FIPs in Germany vs 4-day InterRail

Clansman

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Looking for some advice on using FIPs in Germany, as the information available is quite confusing.

From what I have been able to find out, am I right in saying that FIPs are only available for use on the flexible fares on all DB services, and can only be used on services that aren't marked with the 'extremely busy' red logo on the DB website? The services I was looking at only had the orange logo which means that services will only be 60%+ capacity for at least half the journey, which I imagine wouldn't be an issue?

Also, I gather there's restrictions on certain ICE services, though I can't find a list as to which services these include. Does anybody know where I might find an updated list for Autumn 2021?

Just trying to figure out which would be the cheapest and best way (ie do I buy online via an agent, buy at the stations, or do I buy a 3-day InterRail instead since I qualify for the Youth rate seeing as I am just shy of 27).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as it's quite confusing.
 
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The German restrictions are here
https://www.raildeliverygroup.com/rst/where-can-i-go.html#Europe

Experience has shown that, yes, it's 50% off the full fare (Uk equivelant to an Anytime ticket). Sometimes their "Advance" tickets are just as cheap - if not cheaper - although you would be stuck to the train you picked.

I've not heard that you can't travel on "Red" trains.

Germany offers day tickets - both for regions and the whole country - but they are Regional Trains only - not valid on ICE trains
https://www.bahn.com/en/offers/regional

Are you entitled to International Coupons ?
 

Watershed

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Also, I gather there's restrictions on certain ICE services, though I can't find a list as to which services these include. Does anybody know where I might find an updated list for Autumn 2021?
The RSTL website states:
DB-AG have not published any specific train restrictions on the use of FIP facilities on DB-AG rail services in Germany for Summer 2021. However, there is a requirement to avoid highly loaded services. Details of how to check this online and with the DB Navigator App are published in the DB section of the Travel Tips for Europe. (updated 25 May 2021)

However when you then look up the Travel Tips for Europe document, the latest version 51 issued in July 2021 states (on page 66):
When planning journeys, please look at the Auslastungsanzeige (i.e. Loading Indicators) at www.bahn.de and in the DB Navigator app. DB AG request you choose alternative services to those ones marked with the red icon.
...
The red icon is accompanied by the following text: ... There is a risk of the train being overfull on some sections of the route, with many passengers having to stand. Ticket booking and seat reservations are therefore no longer possible. If you have not yet bought a ticket for this train, we recommend that you use another service.

Which suggests to me that this is merely an advisory, in the same way that RST facilities holders are always requested to avoid busy services in Britain.

If you only have the FIP discount card and not the boxes (i.e. as a dependent), it will often be cheaper to buy an Interrail pass, or a regional ticket (there are tickets for each county/region as well as most urban/PTE areas, but these are not normally valid on IC/ICE/EC services), or Advance tickets (known as Sparpreis). Even with boxes, there are some services where these will not be valid (i.e. most non-DB operated trains) and where you will therefore need to buy a ticket.
 

Clansman

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Thanks very much both, that clears a lot up for me. It looks like InterRail is the best option pricing wise for longer journeys, whereas FIPs seem more useful for dotting about the odd small journey.

Yeah I have dependent BR boxes (not for much longer though!) and the FIPs that come along with them, but just not sure whether it's worth using them vs buying an InterRail pass.

I'll be travelling from Abroath and flying from Gatwick to Denmark and then returning from Germany - with the train inbetween from Copenhagen to Munich, and stop overs at several places inbetween.

I have been quoted at £200 with standard FIPs from an agent, whereas a global interrail pass is something like £210 for first class anywhere within the days I am travelling, and £160 for standard class.

So I am not sure if I'll find anything cheaper than InterRail. I had assumed FIPs would be a blanket 75% on the regular advance fares but the smallprint suggests otherwise as you both have indicated.

Also, does anybody know if Interrail would cover me from Arbroath through to Gatwick and my return, or is that only valid on the final leg of the UK journey (ie St Pancras to Gatwick rather than the full journey down from Arbroath)? I have emailed InterRail and still waiting on a response, and TOCs don't really seem to know either.

The InterRail website gives an example showing Brighton to Gatwick, but it doesn't clarify if it is valid on connecting journeys on the way to the airport.
 

Watershed

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Yeah I have dependent BR boxes (not for much longer though!) and the FIPs that come along with them, but just not sure whether it's worth using them vs buying an InterRail pass.
Ah, if you only have the FIP discount card then unfortunately this isn't of great benefit for most journeys. By contrast, the free FIP boxes are very good - albeit a lot less useful than they used to be (with the increasing privatisation of services across Europe).

I'll be travelling from Abroath and flying from Gatwick to Denmark and then returning from Germany - with the train inbetween from Copenhagen to Munich, and stop overs at several places inbetween.

I have been quoted at £200 with standard FIPs from an agent, whereas a global interrail pass is something like £210 for first class anywhere within the days I am travelling, and £160 for standard class.

So I am not sure if I'll find anything cheaper than InterRail. I had assumed FIPs would be a blanket 75% on the regular advance fares but the smallprint suggests otherwise as you both have indicated.
Yes, unless you have FIP boxes, an Interrail ticket is definitely likely to be best value for that sort of journey.

Also, does anybody know if Interrail would cover me from Arbroath through to Gatwick and my return, or is that only valid on the final leg of the UK journey (ie St Pancras to Gatwick rather than the full journey down from Arbroath)? I have emailed InterRail and still waiting on a response, and TOCs don't really seem to know either.
If you get an Interrail Global pass, it's valid for one journey in your country of residence from any station to your port of departure, and vice versa upon your return. I've previously done the Caledonian Sleeper on the return leg of an Interrail pass - the only limit is that you must board all of your trains/connections on the same day.

You need to consider whether it's worthwhile using an Interrail box for the domestic journey(s), particularly if you have free/discounted travel here in the UK and if it would require you to buy a longer Interrail pass. But you would be valid to do it.

The InterRail website gives an example showing Brighton to Gatwick, but it doesn't clarify if it is valid on connecting journeys on the way to the airport.
Any port will do - an airport, St Pancras (for the Eurostar) or a ferry port.
 

Mag_seven

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FIP has over the years become more and more useless in Germany due to the privatisation of local services in entire regions and restrictions on the use of FIP facilities in "Verkehrsverbund" areas.
 

317666

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If I'm not mistaken, you can only buy FIP tickets for DB Regio services if the journey crosses from one state to another, and not for travel within the same state. I don't think this applies to DB Fernverkehr (long-distance trains).
 

Clansman

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Ah, if you only have the FIP discount card then unfortunately this isn't of great benefit for most journeys. By contrast, the free FIP boxes are very good - albeit a lot less useful than they used to be (with the increasing privatisation of services across Europe).


Yes, unless you have FIP boxes, an Interrail ticket is definitely likely to be best value for that sort of journey.
Yeah FIPs are great, I managed to dot about the French Riviera for a tenner once. But it seems that longer and more frequent long distance are a different kettle of fish in that regard vs InterRail!
If you get an Interrail Global pass, it's valid for one journey in your country of residence from any station to your port of departure, and vice versa upon your return. I've previously done the Caledonian Sleeper on the return leg of an Interrail pass - the only limit is that you must board all of your trains/connections on the same day.

You need to consider whether it's worthwhile using an Interrail box for the domestic journey(s), particularly if you have free/discounted travel here in the UK and if it would require you to buy a longer Interrail pass. But you would be valid to do it.


Any port will do - an airport, St Pancras (for the Eurostar) or a ferry port.
That's insane you managed to use it on the sleeper. Absolute bargain that!

I DM'd InterRail on Twitter a few minutes ago about the home country situation in regards to connecting journeys (attached).

So by their response I am apparently free to use the Global Pass from Arbroath through to Gatwick on any train, providing I fly out on the same day and it falls within my InterRail pass travel dates.

If that's the case then £210 is a steal for first class (and it saves me filling out a box!).

Still unsure if that'll be the case given TOCs themselves don't seem to know and the info is vague, but here's hoping.
 

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30907

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Depending on your flight times, you can of course use your first and last days in both the UK and Denmark/Germany. A definite advantage if you don't live in London!

BTW it's a 4-day pass :)
 

LSWR Cavalier

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GdL engine drivers in Germany have been on strike, they may strike again. Best to keep an eye on the news and check before travelling.
 

Watershed

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Before you get too excited you should note that you still need to pay the Room Supplement :p
No, this was in the seats so I didn't pay a supplement.

The supplement is so expensive it's normally cheaper to buy a separate "combined" ticket for the sleeper.
 

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