Mum-To-Be Stands For 90 Minute Train Journey; Passenger Refuses To Move

8 September 2015

Pregnant woman forced to stand on train

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."

Mhari-Claire said:

‘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?

TOPICS:   Parents


  • lisam909
    Id have planked my bum n bump right dwn on his knee n he widny b long in movein
  • Slmiles
    Poor woman. I completely sympathise. I have experienced the same sort of behaviour in both my pregnancies. Even when obviously pregnant, people don't offer a seat, and don't seem to understand how tough pregnancy can actually be. I suffered from SPD which made it hard to stand, I felt exhausted, sick and dizzy most of the time, not to mention the hot flashes and swollen legs. Some pregnant women don't have these struggles, but from those I have met, the majority do struggle.
  • oneheyjude
    This happened to me a few years ago following a trip from London back home to Preston after a eons away. We'd pre-booked seats so that my partner, daughter and me who at the time was 7months pregnant could all sit together. When we got on the train they announced it that they'd de-classed the train so there was no first class (that was fine). When we got to our seats a man was sat there with his gf and had his bag on one of the other seats. He refused to move despite that fact that I was so heavily pregnant and crying at this point as there were no other seats together. The train manager said he couldn't make them move although he did confirm they were sat in out seats. He managed to find us other seats but we ended up travelling back all in different carriages.

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