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Asking people to give up a priority seat on a train for a pregnant lady.

(50 Posts)
user1476968120 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:31:29

Basically, The train I have to get to go to my boyfriend's house is normally crammed packed full of people. To the point everyone is so squished together you can't move, its extremely hot and uncomfortable and people actually miss their stops because they can't get through the people quick enough.. you know, that kind of packed.

No matter what time, Unless its very late at night, It's always like this. Last time I caught that train, I got extremely light headed and almost fainted, throughout my whole pregnancy so far I've suffered terribly with sickness as well as the fact it was so busy and hot and had to stand for my whole trip. People could see I was in distress but no one offered me a seat, Which, That's their choice they don't have to. I'd also point out that I couldn't even go to the bathroom because the train I get rarely had one and it would be too cramped to get to anyway.

My question is, I'm at a point now where I just can't handle standing up the whole way, squished between a bunch of careless people who don't care if they bang into me or my stomach or knock me over, both of which HAVE happened.

I have to travel tomorrow and even though I will be with my boyfriend, I'm still worried about the crowds. My question is, If someone is sat in the priority seats simply because they are free, The train is busy and they just want a seat, Can I ask them to move?

I would only ask if none others are available and I can see they aren't elderly or pregnant themselves. I'm not a rude person, So obviously I'd politely ask, But yes. Do I have a right, As a five-month pregnant woman, to ask someone who doesn't need the priority seats to please move so I can rest/sit down?

And if they refuse because they don't want to stand, Can I do anything about it?

Has anyone had any experience with this? I know its silly to ask, but I really don't know if I'd have any right to ask them to move or not.
Thank you in advance for any advice.

P.S I don't know if it helps, But I get on at Birmingham New Street which is why its always so busy and I'm not asking if I can get people to move from a normal seat, just the priority ones.

AreWeThereYet000 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:40:11

I think you can ask, they can only say no, but unless they are extremely rude - when asked nicely if you could take the seat even if only for a few stops most people would oblige, I've found most people avoid looking at you so they don't feel they have to offer you the seat but when asked they will shift. The only thing I would do before sitting down if you are offered the seat after is have a quick scan round and make sure there is no one in more news than yourself (more heavily pregnant/elderly etc) and if there is then I would personally offer them it first x

AreWeThereYet000 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:40:40

More need

LondonRoo Wed 18-Jan-17 23:43:49

Yes you can! I was getting the bus to work whilst heavily pregnant and there came a point when it was very crowded, hot and I was getting less balanced (not to mention the ongoing nausea and faintness) that I really didn't feel safe standing up. People will move. Most were nice about it, a few huffed and puffed (which was really rude and just made me think I definitely deserved the seat more than them).

I just had to get over my own discomfort at being assertive and asking but once I did, I got used to it.

Don't suffer - you need to look after yourself and baby and standing up on a crowded train is not going to help either of you!


DancingUnicorn Wed 18-Jan-17 23:44:37

I use London transport. I cannot believe people don't offer you a seat. Do not feel embarrassed to ask!! People sitting in priority seats next to a pregnant lady would get death stares in London! And if priority people were already sitting there, I'd expect non priority seats to be offered!!

Hellmouth Wed 18-Jan-17 23:45:55

I used to ask all the time. As a London commuter, I also had a baby on board badge so, quite a few times, people actually offered. If they say no, I'm not sure what you can do though, but you might find that other passengers stick up for you smile

minipie Wed 18-Jan-17 23:46:41

Yes you can ask.

But bear in mind some people have a hidden disability and may need the seat.

I think it's best to ask generally (and loudly) "Please can anyone let me sit down" and that way no one person is being targeted. Someone usually gets up IME

Ouriana Wed 18-Jan-17 23:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1476968120 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:53:25

Thank you for all the advice, I was really worried people would just think I was lazy or something. Thanks for the advice.

I am, Admittedly, someone who would normally suffer through and stand rather than awkward approach someone and ask, Im very shy and not good with things like that, but when its that crowded and uncomfortable, im going to have to.

Also, Im the kinda of people who would gladly move or offer my seat to an elderly or disabled person so even if I got a seat, again, I would give it up for someone in more need of it. Also, I would definitely make sure the person currently in the seat weren't disabled or pregnant. If they were I'd apologize and leave them to their journey.

Thank you all again :3 Hopefully Traveling tomorrow won't be as bad as im dreading, fingers crossed :3

coxsorangepippin Thu 19-Jan-17 00:17:40

I ask, with a big smile, and people are generally really happy to give me their seat and very friendly - but at least half the time I do have to ask despite the badge.

I think when you're in commuting mode you just glaze over and don't notice the people around you, particularly on a crowded train - understandable!

INeedNewShoes Thu 19-Jan-17 00:25:41

Please do just ask.

I've got a baby on board badge which I think helps as people can immediately see why I'm asking for a seat if they haven't noticed my bump.

I've only had a positive response so far; in fact one chap was so apologetic as he vacated the seat that it was embarrassing!

kmini Thu 19-Jan-17 06:22:05

Get a baby on board badge. Essential! People often can't tell between overweight and pregnant and therefore reluctant to offer. That said, don't feel embarrassed to ask.

Sparklyuggs Thu 19-Jan-17 08:02:42

Please ask, they're allocated to pregnant women and those less able to stand for a reason. If you can get a baby on board badge it makes me feel more confident in asking, especially as I'm currently wearing a huge coat and don't look pregnant at all. If someone had a hidden disability and said they needed the seat, I normally find the person next to them offers. In London, I never offer to a pregnant woman unless she has a badge as I'm worried she may not be pregnant, so without a badge I think you have to ask.

GinIsIn Thu 19-Jan-17 08:11:58

I am 9 months pregnant and was still regularly being forced to stand until I finished work a week ago.

You can by all means ask for a seat - the best thing to do is to loudly ask in general terms 'would anyone mind if I sat down please?' Rather than asking a specific person.

You need to bear in mind that sometimes people will ignore you or outright say no, though - this still happened to me fairly regularly.

Sparklyuggs Thu 19-Jan-17 08:22:17

fenella that's awful. What horrid people. Of course if they need to sit themselves that's understandable but it's unlikely they all have a priority need.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Thu 19-Jan-17 08:22:29

Definitely ask!

I do look out for people who might need a seat but it's hard to see sometimes on a packed train, and I'm another one who wouldn't assume someone was pregnant unless they had a badge.

INeedNewShoes Thu 19-Jan-17 08:25:44

I know I might be flamed for this due to people having hidden disabilities but I tend to identify a healthy-looking young chap sitting in a priority seat, make eye contact with him and ask nicely.

I think its important to actually go up to someone and ask them directly. A general question to the carriage might not be noticed/heard.

I would never expect just standing there to illicit an offer to sit down. The vast majority of commuters have their heads in their phone or the Metro!

Helspopje Thu 19-Jan-17 08:27:04

Same here fenella
Heading into town for my ecv this am and dreading it. Trains are so packed most of the time i cant even get in far enough to be next to the proority seays to ask.
Would tale a taxi but itd take forever in London traffic and id be late if i set off by taxi after school and preschool drop off.

GinIsIn Thu 19-Jan-17 08:28:54

That's exactly it - on lots of the trains and tubes you can't even get near enough to the priority seats to ask!

Also, I'm on southern rail. Most passengers were willing to commit murder for less than being asked to give up their seat by Christmas!

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 19-Jan-17 08:34:53

Absolutely ask. I always offer my seat to those more in need, but there are occasions when I've been engrossed in something, and haven't noticed someone who needs a seat until I'm getting off.

Reasonable people won't mind being asked, and most people are reasonable.

HunterHearstHelmsley Thu 19-Jan-17 08:46:48

Definitely ask. Just don't assume if someone says no that just don't want to move. They might need it more than you

Lunalovepud Thu 19-Jan-17 10:18:29

As previous posters have said, ask the carriage in general rather than the people in the priority seats and someone will let you sit down...

I am in London and the only time I wasn't offered a seat in the whole time I was visibly pregnant with DC1 was when I was on the tube in Knightsbridge, full of tourists and not Londoners. In my experience, Londoners will always give up a seat if they see a pregnant woman - I have had to almost force people to sit back down if I am only going one stop!

Most people are lovely and will be helpful if they see someone who needs help or a seat. Some people are buttholes, true, but luckily they are few and far between in my experience. Good luck!

Bear2014 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:33:08

Get on the Transport for London website and request a Baby on Board badge. If you're 5 months, people might be unsure if you're pregnant, although I would always give my seat to someone who looked unwell, regardless.

They are like magic. My London train is like that every day but since I've had my badge, people just magically guide you into a seat and really look after you.

Bear2014 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:35:10

Fenella I am still gobsmacked when I hear about stuff like this. My whole pregnancy with DD, I never had to ask for a seat and always got one. People couldn't get out of their seats quick enough.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Thu 19-Jan-17 11:23:40

Also in the past if I've been standing and seen someone who had a badge I've asked if they'd like me to help find them a seat. That can be enough in itself to make people get up.

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