A train trip to Vienna turns into a nightmare for a couple from Waterloo: breakdown, delays and large fine | Belgium

Flying would have been cheaper for them, but Katja Mader and Frédéric Pellissier preferred to take the train because they care about the environment. Only, for the couple from Waterloo, the trip to Vienna did not go smoothly.


Last update:
06-23-22, 14:35

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In order to enjoy their trip in peace, they booked first-class tickets with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn. They took the Intercity-Express (ICE), the fastest train in the fleet, but even so, their trip took more than ten hours. His first adventures occurred in Cologne.

Once in this city, the train suddenly stopped due to a “technical failure”. What followed was pure chaos. “Neither the train staff nor the station staff could tell us how to continue our journey,” says Katja.

full train

They decide to take the next train to Vienna, but once on board, they have to get off because the vehicle is overloaded. Therefore, they decide to catch the next train, but they had no assigned seats, forcing them to change places regularly. Not knowing what to do, Frédéric sat down in an empty compartment reserved for children, before being shooed away by the controller. They finally arrived in Vienna two and a half hours late. After a thirteen hour journey, wearing a mask.


The return turned out to be even worse for Frédéric, who was returning alone. The train between Vienna and Frankfurt was delayed by 50 minutes, which prevented Frédéric from connecting with Brussels. At the station, an agent advised him to take a train to Cologne to take a Thalys to Paris and get off at the Bruxelles-Midi stop.

However, by doing so, you forget that Deutsche Bahn tickets are not valid on the Thalys. Therefore, entering the latter, Frederic was denied entry. Therefore, he had to pay for a new ticket… at 455 euros.


Back home, the couple spend hours on the phone telling the same story over and over again to a different employee in an attempt to get compensation. In fact, there is no “procedure” for your specific complaint, which therefore cannot be entered “into the system” by default.

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© thinkstock

Katja and Frédéric ask for the reimbursement of 50% of the trip from Brussels to Vienna, 25% of the trip from Vienna to Brussels as well as the reimbursement of the 455 euros of the Thalys. At the end, they offer them a voucher of 150 euros. It was only after Frederic also told his story to the German newspaper “Bild” that they got a promise of a gradual reimbursement of costs from the German railway company.

Obviously, the couple from Waterloo will no longer take over Deutsche Bahn. “It is incredible that a large company treats its customers like this. This train company puts Germany to shame.”

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