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Cruise survivors unable to board train home

The Local · 24 Jan 2012, 10:54

Published: 24 Jan 2012 10:54 GMT+01:00

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Marianne and Erwin Bleser (66 and 70) had caught a bus to Frankfurt Airport’s train station after the shipwreck on January 13, hoping Deutsche Bahn would still allow them to take their pre-reserved train to Langenhahn in Rhineland-Palatinate.

But, according to the Rhein Zeitung, the conductor said that since the couple’s tickets had been destroyed, they had to buy new ones for €70.

“I’ve never seen such arrogance,” Marianne Bleser told the newspaper, explaining the couple had only a few euros for food and drink in their pockets. “Perhaps the train workers thought we wanted to steal the tickets.”

After the train worker threatened the couple with a fine if they did not immediately de-board, the tired pair got off and called their son for help. He drove to their airport to pick them up and took them home, the Rhein Zeitung reported.

Deutsche Bahn has apologised for the situation, although it told Der Spiegel magazine that it did not have complete responsibility.

“Generally the tour operator must ensure that its guests get home in such a case,” a spokesman told the magazine’s website.

The Bahn said it had reached out to the couple and wanted to do “something good” for the pair.

At least 12 Germans still missing and are believed to have died in the grounding of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:27 January 24, 2012 by pepsionice
The Bahn guys went exactly by the rules. We may be influenced by the entire story....but the Bahn guys get dozens of stories like this each day, and treat everyone the same. I've known Americans who were in Munich and robbed during OctoberFest.....and tried to return without the stolen tickets in their hands. You just don't get too far.
19:36 January 24, 2012 by hankeat
They were already treated well by the conductor. Last year while I was travelling within Berlin, I bought a wrong ticket which was more expensive than the one I should buy. The ticket inspector found out it was a wrong ticket and fined me 40€!
22:26 January 24, 2012 by mos101392
The German conductor doesn't always get the money. One time, as a young American soldier stationed in Mannheim, I bought a ticket and didn't know I had to stamp it. Later the conductor looked at my ticket and saw it wasn't stamped, fined me 50 euros...I really didn't know I had to stamp it!

However, my Mom and Grandma visited me from California and took the S-Bahn to Heidelberg to go shopping, (30km from where I live). They missed their stop and saw more of Germany than I did in my 20 years here. When they finally came home, it was late, and I asked them what took so long. They then explained that they missed their stop in Heidelberg and ended up on a really fast, white, train first to Kaiserslautern, Baden Baden, Karlsruhl, Stuttgart ect ect. Not sure what order but at one time the train had to back up to let them off. They also said at one point a German asked them something, (they think he was asking for tickets), but they shrugged their shoulders because neither knew a word of German and he evidently didn't speak a word of English so they just kept going. Eventually, after I lost ten years of my life worrying about why my Mom and Grandma had not come home, not knowing where the Hell they where the whole night, they walked through the door. So they saw more of Germany in 5 -10 hours than I did in 20+yrs,,,and all on the cost a 30km s-bahn ticket.
00:47 January 25, 2012 by zeddriver
I saw on the news. That Costa cruise lines is offering all the people they tried to kill a 30% discount coupon for their next Costa holiday. Yikes!
16:20 January 27, 2012 by MiscellaneousZA
@mos101392 I had no idea I had to stamp the ticket either, the poor conductor couldnt talk english and i tried in my broken german.... needless to say... he showed me what to do and said "next time, ja!"
22:16 January 27, 2012 by Dizz
The conductor did have discretion and chose not to use it. Recently I had a Rail&Fly voucher, the type where they email you a code number to punch into the ticket machine at the station before boarding the train and the machine is supposed to print a proper ticket. My code didn't work. I went to the ticket office (at Frankfurt airport as it happens) and explained. The man tried my code and saidf it wasn't valid. But instead of making me buy a new ticket he told me to catch the train and printed out an extract from the company rules which he told me to show the conductor. In due course I did so and the conductor instead of issuing me a fine or kicking me of the train issued a voucher instead, a show-cause of sorts and took down my address. The voucher showed the amount for the travel and the fine and said it would have to be paid in two weeks unless I was able to sort the problem out and prove I had a valid right to be on that train. So I got home safely, contacted the airline and they took care of it. I even got a letter from DB confirming that the matter was closed as far as they were concerned and apologising for any inconvenience. So it all went very smoothly although I suspect this was in large part down to the guy at the Frankfurt station arming me with that piece of paper. Maybe the conductor would have screwed me otherwise.
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