Germany’s long-distance rail network – Deutsche Bahn – has changed its ticketing rules for 2022, meaning that it will no longer be possible to buy a paper ticket from the train staff after boarding.
Previously, travellers in a hurry could pay for their journey retrospectively after boarding – with a surcharge of 17 euros for the ticket service on the train.
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However, late-running passengers will still be able to purchase a ticket via the app or the rail website up to ten minutes after departure of the train.
What are the fines?
Boarding a Deutsche Bahn train without a paper or an online ticket could get very expensive.
According to the new rules, passengers without a ticket will be charged double the fare, with a minimum fine of 60 euros. In extreme cases, Deutsche Bahn could charge double the flex fare for the entire train connection, which could mean a charge of up to 300 euros.
The only exceptions to the rule are for severely disabled people, who may continue to purchase their tickets from staff onboard the train and receive an invoice at a later date.
Travellers are therefore advised to buy a ticket before boarding, either online, at the ticket office or at a ticket machine.
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What if there is no ticket office, the ticket machine is defective or there is no internet connection?
If there is no ticket counter and no other functioning ticket machine, then a ticket should be purchased online. Anyone who quickly buys a ticket online after departure must do so within a time limit of 10 minutes. If they don’t do so within the time limit, they will have to pay a fine.
However, if the mobile connection in the train is too poor, or if the WIFI connection is disrupted, the train staff will check the situation and, in appropriate circumstances, will allow the ticket to be purchased on board.