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My reserved seat is occupied on the train!

We know it can feel a bit awkward if there’s someone already sitting in your reserved seat. There are a couple of things to bear in mind if your reserved seat is occupied. 

What should I do if my reserved seat is occupied?

First of all, you should double check that it’s your seat. The carriage letters will be displayed inside the train. In most cases, they’ll be on the displays at the end of the carriage: 

image showing where the carriage letter is display on an lner train

You’ll also find a display outside of the train, which is usually on the door, next to the door or above the door. 

Next, make sure that it’s your seat. In many cases, there’ll be a display above the seat with the number on, like this one: 

image showing where to look if reserved seat is occupied

Make sure that what’s on the display matches the journey that you’re making. If both of these things match, and you’re sure it’s your seat, then you can politely ask the person to move. If they refuse, and there aren’t any suitable seats available, a member of staff will be able to assist you. 

What if there aren’t any reservations displayed?

If there are no reservations being displayed on the train, then the reservations no longer apply. Put simply, it is impossible to enforce reservations when you can’t see which seats are reserved. You should find any suitable seat. 

My reserved seat is occupied and I can’t find another 

If you can’t find another seat, and you’ve pre-booked one, then it can be frustrating. However, many operators have a Seat Guarantee Scheme. This means that you’ll be compensated if you reserved a seat, but you had to stand. 

I need a seat and can’t travel without one

If you’re physically unable to stand, then speak to a member of staff if you can. Alternatively, it’s possible to pre-book Passenger Assist who will help you with locating a suitable seat if required. You can find more information on our dedicated page here