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Seat Reservation on DBahn

I've tried to book Munich to Lucern 0717 train on DBahn website in early Aug (EC & IR). and would like to reserve seats for my family on the EC section. But the website states, "EC 196: München Hbf - Buchloe: Construction work. Train is running 5 minutes early. With the changes in departure time a reservation is temporarily unavailable. Please check your itinerary again shortly before departure."
Probably this construction starts in Aug as seat reservation can be done for July departure trains.

I wrote to DBahn and what if i bought online tickets first and reserve seat later, they wrote back, "A pure seat reservation for international connections is not possible on". I replied that I fully understood seat reservation is not available for the Swiss section, just asking what to do with the German section and they wrote back, "if you are booking reservations, will cost 4.5 euros a seat on 2nd class...." In short, they didn't answer my question.

I called local DBahn agency. After checking they said they have no idea whether this can be done later as they got the same info as shown on DB website.

Has anyone come across similar situation before? If i bought online tickets now, how can I reserve seats later?
Advice appreciated. Tks.

Posted by
32269 posts


If you already have tickets, I'd suggest going to the EurAide office in the Munich station and deal with the reservations there. They have English-speaking staff and I've found them to be very helpful. They're in the DB Reisezentrum (ticket office) at the station, desk 1 on the left as I recall.

Posted by
17 posts

Ken, tks a lot for the swift reply!

I hv been thinking of whether i should buy the online ticket now, or wait for a while. Now I will proceed.

Posted by
4684 posts

I had the same problem when I bought a through ticket from Eurostar between London and Frankfurt, which didn't include a seat reservation on the ICE. As far as I could find out, there is no way to buy a seat reservation alone for an international journey on DB. The best way to proceed is to find out the last stop which your train makes in Germany, buy a reservation from Munich to there, and stay in your seat and hope nobody who bought a ticket from that station gets assigned to it. The EC196 makes its last stop in Germany in Bregenz, which still leaves you with over 90 minutes through Austria and Switzerland, so best of luck!

Posted by
17 posts

Hi Philip, got your point, tks.

I read again and found that my point on German / Swiss section is not clear.

I m trying to reserve seats from Munich to border to Zurich section on EC, which takes almost 4.5 hours. Reservations can be done for July departure trains but not August ones may be due to construction works. After that there will be cross platform interchange from Zurich to Lucern. But this section just takes about 45 min, so no harm done even if there's no seat reservation.


Posted by
8889 posts

Bregenz is in Austria. The last stop in Germany for a Munich to Zürich train is Lindau, one stop before Bregenz. The train changes direction here, and changes from a German diesel engine to a Swiss electric one.

In my limited experience of this route, the train does not get full and I would not worry too much about not having a reservation.

I am intrigued who why you didn't get the reservation at the same time as you booked the tickets. They usually come together.

Posted by
70 posts

Generally you can make for DB Trains in Germany seat reservation without buying a ticket. For this particular Train the reservation is temporarily unavailable. Whether that will change until August, is open.

Posted by
16894 posts

You can make an international seat reservation (all the way to Zurich) in any German train station if they become available for this departure. But I'd feel fine to book online for just the domestic/German portion, as Philip described, marking the box for Reservation Only. Maybe take another look online a week before your train departure.