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Have I missed out on window seats?

  • 12 February 2024
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I’m confused about what I have done.

I tried to reserve two seats on the train from Prague to Zurich. When I look in detail, I see I am allocated two seats on the Prague to Linz leg but not on the next leg.

When I looked at the seat layout on the Linz to Zurich leg, it looks like all the seats are in rows of 3. All bar one have the two seats closest to the window marked as if reserved and the only two side by side seats left appear to be a middle and aisle seats.

Does this mean we can’t get window seats on the Linz to Zurich leg, or am I doing something wrong? I have a 1st class Eurail Pass and I am going on the day train to get a good seat with a good view. The booking is for May 6, which I could only access starting a few days ago. Have I missed out already?

 

 

 

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Best answer by Robsue 12 February 2024, 10:14

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Seats are 2 + 1 in 1st class. Enough free seats available. 

For a much better experience pay 15 € more for business class (drink included). 😉

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The 3 people next to each other mean how busy the carriage is likely to be.

You should see a seat map with plenty of seats : the configuration in 1st class is 2+1.

Maybe book one train at a time, it doesn't change anything. Remember that 1st class optional reservations are free though ÖBB.

On the Prague - Linz EC you have the choice between old school compartments or open-plan seating.

EDIT : this is what I see for the Linz - Zurich RJX. Seats 55 and 56 would be ideal.

 

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Just for information:

On the country specific pages of the man in seat 61, there are plenty of pictures of how trains look like from the inside: https://www.seat61.com/Austria.htm or https://www.seat61.com/european-train-seating-plans.htm .

There are also some very train-nerdy websites, like https://www.vagonweb.cz/ where you can check how the trains look like if you enter the train number.

Anyway, there’s absolutely no need to overly plan or worry about this. (International) Long distance trains are always very comfortable and have generally good window views. No single train will sell out this far in advance.

When travelling, if another seat is unoccupied, which has better views. You can always sit there. All regular train traveller does that every now and then :)

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I guess this means I did mess up, because I have paid my 6 Euro and what I displayed above is what I see on the app. Can I modify the booking or am I up for another 6Euro? Sounds like Business Class may be worth the extra on this trip

As written before: The seat reservation is free of charge. No need to pay anything at all. Just for business class (recommended anyway if you go fo a “fun” trip; and it seems you’d like to do this trip just for fun because of the early departure and the detour via Linz). 

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I think I have totally messed up this one. I think I will just write off the 6Euro and re-book, this time Business class. (“thanks for your booking. We have debited your MASTERCARD card, with the last digits xxxxxxxxxxxx[xxxx], with €6.00.”)

Hopefully I won’t mess up this time.

Fortunately this is the last reservation I need to make. 

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2 x 3€ is the regular seat reservation price (with a ticket), don't worry you've still got seats. It's only that ÖBB is nice enough to offer free reservations to 1st class passholders.

Of course if you wish to travel in Business Class then it's 15€ pp.

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Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that it cost me 6 Euro to book 2 first class tickets on the Vienna Prague leg too, so I have either done something wrong, or OBB are now charging seat reservation fees even with a Eurail pass

No, you need to enter your pass as a reduction and then buy a ticket free of charge.

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I have a 1st Class Eurail Pass but seat reservations still cost me 3 Euro each. 

You need to select One way tickets and day tickets.

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Eurail passes and bookings are above my pay grade I think.😅

 

I log into OBB, find the train I want, try to make a seat reservation (not buy a ticket), select my wife’s name as a second traveller (mine is the default 1st traveller). The web site already has my “Discount” Eurail pass recorded, I make the reservation and pay my 6Euro. That’s been fairly consistent. I am sure it’s a great system for all those familiar with it, but it’s not rob-friendly. I wonder how many unnecessary booking fees I’ve paid already😏

 

Since I need to re-book the Prague to Zurich train (via Linz) again, and I’ve decided to go Business Class day trip, does anyone know how far it is from the train station I need to get off at to Placid Hotel Design & Lifestyle Zurich (Buckhauserstrasse 36, 8048 Zürich) and whether there’s any reason I should be worried about making the trip to the hotel if I take the late train and get to Zurich after 9PM (after sunset)? 

From Zürich HB you do need about 30 minutes to get to your hotel. 

Train to Zürich Altstetten. When walking it’s 15min from there. Or by bus from Zürich Altstetten to Zürich Flurstrasse (not included). Possible every 20 minutes; last connection that way at midnight.

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No, you need to enter your pass as a reduction and then buy a ticket free of charge.

Now I am not even sure if the 3 tickets I have booked on OBB are valid. I thought the instruction was make a reservation and record my pass as a discount, not buy a ticket. Another goof on my part.

Hopefully, it will all work out eventually.

The reservations (these are no tickets, the railpass is your ticket) are valid. If you do book a seat reservation, you need to pay for it. If you do book a ticket with railpass dicount, you do get it all for free.

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Thanks for the timing details. I wasn’t sure as it looks close to the rail lines but a long way from the station and I wasn’t sure if there was a station closer I could get off from. Maybe a taxi/Uber might be better at that time of the night, or maybe I just find a hotel closer to the train station. Thanks again.

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The reservations (these are no tickets, the railpass is your ticket) are valid. If you do book a seat reservation, you need to pay for it. If you do book a ticket with railpass dicount, you do get it all for free.

Ah, so at least I can rest confident that my reservations will be honoured and I won’t have to pay any more for the 2 trips I’ve reserved and want to stick with. For the one I am soon re-booking, I will just buy a ticket with rail pass discount. Should I also then reserve a seat, and will that cost extra again?

If you’d like to go for business class, it’s an additional 15€. Normal seat reservations are free of charge.

Do you need to stay in Zürich? With a railpass, I prefer to get accomodation near a station and do go into town by train (but you do need a continous pass). Much more convenient than crossing a big city (and buy additional tickets).

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I prefer to get accommodation near a station and do go into town by train.

My first trip to Europe, so I don’t know anything about anything. I looked for accommodation first and found the best value that suited our needs; then I bought the Eurail Pass because it seemed like a good deal; then lost what little hair I had left trying to match the two, figure out how to get from train station to hotel. In the process I have been trying to learn the complexities of European Rail. 

In light of your suggestion, I will review my accommodation plans and see if I can find something better. Thanks for your advice.

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Before I mess it up again, how do I get from here to booking the Business Class option for 15EUD

 

 

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Before I mess it up again, how do I get from here to booking the Business Class option for 15EUD

 

  1. Book both trains separately.
  2. Select "One-way tickets and day tickets” (NOT "Seat reservation only”)
  3. You'll see the business class upgrade when available.

However, it looks like 10 May can't be booked yet, probably because the timetable is not final yet.

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Thanks for explaining this all to me. This website and my brain are 100% out of sync. 

I selected Prague to Zurich and I thought it would display the trains for that trip. Following is the screen shot.

The way I read this was that I catch an EC train from Prague at 10:21 and 10 h 59 minutes later, after making 1 x change at Linz/Donau main station to an RJX train, I get to Zurich HB. However, there are a couple of alerts on the page that I need to interpret.

The message at the side tells me “Ticket for selection only”. Since I selected Prague to Zurich, I interpreted that meant the trip I selected Prague to Zurich. Instead, it seems I am meant to read that message in conjunction with the message at the bottom “Ticket only valid from Linz/Donau HBF to Zurich”. However, booking only part of a trip seems to go contrary to the advice from numerous other web posts that suggest if I book a journey in parts, and something goes wrong with the train connection, the carrier is not responsible. Whereas if I book the whole trip as one, they are responsible. It seems I am meant to know that’s not possible on this route.

The second alert in that message is “ATTENTION: Peak travel day/no seat guarantee without reservation”. I find it strange that they give this warning, when the timetable isn’t finalised and I can’t even make a reservation yet. I was led to believe that timetables are available between 60 to 90 days out, this is now less than 60 days so, yet again, I remain confused.

Clearly having been in the southern hemisphere all my life, means my brain needs realigning before I can understand this web site LOL. I am so glad this is the last reservation I need to make. 

 

Bottom line, I guess I should now wait for the other timetable to be released, then find and book a Prague to Linz trip and a separate Linz to Zurich Zurich trip. if I book this as two trips, does that mean I get to pay the 15EUD upgrade on both legs?

For the first train it’s posible to book it right now. You may book Praha hl.n. to Linz Hbf right now. In first class it should be 0 €. There’s no business class on this train.

Then book Linz Hbf to Zürich HB when it becomes available. In first class it should be 0 €, in business class (recommended for this trip) it’s 15 € per person (much better seats and you do get a free drink (it’s also possible to order food but that has to be paid for)).

So you won’t pay more if you book your seat reservations separately.

If you do miss your connection in Linz: There’s a possible connection via München at 15.45 and a direct one at 16.45. As you are holding a railpass, you are able to take any other train anyway (reservations are not mandatory).

But you do have 39 minutes to change. Time enough to have a free drink at the ÖBB lounge. 

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The message at the side tells me “Ticket for selection only”. Since I selected Prague to Zurich,

That's why I wrote that you should book the trains separately.

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Thanks for your ongoing help. I’ll have another go tomorrow when I am sharp and alert. It’s too easy to make a mistake when I am tired.

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