A mum to be who says she was forced to stand during a train trip from Birmingham to Manchester - a journey of more than 90 minutes - because a male passenger who sat in her pre-booked seat refused to move.
The Metro reports:
"A heavily pregnant woman has said she was left ’embarrassed, angry and in agony’ when she was forced to stand by a man who sat in her pre-booked seat. Mhari-Claire Doolan, 29, who is 34 weeks pregnant, showed the man her ticket on the train from Birmingham to Manchester, but she claimed he laughed in her face."
‘I was already tired and in pain and to be honest I’m so heavily pregnant I should probably not be travelling by train, so I made sure I had a seat booked. I told him I had that seat booked and positioned myself so that he could see I was pregnant but he just ignored me... Even worse, no one did anything to help or intervene and no one offered me their seat. People just averted their eyes and pretended they hadn’t seen it... My back ached, my feet ached and I felt sick. I was in a lot of pain but luckily a seat eventually came free.’
A spokesman for the train company said train managers are trained to help in such circumstances, either by persuading the person to move or by helping the passenger to find another seat. They added that Mhari-Claire Doolan is entitled to compensation and should get in touch to pursue the matter.
I know there'll be stoic mums out there who think that standing for 90 minutes when you're pregnant isn't really something to complain about, and indeed plenty of expectant mums do that throughout their pregnancies due to the nature of their jobs - but I'm with the female passenger in this story.
For me, it's less about her being pregnant and more about the principle of having a pre-booked ticket only to have someone else sit in your allocated seat. That's plain bad manners but throw in the fact that the female passenger was clearly heavily pregnant too and it seems pretty rude and inconsiderate of the male passenger not to offer up his seat.
I love what one of the Playpennies team members said on hearing this story:
"I would have made him feel so uncomfortable that he would not only have given me the seat but would have felt obliged to offer me a foot rub, too!"
Do you agree? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever suffered a similar experience? And what would you have done in this situation?