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Fine scam on Frankfurt airport train

Within 10 minutes of leaving the Frankfurt airport I had received a Fine for 60E, $80.00. for not having a ticket on the train. I tried buying one before entering the train, but; because my E were 9 years old the machine would not accept them The transit police were very unforgiving and unwilling to take responsibility for their machines dysfunction. Its not obvious that one needs a ticket and credit cards are not accepted. There is an Officer whose job it is to travel this train

Posted by
2092 posts

It must have been obvious, though, or you wouldn't have tried to buy a ticket. Wasn't there also a manned window?

Posted by
1092 posts

This is NOT a scam!!! You broke the law!

Posted by
6171 posts

Its not obvious that one needs a ticket

Are you saying the Transit Officer scammed you? Were you in an impossible situation that could not have been resolved any other way than simply skipping out on the ticket purchase?

ATMs are good at dispensing nice clean bills (in case you don't have any). There are always multiple machines (so try another one). If all else fails, go to ticket booth with a live person who can help you.

Posted by
4468 posts

There is a manned ticket office at both railway stations at Frankfurt airport.

You were not fined - €60 is the fare payable if you have not bought a ticket.

Posted by
3 posts

There was only one machine and no ticket office. That would be the other train line the audabon. Many trains in the US accept payment on the Train. I traveled the trains for 5 days and never saw a transit officer checking for tickets. This was clearly targeted a tourists.

Posted by
2546 posts

You say that this was clearly targeted at tourists. Why do you conclude that? Because they stopped you and you are a tourist? Did they check no one else on the train? Or did they go around and ask if people were German and then charged only non-Germans who did not have tickets? Yes, there are lots of places in the world where you can buy a ticket on the train but most of them that I have been to charge extra for that privilege. You can think of the 60 euros as a fine or you can think of it as it paying for the privilege of being able to buy the the ticket on the train. That privilege is not granted for free.

Posted by
16827 posts

The infrequent checks are the reason why the no-ticket fare is so high. It works the same way in Berlin. There are inspectors, but not on every train, which would be very costly for the transit authority. The odds are that you could ride quite a few times without running into a ticket inspector. If the penalty for doing that were simply to pay the ordinary fare, a lot of people probably wouldn't bother to buy a ticket. This way, the point is made, and you won't be tempted to ride without a ticket again, because it's not cost-effective.

Posted by
2353 posts

Why not just get more Euros? Yes you can pay for a ticket on an commuter train but you pay a premium for that luxury. Well you paid the premium in Germany...lesson learned. Not a scam. Sorry you had to learn the hard way...don't let it spoil your trip. Seems to me Euro 60 is less than some other countries will charge you!

Posted by
11553 posts

Within 10 minutes of leaving the Frankfurt airport I had received a
Fine for 60E, $80.00. for not having a ticket on the train. I tried
buying one before entering the train, but; because my E were 9 years
old the machine would not accept them.

Then why didn't you go to an ATM and get newer euros?

The transit police were very unforgiving and unwilling to take
responsibility for their machines dysfunction. Its not obvious that
one needs a ticket and credit cards are not accepted. There is an
Officer whose job it is to travel this train.

I've never been on any sort of train in Europe that didn't require possession of a ticket or pass before boarding. And yes, the authorities are unforgiving if caught without one as they've heard every 'dog ate my homework' story in the book.

There is an Officer whose job it is to travel this train.

Yes, there was but not every day; just the day you managed to get caught. It's no different in other countries. Heck, in Italy, you not only have to have the ticket but for certain trains it has to have been validated as well so you don't try to re-use it: you can get a big fine for not having it time-stamped.

That would be the other train line the audabon.

I think you mean autobahn....which is a road and not a train.

Many trains in the US accept payment on the Train.

Where? I've never been on a commuter or light-rail train in the U.S. that allowed ticket purchases once ON them; only buses. Not impossible, I guess, but I've never heard of it. Even so, it's best to do some homework on how transit systems work abroad before faced with them. You can't expect they work the same way as in the U.S.

I traveled the trains for 5 days and never saw a transit officer
checking for tickets. This was clearly targeted a tourists.

Checks are entirely random and target no one in particular. Even locals try to dodge the systems.

Sorry you had an unfortunate experience but this was no scam: you needed a ticket and didn't have one. If you really didn't have any other way around that broken machine (weren't other travelers buying tickets?) then it was up to you to find someone of authority - an information booth on another level, say - and ask for some help.

Posted by
2353 posts

Actually I was thinking OP meant Duetsche Bahn and may have been on a Regional Bahn train - just my guess.

Posted by
4468 posts

It is also possible to buy a ticket from a human in the Regionalbahnhof according to the RMV website. There isn't just one machine in total there either, although it could be all might reject old notes.

On the platform level itself there are only machines.

Posted by
3262 posts

Gentlesea, where were you when you got on the train?

The Fernbahnhof for long-distance trains is on the bottom level at the Frankfurt airport, Terminal 1, Area B. One level up on the ground floor (Level 0) is the Regionalbahnhof for regional trains. Both have DB (Deutsche Bahn) information stations to provide train passengers with German railway information. There are ATMs listed on Level 0, as well as on Level 1 where there are also bank branches.

Posted by
6171 posts

This is like trying to park in a space with a broken parking meter. More often than not, you'll get a parking ticket regardless of the malfunctioning meter. That's the chance one takes for trying to get something for nothing.

Posted by
2546 posts

People have to do a little research before they travel and learn the rules of their destinations, including the rules on mass transit. You can't say that in the US you can buy tickets on commuter trains because the rules differ from system to system. For example, here in California, Caltrain is what they call a Proof-of-Payment system and tickets are not sold onboard trains. You must have a valid ticket or face a fine of up to $250 plus court fees. On the other hand, I used to live in New York City and there the suburban commuter trains sell tickets on the train and the fee for buying on train is usually less than $15 per ticket. But on NY commuter trains, there is a ticket check on every train so there is no real expectation that people will think that they can ride more than one stop without paying. I have lived in California for about 10 years and I am yet to see a ticket inspection despite using Caltrain pretty frequently. The fewer the ticket inspections, the greater the penalty in order to incentivize people to buy a ticket. The OP did not want to spend the time to look for a staffed booth or a new ATM, took a chance, and paid the price.

Posted by
15577 posts

Yes, you can buy tickets on SEPTA trains (Philly) and METRA trains (Chicago), and there is a surcharge if the station ticket window is open where you board. But these trains usually have 2 conductors checking everybody's ticket, and selling tickets to people. Very old fashioned and expensive for the transit operators. Europe is way ahead on this, with only spot checks on occasions. And airport trains are likely to have more frequent checks because, yes, out-of-towners don't generally know the ropes of local transit.

Posted by
3 posts

No one here was trying to ride for free. If a city is collecting fines for riding without a ticket, the least they can do is insure that the machines that issue the tickets take all the money old and new. This is not an issue that concerns everyone as most people don't have old euros. But the inflexible attitude of the officers is. This is not a matter of hearing every story ever told to get out of paying. I suggested to both the officer and his supervisor that they come back to the airport station and try the machine with my money but they refused. Its not like it was out of his way. The deceitful part is that there is an officer whose job it is to ride on the airport train where most passengers are from out of town or country and are unaware of the rules,, and do regular checks while doing spot checks everywhere else in the city. I find this very inhospitable. I think its great that they have an honor system for train and bus with occasional spot checking but they need to make there rules more obvious to travelers and and take responsibility when there technology is not up to snuff. I stand by my initial statement. The Frankfurt train is a trap for travelers

Posted by
6171 posts

Have you ever tried an ATM that's down momentarily? Or a candy machine that won't take your dollar? Or an old parking meter that's broken? Do you honestly think that there is a machine out there that is working 100% of the time and isn't down for some small fraction of the time for whatever reason? I don't know what you mean by "old" Euros...are you using Deutschmarks out of circulation or something? All you had to do was hit up an ATM machine and get new ones. If it helps, the forum gets complaints all the time from people who are unaware and think someone is applying uniform rules to them arbitrarily instead of just saying "oh well, things happen...I had bad luck, but I bear some responsibility for the outcome". A scam implies that someone was trying to cheat you. Look up the rules on the transit system you took and you'll find some language about what the fine is if caught without a ticket. Germans are known for their rule-abiding nature - I wouldn't expect them to show a lot of flexibility.

Posted by
516 posts

The fact remains, you boarded a train without a ticket, regardless of the circumstances behind why you couldn't get a ticket. It's still a violation. That's sort of like walking into grocery store and not finding any cashiers available to and walking out without paying and saying, "well, I had to have my groceries and no one was available to take my money, so I have every right to just walk out without paying." Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

Posted by
11613 posts

You tried, you failed, the appropriate law was applied.

Hospitality has nothing to do with it.

Posted by
17653 posts

I have some questions.

Which FRA bahnhof (Fern- or Regional-)? What time of day? I've never used an Automat in the Fernbahnhof, but I have seen them. All DB Automats take credit cards. The ticket counter in the Fernbahnhof is open long hours. I've used DB Automats in the Regional Bahnhof, with a credit card.

When did this occur? Many years ago, not all DB Automats accepted credit cards. But for a number of years, now, DB automats have accepted credit cards.

How did you know that the euro were nine years old and invalid? Did the ticket automat display that information?

What train did you get on? An S-Bahn from the Regionalbahnhof? A long distance train from the Fernbahnhof to a distant city, like Berlin?

Posted by
7645 posts

Someone is pulling your leg about the 9 year old euro bills not being accepted. That's a new one. Who told you this?

That said, there are 6 ticket machines upstairs at the Regional train station. Sometimes a machine just won't take your bills, especially f they are wrinkled, have a corner folded down, or are torn. The age of the bill is irrelevant. Sometimes it won't take my debit card, so I just move to the next machine. Easy peasy.

Local transportation companies do not accept credit cards for tickets unless you go to a DB counter to buy your ticket. You will pay an extra 2 € for this service.

I go to the airport about 5 days a week from Frankfurt. The ticket checkers may check me 4 times one week, and then it will be 2-3 weeks before I get checked. It is random. There are 1000's of commuters on those trains that stop at the airport going into Frankfurt. People that live in Wiesbaden or other towns along the line. This isn't just an airport train and it isn't just tourists.

Any idea how many people try to weasel their way out of not having a ticket on the trains? The ticket checkers have heard every story there is.

Posted by
17653 posts

He hasn't replied as to how he knew the bills were too old. I don't think an automat displays that message. I suspect it rejected the bill for one of the reasons you suggested, and he just assumed it was the age of the bills. In 2001, I tried to use German Mark left over from a previous trip to Germany in 1989 at a ticket counter, and I was told they were no longer valid, and I would have to go to a specific bank to exchange them, but I don't think any bill designs have been retired since the euro came out in 2002.

Local transportation companies do not accept credit cards for tickets
unless you go to a DB counter to buy your ticket.

On the opening screen for the DB Automat, it has a touch-pad (lower right) for the local Verkehrverbund, and the Bahn automats do take credit cards. Can't you use the Bahn automat to purchase RMV tickets with a credit card, or does the machine lock out the credit card option for local tickets? P.S., I know the RMV Automat has a card slot and accepts EC cards. Are those the only ones it accepts?

Posted by
3262 posts

I can see so many ways this kerfuffle could have been avoided if the OP had maybe groused a little, taken a deep breath, counted to 10 and taken responsibility to report the problem to the DB info desk. That most likely would've led to learning what was needed to properly buy the ticket.

But that also would've taken some time to do and it appears that the OP didn't want to spend that time to do the task correctly. The choice was to take a risk and and the result was having to buy a very expensive ticket for the journey. (As has been already stated, it was not a fine.)

Not being a very patient person myself, this was a good lesson for me to slow down and think rather than just react when things don't go exactly as expected.

Posted by
5308 posts

Side note -- I know I have had bills rejected by machines in the U.S. because they were "old" , that is, soft and/or crumpled instead of crisp. And yes, I grumble at the machine while digging through my purse for a fresher bill or coins. But I don't hop on BART without a ticket.

Posted by
11613 posts

One more thing: trains to/from the airport run frequently, the OP could have taken care of the problem properly and caught the very next train.

Posted by
11553 posts

So why is it so often on these Forums that whenever somebody breaks
the law and gets caught - no matter if it is a ZTL or getting caught
speeding, or traveling without a ticket, or smuggling food, or
breaking a cheap airline rule or wanting that extra inch of luggage -
it is a scam?

I guess that's what bothers me about so many first-time posters yelling "Scam!" Besides the alleged scam too often being a simple lack of reading some fine print, doing some homework or thinking a violation can be talked out of via the excuse of being a tourist, it needlessly frightens novice travelers reading the forums. Heaven knows there are already enough of them out there with the erroneous perception that Europe is a collective den of thieves and scammers. I'm personally happy to say that hasn't been the case for us.

A heads-up on procedures, customs and potential pitfalls that are good to be aware of is fine but not labeling them as scams when they're not?

Posted by
4499 posts

No sympathy here either. You cannot ride a train without a ticket. Period. Whatever the reason, even without ill-will on your part, it is still your responsibility to board the train with a valid ticket.

German transit systems generally work on the honor system with spot checks for compliance. There was a reasonable chance that you could have gotten away with it, but not that time. I've seen plenty of spot checks and people fined on the spot for not having a ticket.

There are often complications to getting tickets that tourists face. Machines that won't accept US or non-chip credit cards is a common one. Mis-undersanding what type of ticket to buy is another. Not understanding that a ticket must be time-stamped (validated) before boarding is another. And because they may not know the rules, tourists often get hit with fines because of it. But ignorance of the law is no excuse and if even transit system waved off every tourist that didn't get a proper ticket, they'd lose a lot of money that is needed to keep the systems operating. I've been caught a few times and had to pay fines so your not alone. And it most definitely is NOT a scam. Take it as a lesson learned and/or a post to educate others, but don't expect sympathy or for us to agree it was a scam.

PS - The Chicago Metra system allows fares to be paid on the trains. When the ticket offices are open, the fare comes with a penalty charge. When closed, there is no extra charge. When closed, the ticket offices have a sign to pay fare on the train.

Posted by
4499 posts

A story about the challenges of riding a European train:

A few years ago I was in the Netherlands and visiting a few different cities as a daytrip from Amsterdam. Train stations there do not accept credit cards without a chip and PIN so I could only pay cash. Except the machines only took coins. And the coin change machine at this station was broken. There was no open service window. I was able to cobble together enough change to get to the next major station, where I could then buy a ticket from a service window.

Now, I could have just boarded the train and if checked for a ticket, pleaded that my credit card was not accepted, the machines wouldn't take bills and the change machine was broken. I chose not to take that risk and frankly it was a PIA to make an extra stop on my way home for the night. But I feel confident that if confronted, I would have been paying a hefty fine no matter my valid excuses and wasn't willing to risk it.

Posted by
17653 posts

BTW, 60 euro has not been $80 (OP) for over three years. When did this happen?

Was the 60 euro on top of the cost of the ticket to where you were going?

Did he accept the 9 year old euro for the fine?

Just a thought: Local, RMV automats don't accept credit cards (except the EC-Karte), but Bahn machines do. Since you say the machine did not take credit cards, it must have been an RMV automat, for a trip to, say, Mainz or Hanau. That fare would not have been very much. Since automats only give change in coins, they often limit the notes they take to smaller ones. Both the DB and RMV automats display the types (coins and notes) of cash (Bargeld) that can be used as payment. They will generally accept 5, 10, 20, and 50 euro notes, but for a specific purchase some of the larger notes will be crossed out. For instance, the RMV tutorial shows the 20 and 50 euro note crossed out for a purchase of 2,40€. Did you try to give it a note that was too big and not accepted, like a 50 euro?

I traveled the trains for 5 days and never saw a transit officer
checking for tickets.

Another indication it was a local train, probably an S-Bahn. They, trains that don't have conductors to check tickets, and those where tickets have to be "validated", are the ones with random checks by ticket inspectors.

Posted by
17653 posts

As for the nine year old note theory, the ECB (European Central Bank) has just (2013) started issuing the second series of Euro bank notes, redesigned to make them harder to counterfeit. It started with the 5€ note in 2013 and the 10€ note in 2014.

Here is the article about the new 20€ note, which entered circulation in Nov of last year. Note the articles says, "The €20 banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender and continue to circulate alongside the new notes ...". I'm sure the same holds true for the 5 and 10 euro notes. So, there is no such thing as "9 year old notes" that aren't accepted.

Here is another article. "The date when the first series of euro banknotes ceases to be legal tender will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will always retain their value: they can be exchanged for an unlimited period of time at the Eurosystem NCBs.". As far as I can determine, no announcement has been made concerning Series 1 ceasing to be legal tender.

I'm inclined to believe that the used a large note for a small purchase. An automat only accepts notes up to a certain value limit because it gives the change in coins. This limit is noted at the machine.

Posted by
516 posts

On the bright side, this thread now has an overwhelming ABUNDANCE of information with regards to ticket machines (even specific machines), how to purchase tickets, specifically where such a machine/ticket window is located, etc. If anyone found themselves in a similar predicament as the OP, this thread is likely to solve every possible permutation of outcome.

Posted by
2040 posts

I would like to add to that Netherlands ticket problem story. In April 2015, we were unable to complete the transaction for tickets at the machines at the Middleburg station, tried with 3 different cards. No ticket office there. A person was assisting us, and told us to get the "error message", which I thought referred to a computer problem. Nope, it referred to the inability to complete the transaction, and allowed the conductor to issue us our tickets on board at the regular price, without the severe penalty. This, BTW, was the only time in 13 Dutch rail trips that we have ever been checked for tickets.

Do the German machines offer this?

Posted by
17653 posts

I know I've read, probably on the Bahn website, that you can purchase the ticket on board the train if the machine where you started your trip is not working, but I don't know how they confirm this. But I don't think this would apply to a situation where you just didn't have a small enough note.

According to the Bahn website, under any circumstances you can purchase tickets for Bahn trains on board. I think the Bordpreis is 10% more than the full fare price. However, this does not apply to local trains or the S-Bahns. There, you must have a ticket to board the train.

Update: From what I can see on the AGB (Conditions of Carriage) of the Bahn (which is only in German), if, on the train, you can't produce a ticket for any reason, you can pay the Bordpreis and they will give you documentation that you did so. Then you have 14 days to present a previously bought, valid ticket (or a BahnCard), or get them to confirm that the automat was not working, then they will refund the Bordpreis or the added price. I think this is true for trains of the Nahverkehr as well as the Fernverkehr, where a conductor checks you ticket, but not for trains or the S-Bahn in metro districts, where it "mostly" on the honor system.

I know on the Austrian S-Bahn from Wörgl to Innsbruck, there are signs that warn you not to board the train without a ticket. There are no conductors on the train to sell you a ticket, but there are fare inspectors to fine you if you don't have a ticket.

Posted by
7645 posts

In situations where there is only 1 ticket machine at your stop and it is broken, you can inform the conductor (if there is one on your train) or possibly the driver immediately so they can call it in to get it repaired. They may have you get off at the next stop to buy a ticket, so you need to be ready to do this quickly. This works for the trams, U-bahns or S-bahns in cities. I have done this, so I speak from experience. The machine needs to be truly broken, not just a situation where your bill was too big, or too wrinkled for the machine to accept.

From the RMV website:
What if the machine is out of order?
If there is no other option for purchasing tickets at the station or the stop (i.e. if there are no other ticket machines or a sales window), you will have to buy a ticket on board the service, if possible. This does not present a problem for bus journeys. On rail journeys, please inform the station/train staff and/or the conductor immediately that the machine is out of order.
Please note: Make a note of the machine number and the transport company responsible. You will find this information on the bottom edge of the machine sign.
To report a machine that is out of order, please click on Regional transport companies or Your local contact.
To report a DB machine that is out of order, please contact automatenmeldung@deutschebahn.com.

AGAIN - EURO bills do not expire!

On Regional trains, if you tell the conductor right away they can sell you a ticket. Make sure you look for them right at the beginning of your journey. For long distance trains, you can wait until the conductor comes around but do look for them and be ready to buy your ticket. I have often bought my ticket on the ICE going between Frankfurt and Cologne. It costs you more money to do this of course.

Posted by
12099 posts

If the Frankfurt train is a trap, then I'd better take it to see if I fall victim to it. I'll be flying to FRA in May. You don't buy a ticket on the train in Germany, don't you read the sign "Zutriit mit gültigem Fahrausweis." If you get checked (kontrolliert) with a ticket that's invalid, you're caught plain and simple. If the machine is out, then you go to a next one. The only trains where you buy the ticket on board is in Austria on Westbahn. A Euro is an Euro, no matter how old it is. I 've never seen a ticket machine in Germany that doesn't accept cash.

Why should the transit police be forgiving, totally not their responsibility. For a train ticket DB machines take US credit cards period. The pictogram shows it. I never had a DB machine refuse my American magnetic stripe credit card which I still bring over there.

In Paris Gare du Nord a few years back, I went up to the ticket counter to buy Metro tickets, the carnet, the guy wouldn't help me, didn't want to deal with me, just pointed to the machine, which did not work, after a while I realised it was defective. He may have known that, ie sending me to a defective machine. I decided to wait the guy out, ie strategy of attrition, it worked, his colleague took his place behind the counter, I bought the carnet.

Posted by
12099 posts

DB ticket machines are the easiest, most tourist friendly, to use, particularly to Americans with their chip and signature or magnetic stripe credit cards,. You read the pictograms, or the German or the English. The machines takes both cash (coin and bills) and credit cards. Train ticket machines in the other countries (France, Holland, etc) are certainly not so accommodating to US tourists as regards to choice of payment.

Posted by
7645 posts

Fred, the OP was trying to buy a ticket for local transportation and this is not possible with a credit card. If you had read all of the posts, this is very clear. I live here. Believe me, you can't.
Also, yes, you can buy a ticket on the German ICE trains. I have done this many times. You can't buy them on regional trains or local S-bahns, Ubahns, or Strassenbahns, though you can on a bus.

Posted by
607 posts

If it was a defective machine, i suggest using your phone and video the machine rejecting your money. Give you a case to argue or maybe get a refund of the fine later.

But it does sound like it is a case of defective money (i.e. Too wrinkled, worn or faded to be read properly). IMO, that would be the OP's responsibility. Otherwise, all fare cheaters could just launder their money and ride for free.

Posted by
17653 posts

But it does sound like it is a case of defective money

Sound more to me like the OP used a note (50€?) that was too big for the purchase amount. Notice that the OP never answered my question about what sized note he used. For a small purchase, the Automat will show the 50€ note and the 20€ note crossed out. Also notice he also has not posted for two weeks. Probably went away because he didn't get any sympathy - maybe because he found out it was his fault.

Posted by
440 posts

Why not just use another machine this is not a scam it is you not purchasing a ticket and you were punished for this i am afraid to say

Posted by
17653 posts

Why not just use another machine

The OP has already claimed that (as far as he knew) there was no other machine. Had he found another machine, he probably would have had the same problem. Jo has already confirmed that RMV machines don't take credit cards. Bahn automats do accept credit cards as payment for Bahn tickets, but they might not for RMV tickets. In that case the credit card icons would have been crossed out in the payment window, as would have been the larger notes.

This apparently happened on the S-Bahn, and S-Bahn fares are usually minimal (ex. 4,65€ to the Hbf). The automats give change only in coins, so the change from a 20€ note, or particularly a 50€ note, would be a lot of coins, so they don't accept large notes for small fares.

As I said, this must have happened years ago. The OP states that the 60€ fine was $80 US. That's $1.33/€. The last time the exchange rate was that high was in August of 2014.

Posted by
7645 posts

The fine just went up a year or so ago from 40 € to 60€. So this was not years ago. Just some people have no sense of how much a dollar is worth compared to the euro or they bought their euro at a money exchange. There is the real rip-off.

Posted by
17653 posts

or they bought their euro at a money exchange

Maybe so and the money was counterfeit and that's why the automat rejected it. Never thought of that. I assumed since he said that they were nine years old he had brought them back from a previous trip nine years ago.

Posted by
7645 posts

Nobody wastes their time and effort to make 5, 10, or 20 € counterfeit bills. They don't exist.

Posted by
4468 posts

For some countries counterfeiters can concentrate on the €20 note including those of the newest design because it is the highest denomination most commonly used there without getting extra scrutiny. Examples are Ireland and Italy. Some might find their way back to Germany ...

Posted by
8889 posts

A big supermarket in Germany which I go to often has note checkers at every till. They don''t just put €100 and €50 notes through the machine, but also €20 and €10, which surprised me so they must have encountered some fakes.
Bank cash machines (ATM's) give out €50 and €100 (occasionally €20); but train ticket machines only give out change in coins, and a limited amount. So I always keep a supply of €1 and €2 coins, as well as €5 and €10 notes for the machines. €20 works, but only if your fare is at least €15.
And the fines for not having a ticket are well signposted, there is no excuse.
On the Swiss side of the border the fine is CHF 100, but a monthly "Abo" (season ticket) costs CHF 76, being legal is a lot cheaper than cheating the system.

Posted by
17653 posts

Bank cash machines (ATM's) give out €50 and €100 (occasionally €20)

Every ATM I have ever used in Germany, and it's a bunch, has given the first 100 euro in small notes (2@20€, 4@10€, 4@5€), the rest in 50s.

Posted by
16827 posts

I once received a couple of 100-euro notes from an ATM. Don't remember which country it happened in, but that was when I started making a lot of small withdrawals (I pay no ATM-withdrawal fee). There are too many countries, Italy among them, where small stores and restaurants flinch when they need to make change for anything other than the smallest possible note.

I'm old enough to remember receiving sticks of gum as change in the pre-euro days, because there just weren't enough small coins circulating in Italy. The more things change...

Posted by
840 posts

Nobody wastes their time and effort to make 5, 10, or 20 € counterfeit bills. They don't exist.

I received a counterfeit 2€ coin in Dresden once. I only noticed when a ticket vending machine wouldn't accept it. At first glance the faces looked more of less ok but the edges were completely smooth. Upon further inspection next to a genuine coin it was clear the fake was rather "blurry". 20€ bills definitely exist which is why the extra security features were added in the last few years.

DJ

Posted by
12099 posts

From an ATM I've gotten a 100 Euro bill, very rare but has happened, which was the last thing I needed because I wanted 20 Euro and 50 Euro bills. This was in Berlin.