Select seat on train between Germany and France.

  • 3 March 2024
  • 5 replies
  • 193 views

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I am planning my summer holiday. A part of the journey goes from SW Germany to Paris.  This could be one of these trains:

Mannheim Hbf 13:42 to Paris Est 16:52 (TGV 9552)

Or

Karlsruhe Hbf 15:32 to Paris Est 18:16 (ICE 9572)

Or

Karlsruhe Hbf 18:05 to Paris Est 20:43 (TGV 9560)

Since these trains runs in France, I will need seat reservations.

If I buy reservations at Rail Europe.com, they will cost 18€. Here I can choose what kind seat I will get (window/aisle and upper/lower deck). But it looks like it is not possible to choose the actual carriage and seat number.

​​But if I book at bahn.de I can get the same reservations for just 4,9€. But here the seat are automatically assigned.

Does anyone know if it somehow is possible to get reservations at the cheap DB price AND be able to choose my seat? Maybe DB will be able to assign a specific seat manually, if I contact them.

A side node: According to bahn.de all 3 trains is operated by DB Fernverkehr. That makes sense with the ICE train, but it looks a bit strange with the TGV trains. They are normally run by SNCF.

Palle Dam 


5 replies

Userlevel 7
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The 4.90€ reservation isn’t enough, you’ll get fined if you travel with it in France (DB shouldn’t offer them for journeys to France). You need a Passzuschlag which costs 18€. Rail Europe is the best place to book these : you don’t have access to a seat map but you can try multiple times until you’re happy with the assigned seats.

DB and SNCF cooperate on this route and there is a staff change at the border.

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Well, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is…

Maybe this error in DBs reservation system can explain the trouble I had last summer (2023) with booking a reservation from Denmark (my home country) to Germany. I could go through the whole booking process, but when I got to paying part, something failed.

I had to make this reservation at the Danish DSBs site. As far as I remember, a Danish reservation cost 30 DKK (≈ 4€) pr. train while a DB reservation costs 4,9€ for the entire journey. Not a huge difference, but still ..

So it seems like DBs system can show border crossing reservations, but can't complete them.

Why isn't this error in DBs system not mentioned anywhere? Either here in this community or somewhere else. It could get a lot of people in trouble. Have I overlooked something?

There’s no error in the reservation system. This kind of reservation is just not the one for passholder. It’s possible to book but it’s not the ticket you do need.

In fact you do not need a reservation for the high speed services between Germany and France but a supplement that does include a reservation. It’s in the name Passzuschlag (Zuschlag = supplement).

That the reservation for connecting trains is free of charge with DB is also just true if none of the trains do have mandatory reservations. You may try København to München now and in June.

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If it is not a system error, then it must be bad communication from both Interrail and DB.

I have read a lot about seat reservations, but I have never heard about “Passzuschlag” before. (Probably because I don’t read German that well). So I tried to ask Google. Then I found this (actually the German version at first): https://www.interrail.eu/en/plan-your-trip/reservations/trains-with-additional-supplements

I claims to list all trains that requires “additional supplement” (That must be the English translation of “Passzuschlag”):

  • Brenner and Tarvisio routes

  • IC Direct in the Netherlands

  • EIP Poland

  • Brussels Airport Supplement

  • Centovalli Scenic Train

  • Eurocity Trieste – Slovenia Supplement

TGV/ICE between Germany and France is NOT on this list. The article says that a notification about "Additional supplement required"  will show on the interrail seat reservation tool and the timetable.

I tried to make a search on a couple of the routes on the list - and here the "Additional supplement required" came up. But when I search for trains between Mannheim/Karlsruhe and Paris, there is no such notification. Only that a seat reservation is required and there is limited seats. So how should anyone know that these trains requires "Additional supplement”???

 If I use the time table on the interrail web site, I can click on “How and when to book”. This gives me links to both Interrails own seat reservation tool and raileurope.com.

But if I search in the Rail Planner App the “How and when to book” will link to several other booking sites (but not raileurope.com). One of them is DB. I find it very natural to book reservations from the company that actually runs the train (Or at last part of it). How should anyone know that the reservations that DB sells is not enough???

 

I was actually just asking about how to get a seat with a nice view, but this seems more important.

Palle Dam

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

If it is not a system error, then it must be bad communication from both Interrail and DB.

In this case, from DB in particular.

I have read a lot about seat reservations, but I have never heard about “Passzuschlag” before. (Probably because I don’t read German that well). So I tried to ask Google. Then I found this (actually the German version at first): https://www.interrail.eu/en/plan-your-trip/reservations/trains-with-additional-supplements

I claims to list all trains that requires “additional supplement” (That must be the English translation of “Passzuschlag”):

Passzuschlag is the term DB use in their conditions of carriage. Literal translation is "Pass supplement”.

But if I search in the Rail Planner App the “How and when to book” will link to several other booking sites (but not raileurope.com). One of them is DB. I find it very natural to book reservations from the company that actually runs the train (Or at last part of it). How should anyone know that the reservations that DB sells is not enough???

Regular travellers won't find out until the ticket inspector tells them and issues a new supplement for €35, because DB only have this information hidden somewhere in their conditions of carriage. I think you'd then have a fair chance of getting any extra fees back via e.g. the conciliation body (söp). But it's up to you if it's worth the risk and the hassle.

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