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I want to travel to Paris from Germany this weekend. I booked my tickets via the Deutsche Bahn (DB) website with a "Supersparpreis" (super saver fare) and the train I would take tomorrow is first an ICE (Intercity Express) to Stuttgart and then an ICE from Stuttgart to Paris. It seems this train to Paris is cancelled due to a strike. Additionally, the first train starts half an hour early because of construction on the way.

My question is if, given the circumstances, I can take any train if it just takes me to Paris. The ticket I booked is bound to the train, but if the train does not run, surely I can take another one? I don't really care when I arrive, as long as I make it to Paris by Monday. Could they throw me off the train?

Addition: preferably I would avoid spending hours at the DB Information so they can approve me taking another train.


Update: I gave up and will take the car. Poor climate :(

  • Good luck with that... The only direct train from Stuttgart to Paris tomorrow is at 6:54. The alternative is to go via Mannheim and Basel (departure at 8:51 from Stuttgart, arrival in Paris at 15:43). As the last train is in addition operated by Lyria, that complicates things quite a bit. Maybe the Rail Alliance HOTNAT guarantee can come into play here? Where are you departing from? There may be a better alternative. Though I see the options via Belgium seem to be fully booked... – jcaron Dec 6 '19 at 14:12
  • Im coming from Augsburg and see alternatives via Mannheim, Saarbrücken and Metz or Mannheim and Strasbourg. I guess an option would be to just stay in the train to Mannheim and not exit in Stuttgart and see what is possible from there on. – Lehue Dec 6 '19 at 14:14
  • Relevant info: bahn.de/p/view/service/aktuell/… and oui.sncf/train/greve – Relaxed Dec 6 '19 at 14:18
  • Note that all trains are marked as “full“ precisely to facilitate travel for those who already have a ticket. SNCF announced they would waive all restrictions on refunds or exchange for their tickets, I don't think you run a high risk of being thrown out of the train. If you can find one that is, the disruptions are very extensive at the moment with at most one train to a day to most destinations (with the exception of Thalys and Eurostar). – Relaxed Dec 6 '19 at 14:21
  • @jcaron thanks for pointing this out. After checking the alternatives suggested by DB with the French site, nearly none of the trains to France will actually go – Lehue Dec 6 '19 at 14:49
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Below the present (Friday, 6th December 2019) summary:

  • tickets valid until the 11th can be rebooked free of charge
    • but only for the same connection
    • it does not state how or where to do this
  • unused tickets can be reimbursed
  • no trains to or from France on strike days, which is expected to be extended

At present (3 PM) it is unclear if this strike will continue on between Saturday and Monday.

There are calls for continuation of the strikes on Tuesday.


Aufgrund eines branchenübergreifenden Streiks in Frankreich kommt es im internationalen Fernverkehr von und nach Frankreich ab 05.12.2019 zu starken Beeinträchtigungen. An den Streiktagen finden im Fernverkehr keine Zugfahrten von und nach Frankreich statt. Es ist damit zu rechnen, dass der Streik ausgeweitet wird und mehrere Tage andauert.
...
Reisende von/nach Frankreich werden gebeten sich verstärkt über die Reiseauskunft unter www.bahn.de/reiseauskunft zu informieren. Die tagesaktuellen Informationen zu den betroffenen Zugfahrten werden zwei Tage vorab (ab ca. 13 Uhr) in unseren Auskunftsmedien veröffentlicht.

Fahrkarten können ab sofort bis einschließlich 11.12.2019 für die gleiche Verbindung kostenfrei auf einen anderen Reisetag umgebucht werden. Fahrkarten nach Frankreich, die für diesen Zeitraum gelten und nicht mehr genutzt werden, können kostenfrei zur Erstattung eingereicht werden. Hier finden Sie das entsprechende Erstattungsformular für online gebuchte Fahrten.

Due to a cross-industry strike in France, international long-distance traffic to and from France will be severely impaired from 05.12.2019. On strike days there are no train journeys to and from France in long-distance traffic. It is expected that the strike will be extended and lasting several days. ... Travelers from / to France are requested to inform themselves about the travel information under www.bahn.de/reiseauskunft. The up-to-date information on the affected train journeys will be published in our information media two days in advance (from approx.

Tickets can be rebooked free of charge up to and including 11.12.2019 for the same connection on another day of travel. Tickets to France, which are valid for this period and no longer in use, can be submitted free of charge for reimbursement. Here you will find the corresponding reimbursement form for online bookings.


Sources:

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    As far as I know most trains for Saturday have already been cancelled. They're not showing as "full" (which was used to prevent more people from trying to book trains which are likely to be cancelled) but really as "cancelled". The SNCF website currently says "fortement réduit" for Saturday and Sunday, and "fortement perturbé" for Monday. Trains for Sunday and on are not yet marked "cancelled". – jcaron Dec 6 '19 at 14:49
  • @jcaron Present (14:34h) news reports say 90 of fast trains and 70 of regional trains inside France have been cancelled. Deutsche Bahn says that all cross border trains have been cancelled. – Mark Johnson Dec 6 '19 at 14:56
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Can't really answer for how to change your ticket or if you will be allowed on board with a ticket for a different train, but from Augsburg to Paris, you have the following alternatives you can still book (and thus possibly exchange your ticket for?):

  • Augsburg 03:57 (in the morning, or night rather) - Stuttgart 05:36 // 05:54 - Paris 10:05

  • Augsburg 07:05 - Mannheim 09:29 // 09:36 - Basel 11:47 // 12:34 - Paris 15:38

All the other connections suggested by the Oui.sncf site are either full or cancelled. Oui.sncf is not the best connection finder in the world, though (it can't build an itinerary with more than 2 transfers, for instance).

Alternatives are to travel by bus or by plane, though the latter have been disrupted yesterday and tomorrow, not sure what the outlook is for tomorrow.

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