When you don't have to give up your seat in public transportation: what etiquette suggests

Yulia PoteriankoLife
A young passenger who doesn't give up their seat isn't necessarily ill-mannered

Since childhood, we have been taught to give up our seats in public transport to people who may find it difficult to stand - pregnant women, the elderly, parents with small children in their arms. However, etiquette rules indicate that this gesture of politeness is not always appropriate.

OBOZREVATEL inquired about the nuances and explained when a young person may not give up their seat.

Feeling unwell

Feeling unwell can happen at a young age. Severe headaches, back pain, dizziness, and high blood pressure can be hard to endure while standing, even at the age of 25. In this case, you should politely inform the person who is requesting your seat.


During the first three months of pregnancy, a woman may experience morning sickness, and dizziness, followed by back pain, leg heaviness, and other issues. Although pregnancy is not an illness, it is inappropriate to demand that a pregnant woman vacate her seat.

Heavy or oversized luggage

It's simple - if a person is carrying large or heavy luggage (or even two pieces), it is safer for everyone if they remain seated. In this case, it will be more convenient for them to handle their luggage, and won't risk falling out on a sharp turn and causing harm to others.


It is not appropriate to create a scene and demand that a young person give up their seat, arguing that they can't be tired at this time of day. You never know where they are coming from. Perhaps they had a long and exhausting work shift, or maybe they were visiting a sick relative - there are many possibilities.


Young people have their share of problems, just like the elderly. Sometimes, they can become so absorbed in their thoughts about how to deal with these issues that they simply don't notice their surroundings. Trying to engage in an argument with them is unlikely to yield a friendly reaction.

Politeness versus rudeness

A young passenger on public transport may simply not have been raised with good manners. There is no law that obliges them to relinquish their seat in public transport, so there is no basis for making such demands or causing a scene. Therefore, there is no reason for a dispute. Moreover, a polite request is more likely to receive a positive response compared to a complaint. Politeness is the key to countering impoliteness.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL discussed situations where it is inappropriate for couples to engage in public displays of affection.

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