Problem printing Sparpreis ticket

Joined
8 May 2010
Messages
74
(Moderators: I am not sure if this is the correct forum to raise this rather technical IT issue. Please move if not.)

I have just returned from a trip London <-> Berlin using a Sparpreis ticket. I had received an email from buchungsbestaetigung@bahn.de with a PDF of the ticket attached. When I came to print it before setting off all kinds of things went wrong - only the first few lines were printed or the printer would hang with the "printing document" light on and, on one occasion, the printer switched off! Eventually my son successfully initiated the printing from his office in Stuttgart on my printer in Manchester. As you might gather from this, said son is an IT networking specialist but he had no idea why I couldn't print from the computer adjacent to the printer.

Can anyone shed any light on this?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

M28361M

Member
Joined
15 May 2014
Messages
420
Location
Liverpool
Are you using the official Adobe PDF Reader to view the document and is it the latest version?

Most web browsers these days have their own PDF viewer built-in, rather than relying on the Adobe plugin. Similarly, Windows 10 and MacOS have their own PDF viewer. Most of the time these viewers work fine, but I have seen in the past some complex PDFs fail with third party viewers and you get a messed up display on the screen or problems when printing.

If you don't have Adobe Reader (or you have an old version), it can be downloaded from https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/ - after you install it, you may need to change browser or OS settings to force it to use Adobe instead of their own viewer.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,933
Location
Airedale
For future reference DB Sparpreis can be shown on a tablet or smartphone (as can most mainland European e-tickets, but not all).
I had difficulty with a couple of .pdfs earlier this year, unfortunately I can't remember if it was CD, OeBB or DB! Thanks M28361M for the tip!
 
Joined
8 May 2010
Messages
74
For future reference DB Sparpreis can be shown on a tablet or smartphone (as can most mainland European e-tickets, but not all).
I am confused about this and would welcome some enlightenment. My son, a frequent traveller in Germany told me the same thing and, indeed from Brussels<->Berlin I showed the ticket on the phone without a problem. However the Eurostar check-in clerk in Brussels told me she would not (or could not, I wasn't clear) provide boarding cards for my wife and me without scanning the paper ticket. Also the email with the ticket says "Your online ticket should be printed in A4 format." Then again, the same email says "The ticket inspector will check the ticket and the official photo ID [= passport] ... " and of the latter there was absolutely no sign.

Moderators and other knowledgable users: Would it be possible to create and keep up to date a sticky post about the necessity or not of paper tickets in Europe? While looking round for answers to my original query I came across several other queries about the need for paper tickets.
 

duesselmartin

Established Member
Joined
18 Jan 2014
Messages
1,194
Location
Duisburg, Germany
Tickets (except Eurostar) should be either printed A4 or the DB Navigator App should be used.
What they mean is a PDF on a Laptop/Tablet ect. will not suffice.
On Eurostar I always needed a paper version when I booked with either DB or SNCB.
 
Joined
8 May 2010
Messages
74
Tickets (except Eurostar) should be either printed A4 or the DB Navigator App should be used.
But that isn't my experience when I travelled Berlin -> Brussels on Monday this week. The ticket inspectors on both trains accepted the ticket on my phone and I don't have the DB Navigator App. This nicely illustrates how confusing (confused?) the situation with tickets on phones is.
 

Flying Snail

Member
Joined
12 Dec 2006
Messages
988
Then again, the same email says "The ticket inspector will check the ticket and the official photo ID [= passport] ... " and of the latter there was absolutely no sign.
But that isn't my experience when I travelled Berlin -> Brussels on Monday this week. The ticket inspectors on both trains accepted the ticket on my phone and I don't have the DB Navigator App. This nicely illustrates how confusing (confused?) the situation with tickets on phones is.
The fact that in both these cases a lesser standard was requested/accepted is not proof that the full requirement for showing passport and using the DB app no longer applies. It just means that on those occasions you were not asked to comply with all the rules in place.

In the same way not all GB inspectors inspect every person's railcard, that doesn't mean the requirement to have a valid one is changed.

If the ticket states it should be shown on the DB app or to print it out then my advice is to do that and you will be sure of not having any validity issues.
 

Flying Snail

Member
Joined
12 Dec 2006
Messages
988
Which brings us nicely back to my original query: Does anyone here know why I couldn't get a print out of the PDF I was sent?
Computing devices, printers and every bit of software written have bugs in them. Unless this is a known documented problem then it is unlikely you will get a satisfactory answer.

The best advice with this sort of thing is to change some things; use a different computer or printer or browser or pdf reader or printer driver.

There is nothing stopping you from doing that now and seeing if you can print the thing, may be useful if you want to buy more print at home DB tickets, otherwise a waste of time.

These annoying things happen, the laptop I am writing this on refuses to communicate with my current printer, wifi or wired it refuses to acknowledge the printer's existence. No obvious reason why, it works fine with other printers and the other computers and phones in the house connect to the offending printer. As I rarely print stuff thee days it is just easier to transfer documents to another laptop and print from that than pick apart this otherwise reliable machine to try to resolve that issue.
 

ashkeba

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
1,260
However the Eurostar check-in clerk in Brussels told me she would not (or could not, I wasn't clear) provide boarding cards for my wife and me without scanning the paper ticket.
Why did you want boarding cards?

About the other question, if in any doubt, I print them out, especially when a ticket on departure or train would be expensive, but I rarely get them out of my bag these days. Almost everyone who sells any sort of PDF tickets accepts a code on a phone.

And on the other, sometimes one viewer prints things OK. Sometimes another does. I think even Acrobat Reader does not obey the ISO PDF standard in full. Messy.
 

AlbertBeale

Member
Joined
16 Jun 2019
Messages
750
Location
London
Why did you want boarding cards?
If you buy a DB-issued ticket (which includes a leg of the journey on Eurostar) online, and print it out from the PDF they send, then that doesn't work on the Eurostar entry gates. You have to show the ticket to the check-in desk and be given the passes that will open the gates.
 

ashkeba

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
1,260
If you buy a DB-issued ticket (which includes a leg of the journey on Eurostar) online, and print it out from the PDF they send, then that doesn't work on the Eurostar entry gates. You have to show the ticket to the check-in desk and be given the passes that will open the gates.
Thank you both. I had forgotten this. It has been a while. I have used NMBS tickets recently.
 

M28361M

Member
Joined
15 May 2014
Messages
420
Location
Liverpool
I am confused about this and would welcome some enlightenment. My son, a frequent traveller in Germany told me the same thing and, indeed from Brussels<->Berlin I showed the ticket on the phone without a problem. However the Eurostar check-in clerk in Brussels told me she would not (or could not, I wasn't clear) provide boarding cards for my wife and me without scanning the paper ticket.
For DB tickets, Eurostar accept only printed versions. The DB Navigator app should display a warning to this effect if you try to call up the ticket on the app, but on my version of the app (iPhone) it is in German even when the phone/app language is set to English: "Als Fahrkarte ist nur der Ausdruck des Online-Tickets gültig. Diesen bitte bei der Kontrolle vorweisen." (literally: "As a ticket, only the printout of the online ticket is valid. Please show this at check-in")
 

AlbertBeale

Member
Joined
16 Jun 2019
Messages
750
Location
London
Why is this, when Eurostar accept screen versions of other seller's tickets?
Perhaps it's because DB tickets can be one ticket for 2 (or more) people, but Eurostar entry gates need an individual scan to validate each passenger and let you in one at a time - so you need to get a separate gate-readable boarding card for each operon on the ticket.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,933
Location
Airedale
Perhaps it's because DB tickets can be one ticket for 2 (or more) people, but Eurostar entry gates need an individual scan to validate each passenger and let you in one at a time - so you need to get a separate gate-readable boarding card for each operon on the ticket.
But the paper version is also one ticket only! I can believe that ES can't read the (Aztec?) code in the DB App.
BTW my earlier comment was about DB Sparpreis generally not London in particular - I realise I haven't had a London one recently. Sorry if I misled anyone.
When you book through the App, you get an App version plus in most cases an email with pdf. The exception on a recent trip was a non DB ticket which was App only. Schleswig-Holstein Tariff I think.
 

AlbertBeale

Member
Joined
16 Jun 2019
Messages
750
Location
London
But the paper version is also one ticket only! I can believe that ES can't read the (Aztec?) code in the DB App.
BTW my earlier comment was about DB Sparpreis generally not London in particular - I realise I haven't had a London one recently. Sorry if I misled anyone.
When you book through the App, you get an App version plus in most cases an email with pdf. The exception on a recent trip was a non DB ticket which was App only. Schleswig-Holstein Tariff I think.
I guess I'm old-fashioned enough to always want a piece of paper (or card) in my hand that gives me eligibility to make the journey - ie a "ticket" - before setting off; that way I feel secure. "Never leave home without it" is my motto. I'm not an app-y person at all, least of all when it comes to anything crucial such as a long, expensive journey.
 

dutchflyer

Member
Joined
17 Oct 2013
Messages
614
Tickets for DB-or others-and EUr* should have 2 different barcodes: square Aztec/QR (or whatever it is called) for non-ES and a normal type (like in shops) barcode to open the gates for ES. I doubt the latter can be handeled by their readers from a phone, burt it may all have changed or is due to chnage soon with yet another new type of system. Checking passengers ID seems to be getting less and less done nowadays. And if on reserved seats, chances that the ticket has been copied and used more also seems feable.
Even much easier is the system usd by TrenItalia and RegioJet=the yellow Czech private company: the only thing to show, can even be a handwritten piece on paper, is the long code. Just like MegaBus used to have. Jot it down before your phone is empty or not working with yet another expensive roaming.
 

ashkeba

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
1,260
Tickets for DB-or others-and EUr* should have 2 different barcodes: square Aztec/QR (or whatever it is called) for non-ES and a normal type (like in shops) barcode to open the gates for ES. I doubt the latter can be handeled by their readers from a phone, burt it may all have changed or is due to chnage soon with yet another new type of system.
I have opened ES gates with square codes from NMBS. I have had ordinary shop-type barcodes scanned from my phone in M&S. So I feel €* could make this work from phones if they wanted.

Papertickets with barcodes are hardly immune from copying anyway.
 

Top