Gransnet forums


Giving us "--not so-- oldies " a bad name

(30 Posts)
Soutra Tue 27-Jan-15 18:18:27

I hate the habit many commuters have of appropriating a double train seat to themselves by dumping their briefcase or laptop on it and pretending not to see the rest of us looking for a seat. But today took the biscuit- train back from London at 3.50. So going to be busy as it is one of the last "off peak" trains until after 7. Elderly couple (well at least 10 years older than us I reckoned) climb aboard, she takes the outside seat of one pair while he sits diagonally opposite also on the outside seat. Quite soon somebody sits next to him 'Oh excuse me, is that taken? Oh thank you SO much blah blah" in the meantime she is giving the death stare to everyone who even glances hopefully at the seat next to her! There are people standing by the door, does the dragon let up? No. Eventually she graciously offers the seat to a "nice young man" who is suitably grateful and humble. She may have realised that she could fare worse, there was a very fat man also looking hopeful. FFS! Why are people so blankety blank selfish? If you want a double seat, but two tickets! And in any case if you don't want to mix with the hoi polloi , sit with your DH, so if you are a Gransnetter , dragon face and read this you know who you are.

Ana Tue 27-Jan-15 18:27:35

She can't be a Gransnetter as the couple was at least ten years older than us! grin

That type of seat-hogger is annoying, I agree, but I get more cross when a parent (usually a mother) sits their young child next to them and stares down any strap-hanger eyeing that seat longingly...

janeainsworth Tue 27-Jan-15 18:38:56

Gosh Soutra you're scary sometimes!grin
The other option of course if you want extra space and don't want to mix with people who shop at Poundland is to travel first class.
I think I might have been unable to resist the temptation to step on rather than over dragon's feet as I made my way to the adjacent seatgrin

KatyK Tue 27-Jan-15 19:23:31

Once I got on a bus which was relatively empty. I sat on a double seat at the front and whilst 'sorting myself out' with all my bags, I temporarily placed my handbag on the seat beside me. The bus stopped at the next stop and an elderly couple got on. At this point I still had my handbag on the seat next to me but there were plenty of other seats. The elderly gentleman indicated to his wife that she should sit beside me. She replied loudly, pointing at me. 'I can't because SHE'S got her bag on it' Me, full of apologies, embarrassed and fumbling with my bags moved it quickly and she plonked herself down giving me daggers for the whole journey. I have a real 'thing' about people who put their bags on spare seats and don't move them when the seat is needed. It's rude and selfish.

Soutra Tue 27-Jan-15 21:22:17

What do you mean "sometimes"? janeA? ( I actually had a seat already with DH beside me so hard to give her the basilisk stare myself!)

absent Tue 27-Jan-15 21:25:13

It's the same with those men who sit with their legs spread widely apart so that even if you have the temerity to squeeze past to sit down, you are uncomfortably screwed up in a corner.

Ana Tue 27-Jan-15 21:34:58

Pardon??? shock

Would you like to rephrase that, *absent? grin

janeainsworth Tue 27-Jan-15 21:39:48


ninathenana Tue 27-Jan-15 22:13:51

Or those that sit in an isle seat with a table in front so if you want to sit by the window you have to ask them to get up or would they mind moving over.
I've never had the nerve.

Soutra Tue 27-Jan-15 22:17:27

Oh I have the nerve and usually manage to crush a toe en route. What I would like to do is ask innocently"does your briefcase have a full price ticket and a seat reservation of its own?"

soontobe Tue 27-Jan-15 22:38:33

I always ask ninathenana. It wouldnt occur to me not to ask!

Katek Tue 27-Jan-15 22:42:34

I must admit I like travelling first class on the train. Scotrail do an offer in less popular months called Club 55. You can get a standard return anywhere in Scotland for £19 and first class for £26 so that's when we treat ourselves. I did try and price taking the train to Shrewsbury to visit my brother and it was hundreds of pounds even standard fare. We could have got a week in the sun for the price they were charging. Back to Flybe!

Galen Tue 27-Jan-15 23:02:50

I'm travelling first class to York and back. But with my crutches, bag, papers size etc, I probably need a whole coachblush

Soutra Tue 27-Jan-15 23:22:32

Just make sure you don't get screwed in a corner,uncomfortably or otherwisegrin

Eloethan Tue 27-Jan-15 23:25:32

Don't you think that in this day and age it would be better to get rid of 1st Class?

When I go on the train from Liverpool Street to Colchester to visit my mum, the First Class section is almost always virtually empty. At the time I travel that isn't much of an issue but at busy times it seems ridiculous that some people might be standing for an hour when there are carriages with lots of empty seats.

I understand that if a person is elderly, pregnant or disabled, it is essential that they have a seat, but can't this be guaranteed by paying a small charge to reserve a seat? Or, better still, that people who are young, fit and able, are actually considerate enough to give up their seats when they can see there is a genuine need (some do, but many more could).

Ana Tue 27-Jan-15 23:34:41

I'm surprised 1st Class hasn't been abolished already, on the grounds of elitism!

GrannyTwice Tue 27-Jan-15 23:52:11

I use trains a lot long distance but very often will not know which train I will be getting for the return journey so it would be impossible to reserve a seat. Travelling first class means I know I have a seat without a reservation. My commuter trains to and from London don't have first class but I have never had to ask someone to give me their seat as I am unfailing offered one immediately. When I'm travelling with luggage I hate not being able to keep an eye on it and that's often impossible in a crowded train. I do agree about how wrong it is for people to have to stand whilst there are empty seats in first class because no one who has bought a ticket should be standing.

Katek Wed 28-Jan-15 09:02:43

I don't use first class in order to be elitist but more for the peace and quiet it affords. We tend to travel at weekends and I don't want to spend a 2 hour journey in a carriage with either football supporters or hen/stag parties. The wine/beer is out before we've left the station and we're then regaled with tales of sexual conquest or fights I have had. I'm no party pooper and if that's what people want to do then fine, I just don't want to be an unwilling participant in their party!! Not every train has a quiet carriage so first class is the only option. Some providers don't actually have a separate first class compartment but just a few seats at the end of a carriage and I wouldn't pay extra for those. I have seen conductors on busy trains telling passengers they can sit anywhere. Just rechecked cost of train journey to Shrewsbury and it's anywhere between £250-800 - and that's with a rail card! I could be in America/Australia for that. Should the railways be nationalised again?

janeainsworth Wed 28-Jan-15 09:16:12

I think you need to be careful what you wish for, Eloethan.
Abolishing First Class wouldn't necessarily increase the numbers of passengers using the trains, and could even reduce them if first class passengers chose to fly instead, so if the train companies lose revenue by not providing First class accommodation, they will have to increase the fares in standard class to make up the deficit.
As for empty carriages, and overcrowding, it's up to the train companies to manage their rolling stock effectively.
I was once travelling back to Newcastle from Harrogate and for some reason, I think it was at the time that all planes were unable to fly because of the volcanic ash cloud, the train from York was horrendously overcrowded and the guards let people with standard tickets use first class, so they do have discretion.

What annoys me about train pricing is this business of if you want a return ticket from A to C via B, it is sometimes a lot cheaper to get two single tickets, or even buy separate tickets from A to B and from B to C, but you only find that out after three quarters of an hour's headache-inducing searching on the Internet. That really shouldn't be necessary, the most cost effective way of making the journey should be clear and obvious.

Soupy Wed 28-Jan-15 09:17:05

The French have no qualms and will happily ask people to move luggage so that they can sit down!

Actually someone once got the ticket inspector on a London Midland train I was on to tell someone to remove their suitcase so that the seat could be used. He was very polite but firm - probably wasn't the first time he'd been asked to do it! Don't think I'd be quite that brave.

Riverwalk Wed 28-Jan-15 09:27:02

I'm surprised that any adult would be so timid and not 'be brave' enough to ask someone to remove luggage from a seat so she could sit down, especially if the alternative is to stand if there are no other seats! shock

(Aside from drunks, yobs, etc. being the culprits.)

vegasmags Wed 28-Jan-15 09:49:46

The New York subway authorities are launching a campaign to stop 'manspreading' - blokes sitting in a Y shape taking up more than their fair share of space

I have no qualms about asking someone to budge over/move their luggage and so on but I'm not sure that I'd have the temerity to ask a large man to close his legs grin

Apparently, a related bit of slang is 'manslamming' whereby blokes who are walking just cannon into you if you are in their way.

Anya Wed 28-Jan-15 10:14:51

Me too Riverwalk

Faye Wed 28-Jan-15 10:45:59

The last time I caught a train I travelled first class. It's a four hour trip and I wanted to know where I was going to sit and I was travelling late at night on my own. It was very pleasant, no one sitting next to me and hardly anyone on that carriage. Plus it didn't cost much more.

I found travelling on trains when I lived in the UK and worked in London extremely expensive. I could not believe it.

There is no way I would stand while someone occupied two seats. The cheek of some people!

annodomini Wed 28-Jan-15 11:01:59

I travel 1st class if I can get a deal. I used to be able to go to Scotland on Trans Pennine for very little more than the standard fare, but last time, it had almost doubled. sad