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Nothing Like Paying Extra To Sit On The Floor!

, , , | Working | October 2, 2020

I book a ticket for a three-hour train ride to visit a friend, and since she’s warned me that this train is usually quite full, I pay 7€ to reserve a seat.

The train is delayed by forty minutes, and the announcement also mentions that “the numbered train compartments are in alternate order today; please ask the conductor for help.” When I get on the train, I realise the compartments start at twenty all the way up to thirty — but my reserved seat is in compartment sixteen. Since I can’t find any other free seats, I wait in the hallway for the conductor.

Me: “I’m sorry, but could you help me with the changed compartments? I reserved a seat in sixteen, but I can only find twenty and up.”

Conductor: “Yeah, this train doesn’t have a sixteen today.”

Me: “Sooo… my reservation…?”

Conductor: “We don’t have a sixteen today, so no seat in sixteen.”

Me: “Okay, but I paid 7€ for a reserved seat.”

Conductor: “Compartment thirty at the other end of the train has some free seats.”

Me: “Just to make sure, if there aren’t any, can I get a refund?”

Conductor: “You’ll have to contact corporate.”

Lo and behold, when I dragged my bag all the way down to compartment thirty, there were no seats left. I had to spend three hours sitting on the floor of the hallway. When the conductor passed by to check everyone’s tickets, he completely ignored me and didn’t even check mine.

I wrote corporate a long email. Their — probably automated — reply? “Due to the changed compartments on [date], no compartment sixteen is available. We could not reserve a seat for you. Thank you for travelling!”

Never got a refund. 7€ might not seem much, but it is for a student who could barely afford the train ticket anyway.

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