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-   -   Train Seating Assignment Change (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/train-seating-assignment-change-790942/)

jocundday Jun 19th, 2009 05:13 AM

Train Seating Assignment Change
 
I’ve recently purchased a ticket on the DE Bahn website for my trip from Munich to Venice. While I specified that I only would accept a seat in a coach with airplane-style seating, the ticket indicates that I’ve been assigned a seat in a compartment (“abteil”). Is there any way I can request that my seating assignment be changed? On the website, perhaps, or over the telephone? Maybe at the station? Thanks.

ira Jun 19th, 2009 06:26 AM

Hi J,

From the DB website:
"From outside Germany please dial (+49)1805 996633 (14 ct./minute)".
Add 011 for long distance from the US. Delete the + sign.

((I))

adrienne Jun 19th, 2009 06:35 AM

I would think that train seating is based on class of service and type of train and there may not be cars with coach seating.

If you can't change your seat before you get on the train and have a 2nd class ticket you can always upgrade to 1st class on the train if 2nd class has compartments and 1st has coach seats. You pay the difference to the conductor. I've been on trains with coach seating in 2nd class and compartments reserved for 1st class tickets.

I love trains with compartments!

altamiro Jun 19th, 2009 07:13 AM

>Is there any way I can request that my seating assignment be changed?

If the train only has compartment cars (as do many trains to and within Italy): no.
Otherwise: simply go to the next open-plan car and look for a seat you like. You have a compartment seat as back-up after all.

Cowboy1968 Jun 19th, 2009 07:47 AM

If your preference has not been honored when booking online, one of two things had happened:

1) Train has only compartment cars (the online booking system does not "know" that in advance, and won't tell you that the train has only compartment cars, so you will always see both options when you buy a ticket online).
2) There are coach cars, but the quota for "reservable" seats in those coach cars has been reached. In that case, take altamiro's "otherwise" suggestion.

In either case, there is nothing you can do right now.

jocundday Jun 19th, 2009 05:43 PM

Thanks, everyone. Are compartments better than open plan cars? What, adrienne, is there to love about them. I'm traveling alone in first class and am afeard of being assigned to a compartment with—the horror—children. My European train experience consists of one Eurostar journey from London to Brussels (first class, great meal, great seat in the two//aisle// one configuration).

nytraveler Jun 19th, 2009 05:47 PM

Agree that many trains have only compartments. and IMHO they are much more fun than a regular old train with modern seats (I always feel I'm on the Orient Express for a few hours - versus the Long Island Railroad.

Cathinjoetown Jun 19th, 2009 06:26 PM

Well, at least in a compartment, there's no way a child can sit behind you and kick your seat.

adrienne Jun 19th, 2009 06:42 PM

<< What, adrienne, is there to love about them >>

Compartments trains are a remembrance of things past, when traveling to Europe was different from today, when you could open the windows and smell the scents of places you're passing, hear the whistles, bells, and shouting when France won the Euro Cup.

It's a remembrance of 18 hours on the old Orient Express, of one seat bench sliding forward toward the other so you could stretch out and sleep without paying for a couchette, of that lovely serendipitous afternoon on Lake Constance because you didn't know that you had to change trains at the previous stop and had several hours before the next train, of waking up as you approach Rome on May 1 finding the corridor filled with sleeping people.

Compartment trains are a remembrance of adventure, the unknown, and new experiences.

jocundday Jun 20th, 2009 04:31 AM

Thanks, adrienne, that was lovely. (And not a squealing gameboy in sight.)

altamiro Jun 20th, 2009 07:29 AM

>Thanks, everyone. Are compartments better than open plan cars?

Is vanilla ice better than chocolate ice?
It´s all a matter of taste.

>What, adrienne, is there to love about them. I'm traveling alone in first class and am afeard of being assigned to a compartment with—the horror—children.

Believe me: in 1st class, you will not encounter any children. Only your fellow tourists on Eurail pass and business travellers on corporate expenses.

jocundday Jun 20th, 2009 11:45 AM

Thanks, altamiro, that's a relief.

logos999 Jun 20th, 2009 01:14 PM

Far "worse" than children in the compartment are those businessmen discussing their strategy for the meeting with their client on the morning train at 4am.


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