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Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

Toronto, Canada
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Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

Hi All:

I am currently planning a Europe trip with my friends and we were planning an overnight trip with City Night Line from Cologne to Munich. Our date of travel is on May 28th (Overnight) and arrive at Munich on the 29th.

Without too much information, we booked our ticket (4x of Economy Double) through Rail Europe's website for $1218 Canadian dollar..

As we progress, we stumbled upon the DB BAHN website and was in total shock to find the exact same trip costing at the rate of 469 Euro (roughly $717 Canadian dollars); furthermore, they actually have the 4 couchette which wasn't offered on Rail Europe.

Obviously at this point, people started asking why there is such a price difference when comparing to $1218 (Rail Europe) VS $717 (DB Bahn's site).

So few questions here:

1) For anyone who has used Rail Europe - can I still refund those tickets? It doesn't make sense for such price difference. My friend all agreed if the site do suggest 90% refund; even with a total refund + new ticket purchase on DB Bahn would still be cheaper.

2) By looking at DB Bahn's website, we have encounter 2 mini stopper:

a) The train is subjected to compulsory reservation

b) While I test booking it, the whole booking process doesn't allow me to do any reservation. I went back onto the front and ticked reserve a seat only and I was stopped with the statement - reservation impossible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Terry

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

It is such a pity that you did not come to this forum first before booking with Rail Europe. Most of us frequent contributors to this TA forum would have advised you not to touch Rail Europe with a barge pole.

1. every Rail Europe subsidiary is slightly different. I believe the North American ones are the most inflexible and the one that charges the most. In the UK, they are considerably better. You just have to ring them up, and say that you want your money back, even with a slight penalty.

2. all sleeper trains are subject to compulsory reservation. The policy is that 'reservation' (i.e. making sure that you can get a couchette or a sleeper) can be booked in person, or by phone up to 122 days in advance. Then, booking the actual tickets can be done up to 92 days in advance.

Of course, you can do both at the same time, within the period of 92 days in advance.

bahn.com/hilfe/…vorverkaufsfristen.shtml

3. for your dates, I can get prices of € 239 in economy double cabin, (or C$ 375 roughly). The deluxe double cabin seems to have sold out. I have no problems in getting the booking process done, until the payment stage. Note that for these journeys, reservation only is not possible. This has been the norm with DBahn, you can only reserve seats (no ticket purchase) for domestic German destinations only

This is their UK office no. for booking

+44 8718 80 80 66

Toronto, Canada
6 posts
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2. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

Thanks for the response Hadi

Yup, when I was on Bahn's website, I was able to get up to the point where I confirm the payment. Though, as I couldn't find the option to book the seat, I was a bit nervous to advance further.

So if I understand properly, once I have purchase the ticket online, I just have to call the office to secure my seating? (If I count properly, up from May 28th to now it should be more than the 92 days?)

Also something minor - even if I reside in Canada, I can still call the UK office?

Thanks

Terry

Edited: 04 March 2014, 14:25
Quainton, United...
Destination Expert
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3. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

No, it's just like booking a plane ticket. No need to book the airline ticket online, then call the airline to reserve your seat on the plane, the reserved seat comes with the ticket! ;0)

Just book at www.bahn.de/en, spot the direct CNL train with 0 changes, pick the type of couchette or sleeper you want and click on it to book, one price covers travel and sleeper/couchette. You print your own ticket.

Rail Europe connects to the French system, as they are a subsidiary of SNCF, and as well as being unable to book 4-berth couchette the French system has slightly different prices in it compared to the same train booked using the German system.

Oh, and if you have kids, the child age limits are correct for this German-run train on the German system, but unnecessarily-restrictive on the French system. For example, under 6 free on the German, under 4 free on the French. Correct answer is under 6 free for this German-run train.

Edited: 04 March 2014, 14:36
Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

Thanks for the response again.

I guess I was confused as there wasn't any option to select your seat and yet Man_in_Seat_61 said the reserved seat comes with the tickets?

Can you emphasis more on that?

I guess once I buy the ticket, I just get randomly assigned then?

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

>>there wasn't any option to select your seat<<

I am confused by your question, are you booking a seat, and not a cabin for the four of you?

If you are booking a seat, then the system will assign you a seat.

If you are booking a berth in a 4 berth couchette, then yes, the system will assign you a single berth (if travelling alone) in a 4 berth couchette, and they will sell the remaining 3.

If you are booking a cabin for 2 with your friend, then the whole cabin is yours.

The ticket you book through DBahn comes with the reservation. I guess I am confusing you because I am outlining the option that it is possible to secure your 'seat' (or berth or cabin) ahead (122 days ahead to be exact), and then buy the ticket within the 91 days window.

I hope this clarifies the process.

(In fact, when you use the English version of DBahn, and select the CNL option, there is a small note under the price indicating 'incl.Res' meaning reservation is included. And yes, if you decide to book 122 days ahead, you can call the UK office, or the German office)

Germany
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6. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

On trains where reservations is compulsory (like with CityNightLine trains) the shown price includes the reservation and the reservation will be done automatically (on a night train in the category you selected: seated/couchette/sleeper). That you can pick during the reservation process single places exists so far only for some connections by ICE trains.

Coral Gables...
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7. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

For anyone reading this and considering booking a particular cabin type, please notice the 90 (or 92 day) prior to day of travel booking window. Last week I couldn't reserve/purchase the tickets due to being more than 90 days out from day of travel. Today I went to book the tickets and saw that the deluxe cabins are now already taken for the Cologne to Prague overnight train on Sunday, June 15. To avoid disappointment, book at exactly the 90th day out as apparently those deluxe cabins go fast.

Coral Gables...
Level Contributor
341 posts
79 reviews
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8. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

For anyone reading this and considering booking a particular cabin type, please notice the 90 (or 92 day) prior to day of travel booking window. Last week I couldn't reserve/purchase the tickets due to being more than 90 days out from day of travel. Today I went to book the tickets and saw that the deluxe cabins are now already taken for the Cologne to Prague overnight train on Sunday, June 15. To avoid disappointment, book at exactly the 90th day out as apparently those deluxe cabins go fast.

9. Re: Booking City Night Line Online (Redirected)

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