Dutch rail company NS to replace Group return ticket
NS is replacing the Group return ticket they previously offered due to fraud. According to NS, around 240.000 passengers exploited the Group return ticket offer yearly. This ticket will now be replaced with an NS Group ticket, which is valid one-way.
The end of the NS Group return ticket
In 2013, NS introduced the Group return ticket. This offer was meant to encourage groups such as families, perhaps visiting the zoo or going to see a football match, who may ordinarily travel by car, to take the train.
The Group return ticket was extremely cheap, at seven euros per person for a return if you travelled in a group of 10 people. With this ticket, you didn’t even have to be in the same train as the other nine passengers.
However, due to the amount of fraud, with intermediaries reselling their tickets and others collecting money for the tickets and never giving up the goods, NS has decided to discontinue the Group return ticket. Instead, it will be replaced with the NS Group ticket from January 15 onwards.
The new NS Group ticket
The new NS Group ticket still allows groups to travel for cheap, but they must physically travel together. Previously, up to 10 people could travel on a group ticket; however, with the new Group ticket the limit is set at seven.
The option to return on the ticket is also no longer available as the ticket is one-way, so if you want to return with the same group you must buy another ticket.
Additionally, with the new ticket you will no longer be able to travel during the evening rush hour. The NS Group ticket will only be valid during off-peak hours on weekdays and for the whole day on weekends.
A Group ticket will cost 34,50 euros for seven people. This works out at 4,93 euros per person. For four people, the ticket will cost 30 euros and come to 7,50 per person; however, this is only for a single trip.
Using the new Group ticket to return is slightly more expensive than the old ticket when travelling in a group of up to seven people. If you want to travel with over seven people on a return trip, the costs using the new ticket are considerably higher. A Group return ticket for a return journey with 10 passengers would have cost 70 euros; this will now cost 126 euros.