Anyone who commutes on one of the old intercity lines may well be able to empathise with this story. You will no doubt be aware that unlike some poor commuters, you can actually reserve a seat on these services. That’s all well and good – until the system goes wrong.
When the train company for whatever reason has failed to put the reservation tickets onto the back of seats it effectively means that all reservations are invalid. This often causes much confusion to those who dont travel regularly who demand a seat when they get on a train one tsop out of London and expect someone to move who may have sat down in Edinburgh in the believe that the seat was free. What happens is that the person demanding their reservation is told by the guard (or is it customer service adviser these days) that unfortunately their reservation isn’t valid – sit anywhere.
That brings me on to day. Myself and my wife board the train as normal and sit in two unsererved seats. We come to teh first station and the carriage fills up. We pull into the second one (the last before London) and ten minutes afterpulling out a man comes demanding the seat I am in.
Now if he had been polite I suspect I would have let him have it. Instead he wasn’t so I let him have it in another way. He demanded the seat because his booking said E 43. I pointed out there were no reservations, but look around you – there are actually plenty of vacant seats – why not sit there.
Oh no – he wanted my seat (I wonder if he just wanted to sit next to my wife?). So Ipointed out after he started being quite aggressive that I was minded not to move. He stomped off sayng he was off to get the guard….. and then proceeded to sulk in the vestibule end all the way into London even though there were plenty of seats.
It turned out that whoever had put the reservation tickets out had placed them all in the wrong seats – so not only were there vacant seats – but his reservation was placed on another seat in the carriage.
My first but probably not last experience of train rage….. Have to say I quite enjoyed it!