Greta Thunberg criticized by train line for not disclosing her first class seat in “overcrowded” train post

The train company wasn't happy with how the social media post portrayed them.


Climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg has faced criticism from German train company Deutsche Bahn after the 16-year-old Time Magazine Person of the Year posted a tweet in which she called the train “overcrowded” along with a photo of her sitting on the floor.

The train company took issue with the tweet, implying that the the photo opportunity made the train line look bad and revealed that Thunberg had booked a first-class ticket and therefore had a seat. The company resents the implication that the train was overcrowded and that Thunberg had to sit on the floor.

The photograph that the teenager tweeted of herself involved her looking out of the window of her German train yesterday and Thunberg commented: “Traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home.”

Thunberg traveled by train from the COP25 UN Climate Conference in Madrid and stopped on the way to take part in climate demonstrations in Turin, Italy, on Friday, before heading home to spend Christmas with her family in Stockholm.

The train company responded as follows:

“Dear Greta,

Thank you for supporting us railroad workers in the fight against climate change! We were happy that you traveled with us on Saturday in the ICE 74 … but it would have been even nicer, if you had also reported how friendly and competently you were looked after by our team at your seat in first class.”

Thunberg responded with the following:

“Our train from Basel was taken out of traffic. So we sat on the floor on 2 different trains. After Göttingen I got a seat.This is no problem of course and I never said it was. Overcrowded trains is a great sign because it means the demand for train travel is high!

In 2016, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticized by Virgin Trains when the politician took a photograph of himself on the floor of a train and posted it to social media, alleging that the train was overcrowded. The CCTV eventually proved there were lots of empty seats on the train.


Cindy Harper

Cindy Harper is a tech news staff writer based in Maryland, USA. After getting her start in local journalism, Cindy now reports mostly on social media stories for Reclaim. [email protected]