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TAAT - moving children from seats on public transport

(28 Posts)
blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:06:55

I should have started this thread the other night just after it happened but was so tired, and just haven't got round to it since.
This is not really an AIBU or even an WWYD but more of an wIHTTPTSFO (wish I had told this person to seriously fuck off).
Kings Cross train at the end of last week ...walking down platform to the train, kindly guard asks if we're about to board train ....tells us it's not going to be used ....tells us which platform train is now leaving from.
The twin 4 yo and I are therefore the first people to board new train. Everyone who gets on it is mightily pissed off for having to get off train, walk a long way to new train, etc. it's the end of the week, etc, etc.
Newly appointed train has different seat configuration to the original one, on which we had booked seats.
I sit in the table seat with the numbers nearest the ones we had. Little gremlin man smelling of booze gets on and says "excuse me, is this your child? She's sitting in my seat?" I say "well, erm, the seat configuration is different on this train, we also have booked seats" Him: "I don't care. I have seat x (aggressively) are you going to move her?"
I didn't know at this point that when trains are changed all bets are off as far as seat bookings go, I didn't want a scene, was knackered and just thought the easiest option was to move.
But wasn't he an absolute charmer? I know for a fact that if I'd been a 6'4" bloke he wouldn't have said a word. I'm not losing sleep over it but it really annoyed me at the time that someone so go about their lives being so thoroughly unpleasant. He knew I was in no position to wait for the guard to arrive if we'd called him ....
I just had to share this with you after reading the thread about airplane seats. WRT that thread I just cannot get over people trying to manipulate other people, using their children to do so.

LordEmsworth Wed 13-Jan-16 22:28:59

I was once on a train that for complicated reasons, had no seat bookings in force, and was nearly empty. There was just me in the carriage, at a table next to the window, then a couple got on. They approached me and said "you're in our seat".

I smiled politely and explained that the reservation wasn't working.

They frowned and said, "...but this is our seat".

I smiled and said, well the reservation system isn't working, and every other seat in the carriage is empty, so maybe they could sit somewhere else.

They said, "look this is our seat, you have to move".

Did I do the sensible thing, and go and sprawl over my own table elsewhere?

Nope, I stood up so she could sit there, he could sit opposite, and then sat down next to her, just to prove a point

I still have mixed feelings about whether I was being a twat grin

do11y Wed 13-Jan-16 22:31:07

Sorry but you are in the wrong here. You do not know anything "for a fact' about this stranger. And actually, if you boarded a train and took the wrong seats then the man who also paid for and reserved a seat has every right to request you vacate it. If you could not find your seats then you should have requested assistance from the guard instead of just plonking yourselves down in someone else's reserved seat and expecting him to stand because you have a child. What did you expect this man to do? If it is a full train then he will also be displaced when the next person kicks him out of their seat! Nobody cares about your situation, stop being so petulant because a stranger was brazen enough to demand what he paid for. No sympathy at all here I am afraid.

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:35:27

I bet you wondered where Jeremy Beadle was Lord

<shows age>

I mean, how can people be so petty

FWIW I would have done the same? Make 'em squirm. I was seriously considering trying to trip him up as he got off the train.

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:36:22

He didn't have a reserved seat. Did you read what I said? When trains are changed no one has a seat

BadgersNadgers Wed 13-Jan-16 22:40:00

I mean, how can people be so petty

Indeed

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:40:15

Dolly are you the 4'6" wizened little man that stunk of smoke and booze who got on the train? I bet you have a wonderful life. I bet everyone loves you.
Also, can you read? He had no more. No. More. Entitlement to seat than we had. He did not have. Seat booked on that carriage. He lacked an iota of charm. He was a bully. I do not want or need your sympathy.

Figmentofmyimagination Wed 13-Jan-16 22:40:54

Normally if you book a reserved seat and the train is cancelled and you have to move to another, all the reservations are cancelled. The train manager should have announced this.

Here's a handy tip though, if you are ever forced to travel without a reservation. There is always one carriage without reserved seats, and it's always the same carriage for that service. If you ask at the information desk while you are waiting for the train, they will tell you which carriage it is and then you can run like fury for that carriage when the train is called. Everyone else will be looking for free seats, but you will have insider knowledge - very satisfying in a faintly tragic way.

I became an expert on seat reservations (Paddington to Cardiff) when I was doing two weekly Friday night train journeys to visit my mum in a care homie last year, before she died.

LizzieMacQueen Wed 13-Jan-16 22:47:27

I imagine it was because your child is 4 years old - that'll be why he asked you to move. He thinks because she is travelling free then she's not entitled to a seat.

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:48:33

Thanks figment that's one of those really useful little nuggets of information. I'm sorry about your mum, truly. Your post sobered me and made me stop feeling all cross again about what happened.
Life is too short.

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:54:40

Good point Lizzie but I did pay for the children. I'm going to look up my booking again as I'm not sure how much. But not as much as a full seat because it would have only been £103 each return. But you've made me consider how he might have seen it. I was genuinely bewildered...

5minutestobed Wed 13-Jan-16 23:05:25

You are right that if you move trains, seat reservations are no longer valid. Also I pay for a seat for my two year even though he could travel for free because it gives us more space and I don't have to have a wriggling toddler on my knee! Your kids were entitled to a seat but I probably would have done the same as you and moved to safe the hassle.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 13-Jan-16 23:07:28

Lizzie being eligible for free or reduced cost travel doesn't mean you can be kicked out of a seat - nobody advocates full fare paying passengers kicking people who look as if they might be travelling for free on a bus due to having a pensioner's bus pass out of their seats, do they?

TheSunnySide Wed 13-Jan-16 23:09:41

Why didn't you just sit in the seats with the numbers which matched the seat numbers you had booked for the other train..

Also at 4 they are free but technically don't get a seat.,

LizzieMacQueen Wed 13-Jan-16 23:09:54

No but I was speculating that that would be the gremlin's rationale in asking the OP to move her daughter.

SoupDragon Wed 13-Jan-16 23:11:24

He had no more. No. More. Entitlement to seat than we had.

He kind of did given that you said you had no idea at that point that reservations are void when you switch trains and it seems neither did he. Given you both believed reservations were still valid, he was more entitled to the seat than you.

It is impossible to state as fact whether he would have approached you had you been a burly man (or indeed woman).

He appears to have been overly rude and aggressive though.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 13-Jan-16 23:13:50

Ah that's fair enough Lizzy - that may well have been his thinking (but not correct thinking).

TheSunny all reservations are off when there is a change of train and there were not the same seat numbers available due to different seat lay out, as you would see if you read the still manageably short thread...

BluePancakes Wed 13-Jan-16 23:19:08

nobody advocates full fare paying passengers kicking people who look as if they might be travelling for free on a bus due to having a pensioner's bus pass out of their seats, do they?

Actually, I have had older-middle-aged not pensioners try to kick my children out of seats when the bus was full before now after assuming they hadn't paid. I had my littlest on my lap, and my 8yo was in a seat across the aisle from me. I think they assumed she was younger because it was during a school day (we home ed) but the evil bitching that was going on! My 8yo was nearly in tears and asking whether she was meant to move, so I stated very loudly and clearly that no, a physically able adult has no more right to that seat over a child especially when we HAD actually paid for the seat, and that it was much more dangerous for a child to be standing in the aisle when they can't reach the overhead hand grips. The woman still gave my DD evil eyes though and kept complaining...

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 13-Jan-16 23:25:55

I agree with you Blue - I meant nobody advocated kicking people who look as if they might be over 65 (or whatever the qualifying age is now) off bus seats and making them stand because they might not have paid for their seats

(OP had paid for her kids to sit too - you can pay for a child's ticket in order to reserve a seat for the child - just as somebody who looks eligible for a pensioner's bus pass might have paid due to not being as old as they look or to having chosen not to avail themselves of the bus pass for some reason of principle, or have forgotten it, etc.)

I agree anyone who can't hold on, which includes but is no means limited to small children, is too vulnerable to be made to stand on a moving vehicle unless all other seats are taken up by other equally or vulnerable people, but that's unfortunately rarely or never the view of public transport passengers en-mass. Obviously one small child could sit on a parent's lap and be safe - but in this case there was no reason for that.

blanketneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 23:42:41

I've thrown away the tickets but it was £311 return so something like 2 x £75 and £160 for me.
he was just so shitty about it. I'm one of those people who usually tries to help (ultimately selfish because it makes me feel good) but if people start off being unpleasant, There's really nowhere left to go with the discussion, is there? I know I sound awful making personal comments about him but he looked so smug and pleased with himself ....

MoMoTy Thu 14-Jan-16 07:32:34

You paid for the seats for your kids, the seat numbers didn't apply to the new train so it was his problem. You should have said please sort this out with a train assistant. It was rude of him to demand the child moves because he thinks he had the same number as the previous train.

bustraintram Thu 14-Jan-16 07:52:57

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne

If a child under 5 is travelling on the UK rail network without a ticket (ie for free) then a farepaying passenger can ask that child to give up their seat. I know that's not relavent in this case btw as all passengers had tickets.

I would also point out that a ticket is an authority to travel; it does not guarantee a seat (for a passenger of any age).

Regarding the reservations, were there tickets or screens showing the reservations or not?

Fratelli Thu 14-Jan-16 07:56:25

He was a dick. Even if he was right there's absolutely no need to be rude or be aggressive, especially in front of children.

foragogo Thu 14-Jan-16 07:57:14

I am a seasoned commuter so in your situation I would have stayed where I was and told him to go and get the train guard to sort it out.

foragogo Thu 14-Jan-16 07:59:22

I agree - public transport seems to give inadequate, nasty men the ball sthey normally lack to try and bully and belittle people - especially if they are one of the inadequates I see knocking back cans and miniatures on the train. I mean, can they really not wait til they get where they are going and go to the pub?

Id have dug my heels in Im afraid and my voice would have been raised.

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