this pass is a scam

  • 20 July 2023
  • 6 replies
  • 533 views

I bought a 10 day pass for 371 USD, passes include tickets for MOST trains that show up on the app, second class tickets for some. Extremely difficult, you open the app and your tickets or journeys don’t pop up and you then have to open and close it 75 times until your stuff pops up.

You buy this pass thinking it is soooo convenient, then you find out there are seat reservations. What you are not told is there is a limited number of Eurail pass holder seats per train. There must be only 2 seats per train because by the time most people can book THEY ARE ALL FULL. They are full for the day and full until maybe 5 days from then, that is with SEVERAL trains a day still. Then, you have to cough up usually $300 for SEATS to your destination. 

The problem is you try to book seats on the website, you can’t. Other websites like Bahn.com are amazing but there are no Eurail pass holder discounts on any of them. After being in Europe for 6 weeks and experimenting with trains and sometimes taking trains without my pass and just buying a ticket, it would cost the same to just buy the tickets with the seats at the stations and then also get the seat reservations then. This pass isn’t worth s-h-i-t, it is just profit for this company that isn’t necessary and then they benefit the train stations by this random seat reservation BS. 

This pass, app and website are also useless for several other reasons. You can’t check train delays on it. You can’t see what platform your train will be at. You can’t even see how many pass holder seats are available, ever. Buy tickets at the station and your seats with them, it will be less of a hassle and way less expensive that way. Waste of money. And then there are no refunds or accommodations because you were just supposed to assume all of this crap I guess. This is just pocketing your money. The only good part of this pass is the organization in the app and being able to see your full trip. Which even that is difficult because the app doesn’t work half of the time.

I have had this issue of seat reservations happen SEVERAL times now. Sometimes they won’t even let you get on the train and pay on the train with the seat reservations, you seriously will be trapped in whatever train station you are in. Screw this pass.


They then say you can do seat reservationless  trains and then you won’t have to worry about seat reservations. What they do not mention is that this routes will ALWAYS double the time of your train travel. If you have a 3 hour train ride with seat reservations, it will be 6 hours without (happened to me from Paris to Brussels), which also in that journey I was supposed to be going from Paris to Barcelona on a Saturday and stay until Monday, seats were full for Eurail holders from Paris to Barcelona til Tuesday, so I completely had to skip that. If I wanted no reservations from Ostend, Belgium to Rome, it would have went from a 15 hour journey to a 36 hour journey. The no reservations thing is also fake and a scam and you will have several more transfers.

 

They also say you can email to make reservations, no you can’t. USELESS USELESS USELESS, I can not say this more.


6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

@Chasity Thompson The only trains with limited number of pass holder seats for Eurail/Interrail are Eurostar, Thalys and International TGVs. All other trains with mandatory reservation have no quota for passholders. And about 90 % of all trains in the Eurail/Interrail offer don't have mandatory reservations, thus you can just board the train and find a seat.

The Eurail website is the last place where you should make your reservation. For most train there are better and cheaper ways to make reservations,  like DB, ÖBB or ČD. Please read more about that below in my further reply. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

The recommendation from the experienced travellers in the community is to only make reservations through the Eurail website if no other options are available. Please read more about that 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 you choose the start day of the validity of the pass. Once the validity has started it can't be changed even if you haven't travelled. The advice is therefore to wait with activating the pass and starting the validity until the first day of your travel as you only can deactivate the pass no later than 23.59 CET on the day before the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you can't deactivate the pass and change the validity. 

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 and create the ticket (QR code), 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.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

The pass is not a scam, you just need to do a bit of research and preperation before you travel.

Eurail clearly states where seat reservations are mandatory and necessarry. These are usually the cross-border international high speed trains, a lot of (overseas) tourists use.

Almost all of Europe is on holiday right now, so yes these long distance international trains are popular and fully booked, limiting the flexibility a bit.

Instead of writing your complaint, you always could’ve asked this community for ways to avoid mandatory reservations, minimise your reservation costs or alternative routes. Dozens of people are always happy to help here, giving you a neat rail experience and suitable answer in no time.

Wishing you better and positive vibes during the remainder of your travels.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Instead of writing your complaint, you always could’ve asked this community for ways to avoid mandatory reservations, minimise your reservation costs or alternative routes.

Or just where to book reservations. bahn.com can book pass reservation, for example, just by using the "Seat only” option. As can a number of other websites, part of which can be found on in the app and on the Eurail website.

The app should not be used to plan, is not online and has no realtime information. It's just a tool to register the trains you'll use.

How can I book a reservation with Sweden’s rail? I only see an option to purchase, not use in conjunction with Eurrail. Looking to go Stockholm to Copenhagen.

Thanks.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

You've chosen a strange thread to add your post to...

You can book pass reservations for Stockholm-Copenhagen and domestic Swedish trains on sj.se. Instructions with screenshots here:

 

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