I have a Senior ticket. While traveling on amtrak, am I prohibited from sitting in an unoccupied seat reserved for passengers with disabilities?

  • Are you thinking about a situation where all other seats are taken? Or is it just about these seats being close to the exit / having larger pitch / more place around the seat you could use for your luggage??? (I never travelled Amtrak, the latter are a few things I observed related to reserved seats elsewhere)
    – Sabine
    May 20, 2019 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


Do you need seating for handicapped people?
If yes, you can use it. But you might be asked for proof of the need.
If not, please do not use it if there are other seats you can use.

Age is not the deciding thing here.
A 20 year old girl or guy who looks healthy might have an invisible handicap and need it much more than a healthy 70 year old who can walk on to a seat a bit further into the train. But they are not likely to ask a person old enough to travel on a senior ticket to move on.

I am not familiar enough with Amtrak to tell you whether you can use the seat if you are not handicapped.

In the answer by John T you can read that at least in some Amtrak trains the seats need to remain empty unless you need such a seat. It is safe to assume that also goes for other Amtrak trains.
If you need such a seat but do not hold a card to prove it ask station and/or train staff before you go on.


Unreserved Northeast Corridor trains have a few wheelchair-friendly seats, which can (unlike regular seats) be reserved specially. As the number of tickets sold never exceeds the number of seats, if someone has a special reservation you will always be able to find another seat.

On the double-decker Capitol Corridor trains, and I assume on other double-deckers, people who have trouble with stairs will buy a ticket for the lower level. I've seen the conductor on a crowded train ask people to move upstairs if possible. Even if you have ticket not specifying a lower-level seat, though, I don't believe there would be an issue if you are on a Senior ticket. Most passengers prefer the upper level unless they have a reason to stay below.


On an Amtrak Acela train this am, and the conductor informed a pax that the handicapped seats are reserved solely for handicapped persons - it is not a priority seating scenario, but to be used solely by a handicapped person as per federal law. Similar to a handicapped parking spot in a public parking lot.

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