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Train from Frankfurt airport to Cologne

Train from Frankfurt airport to Cologne

Old Sep 17, 16, 6:22 pm
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Train from Frankfurt airport to Cologne

Do you recommend purchasing a ticket online beforehand or just leave it until arriving at the airport?
Looking on the Deutsche Bahn website, for the ICE trains, the lowest price ticket is for a specific train only (no changes), followed by a 1st class ticket for a specific train only, followed by the most expensive which is for any train.
Seems a bit risky buying for a specific train because of potential flight delays etc.
Appreciate your opinion.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by kevinm016 View Post
Do you recommend purchasing a ticket online beforehand or just leave it until arriving at the airport?
Looking on the Deutsche Bahn website, for the ICE trains, the lowest price ticket is for a specific train only (no changes), followed by a 1st class ticket for a specific train only, followed by the most expensive which is for any train.
Seems a bit risky buying for a specific train because of potential flight delays etc.
Appreciate your opinion.
You seem to have worked it out for yourself. Nothing else to add.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by kevinm016 View Post
Seems a bit risky buying for a specific train because of potential flight delays etc.
The pricing might be worth the risk, though. If you're going to pay 29 euros for an advance purchase ticket, versus 79-89 euros for a walkup fare, I'd take the risk and just consider it cheap insurance. I usually time my departure about 3 hours after arrival to account for minor delays and haven't missed a train yet.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 4:19 am
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If you chose a train taking the routing along the Rhine river via Mainz and Koblenz (very scenic, usually less crowded trains, but about double traveling time - 2hours vs. 50-60 mins) tickets are much more affordable. A flex ticket on this route for an ICE train in 2nd class oneway is 49 Euro vs. 67 Euro on the highspeed route. 1st class is at about 60% higher price and includes the fee for the seat reservation (4,50 fee, reservation possible up to 10 mins before departure).
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Old Sep 18, 16, 8:20 am
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Depends on what is important for one. If guaranteed seating is essential, then I would buy definitely in advance for a specific train with enough cushion.

As you get frequent connections to Cologne, I personally wouldn't like to be tied to a specific train and therefore buy a flex ticket. Even if you have then eventually (depending on the time of the day) the challenge to find a free seat, which can be a hassle with heavy luggage.
The train ride takes less than 1h, so I wouldn't go for 1st class. Independent of buying a restricted or flex ticket.

Regardless of the chosen ticket, I would buy online in advance, so you don't have to queue up at the ticket machines.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by quaxpilot View Post
The train ride takes less than 1h, so I wouldn't go for 1st class. Independent of buying a restricted or flex ticket.
Depends on the weekday and departure time. It's both a major business and leisure route after all.

If there is some extra time, I'd recommend the "Rhine route" as well, advance ticket in 1st class with a comfortable buffer after flight arrival.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by User Name View Post
You seem to have worked it out for yourself. Nothing else to add.
Correct! Weight the risk against the savings. If you are ready to wait some time you can book a "saver" train.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 2:55 pm
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FRA has a FC lounge for DB train passengers. IIRC it has coffee, newspapers, and continental breakfast but no alcohol.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by mosburger View Post
Depends on the weekday and departure time. It's both a major business and leisure route after all.

If there is some extra time, I'd recommend the "Rhine route" as well, advance ticket in 1st class with a comfortable buffer after flight arrival.
As others have pointed out, this is a pretty cool route.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 6:21 pm
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Thanks for all the thought-provoking replies and suggestions. As much as the Rhine route sounds appealing, I think I'll probably end up going with the quick route as I'll be tired after an overnight transatlantic flight and probably just want to get to Cologne asap.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by kevinm016 View Post
Thanks for all the thought-provoking replies and suggestions. As much as the Rhine route sounds appealing, I think I'll probably end up going with the quick route as I'll be tired after an overnight transatlantic flight and probably just want to get to Cologne asap.
I would really disagree. It's fun and relaxing to sit on the train and watch the castles go by. I've done this maybe ten times after TATL flights and have enjoyed it every time.

Don't forget that if you arrive too early, you won't have immediate access to your hotel room.
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Old Sep 20, 16, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
FRA has a FC lounge for DB train passengers. IIRC it has coffee, newspapers, and continental breakfast but no alcohol.
Not the lounge at the airport, which is the basic lounge with free coffee and soft drinks along with newspapers (to read in the lounge ) and shared for passenegrs in First Class anbd those with Bahn Comfort Status (the frequent ride program of Deutsche Bahn).
The first class section of the Bahn Lounge at Frankfurt main station offers a food service for passengers traveling in First Class.
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Old Sep 21, 16, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by kevinm016 View Post
Do you recommend purchasing a ticket online beforehand or just leave it until arriving at the airport?
Looking on the Deutsche Bahn website, for the ICE trains, the lowest price ticket is for a specific train only (no changes), followed by a 1st class ticket for a specific train only, followed by the most expensive which is for any train.
Seems a bit risky buying for a specific train because of potential flight delays etc.
Appreciate your opinion.
I don't know who you are flying with, but see if the airline partners with DB for the rail and fly program.

https://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/p..._and_fly.shtml

Then you can purchase your rail ticket through them and you get flexibility in case the flight is delayed etc.
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