Update: New rules for high-speed train alternatives
As of August 15 2023, three new rules for the Deutschlandticket will come into effect.
The changes affect what you’re entitled to if your regional train is delayed. Until now, if you took a regional train that was delayed so much that you missed a connection to your final destination, you could buy a ticket for an ICE, IC or EC spreed train, and would retroactively get a refund for the ticket from Deutsche Bahn. From August 15 however, you can expect the following three changes.
- You will only be eligible to switch to a high-speed train under very specific circumstances. If a cancellation or delay means you’ve reached your final destination between midnight and 5am, you’ll be eligible for a refund for the cost of your speed train ticket. The German Consumer Association is currently challenging this, but for now it looks like this will be the deal.
- If you’re using a regional train to travel to another station in order to catch a high-speed ICE train, you’ll no longer be able to claim a refund if your regional train is delayed, even if it caused you to miss the ICE.
- In the case of delays caused by extreme weather conditions, or other events beyond the rail operators’ control, Deutsche Bahn is no longer required to refund you for the cost of delayed trains.
For the past few months, Deutsche Bahn has certainly had a less than perfect track record when it comes to delayed trains, so it seems like these new rules are a convenient excuse to not refund passengers for delayed journeys. We’ll keep you updated if things change.
What is the Deutschlandticket?
The €49 ticket, also known as the “Deutschlandticket”, is a monthly subscription ticket that gives you access to all public transport throughout Germany (excluding ICE, IC or EC trains). Once you’ve signed up for the subscription, €49 will be debited from your account every month. The Deutschlandticket ticket has been valid for use since May 1st.
What happened to the €29 ticket?
The €29 ticket, which could only be used in Berlin’s A and B zones, is no longer valid or available.
If you used to have the €29 ticket you would have received an email from the BVG explaining your options. This is where you would need to switch to the Deutschlandticket subscription. If you didn’t change your €29 ticket to the Deutschland ticket, your €29 subscription was automatically switched to the “VBB-Umweltkarte” (and your plastic microchip card became valid for the VBB-Umweltkarte too).
What is the VBB-Umweltkarte?
The VBB-Umweltkarte costs €66.90 per month and is only valid for specific zones (which you can choose yourself). Although it has some upsides, like being able to take guest passengers during the week, compared to the Deutschlandticket, the VBB-Umweltkarte is arguably not a great deal. You can see the comparisons below:
If you want to switch over from the VBB-Umweltkarte to the Deutschlandticket online or on the app, you’ll need to do so before the 20th of the calendar month in order for your new ticket to be valid from the 1st of the following month. You can switch your subscription here.
Missed the deadline? Don’t fret! Changing your subscription is possible after the 20th in-person at a BVG customer centre.
How do I get the Deutschlandticket?
Like the old €29 ticket, the €49 Deutschlandticket is only available as a monthly subscription. You can buy your ticket subscription on the Deutsche Bahn website, Deutsche Bahn Navigator App, or at Deutsche Bahn travel centres around the country. You’re also able to choose between a digital ticket on your phone, or a plastic microchip card which will be sent to you in the mail. Just remember, if you had one of these plastic cards for your €29 ticket, it’s not valid for your new Deutschlandticket.
Make sure you buy your subscription before the 20th of the month for it to be valid for the following month. So if you want to have a Deutschlandticket from July 1st, you’ll need to order it before the 20th of June.
How do I cancel my Deutschlandticket?
You can cancel your subscription on the Deutsche Bahn website or app. Just remember to do so before the 10th of the calendar month to avoid being charged for that month.
Got more questions?
What should I do if I’m waiting for my physical Deutschlandticket card to arrive in the mail?
If you’re still waiting on your plastic microchip card to arrive, you can show your ticket order confirmation and a valid photo-ID, along with your old ticket (if you had one) when you’re asked to show your ticket.
If I have the Deutschlandticket, can other people travel with me?
No, you’re unfortunately not able to take guest passengers with you while travelling with your €49 ticket.
Can I lend my Deutschlandticket to someone else?
No, the Deutschlandticket is non-transferable. That means that if you let a friend or family member borrow yours, they’ll be fined if checked by ticket control.
Can I get a discount through my employer?
If you’re employed at a company with at least 5 staff members, you could all be eligible for a Firmenticket (or company ticket), which is discounted to €34.30 per month. Find out more about the Firmenticket here.