I have noticed that the Nightjet train I booked from Wien to Paris goes through Salzburg. I was wondering if my ticket allowed me to get on the train at Salzburg instead of Wien, or if I should refund my ticket and purchase a Salzburg-Paris instead.

  • What did the T&C of the ticket say on this topic when you checked them?
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 10:05
  • 4
    Why not call them and get the booking changed? Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 18:23

3 Answers 3


According to the Nightjet website, you need to be in your seat within 15 minutes of the train's departure, otherwise your reservation is void. The English version of that page has a translation error and says you need to be in your seat 15 minutes before departure, but the German and Dutch pages both say 15 minutes after departure, which makes more sense.

Salzburg isn't within 15 minutes of Vienna, so you should rebook.

  1. Im Zug

Bitte nehmen Sie Ihren Platz bis 15 Minuten nach der Abfahrt ein. Ansonsten verfällt die Reservierung.

Translation from Google Translate:

  1. In the train

Please take your seat no later than 15 minutes after departure. Otherwise the reservation expires.

  • 1
    "15 minutes before departure" makes no sense for a train. It's not an aircraft gate, ground crew doesn't have 45 minutes of work to do between departures, and the busy train terminal I've seen can't afford to tie up a track for 15 minutes + actual boarding time. And of course the charm of a train is they can stop enroute and exchange passengers in 30 seconds... so dwelling at a station 15 minutes is Right Out unless it's a transcon train that needs servicing (Cal Zephyr; Trans-Siberian). Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 23:44
  • 1
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Some night trains allow early boarding at the initial stop, or even at an intermediate stop (Snälltåget Stockholm - Berlin has a part that gets connected only in Malmö, and Malmö-boarding passengers can board those wagons that at this point don't have a locomotive and aren't going anywhere until picked up by the train from Stockholm).
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 9:37
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica there are trains, such as EuroStar from London to Paris, which require you to arrive at the station (but not taking your seat) ahead of departure because of airport-style security checks. Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:17
  • 2
    I called ÖBB and the woman I talked to confirmed this point. Incidentally, I asked her to change my return ticket to a Salzburg-Paris, but the system wouldn’t let her. The only solution would have been to first cancel my ticket, then wait an undetermined amount of time until the system reported that a cabin had been vacated, and finally make a new reservation at the new price. I didn’t want to risk having my room booked by someone else, so I kept my original return ticket.
    – Yakkafo
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:46

Someone tried this when I was on the Nightjet. By the time he boarded his bed had been taken by a new customer.

Do not recommend this approach.


I don't have that much experience with Nightjet, but I've traveled countless times between Amsterdam and Zürich with CityNightLine in the past. I often genuinely did not know in advance where I'd hop onto the nighttrain, and mostly bought tickets from Amsterdam to Zürich, only to hop on in either Utrecht or Arnhem. And I often got off at some earlier train station too. The train conductor did not always like it and they indeed told me that my reservation could be nullified. But it was never actually a problem. (One time, I've even showed up one day late for a ride, and they happily took me on board.)

Nowadays, the Nightjets seem to be fully booked quite often. So to be absolutely positively 100% sure to have a valid reservation, you'd need to rebook indeed. But if I were you, I'd take the risk of spending the night in a chair instead of a bed, and use your current ticket and get on in Salzburg, as I imagine it costs a lot to rebook.

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