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Possible penalty on non-validation of train ticket in Italy

We are a group of four. On the last day of our trip on the express train to Malpensa Airport Milan, we were caught by a conductor on train for non-validation of our train ticket. Each fine is 17 euros.
This is our bad experience in the whole trip. We would like to share.
1. We hold a two countries pass -Switzerland and Italy. We planned to use this pass for train running to Milan airport.
2. Unfortunately, ticket officer told us we cannot use Eurail Pass on this train. Therefore, we pay for tickets on top of Eurail Pass.
3. Worse come to worse, we had forgotten to validate the tickets at Terminal before we abroad. Finally we pay another fine of 17 euros for each one.

Tips for you.
Please remember to validate train ticket at terminal in italy.
Please avoid use Eurail pass to travel in Italy. They do not accept Eurail pass on EXpress train to airport.
Moreover, reservation is required on express train, which costs you 10 euros. Single trip ticket costs you 13 euros.
For long haul trip, advance purchase can save a lot of money.
Cheap ticket at 9 euros 2nd class from milano to zurich can be purchased online provided 3 months in advance. Reservation fee 10 euros is included.

Posted by
1120 posts

You were lucky it was only 17 euros each !

Reading this forum would have confirmed that rail passes in Italy are rarely useful - point to point is the way to go.

And don't let a "bad experience" be your memories of your fabulous trip !

Posted by
12388 posts

Good advice. In many cases, Eurail passes don't pay in Italy, where tickets are not as expensive as other European countries.

Regarding validating tickets on regional trains. That is necessary because there were a lot of smarty pants Italians who didn't validate it and used the same ticket over and over again (Italians like to evade taxes and also fares). To mitigate that possibility, last year Trenitalia made a change to the rules. Basically the regional tickets are not open ended. When you purchase, the ticket must state the date when the travel will actually take place (some people used the same tickets for months, without validating), in addition to the requirement that you need to validate before boarding.

Posted by
6158 posts

I commend you for accepting that you screwed this up; so many people whine about the enforcement. Alas most of us sometimes learn this sort of thing the hard way. A small mistake in the variety of possible mistakes people make traveling.

Posted by
16878 posts

A €17 fine sounds light, but that may be because the airport route is such a short, cheap train ride with no potential to go further. A fine for traveling without a valid ticket on the national railways could easily be €50 per person, plus the price of a new ticket.

Rail passes don't necessarily cover private railways in Europe and one such example is the Malpensa Express. See our info at https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/italy-rail-passes.

Yes, pass holder seat reservations for faster Trenitalia trains do cost €10 each. How this compares to a regular ticket price depends considerably on the route and on when you buy the ticket. (I don't know which route you're comparing for €13.) Even people using passes for some longer trips need not buy a day to cover every single trip if the cost of the ticket will be cheaper than the cost of the extra pass day. That's a comparison we recommend making before you buy.

Posted by
120 posts

Thank you for this post. I did not realize I could by regional tickets in advance! Just booked my & made a mental note to validate! Sorry for your experience.

Posted by
16171 posts

If you buy an on-line print-at-home ticket, it will be printed on a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 paper that will not fit in the stamping machines. Instead, it will have the date and a 4 hour time window that it is valid. If you buy a ticket at a station in Italy, it will be printed on IBM card stock, and that needs to be validated (and it fits in the stamping machines).

Posted by
11613 posts

A fellow passenger on the MXP Express was fined €17 for not having a validated ticket two weeks ago. Could have been worse, I think, but the total was the ticket cost and a small fine.