Staff at Heathrow Rail insisted I sit down last night

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matt_world2004

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Hi ,

I had a strange incident at heathrow terminal 5 last night. My train from Heathrow Central to Hayes left early and I needed to use the toilet. So I hopped on a Heathrow express to terminal 5 used the toilet on the train and then crossed over to the tfl Rail platform

Frustrated my train left early ,I was pacing up and down the platform and I was stopped by a security guard who demanded to know where I was going and then ordered me to sit down ( I wasn't rude ,or anything and answered the questions. I know it wasn't their fault )

I felt intimidated but didn't say anything , Boarded the train and then paced while it was in the stand. A member of Heathrow express staff Boarded the train and told me I needed to sit down

Can staff order you to sit down? I was angry and stressed and sitting down wouldn't really have helped.
 
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pdeaves

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'Pacing up and down' can indicate a nervousness associated with someone up to no good and an airport is a prime target for such nefarious activity. They can't order you to sit down but they can be concerned that you may be a terrorist or have suicidal (non-terrorist) tendencies. Asking you to sit down is perhaps the best they could think to make things OK (perhaps after the event they think 'I should have said such and such instead').
 

John Luxton

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I must admit when I am at a station I often walk up and down the platform or around the station for something to do before the train comes and I regularly photograph trains and railway structures. Nobody has ever said anything. In last few weeks have done it at Plymouth, Penzance, Liverpool Central, Chester General. Or perhaps I look like a railway enthusiast! :D
 

matt_world2004

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Given how suspiciously you were acting I think being asked to sit down was the least of your concerns tbh.
Today I learned being frustrated at missing an early train and taking it out on no one is unreasonable behaviour.

I wasn't breaking any byelaws . I wasn't abusive or rude to anyone just frustrated .
 

Bletchleyite

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I must admit when I am at a station I often walk up and down the platform or around the station for something to do before the train comes and I regularly photograph trains and railway structures. Nobody has ever said anything. In last few weeks have done it at Plymouth, Penzance, Liverpool Central, Chester General. Or perhaps I look like a railway enthusiast! :D

I suspect the thing of consequence was boarding another train, relatively quickly leaving it and then looking unsettled, as one might if one had for example planted something nefarious (and I don't mean a particularly smelly use of the toilet).

I have boarded a train at a platform to use the toilet/put stuff in the bin before, but at an airport that coupled with looking unsettled would certainly draw attention.
 

221129

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I suspect the thing of consequence was boarding another train, relatively quickly leaving it and then looking unsettled, as one might if one had for example planted something nefarious (and I don't mean a particularly smelly use of the toilet).

I have boarded a train at a platform to use the toilet/put stuff in the bin before, but at an airport that coupled with looking unsettled would certainly draw attention.
Exactly this.
 

matt_world2004

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I suspect the thing of consequence was boarding another train, relatively quickly leaving it and then looking unsettled, as one might if one had for example planted something nefarious (and I don't mean a particularly smelly use of the toilet).

I have boarded a train at a platform to use the toilet/put stuff in the bin before, but at an airport that coupled with looking unsettled would certainly draw attention.
Boarded at heathrow Central rode to terminal 5 so a journey was made
 

Bertie the bus

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Yes a journey was made but you travelled from one Heathrow station to another and then made no attempt to leave that station but instead paced up and down on the platform. That isn't normal behaviour.
 

BayPaul

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Boarded at heathrow Central rode to terminal 5 so a journey was made
I can see that a passenger who arrives at T5 by train, and doesn't immediately head up the escalators may look suspicious, as it isn't a station that you'd normally have any reason to change trains at.
 

matt_world2004

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No, and nobody has said it is *unreasonable* except you. I think the staff erred on the side of caution and did the right thing by approaching you in a civil manner.
Ordering me to sit down wasn't civil. Didn't deescalate the situation. Once they ascertained the reason why I should have been left alone.
 

Fawkes Cat

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Is it unreasonable behaviour
I'm not sure that this is a complete question.

For you (the passenger) is it unreasonable behaviour by the railway staff? Yes, because you had a reason to board the first train at Central (to use the toilet), a reason to get off at T5 (had finished using the toilet and now wanted to connect to your train to Hayes) and a reason to pace up and down (frustration that the Hayes train you had planned to get had left early, leaving you needing to use the toilet). Knowing what you did, there was no reason for you to stop what you were doing.

For a neutral observer without access to what you knew, was it unreasonable behaviour by the railway staff? No, because you apparently boarded a train at Central and then left it immediately at the next station (T5), remained on the platform at a station when the overwhelming majority of passengers would have left the station, and showed signs of agitation (pacing up and down the platform). Without knowledeg of what you were thinkiong, your behaviour was suspicious, and asking you to sit down was a rational response - if you were prepared to sit down then there was nothing that you were trying to get away from.

None of us can assume that others know what we are thinking or why we are doing things - and this is a point which does come up repeatedly on this forum when aggrieved posters swear blind that they had no intention of not paying their fare, although the railway have asserted that they did have intention not to pay on the basis of their behaviour (what they did) rather than what they were thinking. It seems to me that the security guard on the platform and the member of Heathrow Express staff on the train looked at what you did rather than what you were thinking - and asked you to stop what you were doing. From their perspective, knowing what they knew and what they didn't know, what they did was not unreasonable.
 

matt_world2004

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Saying “sit down” to someone who is behaving in an unusual manner on your property most certainly is civil.
So if I refused to sit down wouldn't they have been entitled to eject me from their property ? Ordering me to sit down when I was frustrated already and walking it off made me more upset.
 

AlterEgo

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So if I refused to sit down wouldn't they have been entitled to eject me from their property ? Ordering me to sit down when I was frustrated already and walking it off made me more upset.
They are entitled to eject you from their property whenever. It’s private property at Heathrow and you don’t have an absolute right to be there.

It might be worth reflecting on how your behaviour might have come across as worrisome to staff members who are trained to look out for people’s safety.
 

221129

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So if I refused to sit down wouldn't they have been entitled to eject me from their property ? Ordering me to sit down when I was frustrated already and walking it off made me more upset.
Quite probably, yes. The Heathrow Airport Bylaws are even more strict than the National Railway bylaws.
 

MikeWh

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So if I refused to sit down wouldn't they have been entitled to eject me from their property ? Ordering me to sit down when I was frustrated already and walking it off made me more upset.
On almost every other of the 2500+ National Rail stations you would have been fine. You need to accept that an airport station is different, especially when you aren't acting like 99.9999999% of other passengers do. Treat it as a learning experience.
 

ainsworth74

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I'm not sure that this is a complete question.

For you (the passenger) is it unreasonable behaviour by the railway staff? Yes, because you had a reason to board the first train at Central (to use the toilet), a reason to get off at T5 (had finished using the toilet and now wanted to connect to your train to Hayes) and a reason to pace up and down (frustration that the Hayes train you had planned to get had left early, leaving you needing to use the toilet). Knowing what you did, there was no reason for you to stop what you were doing.

For a neutral observer without access to what you knew, was it unreasonable behaviour by the railway staff? No, because you apparently boarded a train at Central and then left it immediately at the next station (T5), remained on the platform at a station when the overwhelming majority of passengers would have left the station, and showed signs of agitation (pacing up and down the platform). Without knowledeg of what you were thinkiong, your behaviour was suspicious, and asking you to sit down was a rational response - if you were prepared to sit down then there was nothing that you were trying to get away from.

None of us can assume that others know what we are thinking or why we are doing things - and this is a point which does come up repeatedly on this forum when aggrieved posters swear blind that they had no intention of not paying their fare, although the railway have asserted that they did have intention not to pay on the basis of their behaviour (what they did) rather than what they were thinking. It seems to me that the security guard on the platform and the member of Heathrow Express staff on the train looked at what you did rather than what you were thinking - and asked you to stop what you were doing. From their perspective, knowing what they knew and what they didn't know, what they did was not unreasonable.
I think this is an excellent summary of the issue.
 

Bertie the bus

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What bylaw was broken though
You weren't threatened with arrest or prosecution so obviously nobody has claimed you broke any byelaws. You were behaving oddly and staff judged they needed to intervene. If you did the YMCA dance on the concourse of Euston you probably wouldn't be breaking any byelaws but I can pretty much guarantee somebody would be over pretty sharpish to have a word.
 

TheEdge

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On almost every other of the 2500+ National Rail stations you would have been fine. You need to accept that an airport station is different, especially when you aren't acting like 99.9999999% of other passengers do. Treat it as a learning experience.

This combined with the post from @Fawkes Cat is the full answer to your question. As to your demand to be presented with a Byelaw you broke a reminder of these signs all around the boundary fence of Heathrow. There is a cover all for having your permission to be on the airport withdrawn.
 

matt_world2004

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This combined with the post from @Fawkes Cat is the full answer to your question. As to your demand to be presented with a Byelaw you broke a reminder of these signs all around the boundary fence of Heathrow. There is a cover all for having your permission to be on the airport withdrawn.
I think those signs cover access to the runway which is definitely illegal. The boundary of the airport bylaws stretches beyond the airport boundary to Hatton Cross roundabout and the bath road in the North there is a smaller white and black sign indicating where rhe by laws start. I would be very upset if I was stopped by security on the bath road for pacing
 

BayPaul

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I think those signs cover access to the runway which is definitely illegal. The boundary of the airport bylaws stretches beyond the airport boundary to Hatton Cross roundabout and the bath road in the North there is a smaller white and black sign indicating where rhe by laws start. I would be very upset if I was stopped by security on the bath road for pacing
I'd suggest not doing too much pacing in this area then! I strongly suspect that you'd get moved on if you were doing something too unusual on the roads close to the airport (perhaps not Bath road, but the perimeter roads certainly). And if you got very upset at being moved on, you've probably got a good chance of being arrested. Personally, I'm very happy that security and police in and around airports have increased powers and use them - it helps keep us all safe
 

Ianno87

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I'd suggest not doing too much pacing in this area then! I strongly suspect that you'd get moved on if you were doing something too unusual on the roads close to the airport (perhaps not Bath road, but the perimeter roads certainly). And if you got very upset at being moved on, you've probably got a good chance of being arrested. Personally, I'm very happy that security and police in and around airports have increased powers and use them - it helps keep us all safe

There are certainly certain areas around the perimeter where plane spotters will be asked to move on from.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Heathrow Express's Conditions of Carriage state...

Extract of Conditions of Carriage said:
9.8 Refusal of access Any person whom we believe likely to act in a riotous, disorderly or offensive manner may be refused access to, or may be required to leave, our trains and the stations and platforms which Heathrow Express operates from.

What is deemed to be "disorderly" or "offensive" perhaps being a moot point.

Link below...

 

TheEdge

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I think those signs cover access to the runway which is definitely illegal. The boundary of the airport bylaws stretches beyond the airport boundary to Hatton Cross roundabout and the bath road in the North there is a smaller white and black sign indicating where rhe by laws start. I would be very upset if I was stopped by security on the bath road for pacing

No, it applies to the entire aerodrome, whatever that area is defined as, including buildings. And yes, if you were spotted pacing up and down the boundary of Heathrow you'll probably be picked up sooner or later.

I was shadowed the beach at Sizewell once by a Civil Nuclear Constabulary car, I was on public land and done nothing illegal but I'd taken a few photos of the power station which had obviously been spotted and was deemed worthy of keeping an eye on. Once they were obviously happy I wasn't up to any mischief they moved on. Its their job.
 
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