I've been travelling quite a lot over the past few months, getting good value out of my 3-month continuous pass :)
Finally I've now also caught up with the posts in the Interrail community, as some of you might have noticed. Additionally, I've been taking notes about things in the app that are not quite right or misleading and that's what this post is about. Some of the notes are already older, from a previous trip with a mobile flexi pass; I could not re-check all of them (I don't have a valid Interrail at this time) and they may have been fixed in the mean time.
So here goes, in no particular order...
- The app said an internet connection is needed to activate a day on a flexi pass ("Add to pass" for the first journey of the day), although the phone had been online only half a day earlier. The mobile pass FAQ does not mention any other requirement than being online at least once every 3 days. If for certain actions an internet connection is needed, then please add that to the FAQ.
- Without internet, many actions, such as going to "My Pass" and then to "Show ticket" takes a very long time (several minutes for each of both steps). Adding a journey to a trip and then to the pass without internet access took 30 minutes, which is way too long.
- When you open "My Trip", then sometimes the app scrolls to the bottom automatically. That is a good thing. However, that can take quite some time if the list gets long, certainly if you have a 3-month pass. Can't the app just go to the bottom without scrolling?
- Manual entries in My Trip do not appear in the map. This should however be possible though for journeys between known stations.
- In Germany, for Flixtrain, the planner says that an addition reservation is needed. In reality, Flixtrain is not in the pass network. The latest app (version 20.0.0) even suggests you can book reservations for it.
- In Czechia, the JHMD trains do not have a warning "Not in pass network":
- Obrataň - Jindřichův Hradec
- Jindřichův Hradec - Nová Bystřice
- In Austria, some trains do not have a warning "Not in pass network". This is possibly the case for all trains operated by the NÖVOG. Some examples:
- Gmünd NÖ - Litschau
- Gmünd NÖ - Großgerungs
- Krems an der Donau - Emmersdorf an der Donau
- Altnagelberg - Heidenreichstein
- If you only get a reduction for a bus/train/ferry, then a journey shouldn't use a travel day. However, this does not (always?) seem to work. I.e. if you add a ferry Stockholm - Turku, then it currently takes a travel day and that should not happen. The workaround is not to add such journeys of course but that requires a level of knowledge and awareness that cannot be expected.
- In Italy, many regional trains in the Emilia-Romagna region are missing, now operated by "Trenitalia-Tper". Examples: Rimini - Ravenna, Bologna - Ravenna, Ferrara - Ravenna. Is there any hope that these trains will be included again? It's also quite possible that something similar is also true for other regions in Italy.
- The stations in Prague are only included with the name "Prague" and not with "Praha". As a minimum however, the station name as used locally should be recognised and that name should be used in the planner results. When typing station names, it is a good idea of course to recognise often used exonyms such as "Prague".
- In Belgium, stations seem to appear in the travel planner results with their French names only, also for stations in Dutch-speaking regions, also when you enter the Dutch name (which is recognised). This is very confusing if you're not aware that French equivalents exist or if you don't know them (e.g. for smaller towns). In addition, it is incorrect from the passenger's point of view: the station name used in the planner results should be the one(s) used locally and that you see at the station itself. Some examples:
- Louvain instead of Leuven
- Anvers instead of Antwerpen
- Grammont instead of Geraardsbergen
- Gand instead of Gent
- The app is quite picky about station spelling, in particular about whether, in multi-word names, a dash or a space is used. A station name should be recognised even if you type a dash instead of a space and vice versa.
- It is not possible to add a journey to your trip that overlaps with another journey already in the trip. That makes it impossible to add a late train that you would otherwise not be able to catch when changing trains. It would be OK to warn that the journey you are about to add overlaps with another journey but it should not be blocked. It may be possible to add such a journey manually but that should not be required in my opinion.
- The minimum connecting time is not implemented correctly in some stations and as a result, some connections are not shown. Some examples:
- 6 minutes in Benešov u Prahy (CZ)
- 5 minutes in Kladno (CZ)
- 4 minutes in Havlickuv Brod (CZ)
- 7 minutes in Foligno (IT)
- 5 minutes in Seregno (IT)
- 4 minutes in Kreuzlingen (CH)
- 3 minutes in Konstanz (DE)
I've found these examples only by using the app for my own journeys and I'm afraid there are many more examples. These connections are shown in the operators' own planners and in e.g. the DB and ÖBB planners, which normally means that the correct connection times are available in the MERITS data and at the European Timetable Centre. That probably means that there's a problem with the implementation in the rail planner app.
Any feedback from the Interrail/Eurail team would be greatly appreciated :)