Passenger Cheered For How They Chose To 'Demand' Seat After Man Sat In It

A train passenger has been praised for asking a person to move out of the seat they booked in advance for a four-hour journey.

Following the awkward encounter, the person shared their experience on the web forum Mumsnet, asking other people if they were "being unreasonable" to make the passenger move out of their seat.

Many people will empathize with the poster. as it's a common problem plenty of rail passengers will have endured.

Hardened commuters are all too aware of the daily battle for seats, as the American Community Survey found that 37 percent take elevated rail or a subway train to get to work or school.

Mumsnet user Pondere shared a post on March 9 explaining that they had booked a window seat at a table for the four-hour journey, but once they located the seat they found someone else there instead.

Woman Demands Seat Off Passenger
Stock image of a woman on a train. A Mumsnet user has been backed for refusing to allow another passenger to have the seat they pre-booked. Svetlana Ivanova/Getty Images

"I deliberately booked a seat by the window and at a table," they wrote. "I was running late for the train, so by the time I got on, it was packed, but I went to my seat to find a man sitting there.

"He said it's his seat, but after telling me the seat number, he had the aisle and I had the window.

"He hesitated for a minute before slowly unplugging his laptop, etc then asked if I can sit in the aisle, or do I want the window. I said the window."

The OP admitted that they "feel terrible" for being so insistent on sitting in their designated seat.

"I booked a window seat because, well I like a window seat," OP added, justifying why they wanted that particular seat so much.

"I like being in the corner rather than having people constantly brush past me in the aisle. I also am more comfortable by the window than the aisle.

"But seeing as the aisle was free (i.e., his seat), I do feel bad that I made him move when I could have sat there."

Confrontation isn't always easy, and the said that they felt "a little flustered," which led the man to ask if she was OK. But after seeing the hundreds of comments on the post, the Mumsnet user responded that they are going to "stop worrying about what a stranger thinks."

Public speaker and author Reesa Woolf has spent years educating people on how they can exude confidence when they speak, and helping to eliminate the fear of speaking in public.

Woolf herself spent 25 years traveling for her work, so she can vouch for the need to be upfront with someone who is trying to take your seat. However, it's important to remain polite while confronting the issue.

"Some people can pull this off if they stay completely polite," Woolf told Newsweek. "Saying something like, 'I'm confused, I see this seat number on my ticket,' and show your ticket with your finger pointing out the seat number. Be polite, not accusatory.

"Most often, it is a simple mistake that they will apologize for and move seats."

However, some people are less than willing to move once they've made themselves comfortable, so Woolf suggests asking train staff for help in those instances.

She added: "If they don't move, I find an authority and have them take care of it while I keep my distance during that conversation. But stay polite throughout."

The Mumsnet post has over 200 comments, mostly from people suggesting the OP was totally justified and possibly that the man wasn't happy about being corrected.

One person commented: "I think the 'are you ok' was trying to be patronizing, regain control of the situation. It's cunning as you can't complain about it, but it makes him look big and you like you're being silly. But you weren't being silly."

Another person gave a more neutral perspective on the matter: "You booked the seat, it's yours. You don't need to justify not letting someone else have it for any reason."

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