Category Archives: trains

>The truth about buying international train tickets in Denmark


ICE TDImage by kaffeeeinstein via Flickr

THE OTHER day, I was at Copenhagen Central Station to buy some tickets to Frankfurt.

The first time I tried, the international sales desk was closed. I duly came back later in the day and asked for  the price of a 4-berth cabin from Copenhagen to Frankfurt and back in August. The conversation went something like this…:

Sales clerk: “I can’t tell you. I can’t, unless you want to buy the tickets. That’s the only way I can tell you how much it will be.”

Me: “But I spoke to a colleague of yours a few months ago and he told me a price of 4000 Danish crowns.”

SC (signing, and picking up a clipboard, which she scans): “It would be around 1200 crowns each.”

Me: “Is that for a cabin?”

SC: “That’s just for the basics. No add-ons!” she snapped.

Me: “So you can’t tell me the cost of a cabin?”

SC: “Not unless you buy the tickets.”

Me (shrugging): “Ok, I’ll buy the tickets.”

SC: “You can’t.”

Me: “I can’t?”

SC: “I am too busy right now,” she answered looking over my shoulder at the queue behind me.

Me: “But I waited for 15 minutes in the queue.”

SC: “I have to serve these people first.”

Me: “So even if you could tell me the price of the tickets, you wouldn’t sell them to me?”

SC: “That’s right.”

Me: “Wow. What a great system you have.”

SC: “I didn’t design it. Try our website”

I left. Subsequently bought my tickets on Deutsche Bahn‘s website. Denmark‘s had no online facility. It did, however, have the email address of their CEO Søren Eriksen. I sent him a mail about my experiences.

Strangely, no reply at the time of writing.

Update 11/8/2010:

“”We sincerely regret the circumstances on the 6th of July, when you went to inquire about a ticket fare for Frankfurt.
It is not usual practice that our passengers should feel forced to buy a ticket just to be informed about the fare, and we are very sorry about the treatment you experienced when visiting our ticket office.
We thank you for your e-mail to us and promise we will make sure this will not happen again.
Yours sincerely,
xxx xxxxxx
DSB Customer service”

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