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The Travel and booking Apps

Updated: May 22, 2023

Did you know that an easy to use Graphic User Interface is evident for a App success?

I’ve been doing a lot of research on freight platforms, in parallel also passenger booking apps. My key focus is intermodal/multimodality that is key to sustainability. But there is much more to sustainability than this aspect.

This time a I start with a small comparison on some of the known train and intermodal ticketing apps. In the coming posts I’d like to share some interesting ways on how I found train tickets to some European destinations when most apps and showed no availability! And of course some more detailed discussions on sustainability and single mode and multimodal travel, past and possible future trends in this direction. Happy reading!

In this post, I searched FlixTrain, trainline, omio, for a second class ticket at lowest price, direct connection between Duisburg and Berlin for Tuesday 21. Feb 2023 at 7:30 a.m. If I not find the same connection, I looked for one immediately before and for one immediately after this time only. Further, I’m not looking at any other offers or rebate cards. Just a standard train ticket.

Easy to use website, offers both bus, train and intermodal offers. There appeared to be more bus offers than for train, however this one is the fastest and a reasonably priced ticket of 39.99 Euros. There are some challenges I faced though. While changing the language from German to English and back the starting point in my journey changed. More to look out for the reasons another time!

You can book your seat for 4.99 Euros or if you want the seat next to you free you pay 29.99 Euros. Very much like flights you can choose your wagon and your seat. If you have more than some standard luggage, you pay a small amount of 4.99 Euros extra per piece. Fair enough, for that price this is a good deal.

FlixTrain is a more recent service since 2018 of Flix which is popularly known for its FlixBus services [1]. Thus making it one an intermodal service provider. The trains are run in cooperation with private train operators, currently in Germany and Sweden.

An avid train traveller and public transport user, I would like to start my FlixTrain journey’s too.

I’ve used this app several times before covid-19 and practically never had problems with it. One of the early starters in this area, I’ve been following it and watching it grow. This time the search takes few seconds till some offers come up on my screen. Fair enough, I see the FlixTrain offer here as well for the same price! There appear to be no bus offers, but I’m not looking for them at the moment either. The choice of tickets from Deutsche Bahn (DB) shown below is same as the DB Website.

Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app, so also intermodal. It was set upby the Virgin Groupin 1997 with the mission of helping customers save money on train tickets [2].

I’ve been following this app for quite some time and am watching it grow. Interestingly apart from train, I also find bus and flight offers (but no, I don’t want it for this distance). I could not find the FlixTrain offer here, but the other two offers from trainline are visible here, costs 10 cents more. The costs of DB trains is same as the DB Website as discussed in trainline above.

Omio was launched in 2013 [3] and is a metasearch engine for single and multimodal travel connections.

I’ve extensively used the German railway service. The experience is mixed, for me more often good, but then I try to keep buffers for delays. I see the same offers and even the one from FlixTrain. But I am not able to select the Flixtrain offer (or I can’t find it?). The price you see here is a super Sparpreis ticket (same as omio and trainline) that is bound to a train and is not valid if you do not board that particular train. You cannot cancel this ticket either. Between 8 Euros and ca. 50 Euros extra you can enjoy more flexibility regarding changing the ticket if you are not sure of making the connection.

So basically, it looks like for this stretch the option from FlixTrain is good, you could also use any of the apps to book the other tickets. For the price difference of more than 30 Euros, the 21 minutes extra on FlixTrain may become a choice for many people as long as the tickets are available. For avid DB fans the price difference does not stand in away.

Next time, I will look into other train options should you want to travel more number of days or try finding available tickets when you do not find them on similar apps.

*This post reflects the personal opinion of the author.


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