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Almost penalty fared for €60 near Frankfurt

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tannedfrog

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I always try to get the right ticket, so for an intended journey from Frankfurt airport to Mainz, I had done prior research and found the price should be €4,65 for one adult. After arriving by air, I bought a ticket from the ticket machine as follows:

von: Frankfurt(M)Flughafen
nach: 5000
ueber: ohne Umweg
Preis: ***4,65 EUR
Preisstufe: 04

Two guys on the train with DB-Sicherheit uniform checked my ticket and told me I was going in the wrong direction. Apparently the destination 5000 means Frankfurt and I was going in the opposite direction. After some discussion they let me off the €60 penalty fare which they said they should charge and gave me a stern warning...

I was under the impression that local travel in Germany is usually zonal, such that a correctly validated Preisstufe 04 ticket is valid in any direction from the starting point up to the edge of the appropriate zone. Certainly in Dusseldorf on older ticket machines, you can't even specify the destination, you only have a choice of zones A, B, C or D.

Any thoughts? And are DB-Sicherheit guys (= security?) sufficiently trained to check tickets / hand out penalty fares? What powers would they have had if I had refused to pay a penalty fare? Thanks
 
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furlong

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Although the fare is the same, Mainz is 6500 not 5000, so you picked the wrong destination.
 

Merseysider

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If they'd alternatively deemed you liable to pay a 'penalty fare' I believe you'd be required to provide your details as a very minimum. Failure to do so could lead to the police being called (there was one a while ago where DB refused to drop the matter - the transgressor being a Chinese lady).

Plus, from my time in Germany, I noticed that they are very precise about rules and regulations, etc. I very nearly got a Geldstrafe near Frankfurt in Jan or Feb for displaying a screenshot of my m-ticket rather than via the DB Navigator app - despite the app crashing! I'd say you got fairly lucky.
 
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furlong

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I was under the impression that local travel in Germany is usually zonal,

Yes, but while the price may be set according to the zones, you still have to specify exactly which zones you require - 5090 to 6500 in this case.
 

tannedfrog

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Thanks.. potentially quite harsh on the non-expert occasional rail traveller (even a German one):

- Station has no-one to sell tickets or help with machines
- Train has no guard to regularise situation eg by issuing zero fare excess
- Faced with incorrect ticket, staff on train seem to only be supposed to charge €60
 

cjmillsnun

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Thanks.. potentially quite harsh on the non-expert occasional rail traveller (even a German one):

- Station has no-one to sell tickets or help with machines
- Train has no guard to regularise situation eg by issuing zero fare excess
- Faced with incorrect ticket, staff on train seem to only be supposed to charge €60

Sounds just like GTR will be in a few months :lol:
 

tannedfrog

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Yes, but while the price may be set according to the zones, you still have to specify exactly which zones you require - 5090 to 6500 in this case.
Thanks, I'm sure these numbers make sense to someone, but it would have been better if they had used zip codes or just place names!
 

Solent&Wessex

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Thanks.. potentially quite harsh on the non-expert occasional rail traveller (even a German one):

- Station has no-one to sell tickets or help with machines
- Train has no guard to regularise situation eg by issuing zero fare excess
- Faced with incorrect ticket, staff on train seem to only be supposed to charge €60

Sounds just like GTR will be in a few months :lol:

Indeed. It sounds just like the de-staffed railway nirvana that the DfT seems so fond of.
 

Bletchleyite

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Plus, from my time in Germany, I noticed that they are very precise about rules and regulations, etc. I very nearly got a Geldstrafe near Frankfurt in Jan or Feb for displaying a screenshot of my m-ticket rather than via the DB Navigator app - despite the app crashing! I'd say you got fairly lucky.

Not unreasonable; you could otherwise easily screenshot it and send any number of copies around.
 

deep south

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Thanks.. potentially quite harsh on the non-expert occasional rail traveller (even a German one):

- Station has no-one to sell tickets or help with machines
- Train has no guard to regularise situation eg by issuing zero fare excess
- Faced with incorrect ticket, staff on train seem to only be supposed to charge €60

Not quite correct - FRA airport station does have a manned ticket desk; I have used it a few times, and will be using it again next month.

They have always spoken good English (often better than mine; just a little "too correct"! :roll:
 

Llanigraham

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Thanks.. potentially quite harsh on the non-expert occasional rail traveller (even a German one):

- Station has no-one to sell tickets or help with machines
- Train has no guard to regularise situation eg by issuing zero fare excess
- Faced with incorrect ticket, staff on train seem to only be supposed to charge €60

And that appears to be the German way of doing it, not the British way, so I see no justification for the complaint.

When in Rome do as the Romans do!
 

sheff1

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Thanks, I'm sure these numbers make sense to someone, but it would have been better if they had used zip codes or just place names!

I assume you used one of the RMV machines without a touch screen. If so, there is a list of destinations displayed with the corresponding input code number alongside.

On the touch screen machines you would just need to enter "Mainz".
 

tannedfrog

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Not quite correct - FRA airport station does have a manned ticket desk; I have used it a few times, and will be using it again next month.

They have always spoken good English (often better than mine; just a little "too correct"! :roll:
This was the Regionalbahnhof not the other one with the "posh" trains!

While they might be quite fluent in the scenario of selling tickets I doubt they have the vocabulary and comprehension skills of a native speaker in a wider range of contexts!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I assume you used one of the RMV machines without a touch screen. If so, there is a list of destinations displayed with the corresponding input code number alongside.

On the touch screen machines you would just need to enter "Mainz".

Thanks, I actually used the standard national DB machine and somehow got lost in the menus and ended up with the wrong ticket at the right price.
 
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