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Train experts..please help

After trying to book Rome to Munich on Oct. 6 for the night train- sleeper for 3 people, 207 Euro-this was my response on the last page of booking:

Your booking request cannot be met.
Dear Customer,

An error occurred during the booking process for the night train. Please try again later.
The error has been recorded. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Do you know why?? What should I do? By tomorrow afternoon it will show that it is sold out! I've been tracking it. Please help!

Posted by
18312 posts

What website were you using?

What makes you so sure they will be sold out by tomorrow afternoon? Italy to Munich are popular routes, but 6 months in advance, the day after they go on sale?

As a last resort try calling City Night Line in Germany, (49) 1805 14 15 14.

Posted by
225 posts

I'm on the www.bahn.de site.

I don't know if they will be "offically" sold out, but I've been checking the site each day watching the next day come available and seeing the previous day "sell out" of the tickets on sale, by about 1:30 the next day. I'm not sure that they actually sell out, but on-line purchase is no longer availbale for that price. I've been checking it, am and pm, since March 30, and each day it has been the same. You can check on the date for Oct. 5, and all the 207 Euro sleepers are now 465 Euro(they were 207 this morning). Every other day I've checked they were not only higher priced like Oct 5, but actually..sold out.

Please help..I really need these tickets at the 207 Euro!

Posted by
225 posts

I don't own a mastercard, and I will call the phone number..thank you.

Any other ideas..I'm desperate!

Posted by
6898 posts

Susan and Monte, I really hope that you get this resolved. You certainly have tried hard enough.

Don't forget the two-day option on day trains with an overnight midway at Verona that I mentioned to you some messages back.

Posted by
18312 posts

Remember, they are in a different time zone. I think they are on daylight time by now, but by midnight Calif. time it should be 9 am over there.

It seems strange that it happens every day. I don't think agents are buying them up for resale later, because they are supposed non-transferrable. Maybe their not offered at that price anymore but they haven't fixed the software yet. That might explain the error message you get.

Posted by
225 posts

I was thinking that the next day tickets are released at midnight, 4pm here. I thought I had it all planned out to grab our tickets while everyone in Europe was still asleep! Not sure how or why they could go so fast.

It has me worried. Out of all our searching this was the best option for us. We'll go with your idea Larry, if this doesn't work.

Posted by
18312 posts

That train from Rome goes through Florence and Bologna, then combines with the train from Venice in Verona. If you call German Rail and they can't get you on the Rome train, they might have something on the Venice train, boarding in Verona. Then you would have to get to Venona by another train that evening. Just a thought.

Posted by
18312 posts

I don't know if this is what Larry had in mind, but there is a EuroCity train leaving Rome at 7:42, arriving Munich at 6:26 PM. Fares on that train can be as low as €43 pP incl reservation.

Posted by
225 posts

Larry's idea was to make it a two day trip and spend the night in Verona.

We are trying to make it back to Munich for our flight home on Oct.8. I made the mistake of thinking that Ryan air flew close to Munich, so I booked RT Munich rather than open jaw out of Rome.

Our best cheap option is really the overnight at 207 Euros. I'm still praying that we can get it. I'll probably be up all night making calls to see what we can do. No one there yet.

I thank all of you train experts..but I wish you could fix it for me!

Posted by
18312 posts

Well, that would break up a long day. I know there is a direct train leaving Verona just before 9 AM and getting into Munich mid-afternoon. It also has that €43 fare.

Posted by
18312 posts

RailEurope. Not again.

First place, RailEurope only has seat reservations for passholders on that train. They do sell full tickets (rail and accommodations) in a single compartment for $342 per person.

One thing you can count on is that if RailEurope even has it, it will be too expensive. Better to try the European railroads first.

Posted by
6898 posts

Hi Lee. I suggested a plan B to Susan and Monte some time ago that used two day train runs and not one night train run. I also suggested staying overnight midway. A very nice midway point would be Verona. I also sent them links to actual train schedules. These day trains would be easy to get while they were in Italy. You lose a 1/2 day overall getting to Munich but... It's a reasonable Plan B if the night train thing doesn't work. It should be slightly less expensive as well.

Posted by
225 posts

Actually Larry, it looks more expensive to me. Although, I'm really not sure how to price out the tickets..standard fare, smart, etc. But, to me it looks like Rome to Verona is 48 E pp. Verona to Munich is 65 E pp. I'm just using the standard fare. That equals 113 E pp. Plus we need to get a hotel room.

Am I figuring this correctly?

Posted by
8700 posts

If you book right now at airberlin.com, you can get a fare of 41€ (69€ with taxes and fees) on 7 October for Rome-Munich with a change in Hamburg.

Posted by
279 posts

The problem is in the way the dates work. You have to book 180 days from the arrival date, not the departure date since the trip spans two dates with the overnight. As for the fare going up, I found in booking for our family of four that I had the same problem. What happens is they only offer one or two tickets at that deeply discounted spar-night price, then they go up from there. If you try to book more than the number available, it puts you to the next fare level. The way around this is to book one or two for the super cheap price, and the remaining at the higher price. It involves making two bookings, but otherwise you just have to pay the higher price.

For our family, we decided that when the price went from $384 one day to $730 the next day when the tickets could be booked, we went to the sleeperettes, or reclining chairs, for a total cost of $185. All four of got the cheapest price, and when I enquired again the price had gone up $128, so there were only 4 such seats.

Posted by
225 posts

Just to update all those who helped so much, we decided to take airberlin as Tim suggested. We called Germany several times to figure out when we could buy the tickets. Kevin, I bet you are correct that we could buy them this afternoon, unfortuately both my husband and I have jobs that don't allow us to make call during the day. Figures..I work one day a week..Thursday! Also, I think you are correct that they may go fast. So, we have a sure thing at a good rate 69E pp. We also liked Larry's idea of breaking up the trian ride with a stop in Verona, but that seemed about the same rate. What to do??

Thank you to everyone who helped me!

Posted by
4555 posts

Susan and Monte....to follow Tim's suggestion, get on the Web right now at wwww.airberlin.com and book those seats over the internet...there are still 10 or more tickets left for 6 October at the 41 Euro rate (plus taxes.) Just be aware of the fact that they're non refundable, but you can change the times up until the departure for the payment of a 30 Euro fee, and the difference in price if there are none of the cheap tickets left.

Posted by
225 posts

I guess I wasn't very clear. We do now have tickets for Rome to Munich on Airberlin on Oct. 7th.

I'm glad to have found something cheap, and yet disappointed that we didn't get to take the overnight train. However, maybe I wouldn't have liked it anyway. It all worked out...thanks to all who helped me!