Leaving sequential seating free

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maniacmartin

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I was wondering how many other people choose where to seat in the same manner I do...

If I'm travelling on a train I think won't really fill up (rural, super off-peak etc) then I will seat at a table or in a seat where the adjacent seat is unoccupied.

If I'm boarding a train that I know will be calling at a major interchange or station in a few minutes' time, and it is likely that the every seat will be used, I'll deliberately sit next to someone else, even if there are spare 'pairs' of seats available, so that if groups or couples board at the next station, they are more likely to be able to secure seats together.

I suspect the people I sit next to don't like me doing this, but perhaps they haven't tried to find 2 adjacent seats when boarding a busy train without seat reservations, which can be quite annoying!
 
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IanD

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I've recently started working to the premise that occupying the biggest space available is more efficient. That way groups of 2, 3, 4 or 5 could be accommodated depending on the size of the original space. (If I'm asked I'll move if a group want to sit together and have even been known to offer to do this without being asked.)

Sitting in one of an empty 2 seat means that the carriage will at some point possibly only have single seats available.

Sitting next to a stranger when there are obviously bigger spaces available is a bit creepy and probably does annoy other passengers - a bit like Jasper Carrots' "Nutter on the Bus". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYYo49R_ZS0 :)
 

142094

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Sitting next to a stranger when there are obviously bigger spaces available is a bit creepy and probably does annoy other passengers - a bit like Jasper Carrots' "Nutter on the Bus". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYYo49R_ZS0 :)

I've often wondered why some people choose to sit next to someone else when there is a load of other seats free. I can understand this on a bus, where some people like to sit closer to the doors, but on a train it is a bit strange when the carriage is empty and someone sits next to you (often where people have advances and seat reservations, but 80% of the other seats are free).
 

SS4

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I sit in the emptiest possible area because there is still a chance that it will remain empty plus I like to increase the entropy in the universe just that little bit more <D

Truth be told I'd be pretty annoyed if you chose to sit next to me when there were empty seats nearby
 

Retorus

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Pretty much agree with what's been said, I'd find it a little odd and annoying to be honest!
 

Rich McLean

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If there was a fit bird who smiled at me and a seat next to her, I would choose to sit there to try my luck, otherwise I would sit elsewhere
 

LE Greys

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From observation, it seems that the standard Human pattern for gradually filling an unoccupied space is something like this:
  • Passenger 1 sits in either the first available of most comfortable seat
  • Passenger 2 sits in a decent seat that is close to, but not too close to, passenger 1, so as not to appear 'stand-off-ish' yet not intrude on personal space
  • Passenger 3 sits a similar distance from passenger 2
  • And so on until you reach the end of the coach
  • Further passengers sit at the mid-point of the gaps
  • As the gaps get smaller, so more people fit into smaller spaces
  • Eventually, people have no choice but to sit next to each other
Now, unless it's exceptionally busy or exceptionally quiet, I tend to find a pair of seats and take the window seat, then if I'm getting off at the next stop, get up and take the aisle seat if someone wants to take the other one. It roughly fits the 'rule of gaps' described above.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I will tend to look for the forward facing airline style window seats regardless of any other factor than whether or not there is one available; I have been known to stand rather than face the back even for quite a long distance...
 

Butts

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On East Coast there are nearly always "4" ' s free in Coach K or L - most people will sit in their reserved seats therefore you have a great chance of keeping it to yourself notwithstanding a load of "walk ups".

Failing that find a 4 where the reservations have already been used if joining part way on the route.
 

The Ham

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From observation, it seems that the standard Human pattern for gradually filling an unoccupied space is something like this:
  • Passenger 1 sits in either the first available of most comfortable seat
  • Passenger 2 sits in a decent seat that is close to, but not too close to, passenger 1, so as not to appear 'stand-off-ish' yet not intrude on personal space
  • Passenger 3 sits a similar distance from passenger 2
  • And so on until you reach the end of the coach
  • Further passengers sit at the mid-point of the gaps
  • As the gaps get smaller, so more people fit into smaller spaces
  • Eventually, people have no choice but to sit next to each other
Now, unless it's exceptionally busy or exceptionally quiet, I tend to find a pair of seats and take the window seat, then if I'm getting off at the next stop, get up and take the aisle seat if someone wants to take the other one. It roughly fits the 'rule of gaps' described above.

I agree, unless there are free table seats in which case some people will opt to sit there or opt to sit in an airline seat, over-riding the above rules.

I personally will opt to sit in a rear facing seat, as many others would prefer not to, so I have a slightly greater chance of retaining the seat next to me and hace no problem with traveling backwards.

On 2+3 seat configerations you notice that people will sit in a checkerboard pattern (i.e. front facing window seat, miss the middle seat, 3rd seat and window seat on the 2 and then on the rear facing seats the oposite patteren is true). This ensure the maximum forward facing seats are taken without having to sit next to someone, whilst enabling the maximum amount of legroom.
 

table38

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It's in the Daily Mail so it must be true :)

Putting a large bag on an empty seat or avoiding eye contact to try and keep the seat next to you free are all part of the ‘nonsocial transient behaviour’ used, according to new research.

But the most important aim of commuters on public transport is to stop the ‘crazy person’ sitting next to you.

The greatest unspoken rule of bus travel is that if other seats are available, commuters should not sit next to someone else, as it “makes you look weird”.
 

maniacmartin

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On 2+3 seat configerations you notice that people will sit in a checkerboard pattern (i.e. front facing window seat, miss the middle seat, 3rd seat and window seat on the 2 and then on the rear facing seats the oposite patteren is true). This ensure the maximum forward facing seats are taken without having to sit next to someone, whilst enabling the maximum amount of legroom.

Not just on 3+2. Some of the 2+2 coaches on the FCC via Hatfield have seating thats so close you see checkerboard patterns here too
 

PHILIPE

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People would think it odd if you were to sit next to them if double seats empty but I would not object for the following reason.. I would not complaint at all as often when my wife and I join a train together we can not sit together because there are no 2 seats available together because of people sitting on their own where there is a double seat. Human nature. I have also seen reserved seats reserved in this manner making it difficult for 2 people together able to sit together.
 

ATW Alex 101

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If there was a fit bird who smiled at me and a seat next to her, I would choose to sit there to try my luck, otherwise I would sit elsewhere

:D

I try to find a window seat facing direction of travel, and if I find an unreserved table seat by a window even better, if somebody wants to sit there, its tough squash I got there first
 

34D

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I wouldn't sit at a table if in a group of less than three. Its just selfish.
 

bronzeonion

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I tend to sit at a bay of 4 or 6, if a forward facing window seat is available. If not a foward facing airline seat will do.
 

trivran

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I'm really picky with seats, if I can't get a forward facing right-side window seat I'll stand.
 
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