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I'll be traveling on an ICE train next week and plan to work during the trip, so I'd really like to have a table to put a laptop on. However, when I go to bahn.de and try to book a place to sit, all I'm presented with is the following dialog with no option to pick a specific seat:

seat selection dialog

However, I've seen pictures like the following one:

seat selection

If it matters, the train in question is ICE 529 from Frankfurt to Nürnberg Hbf on 2023-02-09.

How can I get to this page to select a specific seat?

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    If I'm not mistaken, (almost) every seat has a table. Seats without access to a large table have a small folding table attached to the back of the seat in front of it.
    – scai
    Feb 1, 2023 at 7:45
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    @scai it's true that there are fold-down tables in seat backs, but their relatively small size and the angle of the seat means they're not very practical for using even a small laptop. Fine for resting a book/newspaper/tablet on, or if you just want to quickly open up your laptop to check emails or type a short note, but not something I could imagine many people happily using for work.
    – Chris H
    Feb 1, 2023 at 8:13
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    I know that the question itself asks about a specific seat, but since you are mainly interested in getting a proper table, the "open saloon with table" option in the first column already does that.
    – mlk
    Feb 1, 2023 at 9:29
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    @ChrisH if the person opposite is happily using the table for work already when you get on you won't have space to do so. Much rather work safely on one of the foldable tables on a regular seat. Feb 1, 2023 at 17:02
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    @ToivoSäwén Each to their own, I guess. The ICE tables I'm familiar with are big enough for a laptop each side to work ok. Might have to offset it to the side a little or compromise on the angle of the screen but I've certainly worked with a reasonable degree of comfort in that way before, while I find the seatback tables completely unusable for any meaningful work.
    – Chris H
    Feb 2, 2023 at 7:57

1 Answer 1

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Click “Proceed”. The next page in the process then offers you the chance to choose a seat (“select seat”, highlighted in the screenshot). screenshot of the next page in the booking process1

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    Wow, nice! May come in handy when you want to sit close to people who have booked earlier. Feb 1, 2023 at 10:03
  • Wow, I didn't know of this feature. Very neat! @DCTLib: the reason for seats showing occupied might be because they are bahn.komfort seats or seats for people with disabilities. Those can't be reserved by the average traveller.
    – arne
    Feb 2, 2023 at 10:55
  • Oh, having to first select the preferred seating type and then being able to select a completely different type on the next page is quite counterintuitive.
    – JohnEye
    Feb 2, 2023 at 12:21
  • @JohnEye I guess the way you're supposed to think of it is that you're specifying your request, then on the next page you either see "oh good it found something that matches all categories" or you see that it couldn't find a perfect and decide to either accept it or try to find a better compromise yourself. But I agree, it's not at all intuitive.
    – Chris H
    Feb 2, 2023 at 12:38
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    @arne: Sorry, you are right. My information was outdated. There was a long time period in the past during which Czeck railway (cd.cz) would show you a lot more free seats than db.de on the same trains - It seems like this is no longer the case. It was quite common that even for trains for which "db.de" showed a moderate usage, most seats were shown as unavailable when booking only a single seat.
    – DCTLib
    Feb 2, 2023 at 12:52

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