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A boring train one, WWBU?

(43 Posts)
LastTangoInBognor Sat 27-Dec-14 22:58:50

Got on a train today for a 3 hour trip. Before we even sat down a man elsewhere in the carriage had already kicked off massively about someone sitting in his reserved seat, complete with threats of legal action. Another guy with his three young boys had to vacate his seat for an elderly woman to sit down - which he did with good grace. Basically, either people had removed a bunch of reservation cards, or there'd been some cock up so they were never there - who knows.

Got to our seats and there was a man and a woman in them. I said I'm sorry, made some lame joke about adding to the carnage etc, these are our seats.

The man said 'there are other seats in the carriage, why don't you go see if they're reserved and if you can't find somewhere, come back and I'll get up'.

I said 'it's ok, I'd rather just take these ones'.

He said 'well, I'd rather sit with my family', gesturing across the aisle to a woman with a young toddler (maybe 18 months ish).

I didn't realise he was with them, when I arrived he'd been reading a book. There WERE seats further down the carriage, but given the clear issues with reserved seats, who knows whether they were reserved or not.

I apologised and said we'd really rather have our seats and maybe they could find seats in the empty ones.

He got up. The woman next to him got up also (it seems they didn't know eachother) and we sat down.

He sat with his OH and toddler and proceeded to make passive aggressive remarks for the next twenty minutes about 'pairs of seats elsewhere'.

WIBU to insist on taking our seats? I felt like I wasn't because a) if you want three seats together, then reserve them! b) if we'd gone to sit elsewhere then it turned out that THOSE seats were reserved and we'd had to come back then it's just more faff and c) you were reading a book! your OH was looking after the baby! don't pretend you had desperate baby-minding duty, you PA ass!

But then I thought well it's christmas and maybe DH and I should've just gone elsewhere and sucked it up. We'd have survived.

ilovesooty Sat 27-Dec-14 23:00:40

If you'd reserved seats you weren't at all unreasonable to take them.

PullUpsAreTricky Sat 27-Dec-14 23:02:10

yes, because you could have been turfed out of those seats by other people who pre booked.

peachgirl Sat 27-Dec-14 23:03:52

Not UR at all. You'd reserved those seats!

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 27-Dec-14 23:05:49

Sounds like a cock up with reservations, perhaps because of a cancelled train

I don't think YWBU to ask for your seats though

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sat 27-Dec-14 23:06:57

It's an interesting one that I have to deal with regularly - I have an hours train journey into work and have a reserved seat, the same one each day. About once a fortnight there is someone sat in my seat (which is clearly labelled).

The way I deal with it depends on the general train business:
No seats anywhere or only reserved seats elsewhere: Politely point out it's my seat (unless obviously needing it more than me) and ask them to move
Other free seats: As much as I'd like to point out that they've overlooked the reservation, it doesn't seem necessary when I could just plonk myself somewhere else without any hassle. I reserve so I can have a seat, if I can achieve that then I'm not so fussed about where it is!

If there are no reservations out (it does happen, if trains are running late then they'll often forego the reservations to make sure they get it out on time) then I'll just suck it up, sometimes even standing as it's not their fault and I've done it before. Obviously would be different if a long journey/kids/issues affecting me standing.

In short, I think YAB a bit U. You say he was reading his book but they may have been on a long journey and taking it in turns to occupy the toddler. If there were seats elsewhere then I'd have just accepted his first answer and moved on.

GoringBit Sat 27-Dec-14 23:08:18

YWNBU. You had valid seat reservations, he was being PA and arsey. If he wanted to stay in 'your' seat, he should have been nicer and more reasonable about it.

PortofinoVino Sat 27-Dec-14 23:11:55

I would also have made him move. If he's daft enough to sit in reserved seats, then he gets what's coming.

DontSweatTheSmallStuff Sat 27-Dec-14 23:15:03

No you weren't unreasonable for wanting the seats you reserved, the fact there were seats elsewhere is irrelevant. You reserved seats for a reason and we're entitled to sit in them. I'd have told him to 'shut the fuck up and get over it' with his PA comments. Should have reserved his own seats.

LastTangoInBognor Sat 27-Dec-14 23:26:43

lastnight yep I kind of agree with you - I felt like because of the preceeding dramas and general fed up after 3 days with PIL slight crankiness on my end, not to mention finding his manner a bit arsey, I was perhaps less accommodating than I normally would be and felt a bit guilty. But then again, he also could've moved his family had he really wanted three seats. Ah well, one of those things I guess - not an A+ for charitable emotions for me, but he didn't have to be a dick about it.

I think it was just the PA stuff that got to me - he was clearly looking for me or DH to rise to it so we could have some sort of row, and I was just sitting there willing DH, not normally known for his ability to hold his tongue, not to take the bait. Was proud of him actually, he just sat there on his phone like a champ giving me 'look at me being SO GOOD' looks.

Ormally Sat 27-Dec-14 23:45:07

Seat reservations very,very often cock up. Sometimes the train is lacking an entire carriage that tickets have been sold for, or they give you 2 carriage 'D's instead, or whatever. If there was no actual ticket that showed a reservation on the seat then I would have asked for assistance from the train guard - sounds like overkill but they would probably have helped you and minimised bad blood as they would know whether there had been an issue and where they could have given you or them a spare suitable seat. I feel a bit sorry for the family with the toddler. It's hard enough with Christmas travel. When DD was in a carry cot and I was doing a long distance journey on my own, with everything I could carry limited to hanging on the back of the buggy, I had deliberately booked the last 2 seats of a carriage with a little more space and near to the luggage storage. There were no cards on the seats and I pointed out I had booked them to the 2 people sitting in them - there were other spare seats. They said that as they did not show as reserved, they were not going to move. I had to hold my carry cot and sleeping DD (which fitted into the buggy) just above floor level in order to back down the aisle that was only just big enough for this, to go to the next double seat - no chance to carry anything else I may have needed like another bag. As I was doing this, one of said seat occupants sighed 'Oh - poor little baby'. If she had just felt a bit of empathy and realised how much easier it would have made life for us, then no 'poor little baby' would have been messed around. It certainly made me much more bloody minded towards fellow passengers subsequently, so I can't believe you didn't expect the man you moved not to be p****d off. Hope you enjoyed however many hours with the toddler and harassed mum...

Fuckmath Sat 27-Dec-14 23:53:20

Yanbu no qualms about booting him out

Bulbasaur Sat 27-Dec-14 23:57:15

If he wanted guaranteed seats he should have bought them. Simple as that really.

Personally, I wouldn't have had any sympathy as he wasn't the one holding the toddler. I weren't traveling with children, I might let them slide so they could be together depending on their attitude. If I were traveling with kids, all bets off, I paid for the seats they're mine. End of.

SorchaN Sun 28-Dec-14 01:13:45

It's usually pretty easy to reserve seats. If he didn't do it this time, maybe he'll remember to do it next time. YANBU.

RandomNPC Sun 28-Dec-14 01:21:26

Nope, you're not unreasonable at all. You reserved those seats, he didn't. Tough shit for him.

MammaTJ Sun 28-Dec-14 04:31:21

My own rules when travelling by train- if there is another spare seat I will sit in it, if not, I get the person in my seat to move!

In your case, it was not clear whether there were free seats. YWNBU!

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 28-Dec-14 06:25:45

OP yes, forgot to add that he WBU for all the fuss and PA crap. Can't stand that, if you have a problem then just say it.

Unfortunately I'bra also spent enough of my life on trains to know a wee bit about the system. All the PPs who've said about 'your seat' etc... train companies only have to get you from a to b. If you've reserved a seat then they will find you one but never guaranteed to be the actual one on the reservation. If the tickets were on the seats then yes, he might have turfed PA man out. Otherwise he'd have probably just found you seats elsewhere, occasionally even in first class. Worst case scenario is they will refund you part of the ticket price if they can't find you a seat and they've messed up in not putting out reservations.

Worth knowing...a reservation is not a 100% guarantee of a seat, unfortunately.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 28-Dec-14 06:57:35

I think YWBU. If the seat doesn't show as reserved on the train then I don't think it's reasonable to expect the reservations to hold. People without reservations would have no idea where they could sit and could be moved from pillar to post until the train starts. You've every right to be annoyed at the train company who couldn't provide the reservation they told you you held. But the people who sat down in apparently free seats are not at fault and you should have left them there, even if he was arsy.

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Sun 28-Dec-14 07:10:35

Boom regardless of whether the seats were shown to be reserved, the reservations should have still held because the OP had booked those seats. If I had sat down in someone's reserved seats without knowing I would move.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 28-Dec-14 07:21:31

I disagree ThereIs. The OP booked the seats, but the train company did not reserve them. It is the train company at fault. People without booked seats (or in cases where a carriage has been missed off etc. even people with reservations) can't be expected to dance between seats as people come up to tell them it's been reserved each time. It's not reasonable. If the reservation system isn't working it's the people with reservations who have lost out, not everyone else.

Mehitabel6 Sun 28-Dec-14 07:24:16

I certainly wouldn't leave them there! I travelled recently and I had a ticket that clearly stated which coach and which seat was mine. It would not be my fault if the train company didn't clearly mark it.
You got a result- he moved- easy to ignore passive aggressive remarks. You did the right thing and he knew it really - he just hoped to bully you out of them!

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Sun 28-Dec-14 07:26:35

No, Booms, I am right, you are wrong.

The OP was right to ask them to move.

Mehitabel6 Sun 28-Dec-14 07:29:16

Of course she was right to ask them to move. More importantly she got a result- they moved! With bad grace, but they moved. I would just have got deep in a book and appeared not to have heard the remarks.

helenenemo Sun 28-Dec-14 07:31:51

I remember years ago being on a 6 hour plus journey with Virgin, about two thirds of the seats were reserved but none marked. Everyone got on the train and everyone with reservations was asking those without to move from their seats, by this point all the unreserved seats had been taken by others. It was ridiculous, they must have sold half on top of what the train could seat!

I don't feel bad about getting someone to move from my seat, they ended up sat on the floor by the toilet. I'd reserved a seat because I didn't want to risk standing on such a long journey.

Mehitabel6 Sun 28-Dec-14 07:38:19

I have always had people move, they huff and puff a bit, but they move. It is the same with those working on a laptop and taking 2 seats- they move their stuff if you stand and wait.

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