SBB fines Swiss pensioner 90 francs for being one minute late

SBB fines Swiss pensioner 90 francs for being one minute late

A pensioner in Switzerland has been fined 90 Swiss francs by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), after buying a train ticket a minute and a half too late. 

Swiss pensioner struggled to buy train ticket on phone

The 72-year-old, named only as Jean-Robert by Swiss newspaper Le Matin, is said to have taken the train from Lenzburg to Hunzenschwil in the Swiss canton of Aargau. The pensioner explained that he wanted to purchase a train ticket before boarding the train, but it was difficult to see his mobile phone as he was wearing a face mask and his glasses were steamed up, and his facial recognition on his phone failed to unlock several times. 

After boarding the train, Jean-Robert was finally able to complete the transaction, with the sale going through just a minute and a half after departure. Unfortunately for Jean-Robert, this was not the end of the story. 

SBB fined loyal customer 90 Swiss francs

After having his ticket checked by an attendant, Jean-Robert was fined 90 Swiss francs for the late purchase. Jean-Robert told Le Matin that this was ironic given the fact that he had been a loyal SBB customer and season ticket holder for over half a century.

Le Matin went on to question the SBB spokesperson Frédéric Revaz about the incident and whether the company had been too harsh. Revaz stood behind the firm’s decision and said that while it is a “disappointment” to have to fine such a loyal customer, the rules “must be applied” to everyone. Revaz added that rescinding the fine is out of the question. 

For Jean-Robert, all that was left to do was pay the fine. The pensioner sent SBB a 100 Swiss franc banknote by post, alongside a letter telling the company to keep the change “to improve the maintenance budget for your rolling stock”. He added that he found it amusing to be classed as a fare dodger at his age, but was still not happy with being fined approximately one Swiss franc per second for his mistake.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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