Metro ticket tip

You’ve just bought a ten-pack of Paris Metro tickets (a carnet) and none of them work! When you try to go through the turnstile, the red light flashes. Have you put your metro tickets in a pocket that also has keys, spare change or a USB memory stick? Any of these items may de-magnetize your Metro tickets. The solution is easy. Just go to the Metro ticket booth, hand in your Metro ticket in exchange for one that works. This will be a problem in some of the Metro stations that are unmanned however, so don’t get caught and keep your Metro tickets separate from change and keys.

>> There are more Paris travel tips from a local to help you plan the best Paris trip, too!


3 thoughts on “Metro ticket tip

  • Bucky Edgett

    This is bullsh*t. Nonmagnetic metal can’t demagnetize. If it could, all your refrigerator magnets would go dead in days or weeks.

    We’ve been to Paris several times over the last few years, and every time stayed in a b&b hosted by the wonderful Marie Francoise. This last trip, for the first time ever, she complained that some of her tickets were bad. Now, if it were possible that “keys, spare change or a USB memory stick” could screw up a metro ticket, don’t you think that would have been happening to a lot of people over the years? Including our hostess, Marie Francoise?

    For that matter, wouldn’t it have happened to your credit and debit cards by now? (Same technology: magnetized strip.)

    No, the answer to this vexing **new** problem is that new types of vending machines have been installed. Staff is being drastically reduced. (Note the number of stations that now have no staffed ticket windows.) The machines are balled up, and there’s no one to fix them. Bad tickets from the machines, not from your spare change.

    Marie Francoise got instant replacements from the agent at the entry point. Obviously, the agent knew there was a very good possibility the tickets were bad. Remember this was in France, where obdurate bureaucracy reigns.

    Solution? Buy a couple of carnets from different machines. Keep them segregated. If one ticket from one carnet is bad, try to hand in the whole bunch for replacements. But don’t rely on running into a station (which may or may not have actual staff on duty) and using the tickets you bought just there and then.

  • Parisgirl

    Thanks for your comment! I think you’re right on this one. The agent at the Gaite Metro stop assured me that the machines were ‘OK’ now. But I did note on a previous stop that the newly installed machines were under repair (so that supports your theory). The spare change and keys explanation did seem weird to me, but I do throw a pair of magnetized sunglass clip-ons with Metro tickets too! If you do get stuck at a turnstyle (or even if you exit before you intended to exit), never hesitate to approach the agent’s booth to ask for help (if you’re lucky enough to be at a Metro stop that still has staff).

  • gmillion

    had no problem in two weeks with carnets bought from the manned ticket windows. never did use the automated machines. not b/c of the article but just b/c the agents spoke some english and could help us with other travel questions. the system is like clockwork. dont worry about anything in the way of difficulty.

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