Christmas is a time of travel, and in the past, unfortunately, often a time of railway chaos. In 2022, Deutsche Bahn, wanting to break away from an unfortunate tradition, announced two measures to cope with increased traffic. First, according to the company, with the schedule change on December 11, long-distance trains will provide 13,000 more seats per day than last year.
This year, from To escape the already typical Deutsche Bahn Christmas turmoil, the road authorities announced two measures to cope with the increased volume of traffic. According to the press service of the company, along with the new timetable, which is introduced from December 11, the number of seats on long-distance trains will simultaneously increase – in other words, it is planned to sell 13,000 seats more daily than last year.
On the other hand, between December 23rd and January 2nd, 80 special trains will run on the main railways, which will make it possible to organize another 40,000 additional seats. However, it should be noted that all additional daily capacity is not distributed evenly over the days, but is based on demand, a railway representative at RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) said. From four to 16 additional trains will operate per day with an additional number of seats – from 2,000 to 8,000.
“Special trains will run on the main routes: north-south (Hamburg / Berlin – Bavaria/Baden-Württemberg) and East-West (NRW-Berlin/Leipzig),” a spokesman explained to RND. One example is likely to be the long-distance route from Munich via Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Cologne to Dortmund, where XXL-ICE was already in use during the Christmas and New Year period last year.
DB fares will increase from mid-December
At the same time, according to tradition, a fly in the ointment was found: fares for travel under the new schedule, which will enter into force on December 11, will increase by an average of 5%. Flex tariffs will become more expensive by almost 7%, Bahncards – by 4.9%. On the positive side, the prices for the so-called Super-Sparpreise and Sparpreise, as well as for seat reservations, remain unchanged.
When is the best time to buy tickets?
Ticket bookings for the Christmas period started on October 12th. The exception is special trains, seats for which will go on sale on Friday, November 25th. The German Transport Club (VCD) recommends that travelers book their chosen train service at least one month in advance. This increases the chances of getting cheap tickets.
As a rule, the closer the travel period, the more expensive the tickets. However, there are exceptions for routes that are not in high demand. For these destinations, cheap tickets may be available up to 24 hours before departure.
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