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train booking question-Munch to Venice

I'm trying to book tickets on the 11:38 am 6/28/15 train from Munich to Venice for 2 adults and 2 children (10 years old). When I put the information into Rick Steve's booking website, the price comes up at $344 for the 4 of us. When I go to the DB Bahn website (which Rick recommends) the price for the 4 of us comes up as $98. I checked several times and it states 2 adults, 2 children, 2nd class, one way. Am I missing something? Why the big difference in price?

Also, Rick states that the Bahn website doesn't always tell you if you need reservations and I don't want to miss this train. How do I really find this out?

Posted by
8889 posts

If you book a normal ticket, the reservations are automatically included when you book the ticket, they do not cost extra. They only cost extra if you are using a pass.
I just looked it up on www.bahn.de , and it gave me €83,50 per adult person, or €176,00 for 2 adults and 2 children (ages 35, 35, 10, 10) for the date you specified (Sunday 28/6/15). That is for seats. If you want a sleeping compartment that would cost more. Some types of sleeping accommodation are already sold out on this date, so I would book fast.
There is an "R" next to the train number, which, when you hover your mouse over it, says it means the train has compulsory reservations.

Posted by
19171 posts

She's looking at the 11:38 AM EC to Venice. I don't thing they even have sleeping accommodations

I've found Rick's booking website to be highly inaccurate. He doesn't take into account all the possibilities.

In your case, you are looking at advance purchase, Europea Spezial tickets with limited refundability, hence the lower price. What the Bahn offers is a legitimate offer to sell. Rick's prices are just a "rule of thumb".

If you want seat reservations, the Bahn will offer them.

The Bahn will tell you if reservations are recommended or mandatory. I would recommend reservations on this train. It's a long ride to stand.

Posted by
8889 posts

Lee, I was looking at the 23:36 CNL40463, arriving Venice 08:24. That has sleeping accommodation.

Posted by
20475 posts

Yes, I'm showing 98 euro which is more like $112. You may want to spring for a reservation of 9 euro so you can reserve a compartment.

Posted by
16894 posts

Note that 176 euros is just for a seat, not a bed. DB's Savings price for a family in 4-bed couchette is 282 euros. I would go ahead to book it there. I don't know why Rail Europe isn't able to offer either the Savings fare or the 4-bed couchette on that train, but I think the 4-bed couchette has been an issue for a while.

DB does indicate that you need seat or sleeper reservations for the overnight, but the info is missing on some day trains on that route.

Posted by
20475 posts

You're a little bit behind the curve Laura. The OP is referring to a day train departing before noon.

Posted by
16894 posts

Yes, I mistook Chris' second comment to be from Nancy. (Was trying to go into a meeting and had people bringing up other issues at the same time.)

Posted by
10 posts

Ok, so if I book the 98 EUR tickets (plus the 9 EUR per person seat reservations), this is legitimate? The total comes to 107 EUR. Seems like a small price to pay for 4 people. There is another quote of 182,40 EUR and I'm wondering what the difference is in these two fares. Is it just because one is more like a non-refundable ticket and the higher priced one can be changed without a fee?

Posted by
20475 posts

That's really it. The railroads know they are competing with airlines, so they have developed this pricing model. The Europa-Spezial tickets can be changed for a fee of 17.50 euro per order up to the day before departure. After the train leaves the station, its pretty much over, just like airline tickets. Is it ligit? Heck yeh its ligit. Imagine what the ticket price would be if you just showed up at the airport and said "Put me on the next flight to Munich". And remember, two of the four passengers are only 10 years old, so they get a nice break on the price.