Four of us will be landing by airplane in Munich at ~8:30 am, what is the fastest and easiest way to catch a train to Salzburg?
Donald, I'd probably take the S-1 or S-8 to the Munich Hbf and then go from there to Salzburg. However, I believe there's a shorter route and hopefully Lee will spot this post as I'm sure he'll be able to describe that. With four travelling together, it may also be possible to get a discounted ticket. The Munich Airport is well organized, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding the rail station. Be careful when buying your ticket to get the correct type, so that you don't get fined by a surly Conductor, as described by someone else on the HelpLine recently. Happy travels!
When you land, buy a 4 person Bayern Ticket for 34 euro. Take the S-8 to Muenchin Ost. Regional trains to Salzburg depart every hour at 50 past the hour. Don't board the EC or Railjet trains.
Sam and Ken thanks for the information, I have never been to Munich and I wasn't sure of how to get around.
If you are using a Bayern-Ticket and regional trains, München Ost (East) is the best station to pick up the train to Salzburg. Make sure you take the S8. The destination board at the airport S-Bahn station is a little confusing. It shows S1 going to Ost and (most of the time) S8 going to Geltendorf. But these are final destinations. The S8 stops in München Ost before going into downtown München, then goes on to Geltendorf, but it goes to Ost before it gets to downtown, and it gets there before the S1 does. Incidently, right now the tunnel under downtown is closed on weekend because they are working on a second tunnel, so the S1 does not even go all the way to Ost. The four person Bayern-Ticket costs 34€ IF you buy it at the automat on the station platform. If you use a ticket counter, they'll charge you 2€ more for personal service.
There is a potentially less expensive way, but I wouldn't use it for travel to Salzburg immediately after arrival by air at the airport nor for four people.
Advance purchase tickets from the airport to Salzburg using a RailJet from Munich Hbf to Salzburg start at 19€, vs a 22€ Bayern-Ticket for one person. The trip takes slightly less time (10 - 15 min), but the ticket is train specific and, if your flight arrives late, the ticket is worthless. If you book the ticket from the airport, using the S-Bahn to Munich Hbf and the RailJet from there, the S-Bahn is included in the Savings Price.
However, for a group of 4, the Savings Fare ticket is 49€, the Bayern-Ticket is 34€. Of course, the RailJet is a somewhat nicer, more comfortable train, but most REs to/from Salzburg these days are the newer, double-decker trains - nice enough. Also, the RailJet goes non-stop from Munich Hbf to Salzburg.
Railjet, IMHO, is much nicer than other trains serving that route. It also allows seat reservations so you know where to seat.