Deutsche Bahn has recently introduced a new form to request assistance which is not only easier to handle; you can additionally generate a service code to save your personal data for future requests.
The following is an overview and a comparison of the features in the old- and the new form:
Firstly, you are asked to enter your service-code (if you already have one) or to start as a guest. Note that after you have sent your request as a guest, you will be asked whether you would like to generate a service-code for future requests or not.
In the old form, you were asked to enter your personal data including your special needs over and over again, whenever you wanted to request assistance.
Even in the new form though, they only save your special needs when generating a service-code, not your name, phone number or Email-address.
In the next step, you are asked for your type of handicap and what aids you use. If you signed in with your service-code, you can review your previously chosen options. You can update your options or just move on to the next step to start planning your journey.
Whereas the old form asked you to enter your route details manually and provide information such as the exact train numbers, all the stops in between where you might change trains, time of arrival and departure at every stop you changed at, etc., entering your route details is much more time-saving, now that they have implemented the connection search-machine into the assistance request form; so the only thing you need to provide them with is the date and time, your start point and destination. Just like in the normal Deutsche Bahn connection search, you can add or modify additional options based on your desired search criteria before clicking on the “search” button.
On the next page, you are presented with a list of connections based on your search.
After selecting a suitable connection, you might be asked whether you already have a reservation or not. If you leave this box unchecked, you can ask for a reservation later on if necessary.
Next, choose your desired spot to meet your assistance (in case you need it at the given train station). As for local trains, I usually choose to meet at the train front or middle, whereas on long distance trains, I choose to meet the assistance at the coach of my reservation.
Later on, you can choose between different special needs and whether you are traveling with a companion, which is especially important if you need seat reservations.
Last but not least, you can check your personal data and connection details, generate a service-code for future requests and eventually send your request.
As usual, you will get a confirmation Email and Deutsche Bahn will get in touch with you in case of important changes or just to confirm your assistance request.
You can find the form hereunder:
NOTE: For the time being, this form is only available in German. If you are not capable of understanding German, I would recommend sending an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to arrange your assistance that way.
I can conclude that the new form is indeed way more time-saving and I appreciate the service-code option to save some of my data for future requests. The bad news is that we still cannot take advantage of the Comfort Check-in option when requesting a ticket or a seat reservation through the assistance request form which, especially as long as COVID is around, would come in handy.