Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

A Reluctantly Posed Question On DB Seat Reservations

A Reluctantly Posed Question On DB Seat Reservations

Old Mar 25th, 2007, 09:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A Reluctantly Posed Question On DB Seat Reservations

For all of the extremely patient, tolerant responders to questions about European rail travel, I assure you that I have read the threads on the subject and still am left with doubt on this real-live question: I am doing a circular tour of northern Germany by train, starting in Dusseldorf and ending in Frankfurt, via Koln, Bremen Hamburg, Berlin, and Dresden. I have done my due diligence and have concluded that a 1cl Germain Rail pass (twin variety) suits my needs. Normally, I would purchase that pass from Rail Europe just inside the 6 months window. And normally I would purchase seat reservations from Rail Europe on the planned trains just inside the 2 months window, assuming reserved seats are available. Now I am seeing that Rail Europe apparently, shall we say, gouges customers who purchase multiple reservations (i.e., 2 traveling) on multiple trains by somehow multiplying the S&H charges. First question, am I correct about this practice? Second question, if I am correct, is there a better way to accomplish my goals (German rail pass + seat reservations on designated trains) before I leave the U.S.? Many thanks as always. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 10:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

In Germany only CityNightLine, NachtZug, and Thalys require reservations. If you want a seat reservation buy it when there. €3 each seat.
hopscotch is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 10:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,073
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just helped my dad buy two seat reservations on ICE and IC trains yesterday on www.bahn.de. Easy to register and purchase, and no problem printing out the seat reservations.

No reason to use RailEurope or other agents.

The cost of reservations alone is 3.5€.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 10:19 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By way of clarification, I understand that some German trains offer, but do not require, seat reservations. I prefer to have seat reservations wherever possible. It's a peace of mind thing, I guess. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 10:22 AM
  #5  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,140
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The routes you describe between major cities are all serviced with very frequent trains - ever 1-2 hours at least. There are always seats available.

I usually travel 2nd class, which is just fine for a few hrs, and I've never had trouble getting a seat reservation, when I wanted to buy one, 0-1 days in advance.

You can simply walk into any DB station once you arrive and make all the seat reservations you need.

When traveling alone or with one other person I don't even bother with a seat reservation on normal 2-4hr treks, and I've never had a problem simply taking a vacant, unreserved seat.
J62 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 10:22 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi GG,

>..have concluded that a 1cl Germain Rail pass (twin variety) suits my needs.<

You have priced the fares at www.bahn.de?

If so, I suggest that you purchase all of your seat/sleeper reservations at the train station in Dusseldorf.

It is much cheaper to get reservations from DeBahn than from RailEurope.


ira is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 12:12 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I appreciate all of the responses..thanks.

Hello Ira: Do you know whether it's worth considering other U.S. agents that I've seen mentioned, such as Euraide or BETS, for seat reservations before I leave? I'm afraid I suffer from a desire to have everything buttoned up by then. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,073
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just why won't you get reseverations directly from www.bahn.de before you go? Why have to go through an agent? They have English on their website. I don't know any German and I booked my dad seats with no problem.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 12:24 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello rk:

I thank you for your information. I am not sure whether or not one can buy seat reservations online from dbahn separately from the purchase of an underlying ticket. As I said, I do plan to buy a railpass before I leave and I don't think (although I could be wrong) that persons outside of Germany can buy railpasses online from dBahn. That is the reason for my focus on agents for the seat reservations. I have purchased German rail tickets online in the past and do know the procedure. Thanks again. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 01:55 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,073
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, you can buy a seat reservation independent of a ticket. That's exactly what I did yesterday. [My dad already has a pass.]

After you come to the page with all the train choices and fare prices, click on "Order". On the next page, you can choose from "Online Ticket", "Tickets per Mail", and "Seat reservations only (for self printing)".

Choose the third one, and hit "Proceed", and then you'll choose your seat prefernce - window, seat, etc...

It's super super easy.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 03:32 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll give it a shot. Many thanks for hanging in. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 02:38 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 73
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a very informative thread. I'm buying SelectSaver Eurail Passes (5 days, 5 countries) and am trying to get reservations before leaving the U.S. But my trips are between countries, and, unfortunately, when I tried purchasing "reservations only" for the Munich to Paris leg through Die Bahn, it showed "Not Available" on page three. So this must work only on trips within Germany?

Guess I'll get reservations through the AAA travel agent (they use RailEurope). The AAA agent e-mail says there's only one shipping fee for the passes and the reservations (even if some reservations are made later), but each leg of each trip is USD $11 per passenger for reservations - more than this link quoted for Die Bahn. You do also pay a $17 per person one-time insurance fee. I'm sure we could save by waiting to make reservations when we arrive in Europe, but like others here have said, I like the comfort level of having all travel arrangements in place, and I prefer saving every minute of my time abroad for the fun things. Thanks again for the info.
blueridge is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 03:16 AM
  #13  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Blue,

Before you purchase from AAA, try calling Euraide (www.euraide.com). They have a US number.

They charge the same price as you would pay in Germany, so might be cheaper.

Also try BETS (http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/)

ira is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 08:15 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

B.E.T.S. in Ann Arbor is a very helpful group for European train travel. They've been mentioned on Fodor's before.
hopscotch is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just wanted to let you know that even though you may have reserved a seat on the train this does not always guarantee you will get that seat. I know that on my trip from Frankfurt to Basel I specifically chose the reserve option and well lets just say some not so nice man would NOT give me the seat that I had paid extra for. Just FYI incase this happens to you.

Have Fun!
cutecanuckabroad is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 11:53 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

One of you may have been in the wrong car. That's a common mistake made by people with seat reservations.
hopscotch is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 12:22 PM
  #17  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi C,

>some not so nice man would NOT give me the seat that I had paid extra for.<

In future, complain to the conductor.

ira is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 12:25 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
after carefully comparing the car number and seat number that is clearly marked on your ticket, of course.

car numbers are marked on the outside and often inside at the doors.

and as a rule of thumb i believe within so many minutes after the train leaves a station reserved seats that are not claimed become up for grabs so don't dilly dally say in the bar car before going to your seat - usually 15 minutes i think then legally can be occupied as a no-show. I don't know if there's any hard and fast rule about this but this is the tradition i've heard.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello PQ:

You're absolutely right about the 15 minute rule. Here is the provision from the DB web site:

Please note that your reservation will only be retained for 15 minutes after the departure of the train. If you have not taken your seat until then, your reservation will be cancelled and your seat may be taken by other passengers.

While dallying in the club car is always tempting, I usually go there only after claiming my reserved seat to make a table reservation for a later libation etc. Gradyghost

gradyghost is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Governator
Europe
15
Oct 31st, 2019 04:41 AM
rpowell
Europe
10
Nov 16th, 2007 06:55 AM
mike_b12
Europe
6
Aug 22nd, 2007 04:28 AM
Dan
Europe
5
Sep 2nd, 2002 04:29 AM
jade
Europe
31
May 24th, 2002 07:11 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information