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Rail planner app reliability

  • 6 November 2023
  • 8 replies
  • 130 views

Hey! I’m looking into buying the Global Pass for travel from the UK to and around Switzerland. I downloaded the Rail Planner app from the Apple App Store where I know passes are stored.

But I’m hesitant to buy one because the reviews of the app are almost all negative, with people complaining about it not working properly, not being able to show their pass on trains, having to put in their journeys over & over etc.

The most recent review does say the app has been updated to a good standard, but I can’t just ignore all the bad ones.

So for those of you that have used it, is it reliable enough to use? Or should I perhaps be looking at the (more expensive) Swiss Travel Pass? The last thing I want is to be unable to show I’ve paid for my trips and have to pay again!

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Best answer by ralderton 6 November 2023, 22:56

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

The app can be a bit flakey, but if you know the workarounds it’s generally not a problem.

If you’re happy to fix your start date when you buy the pass, you can buy a paper pass and avoid the app completely.

But I wouldn’t let the negative reviews of the app stop you from buying a pass.

My tips would be:

  • Plan your trips using www.bahn.de, It’s likely to be more up to date than the Eurail app
  • If you need seat reservations, don’t buy them from Eurail if you can avoid it. (There are often other places that are cheaper and easier)
  • If you get a problem with the pass not showing, just flick your phone into Airplane mode and out again

Thanks. With the paper pass, it was a little off putting in the description saying you have to write down all your trips etc. As long as it works, I’d much prefer a pass to display on my phone. So I don’t have to worry about keeping it all neat/creasing etc.

I do have one other question that I’ll ask here instead of starting another discussion. I’m wanting to go on the Glacier Express, which has 1st & 2nd class seats. Does the Interrail pass allow me to go reserve a 1st class seat?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

A 1st class pass would allow you to travel in 1st class for sure. The mandatory reservation costs 49 CHF I believe (witthout food), it is also a popular train so book well in advance.

As a good alternative consider the hourly regional trains on the same route : way less crowded, allowing you to stop for an hour or two along the way if you feel like it since reservations aren't possible anyway. Most regional trains also have pull-down windows = really good for pictures !

You could get a 2nd class pass but to travel in 1st class you'd need to pay an upgrade for that specific journey. Honestly it will be quite expensive so get a 1st class pass from the start !

If you're in the area don't miss the Bernina Express (panorama or regional trains) ! It is even more beautiful in my opinion ! :) The special train is composed of reservation-free regular carriages at the front + carriages with big windows at the back (20-25 CHF mandatory reservation). A very good way to enter/leave Italy via Lake Como too.

The Interrail pass is a really good option for Switzerland (and Germany) since you've got full flexibility while last-minute tickets are expensive.

Feel free to ask further questions !

 

That's the thing with the Interrail pass though, there's no 1st or 2nd class, just one pass. From what you've said, I assume the pass is all 2nd class travel? I'll have to check the FAQ again.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

That's the thing with the Interrail pass though, there's no 1st or 2nd class, just one pass. From what you've said, I assume the pass is all 2nd class travel? I'll have to check the FAQ again.

Sure there's 1st and 2nd class passes for Interrail. Where did you get the information that only one type of pass is available?

That's the thing with the Interrail pass though, there's no 1st or 2nd class, just one pass. From what you've said, I assume the pass is all 2nd class travel? I'll have to check the FAQ again.

Sure there's 1st and 2nd class passes for Interrail. Where did you get the information that only one type of pass is available?

Yes, you're right. I completely missed that there's a 1st & 2nd class option under the age groups.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

After 3 Interrail adventures (the final one being a few weeks ago) I have had no issues with the performance of the app.

However it can be a bit difficult and time consuming to get your journeys into your trip until you have done a couple. 

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