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How do I reserve seats? Why via direct train operators? What is the use of the pass?

  • 29 July 2022
  • 7 replies
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Hi everyone - I’ve purchased my Eurorail pass and it is activated as I have a strict schedule with hostels booked as well as other events, all in a short amount of time. I’m not worried about plans changing - as I intend to take trains everywhere and only have 2 flights with lots of time before I start on the trains. What I am just wondering is Now that I my Global 10 day in 2 month Eurorail pass:
*How do I book the seat reservations?
*With direct train operators?  OBB for instance gives me the option of “One-way tickets and day tickets or Seat only (no ticket)” ~ what do I choose?

*And what is the purpose of the Eurorail pass then?

I’m from Canada and we don’t use trains here. Below are the dates and locations so if anyone could please provide with direct links or information - I’d really appreciate it. It would be a very expensive mistake if I booked/reserved the wrong seat. Thank you in advance
 

Berlin Germany, to Warsaw on Oct 12-

 Warsaw to krakow Oct 14,

Krakow To Prague Czech Republic Oct 17th, 

Prague to Bratislava Slovakia Oct 20, 

Bratislava to Budapest Hungary Oct 22 , 

Budapest to stop in Austria for a night Oct 25th,

 On Oct 26 to Nuremberg Germany, 

Nuremberg to Frankfurt Oct 29th. 

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Best answer by Yorkie 29 July 2022, 19:19

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Userlevel 7
Badge +9

An advice from tge experienced travellers is only activate the pass just before boarding the first train of your travel. I suggest that you deactivate your pass. Please read more below.

 

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

 Planning

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. 

 Reservations 

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:

https://community.eurail.com/train-connections-reservations-47/how-to-get-reservations-105

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, 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.

Hi Anna I’ve reas this information you sent before but I’m still confused… below is my set intinerary

I’ve purchased my Eurorail pass and it is activated as I have a strict schedule with hostels booked as well as other events, all in a short amount of time. I’m not worried about plans changing - as I intend to take trains everywhere and only have 2 flights with lots of time before I start on the trains. What I am just wondering is Now that I my Global 10 day in 2 month Eurorail pass:
*How do I book the seat reservations?
*With direct train operators?  OBB for instance gives me the option of “One-way tickets and day tickets or Seat only (no ticket)” ~ what do I choose?

*And what is the purpose of the Eurorail pass then?

I’m from Canada and we don’t use trains here. Below are the dates and locations so if anyone could please provide with direct links or information - I’d really appreciate it. It would be a very expensive mistake if I booked/reserved the wrong seat. Thank you in advance
 

Berlin Germany, to Warsaw on Oct 12-

 Warsaw to krakow Oct 14,

Krakow To Prague Czech Republic Oct 17th, 

Prague to Bratislava Slovakia Oct 20, 

Bratislava to Budapest Hungary Oct 22 , 

Budapest to stop in Austria for a night Oct 25th,

 On Oct 26 to Nuremberg Germany, 

Nuremberg to Frankfurt Oct 29th. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

It might make it a little clearer to remind you that reservations are add-ons to your pass, although  you may need your pass number to make the separate reservation. 

For all eligible trains the “fare” element is what your pass covers, Any train you intend boarding simply needs adding to your pass before you board, (Do not confuse this with planning your itinerary in your mobile app).

Pre activating your pass and adding these trains is not necessary until your start day - It makes itinerary changes easy and avoids last minute losses of a day on your pass, if you cannot travel on the pre-activated start date and cancel after 23.59 of the previous day.

 Some trains (usually the express and Intercity ones) then mandate you have a reservation before you board, and others, such as the ICE trains in Germany, have optional reservation. Almost all regional and local trains are simply add to pass and board without reservation.

As the first reply describes in detail there are several ways to get these reservations, which are often e-mailed as a PDF for home printing. These will show your seat number, and are in addition to the details shown in the Eurail pass.

Simply print your reservation before leaving and show on-train if requested by the staff (or passengers in your seat).

Note if you change your plans and need to get a reservation in station they will probably check your pass and, if seats are still available, give you a printed copy.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Although many interrailers are experienced in the various reservation agents, I would suggest you start with Interrails own reservation tool. If it is showing your planned trains in the planner,  you can simply jump to the reservation tool and apply for your reservations. Once all your available journey reservations are completed and in the basket you will be given a total price (including their fee) and, once paid, you receive confirmation and your reservation vouchers for printing.

For any where they are unable to make a reservation, you can then move to other reservation sites as detailed in the community.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

ONLY the first 3 rides DO need mandatory RES. Howtodo-as above. It will only cost a few € each, 2 is even free on some trains. Its late oct so no super hi-season and the eternal worries of about anyone that ´trains are full´ is complete nonsense then. The latter ones are only optional. 

ALSO read it fully, as youre way too early now for then.AND even better; no worries, now as 1 can ONLY be done in person at a station In DE and 2 and 3 ditto in a station IN PL-and the good grace: both at same time.

@mcadv  I only need to book seat reservations on the first 3 trains - is that correct? So I just show up on my departure days and get on the trains for the other dates? Sorry I’m confused.

Also I just tried to do a seat reservation test from Budapest to Salzburg - and it was costing me around 50$ CDN - where do I find these cheap seats? I tried going through Eurail/interail website but there is nothing available yet. 

And I’m not sure what your statement “In DE and 2 and 3 ditto in a station IN PL-and the good grace: both at same time.” means? Sorry for all the questions but this is really really new to me, but thanks very much for any and all advice. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

I am sure you now feel that European trains are operated by a multitude of operators with a mountain of complexities and it is a nightmare. The reality is somewhat simpler when using your pass, but is still frightening to novices.

If you use the Eurail/interrail train times planner it shows the routings and trains currently in the operators timetables, (subject to a delay in the update of new timetables). I would expect most trains to be available on the planner between 6 and 12 weeks before travel.

Once showing in the planner, the train will show whether a reservations is mandatory and at what price or will be in green so you simply add the train to your pass and jump onboard (sometimes called free seating). Some trains will say reservations can be made but not compulsory. 

Each train operator has different approaches to reserving seats, but they usually drop into three categories, book on their own websites, book through an agency or another operator website e.g. Eurail or OEBB.com and booking at a station with a ticket office, sometimes in country and sometimes in other countries. (Plenty of guidance available on community).

In all case ensure you are being charged only for the reservation and not a full fare ticket. It should only be a few euros for most trains. On some sites it is easy, but on others you need to know how to add the fact you have a pass - which is why I suggested you start with the Eurail reservation tool, even if just to see the reservation fee for your train.

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