MTR fines Mainland passenger HK$1,000 for riding first class without paying double fare

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27th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) A video circulating on Mainland social media platform Xiaohongshu has sparked a heated debate after capturing a scene where a mainland Chinese passenger was confronted by MTR staff for not paying the double fare required to ride in the first-class carriage of the East Rail Line. The incident took place on an MTR train in Hong Kong.

In the 32-second video, several MTR staff members are seen conducting ticket checks in the first-class carriage of the East Rail Line. They discovered a male passenger who appeared to be speaking Mandarin and had not paid the required fare for the first-class carriage.

Upon being confronted, the passenger pleaded, “It’s my first time riding here, I didn’t know (about the fare).” He then asked the staff, “Can I buy a ticket now?” The staff responded firmly, stating, “No, you can’t buy a ticket now,” pointing to the signage above the passenger, which clearly indicated that it was a first-class carriage. Other passengers chimed in, sarcastically remarking, “You can’t see the big letters? You deserve the fine.”

Towards the end of the video, the passenger is seen following the MTR staff towards the train doors, presumably to disembark at the next station.

The incident has sparked a lively discussion among netizens. Some criticized the mainland passenger, accusing him of trying to feign ignorance and deceive the staff. Comments such as “Playing dumb won’t work. You’ll learn your lesson after the fine” and “Even on airplanes, everyone knows about first class” were prevalent. However, others questioned whether there could have been alternative ways to handle the situation, given Hong Kong’s reputation as a “world-class hospitality city.” One netizen wondered, “If it were a tourist, would there be other options for resolution?”

According to the MTR website, passengers who ride in the first-class carriage without a valid first-class single journey ticket or holding an Octopus card without the necessary first-class confirmation must pay an additional fee of HK$1,000.