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couchettes

Can you reserve a 6 person cochette for a family of 5 and not have a stranger in the 6th bed?

Posted by
11507 posts

Good question, but I have a feeling the answer is no, not unless you pay for the 6th person, or just get lucky and they don't book it since they are not full.

Hope someone can answer , have you thought of contacting the Rick STeves rail department and asking, I asked a question and they emailed me back the next day with answer.

Posted by
9105 posts

The answer is yes, but of course you will have to pay for that 6th bed you are not using. Families and groups traveling together do this all the time so it won't be out of the ordinary when you make your reservations.

Posted by
87 posts

I'm not meaning to contradict Michael, but my experience in November 2006, was that it wasn't possible. I tried to do it for a family of 4 when only 6 bed couchettes were available, and was told I couldn't. I bow to Michael's knowledge and experience though. Could you post a result if positive or negative if you do decide to go ahead with the booking? ta

Posted by
9105 posts

The only situation I can think of where it wouldn't be possible is if the family had rail passes. The passes wouldn't cover the supplement for the extra coutchette. But if purchasing the entire compartment with a credit card, I'm not sure how they could prevent it. If I wanted to I could go to the DB/City Night Line website right now and purchase an entire 6-person couchette for myself and they would be none the wiser.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your help everyone. We all will have passes and a credit card so it sounds possible to me.

What is the best place to book train tickets on line or by phone before we go? This is my first time doing that and I am not understanding the timetable very well.

Posted by
8700 posts

Halley,

Read Michael's last note again. He said that it would NOT be possible if you're using railpasses, but it would be possible if you bought regular tickets for all six bunks.

To be safe, I suggest that you call Budget Europe Travel Service (800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387) for free, friendly, and expert advice.

Posted by
36 posts

I read somewhere that reservations are held for only up to 15 minutes after departure? Meaning even if you have a reservation, if someone wants to take the space after 15 minutes, they can?

Posted by
19118 posts

Holding a SEAT reservation for only 15 minutes is the policy stated on bahn.de, but that is probably only for seat reservations, for which you pay a nominal (€2-€4) fee. I am not so sure that would be the case for a bed in a night train, for which you are paying much more to rent a specific bed (specified by reservation). Although over here we call the fee a reservation, it is reality an Aufpreis, or supplemental fee.

But the best thing to is to ask. If BETS can't tell you for sure, call CNL in Germany at 49 1805 141514 (Midnight-6 PM EST).

Posted by
87 posts

Ah . . . the penny drops Michael, we had rail passes so that was probably why - although I did offer to pay for the extra couchette. Thanks for enlightening me :)