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RANT! Seat-hoggers. By Liz Hodgkinson

Blog | By Liz Hodgkinson | May 09, 2023


Don’t you hate it when one person takes up two seats on public transport – one for themselves and the other for their luggage?

You politely ask them to remove their stuff so that you can sit down. They either fix you with an icy glare at your impertinence or inform you crossly that there are plenty of other seats available – even when there aren’t.

If you insist on taking the seat next to them, they will make such a huge palaver about moving their stuff that you’re made to feel guilty for inconveniencing them so much.

Others will resort to extreme strategies to ensure nobody dares to sit next to them. They will deliberately choose an aisle seat so as to make it especially difficult for another person to clamber over, or they will ignore you by looking far into the distance, as if you don’t exist.

The mobile phone comes in handy to them here: they will get it out and embark on a long conversation, ensuring you remain ‘invisible’ to them.

Worst of all are two-seaters who beckon you with their finger to join them. This, they seem to hope, makes potential seat partners think you are so mad that they quail at the prospect of taking up the other seat.

I am on a mission to combat this selfish, antisocial behaviour. At the risk of making myself mightily unpopular, I say loudly, ‘It’s one seat per person, you know.’ If they still refuse to move their bags, I say, ‘If you want your luggage to have a seat to itself, buy it a ticket.’

If they remain reluctant to move their baggage, I inform them in my best sarcastic tone that luggage racks are for luggage and the seats are for humans. Then I plonk myself down next to them, even if there are other free seats.

Liz Hodgkinson