I bought a Super Sparpreis ticket from Konstanz-Petershausen to Nuremberg. The first leg is an RE train while the next is an IC.

There’s a possibility I might have to board the RE train at Konstanz Hbf instead, which is the stop/station before Konstanz-Petershausen (about 2 mins apart) on the same train route.

Will my Super Sparpreis ticket be valid even though I boarded at an earlier stop?

Edited to add: On the Deutsche Bahn app, Ticket section (where the QR code is) shows Verbindung Konstanz-Nürnberg. Itinerary section shows Konstanz-Petershausen to Nürnberg Hbf.

  • Do you have/intend to get a ticket for that short leg? Because DB is trying to give me a 22€ ticket for that connection Nov 6, 2023 at 21:46
  • Your ticket is valid, as explained here.
    – Maya
    Nov 6, 2023 at 21:47
  • (The actual link in that answer is dead, I've submitted an edit to replace that with an up-to-date one, but it's not visible yet.)
    – Maya
    Nov 6, 2023 at 21:53
  • Actually, I've reread the relevant documents, and it's a bit slimey still. I'll write a proper answer.
    – Maya
    Nov 6, 2023 at 22:00
  • In practice you will likely be waived through regardless of the actual rules, should you happen to be checked in that 2 minute window. If you want to improve your chances there, approach the conductor proactively and tell them you've had to board a station earlier because reasons, and ask them to sell you an extra ticket for this one stop. I would think that most conductors would just tell you that it's fine; worst case they'll actually sell you the extra ticket for some €2 or however much it is.
    – deceze
    Nov 7, 2023 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


I claim that your ticket is valid for boarding on the earlier station, for somewhat obscure reasons.

Namely, in this particular case, the two stations are considered equivalent for tariff purposes, as can be seen in the Liste der gleichgestellten Tarifpunkte published by Deutsche Bahn (see this answer for an explanation of how to read this table). However, in itself, this only tells us that, if you had booked a ticket starting at Konstanz Hbf, you would've paid the same as you did for the ticket starting at Konstanz-Petershausen.

However, if you take into account the exact details of the ticket, I'd guess that you'll find that the ticket does give you this little bit of flexibility. To illustrate, I'll use an example from an earlier trip of mine, where I booked a Super Sparpreis Europa ticket from Braunschweig Hbf to Zwolle, but wanted to start my trip at Braunschweig-Gliesmarode. In my case, this required taking a separate regional train from Braunschweig-Gliesmarode to Braunschweig Hbf.

I reasoned as follows:

  • in the Deutsche Bahn Navigator app, the trip details are split into two tabs: Ticket and Itinerary. One would assume that you're bound to what's written on the ticket, and not to any details in only present in the itinerary.

  • the ticket listed the following:

    ICE Fahrkarte (Einfache Fahrt)
    Super Sparpreis Europa
    2. Klasse
    1 Person [age details elided]
    Von: 31.10.2023, 00:00 Uhr
    Bis: 02.11.2023, 03:00 Uhr

    Braunschweig - Zwolle
    Zugbindung: ICE 754, 17:56 Uhr
    <1080>LEHR*H*WUNS*MI*LOEH*BUEN*OS*RHEI*Bad Bentheim(Gr)<1184>Regional Train*Hengelo

    saying that the ticket is valid during a 2-day period starting at midnight, on journeys from Braunschweig (exact station unspecified) to Zwolle, as long as you make use of the ICE 754 leaving at 17:56 (which is the leg of the trip from Hannover to Osnabrück, and obey the routing instructions.

  • notably, the ticket only lists the Sammelbezeichnung (collective designation) for the stations involved (see linked PDF), thus the ticket is valid whether I start my journey as Braunschweig Hbf, or Braunschweig-Gliesmarode.

Now, your case might be different, but I would assume that as long as your ticket says "Konstanz – Nürnberg" as opposed to "Konstanz-Petershausen – Nürnberg Hbf" in the Verbindung section,[1] has its validity starting at midnight and doesn't list the regional train in the Zugbindung for some reason, then you're in the clear.

The caveat is that the ultimate test of this logic is what a Deutsche Bahn employee would say, and I haven't had the opportunity of them checking my ticket at a moment that would confirm or deny my logic.[2]

Worst case, the likelihood that your ticket will get checked during these two minutes is very low. And if it does happen, you can always say "huh? the ticket doesn't differentiate between the two stations, look!" ;3

[1] I suspect that this is the case when the distance traveled exceeds the distance minimum listed in Liste der gleichgestellten Tarifpunkte, which – in your case – is 101 km.

[2] I did have my ticket checked at a different moment, that confirmed that a different point of flexibility – being able to use an earlier regional train than the booked – is accepted, either because it's indeed valid, or because they don't care to enforce it. In the latter case I would've expected at least a comment about my deviation from the itinerary, though. Looks like that is very explicitly allowed:

Which trains can I travel on?

If you have a saver fare ticket, you can only travel on the service indicated on the ticket. Offers are available for ICE/IC/EC connections within Germany. You can use local transport (e.g. RE, RB, IRE and S-Bahn or non-DB trains) to get to/from a long-distance station if you include them in your booking. You are not restricted to travelling on a specific train when using local rail services. However, your journey must be completed by 10:00 am the following day.

FAQ on the Super Sparpreis fare

  • 1
    If I understand your explanation correctly, you booked a ticket between two stations served by an ICE and that's what you got, I don't follow how this gives us any clue on how to interpret the rules. Especially when you consider how annoying DB is getting with the City Tickets rule, I see no reasons to believe that any leeway is intended. If you want to risk it (as you said, it's very short), I would rather plead ignorance or confusion that try to lecture the train guard on the “rules”.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 6, 2023 at 23:35
  • 1
    @Relaxed In my case the itinerary involved a regional train, followed by an ICE, followed by another three regional trains.
    – Maya
    Nov 6, 2023 at 23:37
  • 1
    I just checked a recent print-at-home ticket. It does say “Sie können alle Züge nutzen, die auf Ihrer Fahrkarte angegeben sind. Für Züge des Nahverkehrs (z.B. RE, RB, S) besteht keine Zugbindung.” which seems to support your interpretation and explains why the train guard didn't care that you were on another regional train. Still, I find it hard to reconcile with what I have been reading, especially regarding the City Ticket. Note that both your ticket and the one I just checked are Super Sparpreis Europa, technically yet another type of ticket if I am not mistaken.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 6, 2023 at 23:47
  • 1
    AFAIK It matters what exactly is printed on the ticket. If a station is named explicitly the ticket is valid from this station only. If the name of the city is given (usually in capital letters), then the ticket is valid from any DB train station in that city.
    – asdfex
    Nov 7, 2023 at 11:05
  • 1
    @Relaxed Don't confuse the City ticket and the "gleichgestellten Tarifpunkte". These are completely different concepts.
    – asdfex
    Nov 7, 2023 at 14:38

Short answer: No, your ticket is not valid for the short trip between the main station and Petershausen. In many cases, it is actually possible to do something like that with a Sparpreis ticket through the City-Ticket concept but it does not apply to Super Sparpreis tickets.

From December 10, 2023, the rules are changing for discounted tickets. After that date, a city trip can be included in a Super Sparpreis ticket but you need to name the exact stop or station when booking the ticket. The same rules will also apply to Sparpreis tickets (so you're losing a bit of flexibility there).

Your best bet if you want some peace of mind in this case is simply to get a local transportation ticket for one zone for €2.80. It is also valid on RE trains as long as you stay within one single zone within the area covered by the Verkehrsverbund Hegau-Bodensee, which is the case for the Petershausen-Hauptbahnhof trip.

Rules for full fare tickets are quite different. In this case, as explained in Board German train from next station, all the stations within the city are treated as equivalent. On top of that, you are also allowed to make use of local public transit in Konstanz on the day you leave or arrive there, without having to mention it when booking the ticket.

  • About the City ticket rule change: In most cases you are gaining options instead of losing. I.e. there was no City ticket for SuperSparpreis before, there was no City ticket for short full-fare trips, and for Sparpreis tickets you need to precisely state start and end of the journey, but it's optional. Only Sparpreis tickets lose some flexibility because you have to decide at the time of booking.
    – asdfex
    Nov 7, 2023 at 11:15
  • @asdfex Isn't that exactly what I wrote?
    – Relaxed
    Nov 7, 2023 at 13:33
  • No contradiction, just a few more details.
    – asdfex
    Nov 7, 2023 at 14:39

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