Malpensa Express to Milan Airport: Forget The Automated Machine


The cost to take a taxi to Malpensa Airport is 95 euros. The smart solution is to take the Malpensa Express train which takes fifty minutes if everything goes right.

The first problem was the ticket machines. The ones that accepted cash were not in service. The ones that accepted credit cards would not accept my credit card. Each time I put my chip card in, which was created to prevent this problem, it would ask for a pin. Obviously I do not have one. I moved onto debit cards. Both Chuck and Chase didn’t work.

With the world breathing down my neck, I eventually gave up and went to the ticket office which had a queue of folks who I’m guessing had the same problem.

Finally, I got the tickets and went to the platform. The sign only reads terminal 2, not terminal 1, where the Vueling flies from. Exhausted, I got on the train and hoped for the best. Google said it stopped in both. Indeed, it did.

If you find yourself in Milan needing to get to the airport, skip the automated machine and head straight for the counter.

Update! Try your zip code like you would at a gas station. That may work. H/T Eric

Curse this machine!


  1. i have this problem before. Figured out that your PIN to your credit card = zip code. Just like what you what do at a gas station

  2. Never tried a zip code before… I believe the European machines are wired for four-digit PINs. But your US card’s PIN for a cash advance might work there. (The transaction is coded as purchase.) It worked for me with Capital One in most cases but not always.

    • LOL I had my aviator but did not know my pin. Same problem in McDonalds in Paris. I barely use those cards though, so that would be a fix that requires another card. Not a huge deal, just annoying.

  3. The US credit card industry is stil at the Stone Age and while countries in Europe and South America have chip+PIN for many years we are now happy to get chip+signature which is a joke since nobody checks what you sign on the paper. I am in Europe now and every time I have to use my US card people think I am from a different planet since they don’t get why I don’t have a PIN. Had the same issue at with the Malpensa Express but on the way to the airport. A taxi dropped me off at the Cadorna station at 5am and there was basically nobody around. I could not buy a ticket using my credit card because it kept asking me for a PIN, I had not enough cash on me and no ticket office was open. I ended up getting into the train with no ticket and was ready to pay whatever penalty I had to pay inside the train for not having a ticket but I was not going to miss my flight. For my surprise maybe it was too early in the morning but there was nobody checking tickets inside the train.

  4. I’ve been able to get some, but not all, automated machines in Europe to work by just hitting “enter” when it asks for a PIN, without actually entering one. This is with a Chase chip card without a PIN. Wells Fargo’s ATM card (chip and PIN) seems to work fine if needed.

Leave a Reply