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Virgin Trains. Pregnant. No seats.

(263 Posts)
MindTheGap6 Thu 21-Jun-18 09:09:37

Starting a whole new thread on this one!

Missed my train this morning due to delays. Got on the next train to London. Virgin train. No seats, 5 months pregnant, painful joints, very unsteady and uncomfortable. All seats booked apart from first class. Found conductor to see if he could find me a seat as I'm pregnant and unsteady. Was told no to sitting in a practically empty first class, and that I should get off the train and get a less busy one if I want a seat. Three members of staff currently on duty sat in first class (fine, but would've expected them to at least help me find a seat). Wasn't told about priority seats. Had to wait until a very kind woman spotted me and loudly said that she couldn't believe nobody allowed me to sit and that people should be ashamed (this is after I nearly fell over trying to pull my terribly uncomfortable maternity jeans up!). Originally had a seat booked but connection was delayed so missed it (whole other story!). Feeling frustrated and stupid.

AIBU to think that this is pretty poor form? Or do I need to suck it up and get on with it as 'being pregnant isn't an illness' as I've heard many times before on MN (prepared for that)

DuchyDuke Thu 21-Jun-18 09:13:42

You should have paid to upgrade to first and then complain via the Virgin Trains website. They have the best compensation strategy in the industry - their standard form seems to be to give you free first class travel or vouchers.

NotTakenUsername Thu 21-Jun-18 09:14:28

I know you have had a rough morning but I don’t think they could start letting everybody who was pregnant sit in first class for free.

GoldenButtercup Thu 21-Jun-18 09:14:33


JacquesHammer Thu 21-Jun-18 09:14:39

I think you could have paid to upgrade.

NotTakenUsername Thu 21-Jun-18 09:15:46

It would have been lovely if they had offered. But you are being unreasonable to expect it.

Deshasafraisy Thu 21-Jun-18 09:15:56

There’s just no kindness left anymore.

ScattyCharly Thu 21-Jun-18 09:16:56

Contact virgin. They’ll probably refund the ticket.

Pregnancy not being an illness is such an appalling phrase. It’s totally inaccurate. Even if a pg woman feels 100% well, blooming and happy, parts of her immune system are suppressed. Aside from all the actual pregnancy illnesses...!

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 21-Jun-18 09:18:45

I thought most train companies allow pregnant women to sit in first class if there are no other seats. I did it when I was pregnant (also train to London on east coast mainline, but it was Northern). Mind you, Virgin are thieving bastards so I'm not surprised they treated you so shoddily. If I see a pregnant woman standing I'd give up my seat. But I've stood on trains many times without anyone giving up a seat (although Londoners on the Tube always offer up their seats).

BigGrannyPants Thu 21-Jun-18 09:18:56

I think it's pretty poor, I don't know when people stopped being considerate and kind to each other, but I have noticed it in many forms over the past few years. People are so rude and self involved now and just don't seem to care about other people. I am disabled and still give up my seat on buses and trains for people who clearly need it more than me. I would absolutely complain to Virgin over your treatment and the fact there were empty seats which the staff used during the journey but refused to let you use.

woolythoughts Thu 21-Jun-18 09:20:09

As I said on the other thread - keep an eye out for "reserved seat" not sat in after five minutes from the station.

The reservation is void if they havent bothered sitting in it.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 21-Jun-18 09:21:01

I’d sit in first class and tell them to call transport police to meet me at the other side if they don’t like it- this all started due to their late service and poor announcements. They would never take it further- don’t show these people a sign of weakness!

VladmirsPoutine Thu 21-Jun-18 09:21:08

Pregnancy in and of itself is not an illness, however it can be the root of a whole host of illnesses so I very much dislike that saying. Anyway, you should have either paid to upgrade or relied on the kindness of strangers. Unluckily for you the latter didn't really pay off - and of course it must have been a massive ball ache with the delay in the first place but it is unreasonable to expect to be waved into first class by virtue of being with child.

Frosty66612 Thu 21-Jun-18 09:21:19

The fact that there were lots of empty seats in first class I think they should have just let you sit in one as long as you didn’t expect it every single time.
My sister once fainted on a Busy train when she was pregnant as she would get dizzy spells from standing for too long. I’m sure you taking one of their first class seats for free as a one off wouldn’t have dented their multi million pound profits

MindTheGap6 Thu 21-Jun-18 09:23:30

Their website actually states a policy that pregnant women are allowed to sit in first class with a 'mums-to-be' pass, so they do have this policy, I just don't have the card. I have a rather large baby bump but other than that, no evidence that I'm actually pregnant.

NotTakenUsername Thu 21-Jun-18 09:24:01

It’s not the cost of the seat, it’s the perceived value. If they start giving them out for free their perceived value decreases.
There are priority seats for women like op, but first class is a paid for privileged.

Stephisaur Thu 21-Jun-18 09:24:07

Did the staff suggest you could pay to upgrade to first class?

I would have expected them to offer that at the very least!

MargaretCavendish Thu 21-Jun-18 09:24:09

Well, I certainly think they could have been kinder about it - even if they had no actual obligation to help, it would have been nice!

In that circumstance, though, once the train staff had proved useless, I would have (and have - I'm 36 weeks pregnant) asked other passengers for a seat; I think the best way to do this by far is to essentially say to the air, loudly, 'excuse me, I'm pregnant and need a seat, would anyone be able to give me one?' as then there's no risk of singling out someone who themselves can't stand. Whenever I've done this I've found lots of people offer even though nobody initially did. At five months this is probably particularly necessary, as although you'll look very obviously pregnant to you most women still look within the grey area of reasonable doubt to strangers, so people don't want to risk offending you.

MindTheGap6 Thu 21-Jun-18 09:26:52

I was just told that if I wanted to sit that I shouldn't get such a busy train and that I should get off and get another one that's not as busy.

onalongsabbatical Thu 21-Jun-18 09:27:07

I know you have had a rough morning but I don’t think they could start letting everybody who was pregnant sit in first class for free. But why not? Are there so many pregnant women on a single train that this could be a problem? Why can't pregnant women be allowed to sit in first class if there are no seats? I can't see a single reason why not. And plenty of reasons why it's a bloody good idea. Is it going to start some kind of riot of non-pregnant people protesting that pregnant women get special treatment? Is it?

NotTakenUsername Thu 21-Jun-18 09:27:25

I can’t find the policy that says that op. I found this, but it is not the same thing.

“and you might even get bumped up to a First Class seat if there’s none left in Standard”

sockunicorn Thu 21-Jun-18 09:27:45

i dont think virgin staff are at fault here for not letting you sit in first class. people pay a lot of money for those seats and its not up to staff to let pregnant women in or they could have 10+ per train journey. plus if they do that it opens the gates to disabled people, pregnant people with other guests/young children etc. Where do you stop? And in regards to the complimentary food and drink being served, the staff would find it difficult to know who had paid and who hadnt.

however I think its disgraceful nobody else moved for a pregnant woman. I would have moved for you and im sorry you went through this op flowers

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 21-Jun-18 09:29:28

It’s better to sit in first class without having paid than have someone who has paid stand. Honestly I’d tweet virgin about their appalling service/ treatment towards you.

MindTheGap6 Thu 21-Jun-18 09:29:43

@NotTakenUsername "F irst Class upgrades for pregnant travellers

If you’ve got a Mums-to-be Pass, our station or on board staff will help you find a place to sit. If you’ve got a Standard ticket and it’s not possible to get you comfortable in this part of the train, the Train Manager may move you into First Class where it’s usually quieter."

Sorry, it doesn't automatically state first class, but it does state that with a mums to be pass they will find you a seat. I think a baby bump should be enough for this?

MargaretCavendish Thu 21-Jun-18 09:30:38

To be fair, nottaken it does say this:

If you’re travelling while 20+ weeks pregnant, and without a seat, just give us a shout. With a Mums-to-be pass, we’ll get you off your feet and into a seat.

So, while not necessarily upgrading her, their policy does mean they should have done something to get her a seat if she'd had the pass - which she didn't. However, it really would have been much kinder if they'd followed the 'mums to be' (eurgh) policy anyway.

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