On a recent trip to Vienna, my wife and I bought subway tickets at the entrance machine before entering the subway. We had trouble understanding the instructions on the machine; there was no ticket booth; there were no officials nearby to ask questions, only people rushing by we couldn’t ask for help.
We purchased a combined ticket for us both. Then, on the train, a subway policeman showed us his identification and checked our ticket.
We were told that we had purchased the wrong ticket. He had us leave the train at the next stop and took us to an ATM machine on the platform, where he had us withdraw 100 Euros to pay a fine.
We were embarrassed and unnerved by this and being tourists felt this was uncalled for. A warning ticket would have better proved the point and ended the encounter without leaving a bad impression of Vienna as we left the city the next day.
My wife later wrote to the Vienna Ubahn protesting the fine that we considered unwarranted. A reply from the Vienna office supported the policeman saying that regardless of our tourist status, we had broken the law.
As much as we loved visiting Vienna, this will leave a bad taste for us about our visit.