A Page from the Swiss Rule Book: 1st Class

Post by Lauren

I wish this lesson for you hadn’t come with a 150 franc fine for us (equivalent of $200 USD) but unfortunately there is no such thing as a second chance or a warning in the minds of the Switzerland train patrol.

We have frequently ridden RER, regional trains, as it is the most direct way to get to and from the airport. Swiss trains are immaculate, perfect, and once they have had a good life riding along on the pristine swiss railways, it becomes their turn to be set free in the pasture. With the pasture being the airport and RER routes that are 15 minutes tops, and don’t require a world-class choo-choo.

You can ride these RER trains for the same price as a TPG ticket, so 3 CHF, or for us, free since we have an annual abonnement for public transport. From the airport, its literally free to encourage tourism.

What we didn’t know was that these little regional trains actually have a designation of first and second class. We went for the short line when boarding the train back from Russin, but mistakenly entered the first class cabin. No clue. No less than 30 seconds after the train started, we were approached. No biggie, we were all covered by our TPG passes. Not so much. They pointed out we were in first class.

“Oh, so sorry, we didn’t know. We’ll move,” we said.

“Trop tard,” said the stone-faced police man. This is “too late” in French.

“Really? We didn’t know these had classes, we’ll happily move there,” pointing at the 2nd class cabin, literally through a few yards, through the first set of doors.

He sternly asked for all our identification and issued us 4 tickets. By the time he finished issuing them all, we were at our very short destination of the main train station.

So, a very expensive lesson learned this weekend and a big buzz kill to the wine festival.

What do you think…..did we get what we deserved….or would you have given us a second chance?

 

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