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How does the app work? Showing QR code for trains not requiring reservation sufficient?

  • 29 July 2022
  • 6 replies
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Hello!

My trip is gonna start very soon, in a week and I'm still not very sure about how does the app work

When I want to take a train that doesn't require any reservation, all I need to do is to add it to my pass and when the time comes, to show the QR code to the conductor. Right?

What I'm supposed to do when I have booked an reservation for a train that required it? What I should do then? What do I need to show to the conductor? 

Except the tickets, is there anything else I need to show to the conductor? 

Thanks!

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Best answer by Barbara R. King-Searles 29 July 2022, 12:49

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Hi,  just back from our first trip.  Yes trains with no reservation requirements just show your QR code, if a seat reservation has been booked try to have a printed copy with you and that with your pass QR code will work.  I had some changes and our hotel allowed me to email them and they printed out the seat reservation PDFs for us. Many legs we were never asked, put recommendation is to be prepared,

Hi,  just back from our first trip.  Yes trains with no reservation requirements just show your QR code, if a seat reservation has been booked try to have a printed copy with you and that with your pass QR code will work.  I had some changes and our hotel allowed me to email them and they printed out the seat reservation PDFs for us. Many legs we were never asked, put recommendation is to be prepared,

Thanks a lot for your answer! You helped to understand better what I should do. 

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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.

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@Fincholy as other people said, usually if you haven’t reserved a seat then you just show your pass QR code to the conductor. Sometimes they scan it or they just want you to scroll down to see that it’s valid today.

On trains which need both a reservation and an Interrail/Eurail pass, it varies. Sometimes the conductor doesn’t check the seat reservation (the seat is just reserved from one place to another) and they only want to see the ticket. In other places, they check both - for example on the Eurostar your reservation acts as a ticket, but you can’t get through the automatic check-in gates with it, you have to go to a real person and show them both your reservation and that your Interrail/Eurail ticket is valid today. They check your reservation in the computer and then let you through.

I love just hopping on a train. In the UK, for example, reservation is only compulsory on GNER routes. On other routes, including GWR, you can just hop on as they always have a few seats unreserved for people who turn up at the last minute. If you’re in 1st class this is great - you just collapse into an unreserved seat and then are treated like a king or queen as the staff come and offer you complimentary drinks and a meal. 😝

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I love just hopping on a train. In the UK, for example, reservation is only compulsory on GNER routes. 

There are no day trains in the UK with compulsory reservations. If you mean LNER, reservation is very much recommended but not compulsory and they have limited unreserved coaches on all their trains.

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I love just hopping on a train. In the UK, for example, reservation is only compulsory on GNER routes. 

There are no day trains in the UK with compulsory reservations. If you mean LNER, reservation is very much recommended but not compulsory and they have limited unreserved coaches on all their trains.

Reservations are free in the UK and at busy times many trains have standing room only, even on long distances so why not reserve?  LNER even allow on the day reservations at the station up to 5 mins before boarding so if you have boarded early and taken an unoccupied seat in any carriage except C (the only unreservable coach) you could still be ejected from your seat before departure or at any station on the way.

Although I always print out copies of reservations, in the UK they are only used to guide you to your seat and in case you need to eject an unwilling occupant, so the confirmation e-mail would suffice.

An earlier post suggested you needed to get somebody to let you access Eurostar - not correct at Brussels or Lille - the bar code on your reservation will let you in on the auto gates. Your pass is likely to be checked onboard, along with your reservation.

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