Despite the changed reservation rules, most Germans want to give up trips to Deutsche Bahn during the Christmas holidays. This is shown by a representative survey by the Civey research institute on behalf of the “Tagesspiegel Background Verkehr & Smart Mobility” professional service.
As of November 27, only 60 percent of DB AG’s long-distance train seats can be reserved due to a corona pandemic. But so far, the measure has clearly not restored confidence in any of the citizens. In a survey conducted after the announcement of the new booking rules, 73.9 percent of participants said they would refrain from using means of transport, such as an airplane or a train, due to the holidays due to the risk of infection.
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Only 20.1 percent answered the corresponding question with no. Due to the corona pandemic, older people in particular clearly want to avoid this means of transport. For example, 85.1 percent of people over the age of 65 said they would give up their planes during the holidays and train. But even between the ages of 18 and 29, 57.8 percent reject flights and train travel for themselves.
People in rural areas are particularly skeptical. In sparsely populated areas, 81.7 percent do not want to use this vehicle. In areas with a high population density, this is “only” 55 percent.
Marion Jungbluth from the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations was not very surprised by the results. “Communication is now directed at the risk of infection,” she said after being refuted for many months. “The new booking rules will not come until nine months after the pandemic,” the consumer lawyer criticized. The railroad and the federal government responded too late.
The solution that has now been found is also not very convincing, says Jungbluth. “I expect unrest at Christmas time,” she said. The reform of the reservation rules suggests: “It is only safe with a free seat.” Of course, passengers without a reservation could still sit in the seats of an aisle that cannot be reserved.
“I feel sorry for Deutsche Bahn employees, who then have to make decisions,” Jungbluth said. She was of the opinion that customers should automatically receive a free reservation for each train ticket, which they can also book if necessary.
Berthold Huber, a member of the railway council, announced on Wednesday 100 special trains in Berlin for the period from 18 to 27 December. This should provide 13,000 more seats each day and keep train loads low. Huber again ruled out the much-discussed mandatory reservation.