An Irish Rail customer says he was ‘absolutely shocked’ to be told he had to purchase a new ticket in Cork after he lost his first one, despite having email confirmation and his name being on a seat.
Noah Halpin was returning to Dublin on Monday, having travelled to Cork to represent the trans community as a Grand Marshals of Sunday’s Pride parade.
“I had my email confirmation, booking reference, ticket number, ID and debit card,” he told The Echo. “My name was written above my pre-booked seat.
“The staff were rude and unhelpful. Refused to let me into the train until I bought another ticket at €41.”
He believes Irish Rail should refund him for the second ticket purchase, which he says he could ill afford and which has left him short of money for the rest of the week.
His complaint about the issue on Twitter prompted a flood of criticism of the policy, with others reporting they had also had to pay twice in similar circumstances. Others expressed disbelief that the rail company was still so reliant on paper tickets.
But Irish Rail defended their policy, saying it ‘ensures fare evasion is minimised’.
A spokesperson told The Echo the terms and conditions clearly state that you must have your physical ticket to travel and that email confirmation is not sufficient.
“This has been the case since online ticketing was introduced,” they said. “Lost or stolen tickets can be used by others, so it is open to abuse.”
The spokesperson also said ‘issuing a second ticket would not get over the issue of the fact that the original ticket could already have been used’.
However, the spokesperson also said Irish Rail will be introducing a new ticket system in 2020.
“We will be introducing bar code tickets next year so customers will have their ticket on their phone,” they said.