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Bahn cancellation policy

Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Bahn cancellation policy

I am looking to book on the Bahn.de site. I think I'd like a ticket that would enable us to have flexibility in case our plane was late, or our plans changed. I looked on the Bahn site, and "ghost" booked some tickets. The tickets I chose appeared to be refundable. This is how the fine print read:

"Full flexibility (not a specific-train booking). Exchange and refund free of charge before 1st day of validity, exchange and refund charge of EUR 15 as from 1st day of validity."

Does this mean we can board any train going to our destination at any time during the day the ticket was purchased?

Also, if we need to exchange dates or get a refund, I'm understanding that this is will be free before the day of travel, and if we must change our date on the day of travel, it will be a 15E charge?

Thanks for the info.

Elaine
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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There are some heavily discounted tickets that can be ordered in advance. They are not fully-flexible to my knowledge.

The normal tickets are fully-flexible but at full price, and there is no reason to buy them in advance. We just show up and buy them. We have always found a seat and do not have to worry about missing our train.

There are other discount tickets (Bayern-ticket and other Länder-tickets) that are good for a day on regional trains and there is no reason to buy them in advance.

You might give the specific trip that you are considering.

Regards, Gary
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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What kind of a ticket was it? Was it a Dauer-Spezial fare ticket, or a SparPreis-Ticket, or was it a full fare ticket? Did you print the ticket at home, or was it mailed to you? I'd like to find it on the Bahn website and read the conditions myself.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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I just looked at the conditions for a full fare ticket as purchased on the Bahn website. It says, "Full flexibility (not a specific-train booking). Exchange and refund free of charge before 1st day of validity, exchange and refund charge of EUR 15 as from 1st day of validity." So, you seem to have a full fare, "non-train-specific" ticket, not a train-specific ticket like the Dauer-Spezial ticket. If you miss the train for which the ticket was written, it might be a good idea to take it to a ticket window before boarding the train.

To reiterate Gary's advice, I have never bought a full fare ticket in advance. One time, on a holiday, I was on a completely full train - every seat was occupied, but few were reserved. I could have bought a reservation when I bought the ticket (~1/2 hr before train time) and I would have had a (reserved)seat. However, at the first stop, enough people got up to leave that I was able to have a seat for the rest of the trip.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 12:03 AM
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>If you miss the train for which the ticket was written, it might be a good idea to take it to a ticket window before boarding the train.

If it is a full price ticket there is no need to go to a ticket window - the ticket states the validity period (which can be 1 day, 2 days or even up to 2 months depending on the destination and trains inviolved) and within this period you can take any train.
"Exchanging" in this case relates to the change of destination or similar, not the travel time.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 12:04 AM
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>Also, if we need to exchange dates or get a refund, I'm understanding that this is will be free before the day of travel, and if we must change our date on the day of travel, it will be a 15E charge?

yes, exactly.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 05:13 AM
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Hi elaine,

If you purchase a full fare ticket, it is good for any train. You will not have a reserved seat.

The ticket is also good for more than just one day.

If you also buy seat reservations, they are good only for one train.

If you miss that train, you have to buy new seat reservations.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 05:30 AM
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Thanks for the info. I have not purchased the tickets, as the trip for which I'm looking is in late June/early July.

We are flying to Frankfurt & then traveling to Hamburg. Then we'll go from Hamburg to Berlin. Lastly, we'll go from Berlin back to Frankfurt.

Will these trains be filled to capacity during this time? Also, are the full-fare tickets the same price whether they are purchased in advance or whether they are purchased on site right before train travel?

Are there ever any discounts for travel for tickets purchased on site on the day of travel?

Also, I was looking at purchasing the Bahn 25 discount card which appeared to offer somewhat of a discount on travel. Any ideas?

Thanks again for the help.

Elaine
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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On most main lines in Germany, train run every hour. They are very rarely filled to capacity. The busiest times are around weekends, especially Friday and Sunday afternoons and evenings, and on Saturdays to holiday resorts in the season.
Full-fare tickets cost the same whether you buy them two months or five minutes in advance and allow you to travel on any train: if you miss one, you can catch the next one or the one after that. If you have a seat reservation, it will obviously only be valid on the specified train, but you will almost certainly find a spare seat on the next train or the one after.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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>Will these trains be filled to capacity during this time?

It´s not a question of months, it depends on the weekday and the time of teh day. Avoid Friday evenings and Monday mornings, and to lesser extent Sunday evenings.

>Also, are the full-fare tickets the same price whether they are purchased in advance or whether they are purchased on site right before train travel?

Yes. Full fare is full fare.

>Are there ever any discounts for travel for tickets purchased on site on the day of travel?

No. It wouldn´t make any economic sense to lower the price of the ticket on exactly the time most customers buy them.

>Also, I was looking at purchasing the Bahn 25 discount card which appeared to offer somewhat of a discount on travel. Any ideas?

Well, you have to do the math but I think it should be possible. I would assume that BahnCard 50 wouldn´t make sense though. Bring a passport sized picture with when you buy the card.
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