I wonder if anyone could inform me how to handle this situation if it arises again.
I had my ugliest train experience in Switzerland, on the 18 minute train ride from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken. This train line is not SBB and so not offer free rides, but does give a 25% discount with the pass. I bought two paper tickets - which would have been about 7 chf each but were discounted to 5 chf or so. So I saved 2 chf using the pass.
A conductor questioned me about it - and wanted to see the QR code for the pass. Since the train trip does not even appear in the rail planner, I had no idea how I could generate a ticket. This was further compounded by having no internet access. I am not sure if I could have added it manually or what to do.
This conductor was almost yelling at us like she had caught some criminals sneaking on the train, and demanding we go with her to the office at the terminus. This then entailed nearly an hour of my time. At one point I went over to the grocery store across the plaza to get wifi to pull up the pass. They would not give me any wifi access in the station.
Eventually we did not have to pay the additional 2 chf per ticket, and the guy in the office said we just need to generate any ticket for the day to make a QR code - even if its not the same trip. Is that true?
Best answer by seewulfView original
Discounted trips like Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken doesn´t need a active travelday
You just have to show that you have a Railpass that is valid (not active) for the day :)
Since the train trip does not even appear in the rail planner, I had no idea how I could generate a ticket.
Not all trains appear in the planner (some countries are missing completely) and you can add any train manually (tap on the link at the bottom om the planner results). But that was not needed for this train.
Even in the office they did not seem to be familiar with how the pass works.
There are so many different ticket types across Europe it almost impossible that a trainconductor know all but Eurail and Interrail are common ones. The new conductors learn sometimes just “Scan the Code” and the System on the Phone or mobile terminal will say yes or no. The old way with looking and useing common sense is not well educated anymore :/
Hi Gregohb, I am sorry to hear about your experience on the Swiss train. You should have only been asked to show that you have a valid Pass (which can be done without the QR code), as you do not need to use a travel day for it - being it a discount like Seewulf mentioned.
There was not much more you could have done. In case you had to pay for the full ticket or a fine, always keep your tickets/receipts to send it to our Customer Support afterwards.
I will report this to the relevant team so that they can get in touch with them and discuss the case and instructions on the Pass, to hopefully avoid this from happening.
I didn’t have to pay the 2x2=4chf but it wasted an hour of time and it was stressful being “caught” in front of other passengers and then not sure how it would turn out in the office. In other situations there are heavy fines for riding without tickets. Even, last night on a Czech train the conductor kept asking for a physical ticket and seemed unfamiliar with the pass too, and finally tried scanning the QR code to see if it might work.
you know what would help is for Eurail to have a document which explains these policies in each local language that we can carry with us so we can “train” these employees about their own company’s policies.
In theory they should know all this, but they didn’t get the memo or forgot or whatever. Having some document to show them in their language would help.
Hi Gregohb, I certainly understand the inconvenience and stress it caused. Trainings have taken place and still are on a continuous basis. Reporting cases, like you did will help us identify where extra attention is needed so thank you for that.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will pass it on to the relevant department.
I use a similar offer to Interrail for European Rail employees and we got till 2020 always the tickets with a explanation in the Local language but even with this i had struggle to verify that it is a valid ticket.
Since 1year we get them with a short explanation in English,French,German and Italian and i had more struggles (especially in Countries like Poland,Romania and the Balkan) as before.
The bestway in my experience is to get in Contact with the Railcompanies and test the Mobile pass qr Codes with all existing Control Terminals (and finally make it possible that everyone get a meesage on the terminal like Pass valid instead of Error or other failure messages) due the huge load of different Tickets there will always be a remote Conductor that never saw a Railpass before or doesnt know how to handle it.