if the first five carriages are still packed, then a heavily pregnant woman has to fight her way past people packed in, sitting in aisles etc, sometimes its actually not possible to get through a carriage that packed, and you are very off balance when you are in third trimester, so I personally don't think it's safe when there are too many people standing to be able to safely hold onto things. If there are no seats visible when she gets on, she should be allowed to stay sitting, not walk down possibly 7 or 8 carriages on a swaying train and then have to squeeze into an inside aisle seat.
This is meant to be a benefit provided to pregnant women who hold bloody expensive season tickets, not an endurance test of scouring trains.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 25-May-13 10:13:47

Serenitysutton (and others), nowhere has the OP suggested that the conductor expected her to check for seats in standard after every stop. She is expected to check when she first gets on, then sit down and stay put.

She'd checked the five closest carriages - inevitably the busiest but not the five furthest - usually the quieter ones, where she knew there might have been seats. There were, the conductor pointed this out (quite helpfully, saving her from having to walk through them to check and then walk back if not).

She has said she cannot or doesn't have time to walk along the platform to the far end of the train and start there, where she'd have the best chance of finding a seat, so she chances it and sits in first anyway.

She knows she's breaking the terms of her free pass by doing this and believes she is justified in this. It's probably because she knows she's technically in the wrong that she thinks reasoning with the conductor won't work and is proposing histrionics as a first response to challenge next time.

Her question, right at the start, is not 'am I justified in sitting in first' (she is certain she is and doesn't give a damn if anyone disagrees), it is 'WIBU to create a scene next time I'm challenged?'.

So, for all that I'm sympathetic to her need for a seat and think she could try talking to the conductor about it and trying to win her sympathy, I cannot help cringing at the idea that any adult woman thinks the best way to get what she wants is to throw a tantrum.

She'd be VU, make herself feel worse in the process and only increase her chances of being marched down the train and watched like a hawk on all future journeys. Not a clever move - and unreasonable towards her future self as much as anyone else.

Serenitysutton Sat 25-May-13 10:14:02

But the end result is the same- if the conductor gets on at clapham and finds her there when there are seats available it doesn't matter whether she checked at Victoria- the Conductor doesn't know that.

I get what you're saying about dealing with it calmly and moving (although my major feat would be those seata are gone by the time you get there and you end up going back) not screeching like a banshee, but other posters appear to be insisting she ensure there are no free seats for the whole journey

DowntonTrout Sat 25-May-13 10:16:57

I think there are some really snotty comments on here.

The conductor was within her rights to ask you to move, though I suspect most wouldn't be bothered. It is pretty difficult to check every carriage for a seat, when people are already standing in aisles and the compartments between carriages.

If there are lots of people already standing, it would seem that most of the seats are taken, or there would be no one standing. It is not too much of an assumption to think the train is full. As for asking people to give up their seat- well some of us just feel more vulnerable during pregnancy so I understand your reluctance to do so.

Personally, I would have a word with the guard as you approach the train and ask if the train is likely to be full and if so would it be ok for you to find a seat in first class? They will say yes or no, but it would save you being asked to move by one who is unsympathetic. Also, perhaps walk right down to the end of the platform before you board, as that is where there is most likely to be a seat.

WeAreEternal Sat 25-May-13 10:17:30

I'm sorry but YABU (even though you seem nice) if you want to have a 1st class seat without the hassle of having to check the rest of the train you should buy a first class ticket.

Serenitysutton Sat 25-May-13 10:20:43

The guards aren't always on the train from the departure point though- often they get on to check tickets at stations mid journey.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 25-May-13 10:24:07

I don't think anyone is saying she should repeatedly scour the train. The OP is not saying that is what the conductor expected, or that this is what is expected in the T+Cs of her pass. The conductor appeared after the train started moving out of London.

Any conductor would see where her ticket was from and enforce the conditions accordingly. If these are 'check, then sit and stay put' then a conductor getting on later would not be able to say that there were seats available out of London, so would not ask her to move.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 10:27:14

YANBU at all.

First class carriages on a commuter train are ridiculous anyway, but being moved from an empty seat at 33wks pg by a member of train staff is downright disgusting. The fact that you were forced to walk along a moving train is even worse.

As for having to apply for an upgrade...

I'm in my 3rd tri and commute 2houra each way on a train. I'm starting my mat leave at 34 weeks because its going to be tougher and I can't afford a first class ticket for that length of journey.

I'd never take a seat in 1st class when there were seats or someone prepare to give me their seat in standard. There are lots of people who find travelling uncomfortable for far less positive reasons than pregnancy.

I understand your position but YABU. Sorry!

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 10:33:55

No one has said the op should scour the train for any possible seat that might be free. Just that when told to move because there are free seats, she is being unreasonable to moan and consider making a 'scene'. A scene about what exactly? That south west trains have implemented a scheme which sounds great, and are simply implementing that scheme?! If south west trains introduced a policy whereby signing up for the pass meant a pregnant woman could always sit in an empty first class seat then that would be different. But the scheme is very clear that its for in the event of no other seats being available , to avoid a pregnant woman having to stand. Eminently sensible scheme, and I don't see why the OP signed up for it and then expects to not follow it!

It's not about an obsession with rules as some people are trying to make out. It's about recognising a good scheme and using it. Not trying to turn it into something else.

Fwiw I like the suggestion up thread.. The op could simply have smiled, asked where the seats were to avoid her having to scour the train herself.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 10:34:02

Remembering, are you really losing two weeks' pay because you don't want to sit in first class? That's awful.

Which train company is it? Do you not get a free upgrade?

Bogeyface Sat 25-May-13 10:34:40

Why not email customer services and ask them to clarify exactly what your pass entitles you to? Ask them if it entitles you to stay in first class as long as second was full when you got on, or whether they expect you to move as soon as a second class seat becomes available. Explain what happened and then print off their reply to show any future conductors.

Southeastdweller Sat 25-May-13 10:36:08

You should have asked someone to get up or ask the guard to do this for you. Some people would have gladly given up their seats, yes even here in that London.

I agree that the pass is ridiculous.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 10:39:06

It's not a good scheme at all.

What happens to the unwitting heavily pregnant visitor to London who finds herself on a packed commuter train where the only available seats are in first class?

Under this scheme, she would not be allowed to sit in a first class seat.

A better policy would be to make all seats standard class during rush hour, which I believe south west trains used to do.

youmeatsix Sat 25-May-13 10:43:55

surely allowing a pregnant woman a seat on first class when she hasnt paid for it is a courtesy? making a scene? YABU, you want to ensure a 1st class seat, pay for it like anyone else would have to, you chose to be working at this stage on your pregnancy, chose to pay for a ticket you seem to expect, as well

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 25-May-13 10:44:40

The visitor can pay for a first class ticket (if it's a one off, the cost isn't so prohibitive) or ask for a seat in second.

The scheme is open to season ticket holders, but includes even weekly tickets ie not just the annual tickets that it used to be.

I don't understand why people don't support something designed to make the lives of pregnant women that bit easier?

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 10:49:24

Interestingly, FCC have just stopped doing the pass and instead you can apply for a priority card available to people with disabilities or pregnant, which you can present to those sitting in a priority seat to ask for a seat. Not sure what I think of this system as to whether or not its an improvement to pregnant women, but I am really pleased there is now something in place for those with invisible disabilities.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 10:55:30

I totally agree, families.
It seems a bizarre 'logic' to say that this isn't a good scheme because it doesn't allow someone who is heavily pregnant and decides to make a one off train journey to sit in first class! In the event that I were heavily pregnant and decided to travel somewhere surely it's my responsibility to pay for the method I need to travel.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 10:59:53

"you chose to be working at this stage on your pregnancy, chose to pay for a ticket you seem to expect, as well"


Then how come employers are not subject to this strange logic, instead being forced to make reasonable adjustments to allow women to continue to work through their pregnancy?

FCC's new policy does not surprise me one bit. They are utter cunts.

'First class' on a commuter train is a joke- to not allow somebody carrying another human being inside them to sit on an EMPTY seat which is not generating any income is baffling to me. Truly.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:02:50

She would have paid for a standard ticket- you know, the ones which used to come with a seat.

If train companies weren't charging passengers a fortune to travel on trains so overcrowded that people are standing up (whilst there are entire first class carriages standing empty) for their entire journey, there wouldn't be an issue.

MrsSpagBol Sat 25-May-13 11:08:53


I don't understand why 33 weeks means you find moving around so hard? You're not THAT big by then, surely? I would have liked a seat at that stage but moving down a train wasn't a huge issue."

How on earth can you judge this? Do we all start and end pregnancy the same size?!

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 11:09:20

The issue of train tickets being ludicrously expensive is another issue though isn't it. That's something affecting all travellers. And I entirely agree that train travel is obscenely expensive.

I dont agree that a travel company has the same responsibility to a pregnant woman as an employer does, so I don't think that's a sound basis for argument- I mean where do you draw the line?!- should shops, cafes, cinemas etc all make special adjustments?! However in this case there is a reasonable adjustment anyway- the chance to sit in first class if the train is full, so I can't see the OPs point tbh. What would she make a scene about? If its the cost of train tickets then fine, make a scene but you don't have to wait to be pregnant to do that. If she wanted to make a scene simply because they are implementing the policy she signed up for then she's frankly going to look a bit silly

aftermay Sat 25-May-13 11:11:28

OP, I'm with you on this. I am astounded at the lack of empathy in some of the replies. Complete, utter, unthinking, box ticking robots.

Bogeyface Sat 25-May-13 11:14:29

at 33 weeks I had such severe SPD that there is no way I could have got on to the train without help never mind stood up for any length of time. Walking the length of the train on the off chance of a seat would have been impossible, and if I knew that First Class was empty I would have gone straight there.

So am I fuckwittery, it's incredibly awkward for people with invisible disabilities.

Believeitornot Sat 25-May-13 11:21:31

There are so many ridiculously narrow minded selfish people on this thread. Have a heart.

YANBU OP. Complain to SWT about how rude the inspector was.

ZZZenagain Sat 25-May-13 11:27:13

I think your best bet is to write to the train company, saying that you do feel that under the circumstances younhad made a reasonableceffort to find a seat before thectrain departed and you feel you acted in the spirit of this pass upgrade. Explain that it was difficult for you to move through the moving train as you met with the request of the ticket collector and ask them if it would not have been acceptable in their view for you to have remained in that seat for the 45 minutes until the train stopped again at the next station where you would have been happy to look for the seat which you had been told was free. Have the response with younon the train every time you commute.

tethersend I travel on FGW (who are appalling btw) it costs me £1100pcm for std and they have no first class scheme, but if I walk to the front of the train I can always get a seat in standard. I just can't bear the thought of 5 hour commutes after 34 weeks - I'm already huge at 30+4. I can't get past anyone else stood in an aisle so if the train is rammed I can not move anywhere.

I'm not losing pay by starting early mat leave but if LO comes late she'll only be 10 months when I return, which makes me hmm

Abra1d Sat 25-May-13 11:27:52

'How on earth can you judge this? Do we all start and end pregnancy the same size?! '

I had pre-eclampsia and three hospitalisations in my first pregnancy, so I'm not entirely unsympathetic to people having hard pregnancies, but 33 weeks and fit enough to go to work means you're fit enough to find a seat on a train, in my opinion. If that makes me a 'snotty bitch', so be it.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:28:25

"should shops, cafes, cinemas etc all make special adjustments?! "

Yes, if that special adjustment involves not moving pregnant women out of seats which nobody wants. Why is that ludicrous?

adverbial Sat 25-May-13 11:29:51

I think the ticket checker was unduly harsh. Firstly for threatening to revoke the pass, and secondly for making heavily pregnant person travel so far down the train whilst the train was moving.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:30:26

Remembering, your situation is not one I would like to see replicated. That's appalling.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:30:44

And good luck BTW smile

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 11:34:35

So... Tethersend... By your logic, a pregnant woman should be allowed to go to my local odeon and sit in a 'premier deluxe ' seat (which is bigger, more comfortable , has a better screen view and is more expensive) even though she has only paid for a standard seat... Simply because she is pregnant...
Wow. Strange logic.

Believeitornot Sat 25-May-13 11:35:18

I had pre-eclampsia and three hospitalisations in my first pregnancy, so I'm not entirely unsympathetic to people having hard pregnancies

sounds like you think you had it hard so why should others who've not complain?

ll31 Sat 25-May-13 11:35:50

So you've access to a good scheme ,but it's not good enough for you,so you break the rules and are annoyed when your called on it. So the rules then on ticketing only apply to others? Yabu .

diddl Sat 25-May-13 11:36:29

Could be though that were so many empty seats in the carriages that the OP hadn't checked that it was obvious she was taking the piss.

Maybe pregnant women should be able to reserve seats?

Bogeyface Sat 25-May-13 11:37:15

33 weeks and fit enough to go to work means you're fit enough to find a seat on a train

Well you 'd be wrong. I was fit enough to work, my brain was fine, but my pelvis wasnt. Being at work wasnt a problem, getting there and back in the manner of the OP would have been.

I have very little patience with "It didnt happen to me so it doesnt happen to anyone" mentality.

helenthemadex Sat 25-May-13 11:38:35

As others have suggested I think you need to get some clarity in writing so you can show this to the inspectors

Jinsei Sat 25-May-13 11:42:17

The first few carriages on a train are always more full than those a bit further away from the ticket gate. I suspect there were loads of empty seats a bit further down, and that's why the ticket inspector made the point.

Though I doubt the OP will admit this now!

WafflyVersatile Sat 25-May-13 11:42:54

I had no idea train operators offered this. That's uncharacteristically kind of them. shame it's not extended to others who would have difficulty standing.

It's a bit jobsworth to make you move on a nearly full train. As others have said to stick to the rules you'd have to walk the length of the whole train before getting on to check for seats then get up at each station which would render the goodwill gesture a bit pointless.

If there were loads of empty seats throughout the train but you just thought, nah, I've got a pass I'm going to sit in first class all the time from now on regardless then you would be unreasonable.

As long as you weren't doing someone out of a seat who had paid for first class then there was no harm in leaving you be.

WafflyVersatile Sat 25-May-13 11:48:20

''The first few carriages on a train are always more full than those a bit further away from the ticket gate. I suspect there were loads of empty seats a bit further down, and that's why the ticket inspector made the point.

Though I doubt the OP will admit this now!''


She's already said she had to walk through two carriages to find the elusive empty seat.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:50:44

"So... Tethersend... By your logic, a pregnant woman should be allowed to go to my local odeon and sit in a 'premier deluxe ' seat (which is bigger, more comfortable , has a better screen view and is more expensive) even though she has only paid for a standard seat... Simply because she is pregnant... "

Whyever not?

As long as nobody else wanted the seats, why couldn't a pregnant woman sit in them without paying extra?

Saski Sat 25-May-13 11:52:30


It's a nice policy the train has, why heap abuse on it?

Allowing people to sit in unoccupied first class seats because they're empty doesn't stand up to any sort of logic.

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 11:53:05

Of course pregnant women should be accommodated and ensured they are not put at any risk but all the OP had to do was move to the next carriage and ask for a seat. She made a big deal out of moving to find an empty seat when she was more than entitled to one of the seats in the next carriage.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 11:57:09

"Allowing people to sit in unoccupied first class seats because they're empty doesn't stand up to any sort of logic."

You're going to have to explain why to me, because I am just not getting why allowing a pregnant woman to sit in an empty, unused first class seat defies logic confused

Saski Sat 25-May-13 11:58:15

Because she might have paid for it if it weren't given to her for free. Like any other traveller.

They've already prioritized pregnant women which is good.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 11:59:10

So why not extend that to anyone tethers end? It makes no difference to the cinema if people who have bought standard tickets decide to sit in empty premier seats! I think you'd find pretty quickly though that the logical conclusion to that would be that the cinema would stop offering a price difference and just have all seats at the same price and not offer any different provision. Which is exactly what train companies Would do as well. Which I expect the OP would then moan about!!

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:03:37

Why would getting rid of first class and premier seats be a bad thing? It's a great solution!

It's ridiculous that first class still exists on suburban trains.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:04:10

Exactly saski. I don't see what's so hard to understand about the principle, whether its trains or cinemas we're talking about. A better type of seat is offered at a higher price. If anybody was allowed to occupy the better seats even though they hadnt paid for them then what on earth would be point of a price difference be?!
My DH usually pays for a premier seat because he's got long legs. If he buys a standard seat, I guess he could take a chance and move to premier if the film is about to start and it's not filled. But if a staff member came and told him to move to the seat he'd paid for, he'd look bloody ridiculous trying to 'make a scene ' about it!

Saski Sat 25-May-13 12:06:28

Tethersend, that's a separate issue entirely.

Why do you disagree with first class?

adverbial Sat 25-May-13 12:07:14

The cinema argument makes no sense. When buying a cinema ticket you are guaranteed a seat, few people (in my experience) actually move into better seats when they realise the premier seats are unoccupied and likely to remain so.

Not so on the train.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:07:41

Tethers- I couldn't care less whether first class exists on trains or premier seats exist in cinemas. But some people do. My DH for example as I said above. And while these things do exist then the only way they can logically operate is if people pay more for them. Otherwise what's the point? Whether they exist or not is, like the whole issue of train fares, another argument entirely

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:08:19

" If anybody was allowed to occupy the better seats even though they hadnt paid for them then what on earth would be point of a price difference be?! "



Disagreeing with a practice does not mean you do not understand it, nor does the mere existence of such a practice make it synonymous with logic.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:12:51

It's not another argument, as the very existence of first class seats is the cause of the OP's problem.

In nearly all commuter trains to and from London, first class stands virtually empty whilst passengers are packed like sardines into standard class. The companies even recognise the absurdity of this by offering 'upgrade passes' to obviously pregnant women, so they can sit in a section of a train they all know will be empty.

Rather than ditch the empty carriages and let everyone sit throughout the train, they introduce ridiculous passes and expect people to be grateful.

It's a disgrace.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:13:34

Adverbial- but the op would NOT have had to move if there hadnt been a seat available on the train. That's the whole point. The pass entitles a pregnant woman to sit in first class (ie a better seat) IF no seat is available for the fare she's paid. A train ticket , unless you have a guaranteed seat booked , does not entitle you to a seat, it entitles you to make that journey. The fact that the mum to be concessions exists is an adjustment, a courtesy, which the company has implemented

Now- whether you believe a ticket should mean you get a seat, and whether tickets should be much cheaper is a entirely different argument. It's one many people , me included, agree with. But it's got absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy- it's an issue which applies to all travellers

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:16:50

So you seem to be agreeing tethers that this is an issue which applies to everyone. Therefore it's not about the OP being pregnant, or whether a company makes reasonable adjustments.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:18:51

It is relevant, as the company issuing these passes is indicative of the fact that they know first class is likely to be empty- which begs the question, given that it is likely to be empty at any given time, why have first class at all?

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:20:16

And turfing a heavily pregnant woman out of a seat which they know is unlikely to be occupied is indefensible IMO.

Wearegoingtobedlehem Sat 25-May-13 12:23:08

Photographerlady, you have my sympathies, London commuter rush hour trains are not entertaining. I have not had to do it pg, but have done it with babe in arm +\- a toddler too. When coming home from great ormond street with said toddler - more than once I have had the nightmare of no seat and its not at all easy esp once train is moving, so, I do sympathise and I guess in your situation I would be as conscientious as possible checking carriages, other than this yes I would sit in first.
Tbh I have to travel up again in 10 days and am considering driving to the outskirts as I do find it that hellish when packed.


And to the poster who said they drove up to the day they gave birth - wow - well done. Not in anyway the same angryyour car won't leave the drive without out you in it, sat down and safe for one.

pleasedo Sat 25-May-13 12:24:17

if i was heavily pregnant i wouldnt want to be going up and down the train looking for a seat , if the train looked packed then i would go straight to first class and sit down , no pregnancy isnt an illness but its bloody tiring in the late stages especially when you have been to work all day .

Lovecat Sat 25-May-13 12:25:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 12:32:10

Technically, you were being unreasonable I think.

I'm 38 weeks now, and would not have a problem negotiating my way through 2 moving carriages. I think that maybe if negotiating 2 moving carriages is a problem for you at 33, you might want do some contingency planning re work and the latter stages of pregnancy. I'm not trying to be all 'I climbed Mount Everest at full term about it - just sharing my experience that, for me, the physical problems got exponentially worse in final weeks.

I agree with wider points on thinking whether trains need as many first class seats. It is annoying walking past empty carriages. In a cynical way, they need to keep some quality differential between classes to keep people paying for first. I have no idea how much first subsidises other fares, if at all?

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 12:33:06

Sorry, should have said that although technically U, I wouldn't have made you move unless you had an attitude about it.

Saski Sat 25-May-13 12:38:11

It is relevant, as the company issuing these passes is indicative of the fact that they know first class is likely to be empty- which begs the question, given that it is likely to be empty at any given time, why have first class at all?

I don't agree that it's indicative - it may or may not be the case, we don't know.

What fraction of the train is actually allocated to first class? It's a pretty small percentage in my experience - like 8 out of a couple hundred. If the train is indeed really crowded, releasing the first class seats isn't really going to help the crowding - and then you have the business problem of having customers willing to pay for something (first class) that you can't offer.

Trains are really badly run in the UK and there's much to criticize, but I philosophically disagree with your view.

ComposHat Sat 25-May-13 12:39:10

YABU - it is a nice policy for the train operators to have and seems well thought out and parent friendly. If it is abused by piss takers like the op who seemed to use it as a free upgrade regardless of whether there were seats in standard, then there is the risk the policy will be changed to the detriment of those who need to use it.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 12:46:22

I don't understand why people are being so critical.

The OP walked through over 50% of the standard class seating and found no seats available. Perfectly reasonable to assume that the rest of the train will be the same, and use her pass. The ticket inspector was being an absolute jobsworth.

I also agree with other posters that there should be no class divisions on trains. It is a waste of space and it is also unegalitarian and unbefitting of society in 2013.

Saski Sat 25-May-13 12:48:10

Should there be no first class on planes either?

Abra1d Sat 25-May-13 12:48:34

So people who disagree with the OP are now: 'shits', 'bitches' and 'bastards'.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:49:04

Now, if the op had been 'are train fares too high' I would wholeheartedly agree. If it had been 'have train companies got the ratio of first class to second class seats wrong'- yes, I would agree with that too.

But 'should I make a scene because the company are implementing their system and expecting me to sit in a seat commensurate with the fare I've paid when such a seat is available' ... Nope, I can't agree with that. The company don't have to have this scheme at all. They could simply expect people to pay for first class if that's what they want. The fact they've got it, the OP signed up to it and is now complaining about it is a little bizarre

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 12:49:58

Abraids- you forgot cunts. That was mentioned upthread. Some posters have a charming view of their fellow women don't they? hmm

Saski Sat 25-May-13 12:51:24

Cunts! Wow. I missed that.

Abra1d Sat 25-May-13 12:51:24

Lovely, Janey68.

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 12:51:25

"The OP walked through over 50% of the standard class seating and found no seats available. Perfectly reasonable to assume that the rest of the train will be the same, and use her pass"

That's not true - common sense and experience tells that the first carriages will be more full.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 12:58:56

I think I was the only one to call anyone cunts and I was referring to a particular train company- is that what you were referring to, Janey? I can't find any other cunt on the thread.

So to speak grin

C999875 Sat 25-May-13 12:59:47

Firstly. I will say this "I am rather disgusted at the way certain members on here have spoken to you", sorry but in my world you don't upset a pregnant women
No you're not being unreasonable at all. If I see a preganant women it's just basic manners for me to make sure she is safe and has a comfortable seat. To think as well we're all mothers on here or mothers to be going through or been the same thing.
I know one thing though I got more curtoisy from men when I was pregnant that women. I think the reason could be "The women who ahve been through it think, "Well I went through it no-one jumped through hoops for me and the ones who haven't are possibly jealous.
Good luck with your baby. xxx

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 13:01:44

Well I assume in calling an entire company 'cunts' you include the female ticket collecter who disagreed with the OP that she was entitled to stay in first class?
Just a pretty horrible way to describe anyone really. Especially when it's based on simply not agreeing with you

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 13:07:47

Sorry but had to chortle at 'in my world you don't upset a pregnant woman' ... Sounds like relationship advice from a book from the 19th century grin

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 13:09:00

Oh no, I stand by calling FCC cunts.

As do most who've travelled on their trains.

In this instance, I was referring to whoever made the decision to revoke the 1st class upgrade scheme for pregnant women and make them apply for and carry a pass for priority seats to which they were already entitled. Which is a decision only a cunt could make. As far as I'm aware, that cunt is not on the thread, so to make out that I was calling other posters cunts because they disagreed with me is a little disingenuous, don't you think?

Is that really what you were referring to?

Saski Sat 25-May-13 13:09:21

There was much to chortle at.

An unedited book, maybe?

Tenacity Sat 25-May-13 13:12:13

I can see both sides OP.
I do think YABU as you should abide by your ticket conditions, and look for seat elsewhere before venturing into first class.
HOWEVER, in the wider context, this whole thing highlights the bigger issue, which is that THIS society does not look after its vulnerable members. Yes, a woman who is pregnant is vulnerable. Little things like offering a seat, opening a door, a greeting or smile do not cost anything.
Also the fact that very pregnant women HAVE to continue working, some in very difficult jobs is another topic...

Then you have a lack of support for parents with very young children, abuse of the disabled, child abuse, abuse of the elderly and lots of other ills. IMO there is a dearth of compassion in society, in general.

DontmindifIdo Sat 25-May-13 13:19:33

YANBU actually, I only ever looked in the carriage I was in,if that was full, I went in first class, I didn't walk the length of the train. Next time do say you will need to be taken to the free seat as you couldn't find one, if someone has since got up, you'll need to be told where it is, and would like her to come with you, as others have said, it's now a busy moving train.

They are being complete jobsworths, but remember they only brought in these passes because they stopped having priority seating for pregnant woman in standard class. If they bring that back, then it'll be fine.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 13:19:46

Well they weren't much less full, were they? The OP said she had to walk through another two carriages before she found a seat, and this is after the train had left the station. So the OP is on a train where there is no available seat on 7 out of ten carriages. I think her use of the pass is reasonable and fair.

Saski - not that it's really anything to do with the OP, but planes are a slightly different issue since people don't have to rely on plane travel for their daily commutes and essential day-to-day travel.

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 13:24:58

YANBU. If there weren't any free seats when you got on, then you should be able to sit in first class and stay there.

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 13:25:14

you should have asked someone to get up, or ask the guard to do this for you
The only reason she was asked to leave 1st class was because the guard told her there were free seats on the train... He didn't just push her out of a seat to take pot luck.

cantbloodywellchoose Sat 25-May-13 13:27:01

What Wilson said. Sorry...

Wheresthepopcornagain Sat 25-May-13 13:34:13

I don't you think you are being that unreasonable but the lady was doing her job. it is rubbish getting the train when you are big and uncomfortable. Don't get angry with her for doing her job, just appeal to her better nature and charm her into letting you stay.

lljkk Sat 25-May-13 13:55:33

Pregnancy does not make you into an invalid.

Lovecat Sat 25-May-13 14:01:48

My post wasn't a personal attack on an individual poster, why was it deleted? confused

I merely said there were some petty, nasty individuals of an illegitimate nature posting on this thread. No names, so if you don't think that's you, why report?

I think the fact someone saw fit to report that as a 'personal' attack proves my point re. pettiness...hmm Also rather annoyed that the rest of my post was lost.

OP, I repeat, YANBU and anyone who thinks it's reasonable trying to squeeze down a packed train in the hope of finding a seat 'somewhere' while heavily pregnant is just being nasty for the sake of it.

I hope you get to read this before someone else takes offence and presses report...

Actually lljkk pregnancy makes many women into invalids. Just because you were fine doesn't mean anyone who isn't is putting it on hmm

SomethingsUp Sat 25-May-13 14:06:34

I beg to differ but pregnancy not only made me an invalid whilst I was pregnant, it's left me disabled afterwards too.

BalloonSlayer Sat 25-May-13 14:08:53

When I started work in London many moons ago it was the done thing for pregnant women to stop work at about 28 weeks pregnant. IIRC you couldn't have a day of sick in the last month of pregnancy; you had to start maternity leave.

The main reason for that was that it is difficult to commute when heavily pregnant.

When I had my first DC 13 years ago I gave up work at 28 weeks for the same reason but by that time people were working right up to the end of their pregnancies.

It is interesting to see how times have changed. Now people expect the railway company to make things easier for them so they can have all their maternity leave post-birth.

Surely some maternity leave is intended for when you are heavily pregnant and find getting to work or doing your job difficult?

Do people really expect everyone else to bend over backwards getting them seats every day so that they can save all their maternity leave?

lljkk Sat 25-May-13 14:09:29

I am trying to imagine when I'm 85 & frail would I go on the train by myself knowing it was dodgy for me personally to even try to walk along while the train was in motion.

Probably not, actually. Or at least I would choose my seat very carefully with the least risk of having to move before my stop.

So To put it another way, if pregnancy incapacitates someone so much that they can't walk 2 carriages on a moving train, they probably aren't fit to be out in public by themselves, anyway (assuming they aren't already in an electric wheelchair, that is).

ilovesooty Sat 25-May-13 14:14:00

The past month I've sat in first class. I am slower now and especially after work when huffing my way to catch the train after quitting time I get on with only 5 minutes to spare. About five coaches down its first class (ten coach train) and its rammed so I get on and sit in FC as those first five coaches have no seats

This rather indicates to me that for a month the OP has been making no serious effort to find a vacant seat in standard class and I wouldn't be surprised if regular conductors have been aware of it.

When you're 85 and frail you will be able to avoid the rush hour won't you which makes it a bit of a non argument.

This isn't a debate about whether the train company should have the policy. It does. It may well have the same policy for other people who are vulnerable or have reduced mobility I don't know.

Certainly people who need carers get to go to concerts and the cinema with their carers going for free. Isn't this just another policy to try and help people who are struggling? And how is that possibly a bad thing - to show consideration for those who need it?

And the op has paid for a ticket that specifically allows her to do this. Why shouldn't she use it? And where is the compassion for Fellow women? Presumably those of you saying she is unreasonable had straight forward pregnancies. Well bully for you.

I didn't. I fainted art the drop of a hat. But when I felt fine I was happy to stand on trains if there were no seats so certainly didn't play the pregnancy card unnecessarily. But then I wasn't commuting in London at 33 Weeks. I was off on the sick because I couldn't do my job without Keeling over.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 14:23:29

It's not a big ask, is it, Balloon - giving up a seat for the odd pregnant woman, or helping them find one?

It's not as if the trains are heaving with heavily pregnant women. And given the cost of childcare, it's not surprising that many women feel that they have to make every day of mat leave count.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 14:36:02

I think many people are drifting from the point here. The OP wanted a seat. There were seats available in the carriages which she'd paid for. No one was turfing her out with no where to sit

As for whether pregnancy makes you an invalid- well, in some cases yes. But so do countless other temporary conditions. Which is why this shouldn't specifically be about pregnancy. I would happily offer a seat to anyone who seemed to be struggling or in pain. But in this case offering a seat wasnt the issue anyway because there were seats available

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 25-May-13 14:39:05


I despair at some of the comments on here. My currently early pregnancy is doing a very good impersonation of an illness.

ComposHat Sat 25-May-13 14:44:47

I cannot help cringing at the idea that any adult woman thinks the best way to get what she wants is to throw a tantrum

Yes this ^

adverbial Sat 25-May-13 14:46:23

Perhaps, on reflection, the OP ought to have walked the length of all the carriages before going to first class. But I still think the ticket collector was harsh and should have asked her to move at the next station after the train had stopped moving.

aftermay Sat 25-May-13 14:48:43

What Unami said.

Unbelievable the lack

aftermay Sat 25-May-13 14:49:46

... of compassion and empathy shown on this thread. You'd be ashamed if your kids behaved like this. It your husbands.

SomethingsUp Sat 25-May-13 14:53:05

Being frail doesn't negate the need (or want) to get out and about. When I am too ill to walk on the train, I go into the office and request assistance, and they stick me in a wheelchair and get me to a seat. I like still having the freedom to get out and about, as I am sure does the OP.

My suggestion is that you continue going to first class and sitting, and if you are told there is a seat available, calmly request that they escort you there as you feel quite unsteady on your feet, without any argument as you are technically in the wrong if there are other seats. That way you don't have to stumble around looking for a seat, and you make full us of your passes benefits. I do think it's a little silly expecting you to go look for the elusive seat, and a little guidance from first class is the simplest way to help you.

aftermay Sat 25-May-13 15:02:26

I find it laughable people suggesting all you have to do is just ask for a seat in standard class. So in effect do away with the seat upgrades altogether. Or the suggestion to just stay at home. I need to check the date on the thread.

Saski Sat 25-May-13 15:09:54

Aftermay, the policy is - if there's no seat available in standard, pregnant women sit in first for free. So in fact, you don't even have to ask for a seat - it's just that if there is one available you have to use it.

I don't understand how this relates to how our kids or husbands behave. I'd indeed be upset if my husband or kids didn't give up their seats for a pregnant woman, but that's entirely beside the point!

ohforfoxsake Sat 25-May-13 15:23:44

Actually this shouldn't be an issue at all. A pregnant woman, elderly or disabled person gets on a busy carriage, I stand up and offer them my seat. It is good manners. I don't wait for someone else to do it.

IndestructibleGirl Sat 25-May-13 15:42:09

"Ok then let the pregnant, elderly, disabled and infirm have the passes too.

Then people who actually need seats have them.

Oh, hang on, but then some rich people might have to stand after paying all that extra for their special seats. Oh my god."

Schobe, I love you for this :D

Sorry I don't know how to quote another poster properly, but this expresses my feelings exactly.

Do people with disabilities get this pass too? I have got lost now on this thread. I am thinking about those without an obvious disability who particularly suffer from not being able to sit down.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 15:49:19

Erm... Maybe those 'rich' people have paid extra for a seat because they have some 'invisible need or requirement.

Actually this is descending into the absurd now. It's not about a pregnant woman having to stand up. It's about a pregnant woman wondering if she would be reasonable to make a scene because the available seat isn't first class!

Southeastdweller Sat 25-May-13 15:50:23

WTF is so 'laughable' about a heavily pregnant woman asking for someone to give up their seat in standard class?

diddl Sat 25-May-13 15:51:53

"WTF is so 'laughable' about a heavily pregnant woman asking for someone to give up their seat in standard class?"

She doesn't need to as she can sit in FC??!!

Southeastdweller Sat 25-May-13 15:54:36

No, she can't diddl. She's not entitled to be in there anymore than anyone else is, if the train isn't full.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 15:56:04

... So if the train isn't full.... No one needs to give up a seat

SomethingsUp Sat 25-May-13 15:56:23

Actually I am disabled and visibly carry a walking stick and many times have been unable to get a priority seat unless I can get a member of staff to ask people to move. Lots of people don't want to stand even if you try to ask politely.

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 15:56:33

She was only asked to leave first class because there were free seats on the rest of the train. The guard would have allowed her to stay in first class had the rest if the train been full. What's the issue? That's the system, and it appears to have been working as it should. confused
The op did not stand for the rest of her journey; she walked to a free seat in another carriage.

BackforGood Sat 25-May-13 16:00:47

Yup. YABU. I@m actually amazed that such a pass exists tbh.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 16:01:57

No-I meant she has no reason to ask anyone to move-as if there are no seats in SC, she may sit in FC.

Southeastdweller Sat 25-May-13 16:02:38

But the OP is inferring that walking down the two carriages to find a free seat was a struggle for her (which I understand). Why not just get on the first bloody carriage and ask someone to stand up instead of walking down five of them to first?

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 16:02:51

I'd write to the train company and ask how the pass works. Is it...

1) if the train is full when you get on, then you sit in first class and stay there. If the guard doesn't come round until much later then they're too late to ask you to move.

2) you have to keep checking throughout your journey to see if there are free seats to move to hmm

My bet is on (1).

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 16:02:55

Exactly. The whole point is that OP was asked to move because there were free seats in standard class. If there were no free seats, she would not have been asked to move. I don't really understand the big deal about this.

I am chattering away here to myself but think the pass should be made available for others who find standing difficult and still have to commute at peak time.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 16:08:38

To paraphrase another poster: pregnant woman asked to sit in standard seat rather than first class. Oh my god.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 16:09:29

"But the OP is inferring that walking down the two carriages to find a free seat was a struggle for her (which I understand). Why not just get on the first bloody carriage and ask someone to stand up instead of walking down five of them to first?"

Because she wants to sit in FC??grin

It's very unfortunate that she arrives with so little time.

I agree she could just ask someone as soon as she gets on.

But now knowing that she can sit in FC, it seems unfair to ask someone to give up their seat.

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 16:11:13

Some people are acting like the OP was asked to run behind the train. hmm She was asked to move out of first class because the T&C of her pass state it's only acceptable when there are no other seats. I think people are getting their knickers in a twist because they can't afford first class. What's with the bashing of "special, rich people"? Lovely!

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 16:11:28

Well they weren't much less full, were they?

No but they were less full, and there were free seats, enabling the OP to sit down. Look, as I said I personally would not have asked her to move, but it's not as if she was being denied a seat. I think the inference that creating a scene might have been reasonsable is what has elicited a number of responses here.

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 16:13:26

Sorry should have put quotes on first sentence of my post.

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 16:17:14

Binky I agree, I would also have not asked the OP to move but I think she would be OTT to kick off and also, to trek through several carriages to make her point.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 16:19:49

The guard asked a heavily pregnant woman to move from a seat which would otherwise be empty to go and sit in another empty seat two carriages away. Thus making sure that the first class seat remained empty.

Nobody else wanted it.

If that's not an exercise in pettiness, I'm not sure what is.

I'd be interested to hear the train company's response, actually... Can we tweet them this thread?

By we I mean someone else.

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 16:23:14

I agree it was petty but OP knew the T&C of her special pass and she probably knew she was trying it on.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 16:26:15

'Trying it on'?

Anyone would think she was Ronnie Biggs grin

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 16:50:02

Christ on a shiny bike, OP says she knew the pass was for when the train was full. It wasn't. She was asked to move which she did. Next time, she wants to make a scene like an entitled toddler.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 17:06:02

The fact that a heavily pregnant woman needs a pass at all to sit on an empty first class seat when the train is full is ridiculous.

To enforce a ridiculous policy in such an inflexible way is downright disgraceful.

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 17:09:01

What has been said about the T&C so far is ambiguous. If the train's full when you get on, but a seat becomes available later in your journey, do you have to move, or not? What do the T&C say about that OP?

The time you find a seat is when you board the train, not later on, so yes go to first class and it's reasonable once you're in your seat to stay there. I think the guard was probably being a jobsworth.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 17:10:54

But in your view tethers, everyone should be allowed to sit in unoccupied, better seats, whether on a train or in a cinema or elsewhere, on the basis that it makes no difference to the company whether someone parks their bum there or not. So the whole idea of a pass is irrelevant anyway- it should be open to all, first come first served. Oh hang on, the pregnant woman might not want to get caught up in the scramble for better seats. On the other hand, with your system, the quick ones will nab first class so she'll have more second class seats to choose from... Bingo! grin

diddl Sat 25-May-13 17:17:14

"The fact that a heavily pregnant woman needs a pass at all to sit on an empty first class seat when the train is full is ridiculous."

Yup-she should take her chances in SC with everyone else who has a SC ticket.

If she's lucky, there'll be a seat, or someone will stand for her.

crashdoll Sat 25-May-13 17:21:17

There are seats in every carriage that state passengers should give up their seat. OP could, you know, ask for a seat. There's just no need to make such a fuss.

TattyDevine Sat 25-May-13 17:26:31

OP I think you encountred a jobsworth, and you should continue to "try", but if you get moved, so be it. Just get a thick skin or a pragmatic attitude about it. Most decent people would not make you move. Let the jobsworth cow have her little power trip.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 17:42:27

The train was virtually full. Her use of the pass was fair and reasonable. The pass means she doesn't have to ask people to give up seats, when she can go and sit in an empty first class one instead.

The ticket inspector was being a jobsworth, and I have no doubt that the train company's PR people would be very apologetic if she got in touch.

Why people are being so petty is beyond me.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 17:49:50

Of course the PR dept will be very apologetic. They will have a standard letter of response. Really, none of this is rocket science. I wonder why the OP bothered applying for a pass if she's determined to do her own thing anyway. It's a system. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable system to me, to allocate a pass for situations where the train is full, but some people just like to moan.

Causing a scene is just embarrassing and behaving like a toddler though. If you want to complain that the company is using the system you signed up for, then go ahead and feel pleased with yourself when you get your standard reply from them, if it makes you feel better

But honest to god, of all the things you could quite rightly moan about with train companies, being asked to sit in the part of the train you've paid for is not up there with the best of them.

BackforGood Sat 25-May-13 17:53:05

Good post janey68

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 17:54:18

Why exactly would the PR Dept. go out of their way to apologise? confused. The system is completely unambiguous, and all the guard did was enforce company policy. It'd be a bit crap if they didn't support their employee, actually, for doing their job...
Op took a chance and was busted. She should accept it with good grace.

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 18:01:14

I suspect the PR people would point out that they provide the pass out of courtesy, and that standard class seats were available. Hard to see the problem to be honest.

I agree it would be stupid to ask people to move if standard class was full - in this instance it wasn't.

As I say, I think people have taken exception because OP was being a bit cheeky according to T and Cs, but thought she might have been justified in making a scene, which to some makes her sound a bit silly.

idiuntno57 Sat 25-May-13 18:11:25

Wow. Almost 300 responses to a hypothetical unreasonableness.

YABU (hypothetically)

Unami Sat 25-May-13 18:18:06

Seriously, is the OP supposed to walk through every single carriage of a very busy train to find a seat before she can use her pass? Does she then have to get up at every stop and stalk the busy train for a seat before using her pass for the next stage of the journey? Because that's what you're all proposing.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 25-May-13 18:22:19

I've been on a train and had to carry a 11 year old visibly disabled child because nobody would give up a seat people I asked just totally blanked us.

It took 45 mins for a guard to turn up and make someone move.

People often won't give up seats.

I also find the amount of surgestions that she should give up work a bit shocking. If she can still do her job has not had a pregnancy related sickness that prevents her from attending work and wishes to remain working she can work until her due date. Plenty of people who struggle to walk or balance are able to work.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:23:07

No we're not. We're proposing that when she's asked to move because there are empty seats, she doesn't react like its unfair or something to throw a tantrum over. The ticket checker knew there were empty seats at that time, so the OP just needed to ask her where. No stalking up and down required

diddl Sat 25-May-13 18:23:58

Well I don't see why she shouldn't check carriages.

But, if she doesn't-then she might get moved.

I'm sure she isn't expected to recheck at every station-why would anyone think that??!!

Unami Sat 25-May-13 18:35:43

Because a seat might become available on another carriage while she's sitting in first, and how would she know about it unless she is told? And the ticket inspector telling her to move mid-way through the journey because there's an empty seat she wasn't aware of seems petty, picky and unnecessary.

emstats Sat 25-May-13 18:40:11

Agree with Unami

littleducks Sat 25-May-13 18:48:09

Some mean comments on this thread.

Pregnancy isn't an illness winds me up, to be honest it is has been an illness for me, just one with a predictable end date. Vomiting, nausea, pain, headaches, weight loss and fatigue. hmm I was skipping around post birth though!

I commute in to London on a different train line. I get on at the last stop before Euston, I stand in first class quite frequently as there are no seats and there is more space to stand in there. Lots of people with SC tickets are on there (I'm pretty certain) as inspectors simply can't get through any carriages to check tickets as its too packed.

I wear a 'baby in board' badge but have only ever been offered a seat on the tube never on the mainline train. And as for the 'arrive earlier' suggestion I frequently stand by the departure boards in Euston waiting for the platform to be announced, only minutes before the train leaves, then when it is there is a huge rush to get there. If you are slower than the crowd then you might be lucky enough to get on the train but no chance if a seat.

tethersend Sat 25-May-13 18:50:08

It's a system, yes, but it is a mean-minded and petty system.

Far better to just make all seats standard accommodation during rush hour, just as south west trains used to do. Then guards can ensure all those who need a seat get one, instead of making them walk down a moving train.

The idea that first class seats are so covetable that you need a special pass, when in reality the only difference is 6" more legroom and a paper headrest cover is laughable. They are just seats- seats which nobody but the heavily pregnant woman sitting in one needed.

diddl Sat 25-May-13 18:58:52

What's mean minded & petty about ensuring a pregnant woman can get a seat?

If all seats are standard-how does that help-she's back to relying on someone to give up a seat for her!

BoffinMum Sat 25-May-13 19:00:12

Actually the pass could be seen as a reasonable adjustment on equality grounds, given that only women can be pg etc.

In another society we would be ruddy well rolling out a red carpet. It's only in the UK we seem to be so small minded, petty and genuinely mean.

idiuntno57 Sat 25-May-13 19:05:00

Surely it is just a question of PFP. Pregnant person receives much looked for perk of pregnancy. They get used to going in first class every day even if it is likely that sometimes at least seats are available further down the train. Most ticket people let it go. One is a bit jobsworthy and reminds OP of terms and conditions of pass. OP is miffed as she had come to see seat in FC as a right. She doesn't have a tantrum but feels she would be justified in doing so. She is wrong.

As for pregnancy being an illness it isn't and if you are too ill to commute then start mat leave. That is what it is there for. Hypothetically and actually.

littleducks Sat 25-May-13 19:11:42

Ha! I would have had to start maternity leave at about 10 weeks if that was the policy! As it was I was signed off sick for a few weeks, most of which I spent in hospital but had to go back to work afterwards.

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 19:21:21

tethersend either you are utterly clueless about how businesses work, or you're being deliberately obtuse.

First Class is a marketable product. It doesn't matter how petty or pointless it seems to you because value is subjective not objective. All that matters for the company is that customers are willing to pay more to sit there.

Letting people use FC when they haven't paid for it (not talking about OP with her valid special pass) simply devalues the product and results in even less people paying to use it in future.

It's the same for any product a company is trying to sell. I used to work for a company who produced expensive, branded products and also unbranded and supermarket own-brand products.

Some of the own-brand products cost more to produce than our well known, higher quality brands due to commodity prices. We could have used the same materials to make both and saved some money or we could have made the same profit per unit on each but would have had to charge more for the 'cheaper' brand. If we put the higher quality but cheaper materials into the own-brand product, very quickly consumers would catch on and we wouldn't be able to sell the premium stuff. Alternatively the premium brand unit price could be reduced to reflect it's cheaper production cost but that would result in loss of market share in the own-brand sector.

There is no way to get around the fact that if you have a product or service which has a high subjective value, it has to be differentiated from the standard offering, even if producing or providing it costs more than giving away the better materials/service.

That's why the train companies don't want people with SC tickets sat in FC if it can be helped.

SomethingSuitablyWitty Sat 25-May-13 19:26:37

In the European country I live in, you can apply for a similar pass when pregnant, but it does not require the train to be full. You can sit there directly. First class is not heaving with pregnant women. it is still generally half empty. I really can't see the problem with letting pregnant women enjoy a little bit of extra comfort if they feel they need it and have made the effort to get the pass on that basis.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 19:26:37

tethersend is not being utterly clueless, or obtuse. Her post suggests that she understands perfectly well how the system works, but disagrees with it. Moreover, even if she didn't disagree with it, she's right how petty people are to be annoyed with the OP for 'trying it on' - as if the OP was getting a three course meal and a back rub she didn't pay for. The differentiation between first class and standard is laughable.

I disagree with it too. And no, it's not the same "for any product a company is trying to sell" because a train journey is not a fungible good.

It's 2013, and first class travel on commuter networks looks completely anachronistic. Train companies should be focused on providing the best possible service at a reasonable price for all their customers.

C999875 Sat 25-May-13 19:41:00

Unami. Please read through all the comments on this thread, not all (mine included have been unsupportive. Your words should have been some of you are proposing not all of you are proposing. xx

Serenitysutton Sat 25-May-13 20:14:56

Janey etc- it isn't clear at all whether the OP was asked to move between the first and second stations (in which case she sat there without checking the entire train) or whether it was later in the journey after seats had been emptied.

If it was later, my point and others re constantly checking the seating situation is valid, but yes, assumptions both sides.

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 20:16:55

> OP was being a bit cheeky according to T and Cs

But again, what exactly are the T & Cs? Unless it says "we can turf you out of 1st class if a standard class seat becomes available later" then I think the OP is on solid ground.

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 20:18:32

It doesn't have to be fungible, Unami. There is a choice of differentiated services provided by the same company, on the same train.

What is irrelevant is the fundamental differentiation between the two services; if consumers put a subjective value on the more expensive service, it doesn't matter if the only difference between FC and SC is the colour of the floor coverings.

RawShark Sat 25-May-13 20:31:17

12 pages on this !

She was a jobsworth. Next time say there weren't any seats when you got on , and you can't see where in the T&Cs it says you have to keep checking. Being a bit PA myself I would say, is it ok if you take up two seats in standard class as they are too small to fit on and you can't get to the toilet in standard so does she have a waterproof seat cover because the aisles are full (assuming this is the case) so she has a think about getting some empathy herself (I was 16 stone when I was pg, hated the train even when some poor soul gave up their seat, especially by the window as I didn't fit)

YABU as it sounds like you're not checking at all though, just assuming the first 5 are full.

Unami Sat 25-May-13 20:53:59

Shelly, it doesn't have to be fungible to be differentiated, no, but the fact that it's not fungible is a valid reason for people to object to a differentiated service, if they don't feel it is appropriate.

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 21:05:10

I'm lost now. Is this a thread about mushrooms?

idiuntno57 Sat 25-May-13 21:33:31

please. wot is fungible?

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 21:35:19

Capable of being replaced by an identical item.

idiuntno57 Sat 25-May-13 21:51:31

let anyone who says mumsnet is a waste of time trans this thread.

I just learnt a new word.grin

idiuntno57 Sat 25-May-13 21:54:02


Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 22:00:01

Every day's a school day grin

Binkybix Sat 25-May-13 22:12:01

"Add message | Report | Message poster Elquota Sat 25-May-13 20:16:55
> OP was being a bit cheeky according to T and Cs

But again, what exactly are the T & Cs? Unless it says "we can turf you out of 1st class if a standard class seat becomes available later" then I think the OP is on solid ground."

Well, we know the T and Cs say you can sit in first if standard is full. OP didn't know if standard was full at the time of getting on and decided to sit in first in any case - on that basis OP not on solid grounds cording to Ts and Cs. No big deal in my book.

Subsequently she was told that there were spaces in standard and wondered if she should have made a scene.

For what it's worth when I suggested contingency plans re work I wasn't saying OP should stop working. Was genuinely trying to be helpful as if struggling to walk through 2 carriages now it's only ping to get tougher. I meant exploring options like working from home, adjusting hours to avoid absolute peak time etc.

Inertia Sat 25-May-13 22:33:18

Making a scene next time wouldn't be helpful.

I agree that's it not reasonable for heavily pregnant women to be traipsing up and down the train after every station, just in case a seat becomes available.

If you can't find a seat next time, and the guard tells you to move, the best response is probably along the lines of "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't spot any spare seats in standard when I got on. If you lead the way, shall I follow you? I might need a hand hurdling all the suitcases, please". That way the guard either take you directly there, or there's a chance that they'll let you away with it for now, because by saying that you couldn't see any empty seats you're abiding by the rules. If you argue about what you're entitled to, it'll never work in your favour.

FWIW, I think it's great that they are making some concessions to pregnant women. It annoys me when people trot out the line about pregnancy not being an illness or a disability- it's not an illness or disability in itself, but many women do develop medical conditions causing physical impairment while pregnant. Even if the impairment or disability is only temporary due to pregnancy, those suffering should have the same allowances made as everybody else. And I agree that these passes should be available to anyone with a disability, not just pregnant women.

Elquota Sat 25-May-13 22:35:16

> I agree that these passes should be available to anyone with a disability, not just pregnant women.

Amen to that!

monicalewinski Sat 25-May-13 22:42:54

Wow, I have never witnessed so many martyrs who seem to actively seek out a burning fire to throw themselves on - "pregnancy is not an illness" "if you can't cope, start your maternity leave early" "you can't be that big at 33 weeks, surely" etc etc.

At 33 weeks I was like a ship in full sail and I was EXHAUSTED after a days work, every day. A scheme is available whereby a pregnant woman is guaranteed a seat without having to ask other folk (who have paid for a seat) to give up theirs.

Several bitchy posters have suggested that as they are not "entitled" like the OP, they would ask a person in 2nd class to move for them rather than sitting in 1st - REALLY?!

YANBU to sit in 1st class, unless of course the rest of the train is empty, and so long as you have made a "reasonable" effort to look for a seat elsewhere (wouldn't have a tantrum though, that is a bit whiney!)

cerealqueen Sat 25-May-13 22:45:38

You should have said you would have taken longer to look for a seat in second class but your bladder was about to explode with the weight of the baby bouncing up and down in and you thought you might wee in the carriage.

Inertia Sat 25-May-13 23:19:54

Agreed Monicalewinski .

I was fortunate enough to have straightforward pregnancies, with no illnesses. I was teaching classes of teenagers 48 hours before I gave birth. But I would always argue in favour of allowances being made for pregnant women- it may be a breeze for some women, but some women do need extra provision when they are pregnant. And the poor OP only wanted a seat, for pity's sake- she'd paid for a seat on the train, it's not as if it was a free journey. She wasn't getting fed peeled grapes by George Osborne, or foot rubs from oiled Mr Universe contestants .

MoominMammasHandbag Sat 25-May-13 23:20:40

20 years ago I had to give up work at 28 weeks cos I couldn't handle the commute. It was a big blow to us financially and quite frustrating because once I was sat at my desk I was fine to work.
And all the people saying that people gave up their seats in the past are kidding themselves: I don't remember anyone giving a seat up to me because I was pregnant. If anything it was the superwoman era when you were expected to breeze through your pregancy and bounce back to normal the day after giving birth.

monicalewinski Sat 25-May-13 23:25:34

Inertia George Osborne?! Eeew! I worked up until the week I gave birth aswell both pregnancies and to be honest I think all the "just give up work if you don't want to sit in 2nd class" brigade are doing womenkind more of a disservice than a pregnant lady who just wants (needs) a seat.

olgaga Sat 25-May-13 23:45:42

We're all different, that's why maternity leave can start 11 weeks before your expected week of childbirth.

If you're finding the journey difficult, I would seriously think about whether you really need to work another two or three weeks.

Alternatively, fork out for a first class upgrade for the next two or three weeks.

YANBU OP - but neither was the conductor. It makes no difference whatsoever whether there were plenty of seats in first class. If there were seats available in standard, that's where you should have been sitting under the terms of your pass.

The upgrade only applies if there are no seats in standard.

olgaga Sat 25-May-13 23:50:00

BTW I never actually got big enough underneath my winter coat to get offered a seat!

I packed in work 8 weeks before and was very pleased I did - I was absolutely shattered and finding it hard even though I wasn't huge, and DD came 3 weeks early.

edam Sat 25-May-13 23:57:05

Tethers is right that FCC are cunts. Most cuntish thing about them is, whenever there's a crisis, with hundreds of bothered, fed-up, exhausted passengers, there's never a manager to be seen. Oh no, they let the poor badly-paid station staff soak up all the abuse. (Other passengers often remonstrate with anyone giving an individual member of staff an earful - but senior people are nowhere to be seen. And I don't believe they are all busy sorting the mess out.)

Inertia Sun 26-May-13 00:40:09

Monica absolutely Ewwwww - he was the only person I could think of who sat in first when he shouldn't have done.

rockerrock Sun 26-May-13 00:54:29

Presume this is your first pregnancy...??

You're being a little precious. The rules were clear and you didn't stick to them. It would have been nice if you'd been allowed to stay in FC but that's not what they agreed.

And 33wks is not 'heavily' pregnant. You just wait and see what 40wks feels like...

GTbaby Sun 26-May-13 01:10:21

I'm surprised by negativity.

Advice against make a thing out of it though. Just say "which carriage? Ill wait till the train stops ". But think its mean of the inspector.

However I'm the same, I hate asking for a seatblush

I like how someone up thread put it. No this is not a disability or an illness. But some care and consideration is still needed.

Fuckwittery Sun 26-May-13 05:46:14

rock yes she will be be bigger at 40 weeks but ffs, we all have different pregnancies and many of us are frigging enormous at 33 weeks. I stopped my London commute at 34 weeks, I was most definitely heavily pregnant.

diddl Sun 26-May-13 08:49:26

I think that some posters think that the OP IBU because she didn't make a reasonable (any?) attempt this time to look for a seat in SC, just went straight to FC.

I also agree that I'd rather her sit in FC than take away a seat from someone in SC.

Southeastdweller Sun 26-May-13 08:55:41

diddl She wouldn't be taking any seat from someone in STD if the train wasn't full confused

DontmindifIdo Sun 26-May-13 08:58:14

Diddl - the OP said she walked through half the train to get to first class, not seeing (or being offered!) a seat in standard class on the way.

They only have the first class upgrade option for pregnant woman because they've got rid of priority seating.

I do think the "ok, you take me to the free standard class seats" idea is the best - it puts the onus back on the jobsworth to find a seat (which might have been refilled in the meantime)

Offcolour Sun 26-May-13 08:59:05

Op, yanbu. I did that commute on sw trains when heavily pregnant with dc2. The trains are packed and getting down the carriages is difficult at the best of times, carting a massive bump doesn't help.

I stopped work at 35 weeks, mostly because of the commute, and I was only in 2 days a week. I was huge at 33 weeks and very uncomfortable on the train, even sitting, because of my back. I don't know what people are on about saying it isn't heavily pregnant. No, it's not an illness but it's a temporary condition that leaves many of us exhausted, uncomfortable and in pain, even without spd.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 26-May-13 09:06:29

Didl, the OP says that she walked past five very full SC carriages before getting to the FC.

And people saying that she should get there earlier to check the train: often you can't get to the train until a few minutes before its departure time, then it's a mad scramble to get onto it (never mind check all carriages for a spare seat).

And surely the wording of being allowed to get a FC seat "when no SC are available" means that SW Trains is not expecting other passengers to give up their seats for pregnant women, otherwise there would always be an "available seat" (I'm assuming there will never be an entire train full of pregnant women or others who need a seat).

And people who say that the OP is being "precious" and "entitled", will this also be the case if she does things like take her full maternity leave? Ie using other schemes that have been created to make the whole business of pregnancy and giving birth just that little bit easier.

Wuldric Sun 26-May-13 09:07:43

YABU - but I do think you know that underneath it all.

Sirzy Sun 26-May-13 09:09:04

She looked through half of the train before giving up. She should have checked there were no seats first, she has said she knows the front half is always full so why not head straight to the back? It seems obvious she just wanted a FC seat

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 26-May-13 09:10:40

Just thought: I worked and commuted all the way through my pregnancy, right up until my baby decided to come (with no warning) at 34 weeks. I like to think that my waters going on - and making a right mess of - one of the seats on SW Trains was a little bit of karma for all the cancellations, overcrowded trains and price hikes I endured...

MidniteScribbler Sun 26-May-13 09:13:49

I don't care where the OP sits, but I suspect that the clue to why this issue even occurred is in the thread title. OP wants to create a scene. I'm betting that if the guard questioned her about her ticket, and she quietly said "I checked and couldn't see a seat, and things are getting pretty difficult with walking on the moving train" that it would have been the end of the issue. Instead, she wanted her scene, was rude, and the guard put her foot down.

Not everything needs a scene, and to expect to have one actually does a huge disservice to pregnant women. Huffing and puffing and shoving a belly in the face of someone or dropping hints or doing the whole "I'm special, I'm gestating here" scene is not the way to go about getting things to work in your favour, or making things better for other pregnant women. A bit of politeness goes a long long way. Pregnancy is difficult for some women, and less so for others, but acting like you're the only person who has ever carried a child is only going to get people's backs up. And let's face it, who among us hasn't been determined not to give ground when someone is acting like a twerp?

burberryqueen Sun 26-May-13 09:13:59

fgs does it matter, it is not as though she was depriving anyone of a seat.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 26-May-13 09:21:15

Do you lot know how long a peak hour commuter train is and how it's nigh on impossible walk the whole length of the train before it departs (even if you get on at the start of the journey) and then walk back up the platform - against the flow of people - to get to the middle of the train again?

diddl Sun 26-May-13 09:22:23

I meant only sit in FC if SC full.

I also agree with getting the ticket inspector to go with her.

Shame the carriages don't show the number of empty seats!

TartinaTiara Sun 26-May-13 09:43:18

What MidniteScribber said. Also, all the remarks about the ticket collector are a bit nasty - jobsworth, cow, dried up barren vessel insanely jealous of OP in her fecund glory (am wildly paraphrasing here, but jealous of OP's pregnancy has been mentioned by at least a couple of the more mouth-foaming posters).

FFS the woman was doing her job, OP sounds like a bit of a precious princess even from her own, very biased, account. I don't (thank all that's holy) have to deal with pissed off commuters on a daily basis other than being part of the mass of pissed off commuters but by the sound of it, ticket collector said there were seats in SC and said that the pass could be revoked. Now, how likely is it that she went straight to pass being revoked? How much more likely that she said SC seats are available, OP went all precious, ticket collector then got a bit pissed off and said "T&Cs, pass can be withdrawn if you don't want to abide by them". God, if none of you would have done the same, you're all fucking saints.

And OP, yes, YWBMassivelyU to be chucking your toys out of the pram about this. If you're going to be pulling a tantrum about being asked to move seats on the train, christ help us all if you're ever faced with a real problem.

Binkybix Sun 26-May-13 10:02:26

I do certainly know what a peak hour commuter train is like, thanks. I still think OP is being a bit unreasonable. It might make better sense to walk along platform to the carriages furthest from the station first.

Saski Sun 26-May-13 10:07:11

I can't believe this thread is still going.

Well said Tartina.

And first class should be abolished? Why? Doesn't it make sense that the operator sets aside a small section and charge more for them for those willing to pay 2 or 3x standard fare (no idea how much it is) for a guaranteed seat, thereby allowing them to make more money and expand it's services?

Certainly the trains have a lot of problems in this country, but preventing them from making money is not going to help anything. Maybe, as was said upstream - maybe they've got the ratio of first to standard wrong, who knows. But there will always be people who wouldn't blink at the prospect of paying 4x standard fare for quiet & a guaranteed seat.

Unami Sun 26-May-13 17:28:05

No, I don't think it does make sense for an area of the train to be reserved, and 80% empty at peak times. Train companies should be focused on providing an excellent service for all their customers at a reasonable price. They're not some benevolent victorian charity.

It's baffling that train companies are continually allowed to sell tickets without guaranteeing seats. I agree that train companies have a lot of problems, but generating profits does not seem to be one of them!

fedupofnamechanging Sun 26-May-13 18:43:49

Those of you who are suggesting the OP asks someone to give up their seat, would you be happy to stand for your journey when she could sit in first class and not inconvenience anyone? I would happily stand for a of woman if there were no seats on the train, but not just because some jobsworth was being arsey.

The only time she should be asked to leave first class is if first class is heaving and there are no seats for paying customers, but there are seats available in cattle standard class.

gummybear13 Sun 26-May-13 18:54:59

You are pregnant, not ill. Why should you get special treatment for being pregnant???

fedupofnamechanging Sun 26-May-13 18:58:55

Why not gummy bear? Some people feel like shite while pg. Extra consideration for those who feel like shite ( for whatever) reason, would make the world a nicer place.

Guide26 Sun 26-May-13 19:10:15

You are being unreasonable, the ticket has limitations, one of them being if the train is full then you are allowed to use first class, the train wasnt full so you should of sat in a normal seat, if you're struggling so much you need to discuss with your boss about leaving work earlier or getting a later train home so its not such a rush.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 19:15:21

Why should extra consideration extend to allowing pregnant women a seat in 1st class when there are 2nd class seats available?
She wasn't asked to stand, drag someone else out of their seat, or sit in the luggage rack.
She was simply expected to use the vacant seats in 2nd class, because she had paid for a 2nd class ticket.

Unami Sun 26-May-13 19:22:56

Again, she'd looked through 50% of a busy train and made a reasonable decision to stop in first class. Going through the rest of the train, to the very end, to look for a seat is over the top, and then, if there was no seat available, would involve her then turning back and trying to get past all the other people going to the end of the train. So, she'd probably end up stuck standing at the end of the train until the isle was clear enough to get back up to first class. Not very practical, and not inkeeping with the the spirit of the pass in the first place.

Alligatorpie Sun 26-May-13 20:02:46

I can't believe this thread is still going.

Op admits for 4 weeks she has been going to FC as the first five trains are full - (without checking the less busy part of the train.) Inspector tells her some seats are empty and as per the T&C, she is expected to move. Her upgrade is valid only when SC is full. it was not. Op decides she wants to throw a tantrum because she likes FC but doesn't want to pay.

How is this considered reasonable? FFS.

ChasedByBees Sun 26-May-13 20:09:47

FFS only read first 200 pages but the amount of snark is making me cross.

Of course YANBU. Those that are saying you are perhaps haven't been on a train in rush hour. It's not easy (or sometimes even possible) to walk down the length of a train carriage. If people are standing, you have to squeeze past them and their bags. I've had to abandon my reserved seat in a far carriage on occasion because I simply can't reach it, this is when not pregnant.

For those saying 'ask someone to move when there are no seats' why should she when this scheme allows her to sit in first carriage if there are no seats? Why make the ordinary carriage more crowded when actually, she is entitled to a seat in FC? (And I mean properly entitled - she has a pass and everything, not the ridiculous MN version of the word).

I had the same OP. I was on a train that I simply couldn't move through so I sat in FC. The jobsworth conductor told me there were spaces 4 carriages down and I told her it simply wasn't possible for me to reach them. I stayed where I was. although got massively glared at by her when her nice colleague gave me a complimentary orange juice. Take that entitled fans!

Unami Sun 26-May-13 20:11:05

It's just really picky and petty to say that her use of the pass was unfair and unreasonable. It's insisting she follow the letter and not the spirit of the law.

ChasedByBees Sun 26-May-13 20:12:44

Oh and someone said they were still driving the day they have birth as if to prove how capable they were. I drove myself to hospital when my waters broke but there's no way I could walk down a packed carriage. Totally different thing so drop the smugathon.

crashdoll Sun 26-May-13 20:17:27

"Those that are saying you are perhaps haven't been on a train in rush hour."

Quite the contrary. Not sure why you'd assume we have no idea but whatever. hmm I've never seen a person in genuine need of a seat in a 2nd class carriage ever be denied.

OP would be hugely unreasonable to make a scene, that just screams the MN version of entitled to me. If I were the FCC ticket inspector, I would not have asked her to move but OP is not within her rights to sit wherever she wants. IMO, it sounded like she just preferred first class because it was less hassle which is understandable when 33 wks pregnant but I can also see the ticket inspector's POV.

ChasedByBees Sun 26-May-13 20:29:37

I assume that because people are suggesting she moves down several carriages when it's sometimes physically impossible for even those that aren't pregnant.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 20:58:01

The ticket inspector appears to have managed it...

Binkybix Sun 26-May-13 21:39:17

It also appears that the OP managed it in the end, as well as the first 5 carriages.

As I suggested earlier, might be easier to walk down the platform to the end carriages, which are nearly always less full, in the first place.

TinBox Sun 26-May-13 21:46:08

Why should she have to go to such lengths? You're talking about the difference between a completely full, and almost completely full train. You're talking about half a dozen seats on ten carriages. It's beyond anal to suggest that the use of the pass is unreasonable.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 26-May-13 21:51:19

Exactly, tinbox

Binkybix Sun 26-May-13 21:53:17

As I've said before I would not have asked her to move, but I have to disagree that walking 5 extra carriage lengths down the platform is a great length to go to.

In fact, it would probably be less effort than squeezing through the first five packed ones to get to FC, because likelihood is there would be a free seat in the carriages furthest from the station, so she would need to squeeze through fewer carriages.

TinBox Sun 26-May-13 22:16:43

Well I suppose she could bolt down the back of the train before it leaves the station, but this is 2013 in an affluent country, and it's probably not that necessary to be so strict about a temporary rail pass. Nor is it an image the train company would probably want to promote - sending pregnant women down to the end of the platform.

MidniteScribbler Sun 26-May-13 23:41:11

Those that are saying you are perhaps haven't been on a train in rush hour. It's not easy (or sometimes even possible) to walk down the length of a train carriage. If people are standing, you have to squeeze past them and their bags.

If there were vacant seats in second class, then there would hardly have been people standing in the aisles packed in like sardines.

tethersend Sun 26-May-13 23:59:15

How can we make south west trains aware of this? Can anyone tweet them? I feel like we could do with their input to know who is really unreasonable...

It's not me

ChasedByBees Mon 27-May-13 02:38:31

The train inspector did manage on this occasion but on my route, the train is often extremely full and impassable in carriages C-F (with FC in G) and mostly full with the occasional seat free in A and B. this is frustrating but people gather in the vestibules while there are still seats in all carriages - presumably so they don't get stuck trying to get off at the first stop but it makes it difficult to move down the train.

It is often not possible to walk the length of the train on the platform before the train leaves a station (so your idea wouldn't work Binkybix).

Also my train thins out at the first stop after London so seats might become available (and the inspector would be able to travel down the train) but you still have to squeeze by some people standing in the aisles of fuller carriages (so they have to lean over someone sitting while you lean over someone sitting on the other side as you shuffle past in the narrow aisle). I don't think it's reasonable to expect a large pregnant woman to check that for potentially 5 carriages at every stop. Even if the inspector tells you there's a seat, if you have to pass people in the aisles or vestibules I don't think it's reasonable.

If you also wait until the train is stationary, more people will join the service and the seat may be taken so you would have to move while the train is travelling to get to the seat.

If people imagine a train where no one stands if there's a seat free then I can see that it would be more reasonable to ask her to move (but uncharitable still) but people often don't fill seats neatly like that on trains.

MusicalEndorphins Mon 27-May-13 05:37:12

I have only read half of the replies, so excuse me if this has been suggested, but could you arrange to leave work 15-30 minutes earlier, so you won't be in too much of a rush to board one of the trains further down that have empty seats?

Otherwise, you kind of have no legs to stand on....I mean, I would offer a pregnant woman my seat if I was able, and I would not have asked you to move if the first class had empty seats, but you can't really expect to have a first class seat when there are other ones available.

alotofthetimes Mon 27-May-13 05:58:06

photogragherlady you only have 3 weeks to go so my advise would be to just keep doing what you are doing.

It doesnt sound unreasonsable, I know that sometimes there may be the odd middle/window seat free in a carriage that appears to be full with people standing in the aisle and I dont think you should be expected to search every carriage for these odd spare seats.

Goodluck and if it happens again just apologise and ask her which carriage has the spare seats to save you from searching in all the carriages for them. I dont think you should make a fuss though as you dont want to risk being thrown off.

alotofthetimes Mon 27-May-13 06:24:13

midnight fairly often people are standing even though there is a free window or middle seat. They are not obliged to sit and may prefer to stand rather than being squished next to someone.

The problem with this though is that when they are standing they then become a hindrance to others who are trying to find a seat and need to squish past the standing people. Also the people at the platform looking to get on a train will see people standing and will assume the carriage is full.

Maybe the guard should make an announcement telling people where the available seats are and for someone who is standing to sit if there is a vacant seat nearby.

Drivers do this on buses, especially if there are seats available on the upper deck and people are standing below, which often happens as well.

Binkybix Mon 27-May-13 08:14:20

"It is often not possible to walk the length of the train on the platform before the train leaves a station (so your idea wouldn't work Binkybix"

It's what I've done whilst pregnant, because its actually quicker to do this than walk through the crowded carriages, but maybe OP is not able to do this comfortably. You sometimes don't need to walk to the end as there are carriages before that with seats (as in this case).

I can't believe this has turned into such an epic! It seemed to me that in the situation described there were clearly seats fairly easily available that OP could get to but that she just didn't want to, rather than any of the scenarios that people are making up for themselves here (ie physically impossible for people to move on the train). This compounded by the fact that OP seemed to want to throw a tantrum made her seem a bit unreasonable.

Meh. I would agree that if there was no physical way of moving through the carriages OP was being reasonable. We don't know that. Some people are getting very worked up here on something that is, after all, a matter of opinion about unreasonableness!

Inertia Mon 27-May-13 15:03:49

Leaving work earlier doesn't help if the platform announcement only goes out a few minutes before departure. The OP would just be standing for longer looking at the departure board.

BoffinMum Tue 28-May-13 10:42:00

I think the basic fact here is that UK trains are rather crap in terms of customer comfort and care, in relation to the fares paid. I am sure we can all agree on that.

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