Passenger etiquette?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Fawkes Cat, 20 Aug 2018.

  1. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    On Saturday, I was travelling on an XC train from Reading to Birmingham. It was busy at Reading and had standing passengers from Oxford.

    At Reading, I found a table seat, unoccupied but marked 'reserved Bournemouth to Birmingham New Street'. I checked with the guy in the next seat and it was vacant so I took it.

    At Banbury, more passengers boarded. One approached an existing passenger in an airline seat, and asked for it, as they had it reserved from Banbury. Bumped passenger vacated the airline seat, and asked me to move, as they had reserved the seat I was in from Bournemouth.

    I did move to stand, but should I have done? Part of me says that if someone asks for a seat it's polite to give it to them. But another part says that if you have a reservation and you choose not to use it at the outset, then you've given up your right to it.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    From an etiquette position, the passengers who've ignored the reservations are in the wrong I think. I don't think it's on to reserve a seat, sit in another, and then imagine that the seat you've abandoned is perpetually available to you - you're effectively taking 2 seats by doing so.

    However, I'd have also moved in your circumstance - I think making a deal of it would make someone a bit of an arse, unless they had some sort of clear extra need for seating (injury, disability etc). I also think that there's a small risk accepted when sitting in an unoccupied reserved seat.

    From a 'rules' perspective I think the reservation holder has the right to the seat at any point in the journey.
     
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  5. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    My view is that if you give up your reserved seat to go and sit in another, that seat is now free for others to use. That's why I would like all electronic reservation displays to display "available" 15 mins after departure from the station they are reserved from (unless they are reserved from a station further on in the journey). When a passenger makes a reservation this fact would be made clear i.e. if you have not taken your reserved seat within 15 mins it will be free for others to use.
     
  6. Malcolmffc

    Malcolmffc Member

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    I can understand your annoyance, but there is no “use it or lose it” provision when it comes to seat reservations. By sitting in a reserved seat you assume the risk of being kicked out at some point.
     
  7. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    Great, but how would the system know if the seat has been taken?
    Unless it just displays "available" anyway?
     
  8. Malcolmffc

    Malcolmffc Member

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    Sounds like a recipe for heated arguments when someone gets up to use the toilet and finds their seat taken when they get back.

    I take the opposite view. If someone has got a seat reservation as part of their tickets then t is their right to use it when they wish. Nothing wrong with someone else using a reserved seat if it is empty at the reservation start station but you should be willing to accept the risk of being kicked out at some point.
     
  9. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    Great, but how would the system know if the seat has been taken?
    Unless it just displays "available" anyway?
     
  10. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    The display would default to available, 15 mins after departure.

    You could argue that about any seat.
     
  11. Stampy

    Stampy Member

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    And how would it know that it's the actual passenger that has RESERVED the seat that is sitting there, or just some Tom, Dick or Harriet ???
     
  12. JohnRegular

    JohnRegular Member

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    It may not be very common, but what if someone had reserved a seat and then chosen to board at the next station along, for whatever reason?
    No problem with someone occupying rhe seat in the meantime, but I think the reservation holder should still be able to claim their seat.
     
  13. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    On my trains that are fitted with paper labels you've got one stop to turn up for your reservation or else it's removed and cancelled. I 'weed' them regularly. You don't need people playing musical chairs in busy trains to accommodate people messing around to suit themselves. Not so easy to enforce on electronic reservation trains though at the moment.
     
  14. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Tough on them - they will be told in advance that if their seat is not claimed within 15 mins of the station it is reserved from then they run the risk of losing it.
     
  15. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    If all booking sites offered a choice of direction of travel, there wouldn’t be so many people not sitting in their allocated seat in the first place.
     
  16. nickswift99

    nickswift99 Member

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    On XC they could use the SMS seat reservation system for which this is actually a good use case. However, turning seats back to available again would break this service completely....
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There could do with being a national seat selector standard accessible by all booking engines.
     
  18. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    If all booking sites and TOCs offered a choice of direction of travel, there wouldn’t be so many people not sitting in their allocated seat in the first place.
     
  19. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Oh dear, sorry about multiple posts. I think there’s been a bit of a problem as I’m not the only one.
     
  20. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    I've flagged the multiple multiple posts with an administrator!
     
  21. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    agreed. Plus it isnt really worth worrying about. Just move on.
     
  22. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    How would that work if I were to book a ticket from say Manchester to Norwich? If you start of facing forwards, you end up facing forwards but spent most of the journey going backwards? The same issue from Reading to Newcastle, or Manchester Airport to Doncaster? You can’t just change seats every time the train changes direction (unless you have a medical condition that requires so), sometimes you just have to put up with it - and if you can find another free seat, do so at your own risk - a 5 hour journey should not become a game of musical chairs!
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The way it works, and always has worked, is that your reservation is based on the direction the train was travelling at the point you boarded, I believe.
     
  24. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    they do don't they? Not much use when the train changes direction mind............
     
  25. Olympian

    Olympian Member

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    That's exactly what happens in Germany isn't it, and works very well? If you decide to sit in your booked seat then fine, it's yours. If you sit elsewhere then you officially forfeit your reserved seat after 15 minutes and can't suddenly decide to claim it later in the journey if occupied by that point. If you book a seat from one station but decide to join the train later in its journey for whatever reason then you similarly take the risk that your booked seat has already been taken by someone else, helped by it no longer being marked as reserved. I wish that a similar system could be introduced in the UK.
     
  26. BluePenguin

    BluePenguin On Moderation

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    It is a tricky one really although yes you were right to move as that passenger still has a right to sit in their reserved seat whether they choose to sit in it from the start or not, the same as the other person who was bumped. However I think you were fine to sit there until you were asked to move as up to that point, the passenger hadn't exercised their right to sit in their reserved seat. They probably prefered where they were sat before and when asked to move then decided that they would then rather sit in their reserved seat than stand.

    Nobody should feel they have to sit in their seat for the entire journey worrying that if they get up, someone else will have taken it when they get back. Otherwise nobody would go to the toilet, buffet car or board at a later station if their plans change and their ticket is flexible. Business people often stand in the vestible take private phone calls which can be long - I wouldn't want to steal their seat whilst they were gone and face them when they come back.

    It is a bit silly how people do this as it would makes things a lot easier and prevent so much conflict from breaking out on board, if everyone sat in their reserved seat to begin with.
     
  27. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    I guess that makes sense, but does the passenger who cares so much then vacate their seat when the train reverses and finds one in the other direction? On a double reversing service, would they then try and claim it back again!? Maybe I'm overthinking this...
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If I'm travelling on the Cambrian and it's quiet I do swap seats for the reverse at Shrewsbury, but it's unlikely I've bothered reserving as there are very rarely Advances available for the journeys I do.
     
  29. Paul L

    Paul L Member

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    After witnessing some of the bad behaviour on trains and reading of it on here, I can't help but think it's a good job we don' t all carry guns!
    Selfish behaviour invariably leads to anger in others. Also I wonder if the seat booker who sat elsewhere would have asked you to move had you been six foot six and built like a brick .. thingy?
     
  30. Robin Edwards

    Robin Edwards Member

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    Recent journey on VT York to Peterborough where I had booked two seats facing travel at table but when boarding a group of four were already sat at said table from Edinburgh in our seats.
    I could/should have split the group and made two of them move but decided against since they had a full picnic in progress on the table and they made a big play on 'so what, can't you find other seats ?'. I decided to take two other seats that were allocated from Newark where we got bounced and moved again to seats now made free where someone else had left.
    Much of the problems start where some don't bother to book seats and decide that it's not a problem if they sit anywhere. Should the ticket guards also check that passengers have seat allocation for the seats they are sat and make it clear that they could have to move from York in this example?
     
  31. etr221

    etr221 Member

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    While that might be a reasonable expectation. In practice I believe it has been based on direction at start of train's journey.
    That caught me many years ago when I had a 'facing' reservation from Banbury in the ex Edinburgh portion of an Edinburgh & Glasgow (join up at Carstairs) - Brighton train - the seat was facing from Edinburgh, but back from Carstairs to Brighton - virtually the whole journey. But the other half of thrain was correct throughout...

    The continentals avoid this problem by having individual seat numbers.
     
  32. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    I can match that from back in the early 60s. A seat reservation "facing" on the southbound "Devonian" from Bradford — "facing" it duly was from Bradford, only to become "back" just a few miles later as the train reversed at Leeds.
     
  33. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I’d have asked them to move unless there was an alternative unreserved seat available for the whole of my journey.
     
  34. Stampy

    Stampy Member

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    I've booked tickets recently and asked for FACING tickets - Journey's were:-

    Rugby-Preston
    Preston-Carlisle - these 3 on Sat 11th August for myself and a friend traveling to Carlisle & back
    Carlisle-Rugby

    Peterborough-Edinburgh
    Glasgow-London Euston - these 3 on Wed 8th August (on my own for this one)
    London KX - Peterborough

    ALL of these have been REAR-Facing tickets (and yes, I double checked that the FACING option was ticked!!)

    All of them were booked through Splitticketing.com
     
  35. Eddd

    Eddd Member

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    Use it or lose it. I agree that reservations should disappear after the seat should have been taken.
     
  36. Robin Edwards

    Robin Edwards Member

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    Yes, that was definitely the option I would have chosen in most situations. Busy train, people waiting to pass down the train and deep-rooted picnickers led me to leave them be. Lots of tutting and jobs-worth remarks on me first showing them I had seat reservations for where they were sat though. I was travelling with elderly relative who was anxious not to cause a fuss. My experience another example where etiquette didn't enter the minds of others.
     
  37. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    Exactly, I don't blame you for moving on, I would have done the same myself, but to start a full-on picnic in a seat that's becoming reserved is not on. One where it's easy to say you should have made them move in hindsight, but less easy actually on the train!
     
  38. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    a. I thought that in the UK the rule indeed was that 'reserved seats that are unoccupied after 15 mins are deemed to be unreserved'.
    b. More generally, conductors seem to be very reluctant to enforce reservations on crowded trains, presumably because of risk of abuse/assault, so it's just as well as TOCs don't charge for them. In Germany it's EUR 3,50 each: a couple of weeks back I witnessed a passenger insist that the train crew evict someone who was sitting in her reserved seat (the conductor was summonsed with the imperative 'Jung Mann, hier!') It turned out the miscreant passenger was in wrong carriage.
     
  39. 83G/84D

    83G/84D Established Member

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    Crowding around doors on the platform when a train arrives making it difficult for people to alight is my bugbear.
     

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