Public transport & tickets, Copenhagen
Fisketorvet mall runs a sophisticated parking scam, legal unfortunately, and directed at foreign visitors and expats. Its free parking comes with a tiny disclaimer, in Danish only of course, to use your parking disc. Overzealous parking attendants will them rake in the cash. This mall is best avoided - other malls like Waterfront and Fields do not run this scam.
This is the worst airport I have ever been to! I will start from the begining. We missed our connecting flight to Gdansk, as I anticipated. My mom missed a flight through Frankfurt earlier, and as soon as she got off the plane, she was escorted straight to the ticket counter. They don't do that in Copenhagen. Instead you have find our own way, which is almost impossible, since there is no one to ask for assistance. For some reason, everyone except the Gdansk passangers, were informed about their flights, so we just followed the rest of the passangers and found the ticket counter. Then we wasted about half an hour trying to figure out how to book ourselves in, which we didn't need to do. We finally figured out that we need to take a number, and it took us another 20 minutes to figure out how to do that. Airport staff was rude, and extremely unhelpful, and we weren't the only ones who were having problems. We finally stumbled onto one friendly worker, who showed us how to take a number. Then we had to wait another 20 minutes before we were called. We got lucky, and the lady we got was reallly friendly, surprisingly, and gave us vouchers for food, which no one else got. She even booked us on the last flight out so we could see the city. She told us to take the train, and how much money we would need, and where to buy tickets. One good thing was that we didn't have to go through customs. We just walked right out of the airport.
We were told to return 2 hours before our flight, but we returned 4 hours, and it's a good thing we did, because it took us over an hour to find our gate and terminal. Once again, airport staff was extremely rude and unhelpful. They told us we had to go to a different terminal and gate than was on our ticket, and when I tried to explain that to one lady, she yelled at me. They don't like to repeat themselves or be interupted or questioned. Anways, we finally found our gate, with about 3 hours to kill, but wait, it gets worse, because there was still the return trip.
We were returning with my grandma this time, and we had booked assistance for her. Other then the fact that we had to call 2 times to remind them that we booked it, the assistance guy was extremely rude. The first guy was okay, he put us all in his van, and took us to a special room in the airport, and told us to wait until we're called. The plane was already boarding, and no one was coming. Someone finally came 30 minutes before our flight was to leave, and here is the terrible part. Every other person was allowed to go with their families, but this guy was a stubborn jerk. He took my grandma, and told us we have to find our own way to the gate, and the worst part, he gave us the wrong one. He told us to go to 10, and when I told him the board says 20, he told us it's the same thing. It wasn't. We went through number 10, and came upon a locked door with no sign of him or my grandmother. We quickly ran to gate 20, where someone directed us to passport control. Finally, my grandma arrived, but he once again seperated us. We finally cleared passport control and reunited with 20 minutes left, and another rude lady told us we have to fill out a contact form, and only Americans had to fill out this form. When we asked her, "what about my grandma", well, you can probably figure out her response. Only plus was that we didn't have to go through security. The only thing I liked about this airport, is they had really cheap souveniers.
I don't know who voted these people the friendliest and happiest in the world. The only nice people we met at that airport was ticket lady, Arab salesmen, Turkish pizza guy, and beer lady. Trust me! Avoid this airport! If you want to visit this region, just fly to Hamburg or Amsterdam, and take the train, and deffinately DO NOT book a connecting flight through here. And don't fly SAS, flight crew is rude as well, and the food is terrible. Only thing I liked is that they mind their own business, and don't tell you to close your window, put on your seatbelt, put your bag under your seat, or to stop taking pictures during take off and landing.
Bus 26 back to the Hotel
We grabbed this bus quickly and for $ 10.00 we congratulated ourselves with our ease of adapting to the public transportation system so quickly in Copenhagen...we settled back and enjoyed our look at the city ...Tivoli , Calsberg Brewery , Central Station . Eventually the stops looked more and more unfamiliar and we realized we were heading out of town. luckily , the driver let us off ...in a kind of dodgy area...and we caught the bus going in the direction of our hotel. It all worked out and we grabbed a pizza and headed home to relax.
I am very sorry that after a wonderful weekend in Copenhagen the very first tip I am writing is a very negative one. However, I am still so frigging angry about how I was treated I simply have to write it off my mind. Here goes:
If you are a wheelchair user trying to use Copenhagen's HUR bus system, you better prepare yourself for some shocking things to happen. Wanting to take the 2 A bus from Forum station to Kastrup Airport, I was refused admission to the bus by the driver who insisted I must have a helper with me if I was allowed on it. I pointed out that I only needed him to lower the bus and let the bus access ramp down but even that he refused.
This has never happened to me before. I have successfully used public buses in London, Vienna, Valencia, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Landshut, Cologne, Bonn and in any of these places the drivers went out of their way to help me on the bus.
I can only hope this was an extreme and isolated event. However, looking at HUR's transport conditions and realizing it explicitly states wheelchair users need to make sure they can board the buses without help from the driver, I think there rather might be a pattern of disregard and discrimination in operation.
In other places, drivers are more than happy to help women with pushchairs on board and they do not mind either giving wheelchair users a push up the ramp. In both London and Valencia, I have often witnessed drivers go out of their way to find spots where they can lower the ramp. There is no argument against such service, especially not that this might cause time delays. Other acceptable events like a tourist group's boarding take about the same time.
If the same happened to you I strongly suggest writing to HUR's customer service and if that proves unsatisfying to the Danish Ministry of Transport. As a European citizen, you can also inform the EU Commission which has jurisdiction over enforcing European citizen's rights and the "effet utile" of its Public Transport Access directive.
In my last year visit to Denmark .. on Saturday night where all people get drunk and passed away in the train .. here comes the Iraqis People , 5 of them entering the train , acting very normal and having a plastic bag in their hands ... they separate themselves into groups ,, each group handles each train vehicle to take what they can from the people who are sleeping !!! literally i was the only one awake ..didnt drink that much so i wasnt that drunk .... one guy went to a guy's pocket and poked his legs 2 times to check if he is half sleeping or not .. if the ''Drunk guy'' didnt respond then the Thief goes into his pocket and takes all what he have ... from what i have seen he took a mobile phone and his wallet and his iPOD but ofcourse left the earphones in the guy's ears ... then the NEXT ONE same thing ... etc .. etc... he took about 30 mobile phones and some other stuff and on the 3rd stop they all left ....... thats really weird because in each train vehicle there is a surveillance camera and the guy acted SO SO NORMAL as if the things he took belongs to him :S
In Copenhagen there is a 500DKK fine if your metro/train ticket isn't stamped or is invalid. The staff comes around regularly to check tickets so make sure you are following all the rules! Also, you need to make sure you have stamped for the right number of zones. Traveling in extra zones w/out paying also poses a hefty fine.