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Author Topic: No seat reservations - What's the ettiquette, please?  (Read 453 times)
Rostock0
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« on: November 13, 2017, 04:37:48 PM »

Morning, everyone. I had a reserved seat booked on a train this morning. The platform indicator board had the message that there were no seat reservations on this train, and sure enough when we boarded the little pieces of paper indicating reserved seats hadn't been put in the seat headrests. The train was pretty empty, so no problem, I just sat where I liked - but let's suppose it had been full. Am I within my rights to go along to the seat that my ticket says I have reserved, and chuck out anyone who happens to be sitting there, do you think?

Thanks very much,

Rostock0
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didcotdean
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 04:55:24 PM »

Under Railway Bylaw 19 only the holder of the valid ticket can sit in a seat with a reservation notice for a specified ticket holder (with the exception of permission from an authorised person).

If there is no notice, then the seat shouldn't be considered as reserved.

There often are announcements particularly at the starting point of such services for people to sit in their reserved seats but that doesn't help as it fills up with other people.

What is a bit more difficult is when an electronic display isn't working but then comes back to life. Then there is a notice even if there wasn't originally ...





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Tim
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 04:57:50 PM »

I think an announcement that there are no seat reservations means just that. 
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 05:10:08 PM »

Am I within my rights to go along to the seat that my ticket says I have reserved, and chuck out anyone who happens to be sitting there, do you think?

No, I don't think you're within your rights to chuck them out; all reservations on the service are null and void.

There is nothing to stop you asking them (politely, I'm sure) to vacate the seat for which you have the reservation ticket, but no obligation on them to do so.   

I would suggest such a request would be perfectly reasonable if the train in the immediate vicinity was full and you would otherwise have to stand, and in addition if you have serious issues that mean being seated is a priority.   Even then, I might suggest approaching someone seated in a marked "priority seat" rather than a poor unfortunate who sat down in a random general seat ....
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 05:13:23 PM »

I think an announcement that there are no seat reservations means just that. 

Usually, that is where something has gone wrong, such as half of a 2x5 car Voyager failing. It's every man for himself in such cases, and forget the women and children. In such cases, you would not be able to throw whoever is in your seat out, unless you are bigger than them, or look otherwise dangerous. Their reserved seat may be stuck a long way away, as happened to my Mum once. (We got her in First Class, gratis, because of her age.)

Etiquette isn't often seen on trains these days.
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Timmer
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 05:35:03 PM »

Etiquette isn't often seen on trains these days.
It isnít often seen everywhere else as well sadly.
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paul7755
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 06:06:17 PM »

I think an announcement that there are no seat reservations means just that. 
I think you can definitely get all of your reservation fee back though...   Grin

Paul
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rogerw
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 06:06:44 PM »

One interesting point is that advance tickets come with a condition that you must sit in the specified seat, although in my experience this is rarely enforced.
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Rostock0
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 06:14:05 PM »

I got on a midlands train from Birmingham airport to Manchester once. The train was already full when it arrived, and obviously the platform was full of people with massive suitcases. I had a reservation, so I bravely fought through the crowd, enduring the punches with the happy thought that there was a seat waiting for me. I finally got to seat 56.....only to find a 90 year old frail great-great grandma sitting there. Even I didn't have the heart to demand my reservation from her.

But, although it was a miserable journey, it did only cost me £8 to travel from one big city to another.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 07:01:21 PM »

But, although it was a miserable journey, it did only cost me £8 to travel from one big city to another.

Which is worth taking into consideration - the walk-up standard class fare for that route is between £40.60 and £48.60, so I at least wouldn't feel confident in trying to turf someone out if I'd only paid £8 for my ticket and they might have paid full price.
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 07:25:34 PM »

Which is worth taking into consideration - the walk-up standard class fare for that route is between £40.60 and £48.60, so I at least wouldn't feel confident in trying to turf someone out if I'd only paid £8 for my ticket and they might have paid full price.

I've done it. During one of my split ticket sojourns to Blackpool, I found a rather objectionable young man of seemingly Russian extraction sitting in the seat that had been ordained to be mine. That was on the Cheltenham to New Street leg, where Cross Country had practically paid for the privilege of carrying me. He didn't want to move at first, but did so eventually when I threatened to get the train manager (I may have inadvertently mis-translated that as "Spetsnaz") albeit without so much as a "Spasiba".

On an earlier trip, I turfed a young lady out of my seat. She produced a ticket to prove it was hers - she had the right seat number, but the wrong carriage. She was mortified because she had kicked an elderly gentlemen out at Gloucester, but she went, presumably to kick him out again. Unfortunately, her gorgeous young friend, who occupied the seat opposite mine, went with her.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 08:12:49 AM »

Section 3.3 of the current National Rail Conditions of Travel says:
'Unless you have made a reservation please note that your Ticket does not automatically entitle you to a seat, and...'

My interpretation of this is that I should be able to occupy my reserved seat unless exceptional circumstances intervene. I do not regard lack of paper 'seat-back' reservation cards or a failure of any digital reservation system as an exceptional circumstance given that I have in my hand a ticket which carries the details of my reservation. If a polite 'excuse me, I have a reservation for this seat' fails to elicit the desired response - this has only happened to me once - it is Train Manager time.

Only if the Train Manager has verbally declared a suspension of reservations via the PA system would I take a different approach. You will not be surprised to learn that in my experience this action seems to be the preserve of Cross Country Trains.

So now you can all tell me why I am wrong and being completely unreasonable.  Smiley 
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ChrisB
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 09:08:40 AM »

My interpretation of this is that I should be able to occupy my reserved seat unless exceptional circumstances intervene. I do not regard lack of paper 'seat-back' reservation cards or a failure of any digital reservation system as an exceptional circumstance

That statement may be seen that way. Simply because everyone else will be unaware of your reservation & it isn't any fault of theirs when they take a seat completely unaware of this.
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broadgage
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 09:59:51 AM »

I would not be happy if I had paid the full open fare, and taken a vacant seat with no reservation notice, and then been asked to move.
Given a choice of other seats I would probably move rather than argue.
If standing would result from moving, I would be most reluctant to move.
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 10:05:04 AM »

Which is worth taking into consideration - the walk-up standard class fare for that route is between £40.60 and £48.60, so I at least wouldn't feel confident in trying to turf someone out if I'd only paid £8 for my ticket and they might have paid full price.

I've done it. During one of my split ticket sojourns to Blackpool, I found a rather objectionable young man of seemingly Russian extraction sitting in the seat that had been ordained to be mine. That was on the Cheltenham to New Street leg, where Cross Country had practically paid for the privilege of carrying me. He didn't want to move at first, but did so eventually when I threatened to get the train manager (I may have inadvertently mis-translated that as "Spetsnaz") albeit without so much as a "Spasiba".

On an earlier trip, I turfed a young lady out of my seat. She produced a ticket to prove it was hers - she had the right seat number, but the wrong carriage. She was mortified because she had kicked an elderly gentlemen out at Gloucester, but she went, presumably to kick him out again. Unfortunately, her gorgeous young friend, who occupied the seat opposite mine, went with her.
I've done that.  Embarrassed Misread the A that rather uselessly indicates "airline style seating" as carriage A. Luckily I hadn't turfed anyone out, so it was only me who had to traipse up to carriage Z.
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