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Unable to reserve seat on any train from Germany to Paris

  • 16 May 2024
  • 6 replies
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Hi Friends,

 

I’m trying hard to find seat reservation for ICE/TGV trains from Heidelberg/Mannheim/Karlsruhe  to Paris.

But seems for all the train DB website shows error message like “Reservation cannot be made”.

Like this :


However Raileurope website shows message like Seat reservation has to be made at station.
 

 

Can someone please help me guide what could I do ?
Does it mean that seats are really full or I have to make seat reservation locally from station in Germany ?
I’m going to travel with family and toddler .. so don’t want to take chance.
I will buy EUrail pass in case I get seats for at least 2 of my journey.

Thank you great people.

 

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Best answer by Hektor 16 May 2024, 20:00

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6 replies

You can’t book a passholder reservation with DB online. They simply don’t sell them at all.

For Raileurope: Normally this does work; but this specific train shows no availability (even not for normal tickets). You should choose an other connection. Problem is that availability is bad that day. Better in 1st class than in 2nd. But it depends on how many places you’d need.

It’s also possible to cross the border with regional trains for better choices. But of course this takes time and is less comfortable.

But it’s not a problem with a railpass; it’s also not possible to buy normal tickets.

If you do provide the information which class for how many people you do need someone might have a look what’s possible.

You can’t book a passholder reservation with DB online. They simply don’t sell them at all.

I’m selecting “book seats only” option on DB website. There’s no option for EUrail pass.

but anyway it’s not showing any seat available for my date.

For Raileurope: Normally this does work; but this specific train shows no availability (even not for normal tickets). You should choose an other connection. Problem is that availability is bad that day. Better in 1st class than in 2nd. But it depends on how many places you’d need.

It’s also possible to cross the border with regional trains for better choices. But of course this takes time and is less comfortable.

But it’s not a problem with a railpass; it’s also not possible to buy normal tickets.

If you do provide the information which class for how many people someone might have a look what’s possible.


I am looking for 20-May. Morning or afternoon.

from Mannheim or  Karlsruhe any train.( with least change)

for 2 Adult + 1 child


Thanks Hektor

You did forget to mention if you do hold a 1st or 2nd class railpass. Makes a difference (all 2nd class bookings for the direct trains do fail and all trains do show a warning about 2nd class getting full).

You did forget to mention if you do hold a 1st or 2nd class railpass. Makes a difference (all 2nd class bookings for the direct trains do fail and all trains do show a warning about 2nd class getting full).

Not puchased railpass yet. I was going to buy 2nd class EUrail pass. Luckily I checked here that seats are not available.

if I get no other option I can go for 1st class pass. But 1st call railpass will not be value for money.

in some other forum people gave answers that when they called DB customer service or visited ticket office, it helped them get seat reserved.

does it work that way ?

You did forget to mention if you do hold a 1st or 2nd class railpass. Makes a difference (all 2nd class bookings for the direct trains do fail and all trains do show a warning about 2nd class getting full).

Not puchased railpass yet. I was going to buy 2nd class EUrail pass. Luckily I checked here that seats are not available.

if I get no other option I can go for 1st class pass. But 1st call railpass will not be value for money.

in some other forum people gave answers that when they called DB customer service or visited ticket office, it helped them get seat reserved.

does it work that way ?

Unfortunately it’s impossible to tell if it’s just a online booking problem (just then it does help) or if the trains are really sold out which is indeed possible because of the holiday date.

There’s availability if you are willing to cross the border by regional trains (from Mannheim this would mean a change of trains in Offenburg and Strasbourg). But even then there’s not that much availability. I assume the trains are really full.

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It's the end of a holiday weekend and most trains are sold out, it's not unusual I'm afraid. You can check SNCF website and a lot of trains will show as such.

Having a pass or a ticket wouldn't change anything (no passholder quota).

It will likely take longer than 4 hours but we'll find something. Let me look a bit:

Option 1:

- Heidelberg - Mannheim Hbf any train

- TGV Mannheim Hbf - Paris-Est 13:42 - 16:52 1st class only

I'd book that option ASAP. Maybe a group cancelled their booking. Check the seat numbers before booking so you make sure you're together. It might not be possible though.

Option 2:

- RE Heidelberg - Karlsruhe Hbf 17:07 - 17:44 or earlier

- TGV Karlsruhe Hbf - Paris-Est 18:05 - 20:43 1st class only

Honestly either option is fine but arrival time is different.

Option 3 via Metz:

- Heidelberg - Mannhein - Saarbrücken with sufficient margin (knowing the German trains' punctuality)

- TER Saarbrücken Hbf - Metz 14:21 - 15:22

- TGV Metz - Paris-Est 16:57 - 18:21 1st class only

Option 4 via Offenburg/Strasbourg:

- Heidelberg - Mannheim Hbf any train

- ICE Mannheim Hbf - Offenburg 15:34 - 16:30

- RB Offenburg - Strasbourg 17:05 - 17:34

- break, visit a bit ;)

- TGV Strasbourg - Paris-Est 19:17 - 21:03 1st/2nd class

I only listed trains with at least 3 seats available. If you'd like to sit together you should go 1st class for more chances.

What is your entire trip like? We'll able to tell you whether a pass makes sense in the first place or not.

Feel free to ask anything. Hope you have a good trip. French trains can be annoying when they sell out far in advance... the rest of your trip should be easier!

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