Eurail France Pass - how do I reserve seats?

  • 29 November 2022
  • 5 replies

The rail passes I have are electronic mobile pass versions, they show up under my Eurail account, but I’m not sure how to use them when it comes time to reserve/pay for seats on  

Basically, I’ve got all my routes selected, and I’m ready to go to the checkout screen.  But it looks like I still need to pay $20/person plus an $8 service charge per train.  My assumption was that since I purchased the rail pass, I could reserve seats using the rail pass and not have to pay anything.  But nowhere during the checkout process am I asked to input my pass #’s.  


Best answer by rvdborgt 29 November 2022, 09:15

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Userlevel 7
Badge +5

YOur first idea was wrong-and daily we get many people who did not fully read all the ins+outs.

Note that this for SNCF-the strike prone state railway in FRance and utter burocratic, this ONLY applies to TGV and IC trains-it is 10€ IF you are so lucky to be in the small quota for passholders (easier to get if booked long before) and 20 if beyond and as long as there are seats. It does not really matter which pass you hold for that.

Now if one looks at the figures even in FRance some 90%+ of all trains are without any RES-not even possible, these are the local/regional TER-trains that also can cover quite long distances. But it seems that about each&every newbee exactly wants to use those trains that are hardest to get-like a herd that cannot even think of any alternative.

You can try that out all by yourself by setting that app on ´only trains withOUT RES´-it may yield success-or not. Or it may take so much longer that you ten think that 10/20 is worth it.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Also note that Eurail currently only sells the €20 reservations for France, not the €10 reservations, even when the latter are available.

A better website is:

There's also a booking fee (€4 per order, which can be a return for multiple persons) but it also offers the €10 reservations when still available.

You’ll need a pass cover number, generate it here:

Booking without booking fee is possible by phone or at the ticket office or ticket machines.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The Eurail pass is your ticket and for some trains you need to buy an additional seat reservation. Some trains, like the TGV in France have mandatory seat reservations.

On the TGV there is a quotation of seat reservations for 10 EUR. Once all 10 EUR seats are sold the remaining seats can be reserved for 20 EUR. On the Eurail website all seats are sold for 20 EUR so it is better to make your reservation for TGV through b-europe as they sell the 10 EUR seats.

To make a reservation through b-europe you need a Pass Cover Number which you can get here:


Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process, when you choose the start day of the validity of the pass, the first day of the validity period is automatically made a travel day, even if you don't enter a journey, the advice is therefore not to activate the pass before the first travel day as you only can deactivate the pass before 00.00 on the day the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you will loose travel days if you have activated the pass in advance.

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Which routes you’re currently looking at, and when? We can help you find alternatives @ahung12 .