Frankfurt to Cologne - Open ticket or specify train time?

We arrive in Frankfurt from the USA at 9:45 am. There is an ICE train to Koeln at 11:09 am and one at 11:43. My friend says I can purchase a ticket that doesn't specify the time, so I can jump on the 11:09 (Ideally) or still catch the 11:43 if I miss the 11:09. I don't see this option anywhere. Is it better for me to just purchase for the 11:43 am train with seat reservations? I am traveling with a child. Thank you!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 15, 2015 21:46
    Thank you for your question.

    Rest assured, you will be able to use your ticket to take the next departure, should you miss the specific departure you select on our website when you place your order. While it is not specified in the fares' rules and guidelines for these trains on our website, all tickets for trains operating domestically within Germany can be used to take any train that follows the same route. The trains on which these tickets are valid would just have to operate within a certain date range (which isn't determined until the tickets themselves are printed). We apologize for any confusion.

    You would purchase tickets for a train from Frankfurt to Cologne or Frankfurt Airport to Cologne by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering the route. Trains from Frankfurt or Frankfurt Airport to Cologne are high-speed 'InterCity Express' trains or regular 'InterCity' trains.

    Generally, trains in Germany can be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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  • Thanks so much for your reply. Here's my follow up question....should I make a seat reservation for the train I am trying to make? If I have to take the next train, I then have no seat reservation, correct?

    Also - does any of this differ between a 1st class and 2nd class ticket????

    Thanks again
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 18, 2015 16:38
    With regard to the trains from Frankfurt to Cologne or Frankfurt Airport to Cologne, it would generally be the case that a reservation would be issued along with any ticket purchase.

    If you miss the specific departure you chose when you purchased your ticket on our site and a reservation was included with that ticket, then you would lose the reservation. However, your ticket would still be valid for you to take the next train. Rest assured, reservations are not required on these trains, so the ticket is all you would need to board. If you wish, you can purchase a new seat reservation locally to go along with your ticket, but it would not be necessary.

    On our site, you can tell if a reservation is going to be issued with a particular ticket by referring to the options listed for 'Ticket Flexibility' when you click on the 'View' button for a fare. When you pull up the results of a search on our site and click the 'View' button for the fare you're interested in, a box will expand out underneath with the 'Ticket Flexibility' options (these can be 'Flexible', 'Semi Flexible', or 'Non Flexible'). If, under one of these options, there are two refund/exchange policies listed, one for a ticket and then a separate one for a reservation, then you would know that a reservation is going to be issued with your ticket.

    As just an example, this is what it would resemble:



    Please note, this is just an example, so the information regarding the actual refund and exchange policies shown here wouldn't necessarily apply to your tickets.

    Class of service has no bearing on any of this. All of the above information would apply the same to 2nd class tickets as it would to 1st class tickets.
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