"Fare not available" from Paris to Venice on bahn.de - what does this mean?

Hi,

I am trying to "mock" reserve seats on the 20:33 train from Paris to Venice on aug 2. However, when I use the Bahn web site to do this, it tells me the following:

Fares not available
The selected connection cannot be booked via the internet.

I am confused if it means one can never reserve this journey online or if, due schedule changes, booking is not possible currently.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Raji.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6808 posts

The German rail website you're using does not gives fares except for trips within Germany or certain international trips originating in Germany.We recommend the Bahn website, on this forum, because it's a user-friendly site for looking at schedules.There are a few Europe rail gurus here who may log on tomorrow morning and explain how to get fares using the French or Italy rail websites. If you want to give that a shot yourself tonighthere's the French rail siteand here's the Italian site, but be advised: the Trenitalia site rejects 98% of all US credit cards (a long story).

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8636 posts

The cheapest fares are already gone for 2 August so book NOW at www.tgv-europe.com. To keep the site in English and to avoid being bumped to the Rail Europe site which doesn't offer discount fares, choose Great Britain as both your country of residence and the country in which you will retrieve your tickets. You will be able to pick up your tickets at any SNCF station or boutique (ticket shop) in France, even though you originally chose Great Britain.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11250 posts

What do you mean by "reserve". If you are looking for the whole package, the rail ticket with reservations, you should be able to get that on from either French Rail or Italian Rail.

If you are just looking for seat reservations to use with a railpass, you are going to have big problems. I don't think any national rail website makes passholder reservations online anymore. Of course, you can make your reservations through RailEurope and pay through the nose, or you can get them at in-Europe prices from Euraide, for a $50 service fee.

You can get any tickets or reservations at in-Europe prices by calling German Rail directly at +49 1805 99 66 33.

Posted by bluedenim
vancouver, bc, canada
421 posts

I find the italian site oddly complicated. It gives a list of fares but you can not check what these fares mean. They sure don't make it easy at all do they?

Posted by Laila
Kirkland, WA, USA
28 posts

Yes, I was indeed thinking about buying a SelectPass and just making seat reservations online.

I need to make reservations on the following trains:

Paris to Venice (overnight)
Venice to Rome
Rome to Florence
Florence to Interlaken
Lausanne to Paris

Can I make seat reservations for just these trains by calling German rail (or do they only do trains that start in Germany)?

Thanks,
Raji.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2365 posts

Yes, to purchase on the Bahn site, the trip must originate or end in Germany, then also only for a limited window (few months) out.

Posted by Laila
Kirkland, WA, USA
28 posts

Thanks Paul.

So, then my only options for just seat reservations (with SelectPass) seem to be Euraide or RailEurope...Is there something else I am missing?

Also couple more questions:

1- Should I wait till the mid-June schedule update before I make reservations?
2- I am travelling in the beginning of August. Would waiting to go to Europe to make seat reservations be a bad idea, considering I have made hotel reservations etc. and have a fairly set schedule? Has anyone done this?

Thanks,
Raji.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8636 posts

Take another look at what Lee wrote. While you cannot book tickets on the DB Web site for trains that don't either begin or end in Germany, you can do so by calling the DB number Lee gave. If you have a railpass, you can also buy seat reservations and sleeping accommodation supplements by phoning that number. For the Paris-Venice night train the time to book/buy is NOW. Popular night trains can sell out weeks in advance--and this one is very popular.

However, buying point-to-point tickets will be cheaper than a railpass. Train travel in Italy is relatively inexpensive. If you have a pass and take any high-speed EuroStar Italia trains, you will pay €15-€20 for the required seat reservation. (No reservation fee on regional trains.)

Book Paris-Venice NOW at tgv-europe.com per the instructions in my previous post.

Buy your tickets for travel within Italy and for Florence-Interlaken when you get to Italy.

If you book Lausanne-Paris on the Swiss Rail site NOW, you can get a discount fare and print your own ticket.

Posted by bluedenim
vancouver, bc, canada
421 posts

check out www.italiarail.com they are the north amercian version and from the research I was doing they are alot cheaper than rail europe.
Although I have been having problems with their site the past few days. I am thinking they are still uploading all the new schedules you may haver to phone them.

Posted by Laila
Kirkland, WA, USA
28 posts

Thanks.

Tim,

I picked the SelectPass option since, after using Rick's Cost map to calculate individual ticket price, pass option came very close to point to point option. Here is what I have for point to point tickets (approx fares from RS's cost map):

Paris - Venice: 330 Euros for 2 people
Venice - Rome: 132 Euros for 2 ppl
Rome - Florence: 70 Euros for 2 ppl
Florence - Interlaken: 204 Euros for 2 ppl
Lausanne - Paris: 202 Euros for 2 ppl

Total point to point ticket cost: 938 Euros
Select pass: 6 days, 3 countries, saver edition: 610 Euros

I am guessing Rick's cost map includes cost for seat reservations as well, though I couldn't tell from the description. With the pass option, assuming reservations cost another 400 Euros in total (can't get this information easily), I think the pass option is close enough in cost.

I thought getting the pass was more convenient as well. Do my numbers look about right?

Sorry for so many questions, and thanks in advance!

Raji.

Posted by Laila
Kirkland, WA, USA
28 posts

Update: I contacted bahn by phone today(it was an interesting experience: there was no English until I got to an operator and I just kept pressing 1 on a whim and thankfully it took me to the right person, who spoke very good English :)).

They gave me a breakdown for P2P tickets and reservations with a pass, and the pass turned out to be a bit cheaper. The 4-person couchettes for Aug 2nd Paris-Venice were all sold out and we seem to have taken the two of the very last couchettes in a 6-person couchette.

Thanks for all the help on this thread and especially for pointing out that I need to hurry to make the Paris-Venice reservation!

Raji.