I just tried to buy tickets online for a train ride from Paris to Munich Airport on 31 July on DB Bahn. The itinerary had us departing Paris Est in the morning, and changing trains in Stuttgart and at the Munich Flughafen for the regional train to the airport. Reservations were required for Paris-Stuttgart and Stuttgart-Munich. But then the webpage said that seats were not available on the Paris-Stuttgart train. Am I not understanding something, or is the train really sold out 3 months in advance?
The first leg of the trip is likely operated by French rail. DB doesn't sell reservations for trains that originate outside of Germany.
DB certainly does sell tickets for legs that originate in France and continue into Germany. There are several routes. I expect that the one you wish to choose is Paris Est - Stuttgart - Muenchen-Pasing - Muenchen Flughafen Terminal. I selected the 07:10 departure time for 31 July and could have booked Europa-Spezial Frankreich tickets for €39.
I've read on this board that you can't book seat reservations for legs outside Germany on bahn.de (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). So I doubt that the train is sold out, but maybe you're getting this message because you can't book the actual seat reservations through the bahn.de website. Were you able to actually buy the tickets, but not the seat reservations, or did it not let you buy the tickets at all? I wonder if you can just make these seat reservations once you're in Paris? I'm anxious to read other responses since I will be making reservations also for our Paris - Munich in November.
Dawn, Seat reservations are required on TGVs and ICEs that depart from Paris and go into Germany. They come with the ticket and are included in the fare. See my post just above yours about booking on the DB site. You can book tickets for legs that start in Germany and end in France, or vice versa. If you are starting in Germany and have to make a connection in France, you cannot book the second leg on the DB site because it is entirely outside of Germany.
First, are you trying to purchase a ticket, with a seat reservation, or just a seat reservation, without a ticket? Note, on the Bahn website, if you check the box for "Reservation for seat only (no ticket)", you'll get the message, "It is not possible to make a reservation for international connections at www.bahn.de without the purchase of a ticket."
Thank you for all your replies. Trying to book Paris-Munich on bahn.com yielded the option of leaving Paris at 7:06 AM, arriving at Munich Airport at 2:15 PM. But I was not able to buy anything at all. Trying to book this on sncf.com/en was a big headache. It didn't show me the train I wanted (7:06 AM departure) but when I changed it to Paris-Stuttgart, I saw the 7:06 AM departure available. So I bought Stuttgart-Munich through bahn.com, but I did have to call my credit card company because they blocked my account due to "unusual account activity." But no matter what I did, sncf did not authorize my purchase for Paris-Stuttgart, even though my card was unblocked. So I said forget it and purchased the same tickets through Rail Europe. The price increase wasn't too bad. So now I have Paris-Stuttgart through Rail Europe and an 8 minute layover followed by a separate ticket on bahn.com for Stuttgart-Munich Airport. I hope the trains are on time! :)
I went to the DB site a moment ago. Again, I could have booked the entire trip on that site, starting with the 07:10 train to Stuttgart and arriving at the Munich airport at 14:15, and gotten a discount fare of €39 for 31 July. I don't know why you weren't able to book Paris-Stuttgart on the DB site, but I'm glad you were able to come up with a "Plan B".
If one can really get from Paris to Munich for only 40 Euros then I have been suckered big time. But on the other hand, going to Paris and Germany is on my wife's bucket list so I'm going to enjoy the trip just the same!
Looks like you paid too much...but a Major Rule Of Travel says you never check prices once you've made a purchase (unless there are provisions for a refund, etc. - rare). No looking back! And, your wife is happy ;-)
I wouldn't say you've been suckered. The standard 2nd class fare for Paris-Munich airport on the DB site is €141. The €39 Europa-Spezial Frankreich fare I quoted above is only available by booking online well in advance. The ticket is for a specific departure date and time and is non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Have a great trip!