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Inbound journey with nighttrain = extra ticket?

  • 24 September 2021
  • 13 replies
  • 203 views

Hi everyone,

I’m planning my first trip with an Interrail Global Ticket and I need some advice.

My country of residence is Germany. I’d like to travel back with an over night train from Rome, which ends in Munich, but I have to switch trains then to get back home.

I thought I can just use 2 travel days for this on my pass, but the app doesn’t allow me to select the the journeys because I “already used my outbound travel”. I have enough travel days left, but unfortunately I have to switch trains after midnight. Do I have to purchase another ticket to get home?

Thanks for your help.

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Best answer by MartinM 24 September 2021, 10:44

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13 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Hey,

try to split the journey in the app in two parts: Rome-Salzburg and Salzburg-München. Then the inbound journey should be on the day of arrival and you can continue without an extra ticket.

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

Hi Viki,

I can’t speak from experience as I haven’t had the chance to try travelling with the app yet, but I notice that it is preventing you from selecting this journey on the basis that the “outbound” has already been used. If you’ve already entered a journey from your hometown in Germany out of the country at the beginning of your trip, that is what the outbound will have been used on, but the inbound should still be available. Is there any way you can indicate within the app that the connecting train from Munich is an inbound and not an outbound journey?

Hopefully another commentator will be able to explain further how this can be done.

I am certain, in any case, that the journey you describe is absolutely legitimate; you get a full 24hr allowance within your own country to get back home at the end of your Interrail trip, and the Rome-Munich sleeper train you mention will have crossed the German border after midnight, so you must be allowed to take as many extra trains as you need to throughout the rest of the day.

Best of luck!

EDIT: I think Martin has given exactly the right solution to your problem already!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

EDIT: I think Martin has given exactly the right solution to your problem already!

Well, it's not a solution, it's a workaround for a bug.

@Nanja, has anyone looked into this bug yet?

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Hi, two factors are involved here. The night train rule which is as follows: When travelling on a night train, you only have to write down the day of departure. You can take as many trains on the day of departure as you want. If you change after midnight, it counts as two travel days.

With the Pass you only have 1 inbound travel day and 1 outbound travel day. You probably already used your outbound travel day when you left Germany at the start of your trip. Is this correct? If that's the case, you only have your inbound travel day left which is one day. To use this day you can split the trip like Martin suggested, so that one inbound travel day is used and one regular travel day. However, you can also choose to save the regular travel day for a day you want to take a lot of trains and purchase a point to point ticket instead for that part of your journey. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hi, two factors are involved here. The night train rule which is as follows: When travelling on a night train, you only have to write down the day of departure. You can take as many trains on the day of departure as you want. If you change after midnight, it counts as two travel days.

With the Pass you only have 1 inbound travel day and 1 outbound travel day. You probably already used your outbound travel day when you left Germany at the start of your trip. Is this correct? If that's the case, you only have your inbound travel day left which is one day. To use this day you can split the trip like Martin suggested, so that one inbound travel day is used and one regular travel day. However, you can also choose to save the regular travel day for a day you want to take a lot of trains and purchase a point to point ticket instead for that part of your journey. 

So you're saying it's not a bug? Then I'm afraid I disagree.

The bug seems to be as follows: You have at least 2 travel days left and one inbound/outbound journey. when you then use a night train to go to to your country of residence (entering your country after midnight) and want to use a connecting train in your country of residence, then the app says it's not possible, although it should be.

Another test case would be if you do this when you still have 2 inbound/outbound journeys left (and at least 2 travel days). My expectation is that the app will then use both inbound/outbound journeys, which is of course incorrect, since you're only travelling in your country of residence on one day.

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

I see, thanks for explaining. That clarifies the issue(s). Will have the App team look into this. Will keep you posted. Cheers, 

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Hi, 
Just to inform you,, it is the standard process that the journey should be split by the customer so it is actually not a bug as it's not working differently than what was expected. Though, we understand that it would be more convenient for the user if it at least it would be clearly mentioned in the App, or ideally if the App was able to split it automatically, Therefore the team will look into possibilities. Once there are further updates, I will let you know. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Just to inform you,, it is the standard process that the journey should be split by the customer so it is actually not a bug as it's not working differently than what was expected. Though, we understand that it would be more convenient for the user if it at least it would be clearly mentioned in the App, or ideally if the App was able to split it automatically, Therefore the team will look into possibilities. Once there are further updates, I will let you know. 

This is currently not mentioned anywhere. But even if this were mentioned, it is unexpected behaviour of the app to take an extra inbound/outbound journey. Also, in this example, the journey could be split conveniently at the tariff border point Salzburg, and in addition, it is allowed to leave and enter the night train there. Other passengers may not be so lucky that there's a convenient station to split the trip without losing an extra inbound/outbound journey.

I suppose the journey should be split after midnight, in a station outside your country of residence. But that also raises the question what happens if that is not possible. I can image there are night trains that cross the border to your country of residence before midnight or where there is no stop before the border where both leaving and boarding the train is allowed. Please test this before advising a workaround.

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Thanks for your feedback once again. We will take that along when looking into it. Once there are further updates from the relevant team, I will get back to you. Have a nice evening! 

Userlevel 1

Hi rvdborgt,

As anticipated by Nanja, the app behaves exactly as we expected, namely it counts the departure date as inbound when the night rule is used, for otherwise one could travel back to their own country of residence with a night train without using any inbound trip.

This of course creates the issue that if one does continue traveling the next day in their country, the app will try to use another inbound trip. For such cases, we realized one could simply split the journey in two and use the inbound trip only for the arrival date. The two problems you mention do not apply: if one crosses the border before midnight, then two inbound trips should indeed be used, one for each day in which the traveller is using the pass in their own country. And whether one can get on and off the train at the station which was chosen to split the journey is not relevant. One can enter the trip manually without doing anything against the rules, their ticket would still be valid. If a particular situation happens which does not fall within the possibilities we’ve anticipated, it will be dealt with by our customer service on a case to case basis.

It would be ideal if the app could recognize these cases and adjust the use of inbound trips, but this small improvement requires a considerable amount of work from our developers. Since this feature concerns very few cases, while an alternative solution is already available, we could not prioritize it yet, but our team have it on their radar and they will work on it as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will publish the current procedure on our official channels, so that more travellers are aware of it.

Thanks for your input!

Leo

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

As anticipated by Nanja, the app behaves exactly as we expected, namely it counts the departure date as inbound when the night rule is used, for otherwise one could travel back to their own country of residence with a night train without using any inbound trip.

I'm not sure how that would be possible, but I'm probably missing something.

It would be ideal if the app could recognize these cases and adjust the use of inbound trips, but this small improvement requires a considerable amount of work from our developers. Since this feature concerns very few cases, while an alternative solution is already available, we could not prioritize it yet, but our team have it on their radar and they will work on it as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will publish the current procedure on our official channels, so that more travellers are aware of it.

Thanks. I think a warning should be given each time anyone adds a trip to their pass using a night train into their country of residence. Otherwise you won't prevent most of these problems. Currently, it's undocumented, unexpected behaviour (aka a bug).

Userlevel 1

Hi rvdborgt,

I’ll try to clarify what I meant earlier in my first sentence, let me know if this helps or not: imagine you live in Munich and the last train you take to get back home is the direct NJ from Italy. Since you do not change after midnight and arrive straight home with the night train, only the departure date will be used as travel day (the night rule, in other words). But since it is the day after that you would be effectively traveling in your own country, and the train in fact crosses the border after midnight, no inbound/outbound trip would be used at all, because the travel day to which it should be applied simply does not exist. So we had to program the app to do what looks like unexpected behavior, namely adding the inbound trip to the only travel day that is used (the departure date), although during that day you haven’t really travelled in your country, because you were still in Italy.

Now, let’s say you live in Bamberg instead of Munich, then you need to continue traveling in your country of residence, and so two travel days will be used - which is correct - but also two inbound trips instead of one, because of the reason above.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Thank for the clarification, @Leo, that makes sense. I hope you'll get it fixed.

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