Good question. My 90 year old father told me just yesterday that he feels so terrible when a pretty young girl gets up for him! Frankly, I get LIVID when fit young men sit there staring ahead while women with shopping or babies never mind we elderly, stand up. I think the rule of thumb should be: if YOU are able to stand, you should. I have given up MY seat to a pregnant girl, hoping to disgrace the above mentioned young men, and I'm 68! But I'm effusively and LOUDLY grateful when someone stands up for me.
It's digusting not to offer a seat to an elderly or a pregnant woman. All they could say is 'no thanks' or 'I'm getting off soon'. I recently offered my seat to a German tourist who is too tall to stand comfortably in the tube.
It's also digusting to see many pretending to be asleep every morning when an elderly walked into the tube or bus. Not to mention those well dressed professionals who do not know how to queque in the jubilee line platform in London Bridge every morning.
I would always offer my seat to someone who appeared to need it regardless of age, even an obese person.
I suppose the length of journey would be a factor in how chivalrous you felt. Should a person who needed to sit down travel off-peak.
Off-peak travel for the less than nimble amid us? suggest restrictions should be enforced about large modern perambulators in threes unfolded on buses...When would travelling times be best for old and crumblies? or old and crutchety!
a chap i work with was livid as he got up for a pregnant lady on the tube and a teenage girl dived into the seat and refused to get up despite the wrath of other passengers
i get up for those i think need a seat young or old but too many people don't-experience of travelling when heavily pregnant was that women were far more likely to give up seats than men-sorry but my experience!!
When travelling on a double-decker bus, one thing we can all do to help those less mobile than ourselves is to go and sit upstairs if possible, leaving the seats free for those unable to stand or climb the stairs and the floorspace free for wheelchairs or pushchairs.
Also frees you from guilt as you are unlikely to see anyone upstairs to offer your seat to! :-)
About 2 weeks ago, I was on the bus, and there was a lady with 5 children and all of them had a seat (including a very young infant) and she also had an empty double buggy - a very elderly man who was quite frail got on and asked the lady if he could sit down in one of the seats that the children occupied - she ignored him. When some other passengers asked her, she went absolutely ballistic. She screamed that she did not need people to tell her when she should give up seats and it was up to her etc etc. She was shouting and waving her arms about like a mad women, the children started crying and the poor old man was almost in tears himself and was very shaken by it all.
Is it any wonder that young people have no respect for the elderly if the parents behave in such a way.
I found teenage girls most likely to dive past me for a seat when I was heavily pregnant.
One day on the bus an elderly man with a crutch and I, by then nine month pregnant, held on for dear life until a lady who should have been offered a seat herself said aloud: is there any man under sixty who's not pregnant on the bus to give up a seat? It worked.
I agree with Zappomatic, going upstairs or to the back of the bus to sit if you're mobile enough is a good thing to do.