Oh, German train travel. Buzzing along on the modern ICE or even the regional trains it seems possibly archaic that the conductor still has to come around to check tickets, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t Germany, a world leader in engineering and innovation, have thought up something a bit more efficient? Well it appears so. According to Deutsche Bahn, you may be able to check in for your train reservation right form the comfort of your smartphone.
Independence to validate as you wish
Passengers on selected ICE high speed trains can now play a game of conductor, with the ability to check in via the “Comfort Check-In” option on the DB Navigator App. All you have to do is find your seat reservation (which must be booked ahead of time for an extra fee) and open the trains online WiFi, open the DB App and then validate your own tickets.
Once the ticket has been validated, the information is sent to the train attendant, so there is no need to show your ticket again once the conductor arrives in the car for the control. This also means no rushing around the figure out where you put your ticket as the warning sign “Einmal die Fahrkarten bitte!” or “tickets please” bellows for the conductor!
DB says there are two main advantages
According to Michael Peterson, the marketing director at Deutsche Bahn, this self-validation proess has two main advantages:
“People who want a more relaxed journey without ticket control from the train attendant can check in using DB Navigator, furthermore our employees now have more time to meet individual customer requirements.”
Still in the testing phases
If you feel more comfortable with the face to face ticket check, have no fear, this “Comfort Check-In” is still in the testing phases. It’s currently being trialed on high speed trains running from Dortmund to Stuttgart, Stuttgart to Essen, Hamburg to Berlin and Hamburg to Munich.
As well, Deutsche Bahn says they won’t make this digital check-in compulsory. Rather, as a side option for those looking to make their journey just a little more relaxing.
In other train news…
A young schoolgirl recently found €14,000 inside a purse on a Berlin U-Bahn. But she brought the findings immediately to the police and was handsomely rewarded with a €420 prize.
In another part of the city, ticket collectors who caught a fare dodger on the city’s Ubahn line was allegedly attacked by a group of four individuals. The collector apparently alerted the police after the dodger refused to show identification. While they were waiting at the train station for police to arrive, the individuals began hitting, kicking and even pinching the collectors while a crowd cheered them on. The fare dodger escaped and the collectors received only minor injuries.