News of: Monday, February 22 2010,

Dutch Railways trick tourists into buying first class tickets on Amsterdam airport

Train ticket vending machines on the Amsterdam airport are designed so, that most tourists buy first class train tickets, without realizing it.

The news was published in the newspaper 'Haarlems Dagblad'.

A second class ticket is E 3,80 and a first class E 6,50, a difference of E 2,70. This is not very much, but given the large number of unsuspecting tourists that arrive on Schiphol airport every year, the Dutch Railways makes millions of euros.
About 5,000 tourists per day take the train from Schiphol to Amsterdam CS.

The dozens of vending machines on Schiphol Plaza show an Amsterdam canal, and invite people to buy a 'comfort class' ticket (which means first class). In a corner, there is an option to buy a second class ticket, overlooked by many. Apparently, a lot of tourists travel second class.

The difference between first and second class is not very large. The most important difference is that you have a bit more space in first class. For the 20 minute rail ride between the airport and Amsterdam Central Station it is not really necessary to travel first class.

The Railways claim that tourists mostly ask for first class tickets, but the tourist office on the airport says it has hardly any demand, and mostly sells second class tickets.

The Consumentenbond, the main Dutch consumer organization, has demanded that the Dutch Railways change the opening screen on the vending machines, to make them less misleading.