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I will be arriving in Munich at 5:10 am from Mexico and then I have to catch a train to Vienna at 6:21 am. Is this enough time to go through customs, immigration, pick up my luggage and then walk to the train platform? Or should I leave more time for this connection?

Edited in from a comment to an answer:
This is what shows on DB Bahn website:München Flughafen Terminal dep 06:21 S-Bahn Direction: Herrsching München Hbf (tief) arr 07:05 München Hbf dep 07:24 RJ 61 railjet Direction: Budapest-Keleti

  • If all goes well you might make it, I would not bet on it. Not familiar with that particular airport but non I have been recently did guaranty a connection as short as that. – Willeke May 24 '18 at 17:43
  • Do you mean the S-Bahn 6:24 from Munich airport? There is no train departing from the airport at 6:21 and no trains going to Vienna from the central station around this time at all. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo May 24 '18 at 18:29
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo another possibility: the 6:31 train plus a ten-minute walk from the air terminal to the rail terminal. – phoog May 24 '18 at 21:09
  • There are new train schedules from August 6th, which match your itinerary. It would have saved a lot of confusion if you had been slightly more clearer about exactly when and where you are travelling. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo May 25 '18 at 9:53
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I'd say no, this is not enough. Unless they changed this in 2018, you can't really "walk to the train platform" in MUC airport, there's only S-Bahn there. Your train to Vienna is most likely departing from Munich Hbf, and Munich airport is quite far from Hbf. As far a I remember it is about 35 minute ride on S1. Non-EU immigration lines also tend to be rather long there.

Update: if 6:21 is departure time of your S1 train to Hbf, and not the MUC-VIE train, then you should make it unless the immigration line is unusually long, or your luggage is lost and you have to file a claim.

  • Yes, you are correct. I am supposed to take the S-bahn at 6:21am that will take me to Munich Hbf. But I was wondering if this is enough time to catch this S-bahn or if I should rather aim for a later time? Thanks. – Amanda May 24 '18 at 18:27
  • @Amanda What time is your train from Munich Hbf? The S-bahn runs every 15 minutes or less and has no reservations or anything, so you can just take the next one whenever you get to the platform. But the key constraint is when your train to Vienna leaves. – Zach Lipton May 24 '18 at 21:06
  • @Amanda catching the S-Bahn from the airport at 6:21 is far more feasible than catching a train from the main station at that time. But as Tor-Einar Jarnbjo notes in a comment, there is no train leaving the airport at 6:21. There's one at 6:24 and one at 6:31. – phoog May 24 '18 at 21:11
  • This is what shows on DB Bahn website:München Flughafen Terminal dep 06:21 S-Bahn Direction: Herrsching München Hbf (tief) arr 07:05 München Hbf dep 07:24 RJ 61 railjet Direction: Budapest-Keleti – Amanda May 24 '18 at 21:22
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    @Amanda: according to MVV it takes either 41 min (S8) or 46 min (S1) from the airport to the main station, and you will need 5-10 min at the train station to get from the sub-basement to the platforms. – Tomas By May 25 '18 at 0:04
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I would not count on the scheduled arrival time of cross-atlantic flights.

I recommend buying a standard (not discount) ticket for the Munich-Vienna trip. You can do that in advance, or at the long range ticket machines at Munich Airpoirt or Munich Hbf. That way you can switch trains as required, in the morning trains to Vienna depart each 30 minutes.

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    It is not a good idea to buy a full-price ticket in advance in this situation. Full-price tickets are also bound to a specific train, but can be cancelled without a fee before departure. If the flight is delayed and there is no internet access on board, OP might very well not be able to cancel the ticket in time and lose the payment. It would be better to buy the ticket when OP is sure which train to catch. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo May 25 '18 at 9:49
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    No, full price tickets can be used for any train in THAT CATEGORY on that route during validity of the ticket. – Simon May 25 '18 at 10:15
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    Neither in Germany nor in Austria full-price tickets are bound to a specific train. Full-price tickets can't be cancelled without a fee before departure. They can be cancelled without a fee before first date of validity, and with a fee after first date of validity. But you don't have to cancel them, once that date is reached they are valid ad infinitum, for that relation and train category. – Janka May 25 '18 at 11:53
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Ok, so that works out to 2 hours 14 minutes from scheduled landing to departure from Munich Hbf.

If your flight is on time, you allow an hour for immigration, baggage claim, and customs, and 45 minutes for the S-Bahn ride, that gives you 10 minutes to move with luggage to/from the train platforms on each end and 9 minutes to wait for the next S-Bahn. That's conceivably possible, if all goes reasonably well. A small flight delay, extra-long lines at immigration (especially if you're not an EU citizen), or even just arriving as an S-Bahn leaves could be enough to miss it. Your flight could arrive early, you could breeze through immigration, and you could make it no problem. I wouldn't want to rely on it, especially if I'd be out the cost of the ticket if I don't make it. You'd have to weigh the consequences of missing your train to decide.

Depending on the costs involved, it might make sense to buy a flexible train ticket. You can look on Bahn.de or use the app to find the next set of connections to Vienna after you get out of customs. Or just plan on taking a later train.

  • I read that with a "saving fare" ticket you have to stick to a specific train. Does this apply only to the RJ train or also to the S-bahn? – Amanda May 24 '18 at 22:26
  • @Amanda I believe you can take any S-Bahn. You'd want someone else who is more of an expert on German/Austrian ticketing rules to weigh in on exactly what trains you can and cannot take with different fares, as I'm not entirely sure what the rules are with flexible tickets in particular. You could ask that as a new question if you're interested in that option. – Zach Lipton May 24 '18 at 22:32
  • @Amanda Zach Lipton is correct. The S-Bahn functions like most urban public transportation: you just pay and take the next train. – phoog May 25 '18 at 19:50

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