This month we meet Philipp Manderscheid, Unit Manager in our German offices in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt. Philipp shares with us about an interesting encounter during a recent business trip by train.
Our trip to Antwerp and back
Last month, we headed to Antwerp from Frankfurt to meet our customer BeNe and we took the train via Brussels for that journey. Going by that route means a 3 hours ICE train ride to Brussels with sufficient time and space to prepare for the meeting. Considering the availability of electricity for the laptops and Wi-Fi connectivity the decision was actually an easy one. And we did not really miss the stress associated to check-in and the boarding procedures of flying!
On our way back to Frankfurt, we took an ICE named "Frankfurt am Main", what a coincidence. As I was wondering what anecdote to write about, a British lady in her seventies came to me asking for directions, waving her DB ICE ticket printed in German. She was desperately looking for the seat she had reserved. I offered to help her and after half an hour or so she returned and pointed at the seat right next to me. It turned out she was looking for the wrong coach and seat since she was all the time looking at her return ticket (instead of the outward one).
She told me about her trip that started in Swansea, Wales. She took a train to London, changed to the Eurostar heading to Brussels, took the ICE to Cologne (in which we were sitting) in order to finally board the night train to Copenhagen. Now that’s what I call real commitment to rail travel! She presented the different tickets she booked by herself, an itinerary in German and a printout from seat61.com as her guide for the various challenges on that route. Also, in order to translate the German itinerary she had prepared a page with the most important translations from German to English.
As we are talking a lot about seamless international rail travel, this story is a great example showing that, despite some big improvements, there are still some challenges when it comes to booking cross-border tickets with different rail companies, and it seems that the Man in Seat 61 is still the favourite place to go to work out and plan your journey.
Let's keep working on those challenges!