Where not to park at the Hessentag

Unberechtigt parkende Fahrzeuge werden kostenpflichtig abgeschlepptThis is sort of a personal plea on my part, but I think I can speak for a lot of the residents in Oberursel who do not live in the closed-off part of the town by asking all visitors who come by car not to park:

  • on private property
  • on a private car park, eg. where you see the sign “Privatparkplatz”
  • across the entrance to a garage, a drive, or a private car park

If you do, then you run the risk of [Read more…]

New in 2011: flight taxes

Departures Board at Frankfurt Airport - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / AlexTThis summer the German Government introduced a new tax of flight tickets. It is called the Luftverkehrsabgabe, and means that passengers have to pay between 8 and 45 Euros per flight and applies to all commercial passenger flights that take-off at German airports from 1st Januar, 2011.

Just to make sure that people did not start booking their flights for next year early, the tax came into force on 1st September this year, so that it would be levied on any tickets purchased from that date onwards for flights in 2011.

One of the results has been that Ryanair have announced that they will be reducing the number of their flights from German airports, including Frankfurt-Hahn, which will be a blow to the economy on the rural parts of the country where such airports are located.  Some estimates put the number of jobs that will be lost at around 3000.

But with less flights taking off, surely the revenue from other taxes will go down as well?  Will the new tax have any effect, other than to reduce the choice of German travellers and push up prices?


Can you get tickets for the next day from ticket machines?

This is a question I had never really thought about until I was asked it – can you get tickets for the next day from the ticket machines for the trains in Germany?

I think the simplest answer is: “not normally, but it depends on the type of machine”.

Sounds confusing?  I didn’t think it was going to be, until I started looking at the ticket machines in our area a bit closer.

The one that I use most often is for the U-Bahn – the train to Frankfurt.  Here the answer is most definitely “no”.  You can buy tickets for groups and for the whole day, even the so-called “Hessenticket”, but only for the current day.

A ticket machine - this one was out of order

One of the local ticket machines - the destination code is entered using the numeric keypad

However just round the corner is a similar machine for the bus stop.  Strangely, this one has different options, including one to buy a ticket for the whole week, meaning 7 days starting on the day of purchase.  Some machines of this sort even allow you to buy a card that lasts a month, but again starting to day.   In the RMV area a “month” is considered to be until the day in the following month with the same number, so a monthly ticket that starts on 23rd April is valid until and including 23rd May.

And yet, the only machine I know here where I can actually buy a ticket for a future date is at the main station for main-line trains.

Thankfully there are two other ways to buy your local train tickets in advance.  One is via the online ticket shop – assuming that there is enough time for it to arrive by post.  The other, perhaps simpler, is to go to a local agent who can issue tickets for the different zones for the date of your choice.

This not only saves finding the change for the machine, but if you are unsure about which tarif or zones you need, there is someone there to help you as well!

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