Test phase begins for train tickets free from hassle of conductor

Calls of "Einmal die Fahrkarten bitte!" or "tickets please" may soon be a thing of the past with the increasing digitalisation of rail travel in Germany.

Test phase begins for train tickets free from hassle of conductor
A high-speed ICE train. Photo: DPA

On selected high-speed ICE services you can now be your own conductor with the 'Comfort Check-in' option on the DB Navigator app.

As the name suggests, Deutsche Bahn aims to give passengers a more comfortable ride, with the opportunity to validate their own tickets once onboard the train.

Passengers can simply find their pre-booked seat and use the ICE train's onboard WIFI to open the app and check-in. This information is then sent to the train attendant, meaning the rush to find your ticket when the conductor appears out of thin air will no longer be necessary.

Self-check-in has two advantages, Michael Peterson, a marketing director at Deutsche Bahn told Die Welt.

“People who want a more relaxed journey without ticket control from the train attendant can check in using DB Navigator, furthermore our employees now have more time to meet individual customer requirements.”

But those of you less digitally inclined will be happy to hear that there are no plans to make self-check-in compulsory, the hope is instead that it will provide an optional service to make travelling more relaxing.

The 'Comfort Check-in' option, the test phase of which began in August, is currently being trialed on high-speed ICE connections from Dortmund to Stuttgart, Stuttgart to Essen, Hamburg to Berlin, and lastly between Hamburg and Munich.

To use the service you simply need to open the My Tickets section of the DB smartphone app, open Travel and select 'Comfort Check-in'.

'Comfort Check-in' is currently only in the testing phase with no date set for more wide-spread availability but for passengers on trains where the service is available, as Deutsche Bahn says, “get on board, check-in and sit back.”