Deutsche Bahn has designed an online booking tool for travel agents to handle the increased demand from the United States. Travel agents can use the new booking tool that can book both leisure and business rail travel, using the online fares to sell tickets to American travelers.
Deutsche Bahn has reported increasing demand especially from the United States since it offers extensive connections from Germany to sixteen European countries. Deutsche Bahn (DB) reports that there are 2 billion rail passengers per year in Germany. The company operate 27,000 passenger train that run daily on approximately 33,500 km long (over 20,000 miles), modern rail network. Its ever expanding network includes its ‘Inter City Express’ or ICE trains that connect the Rhineland to major European destinations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
These high-speed trains connect major German cities, such as Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, and Berlin, providing door-to-door service to many major hotels and attractions. Full food and beverage services are offered, along with reclining seats with built-in tables and video screens, an integrated audio system, computer and mobile device connections, and cellular-friendly zones, allowing for undisturbed service in air-conditioning.
DB’s latest service enhancements include making their long distance trains more environmentally-friendly. As of April 2013, at least 75% of all journeys are to be powered by renewable energy sources. DB is committed to allowing passengers using Bahn Cards and season ticket holders who take ICE trains to travel exclusively using green electricity at no extra charge.
DB enjoys nearly an exclusive rail market, covering the entire Continent literally. DB CEO Grube acknowledges the company’s healthy balance sheet, stating that “We are on the right track with our DB2020 strategy.”
To accommodate German rail travel, Deutsche Bahn Sales has implemented a new online booking tool for travel agents in efforts to handle the increased demand. DB is now selling tickets through various sales channels. For the leisure market, travel agents can access the online tool that sells tickets through the U.S. website. The website targeted to the American market is currently the company’s second largest international homepages, with an annual growth rate of 25%.
For business travel, DB has implemented a B2B online booking to access fares via its B2B tool called DB RailClient. This web-based tool is free of charge and can be accessed by everyone. The new online tool is able to expand access that had been previously limited to accredited DB international sales agents.
The new system allows registered users to issue rail tickets for the domestic and international DB rail network, with a simple and user-friendly interface. The new DB RailClient tool gives access to the German domestic and international standard fare tickets, as well as the company’s Europe Special Fares (Europa-Spezial). Inner-European Cross Border fares start at 39 euros (approximately US$50) per segment. All tickets booked as e-tickets on a PDF allow for last-minute issuance with no fulfillment costs. DB does not charge for users’ registering on site and does not have any fee for using the RailClient tool. Agencies can register as a DB RailClient Partner by clicking on www.db.rc.com for login data and then start selling via the web-based sales platform.
With RailClient, all payments are settled via the agencies’ corporate or clients’ credit cards, and do not require the use of any safety deposits. In providing greater access, RailClient can efficiently handle more volume with the online booking system that can complement the smaller agency bookings from past years.
Based on the growing demand for point to point rail tickets throughout Germany and Europe, Marc Giesen, Head of DB Bahn International Sales, claims that the online booking system can improve the customer experience in accessing tickets. Mr. Giesen recognizes that the online booking has been well-received since “customers (have) become more price sensitive, but more experienced at the same time, thus we are very happy that we can finally facilitate agencies the handling of the leisure and business customers.” The advantage is allowing users to connect directly to Deutsche Bahn’s corporate client portal, which facilitates the booking process. Using this tool, agencies can provide registered business customers with attractive corporate discounts. Since its implementation, the new online booking tool gives the national rail carrier a new role as an international service provider.
German Rail Pass Extension Promotion
Travel to selected European cities in Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy and receive reduced prices on both first and second class rail tickets between May 1st – August 31st. Receive an extra 25% discount on city tours when buying tickets in advance.
Deutsche Bahn, www.bahn.com/USA