German train seat reservations

This article has info about making seat reservations on German trains and how to fix any problems whilst booking. If you wish to change your Deutsche Bahn seat reservation, please see Changing Deutsche Bahn seats.


Seat reservations for Sparpreis Europa ("London Spezial") fares

Sparpreis Europa London (formerly called "London Spezial") fares combine Eurostar (London to Brussels) and ICE (Brussels to German destinations) into one ticket. This Saver fare is the most common ticket type we offer for journeys from London to Germany.

Sometimes we can't confirm these tickets, and display an error message "reservations are not possible". This error is usually due to the following reasons:

  • Seat reservations are not available on the ICE portion of the journey. These reservations are optional. You can remove them on the ticket details page, and then book a seat with Deutsche Bahn directly afterwards.
  • Seat reservations are not available on the Eurostar portion. It is unlikely that the Eurostar is fully-booked. However, seat reservations are compulsory on Eurostar so bookings fail if there aren't any Sparpreis tickets available.

In both cases, you should try to confirm your order again. Sometimes seat reservations become available later (for example, if somebody didn't purchase tickets held in their basket).

If your booking fails a second time, you have a couple of options:
  • Split your search at Brussels. This will mean you have separate tickets to/from Brussels and your destination in Germany. This may be more expensive, but it means you'll still be able to travel even though Deutsche Bahn's special offer tickets have sold out.
  • Book a different departure time.

Purchasing a seat reservation after booking

Many trains operated by the German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, offer optional seat reservations. For these trains, seat reservations can be added while making your booking, and you can do this on the ticket details page.Regional Meridian trains are a notable exception. See our Help article Do I need a seat reservation? for more information.

It is not possible to purchase a seat reservation on Rail Europe without purchasing a ticket.

If you would like to purchase a seat reservation after you have made your booking this can be done by contacting Deutsch Bahn. Seat reservations for international trains can be booked by calling Deutsche Bahn at 0049 180 6 99 66 33.

If you need to purchase a seat reservation for a domestic German train, you can do so on Deutsche Bahn's website. On the Deutsche Bahn search page, be sure to check the box next to "Reservation for seat only (no ticket)":