Is This Seat Taken? Part 1

Which seat is best when riding the train? It depends. Modern Manners Guy makes it easy to find the perfect seat (and seatmate) on public transportation. 

Richie Frieman,
July 25, 2012

Is This Seat Taken? Part 1


Yesterday I had a wonderful trip from Charm City to the Big Apple to tape several segments at FOX News as Modern Manners Guy. Within 5 minutes of arriving, I once again I remembered why I love coming to New York City so much. There's so much personality, so much to see and do, so much to take in. I even like the train ride from Baltimore. If the distance isn’t too far, train is by far the best way to go. People are friendly, the lines are manageable, and the seats are comfortable. And while on the train back home last night, I noticed something interesting about how people share their space with strangers. 

Finding a seat on a crowded train, bus, or plane can be a big issue when it comes to traveling. But before you ask “Is this seat taken?” you might want to keep in mind where you are sitting and who you are sitting next to.

For example, yesterday the train was not very crowded, so the person across from me felt it was proper to lay out across two seats. It is not. Ever! Don’t hog the seats on public transportation unless you bought an extra seat for that very purpose. However, when you do see someone lounging around, it’s best to look for a seat that isn't the one they are dually occupying.  Am I encouraging the rude behavior of taking up two seats for the price of one? No, not at all. However, the chances of having an enjoyable ride after waking up the King or Queen of Rudeness is probably not the best idea. If that person is so impolite as to take up two seats, they will not be the best seatmate. Only disturb their Highness if the seat they're occupying is the last one available.

As well, if you are planning to do some work on the train, consider that before you choose a seat. On my train ride, I needed to charge my phone and write my next Modern Manners Guy newsletter, so I sat in the seat next to the window and outlet. If you sit on the aisle and need to charge up, you will have to then drape your wires over the person next to you. This isn’t the most improper thing in the world, but it's still pretty off-putting.  

With this last point, if you are a rather chatty person, don’t sit next to someone who is clearly trying to work.  If they're engrossed in their laptop, iPad, book, or any other materials, then chances are they have other plans and are not interested in hearing about the great party you went to last night. 

So, next time you say, “Is this seat taken?” keep in mind that there may be more baggage that comes with that question than just your carry-on. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.