Why is Air/Rail not acceptable for Interrailers but OK for Eurailers?

  • 16 December 2022
  • 21 replies
  • 433 views

Userlevel 7
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I make no secret that I am a senior who only recently found Interrail. After a lifetime of travelling for both leisure and pleasure by air/road and cruising I am now a convert to using Interrail to create land cruises.

Nor do I apologise for raising this conversation subject to a community that in general is phenomenally supportive and made my first Interrail trips a pleasure.

I enjoy adding contributions to the community from the perspective of a “Hybrid” user i.e. one who sees real pleasure from blending air and rail elements in my travels, not least because I live in the UK and ferries are not my thing.

Rail via LNER and Eurostar is OK but that always starts me in Belgium or France and costs in time, reservations and hotels. A cheap flight to Sicily or Poland etc allows me a much more satisfying experience than UK/France/Italy out and return by a similar routing,and allows me to extend my budget.

I, along with one other member, are being routinely attacked as “frequent flyers” or similar for suggesting fly/rail as an option, stating this is a community for rail users and flying has no place on it.

So why is it accepted that Eurailers will fly thousands of miles before starting their rail adventure but Europeans with difficult direct access to nearby countries are wrong to use flights?

At no time have I said anything against using trains as the heart of your journeys, just the opposite. I accept I am not a hard-core train buff who has backpack and sleeps on train, but would have loved to be one in my long passed 20s. 

I, like many new generation Interrailers, do enjoy this experience of land-cruising in hotels and many need guidance on the transition, e.g. not necessarily a complex calculation of saving a few euros by working out lots of fare combinations against the daily rate of a pass

I prefer to think that all your tickets for your holiday (My pass) will cost £x plus reservations and this allows me a lot of flexibility on which trains I eventually travel on. I honestly don’t care about saving a few euros if I pre-purchase fixed tickets and a Global pass is always (in Western Europe) cheaper than paying fully flexible prices.

(A slight aside a 4 day pass used 2 days in the UK for day trips Leeds to London or Edinburgh (Not in the spirit of IR I know) is cheaper than just one of those journeys on flexible fares, especially in first class on morning or evening trains).

Surely there is a place on this community for all users including potential Hybrid Interrailers.


21 replies

Userlevel 6
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I'm not very involved in this community yet, so I might be missing something. I think the main difference between Eurail and Interrail passholders is that on many European routes, there is an alternative by train while from outside Europe that's a bit more difficult. Still much to improve in terms of trains and certainly not all routes are viable, but more there than across the Atlantic ocean. The UK to Sicily route understandably isn't competitive, but there still are plenty of flights from London to Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris where trains provide decent alternatives (though constrained by the limited quotas of passholder fares on Eurostar services - so I wouldn't be surprised if many people end up flying that leg).

 

I'm sorry that you feel attacked by persons offering train alternatives, but I'm sure their intention is to raise awareness of available alternatives - which unfortunately aren't always very clear. Flying has a considerably larger environmental impact, and people here have or are considering an interrail pass (in some cases out of sustainability concerns, lless a concern for Eurail passholders), but if the plane suits you or me or others better for a certain trip, no one is stopping us. I however think most people know how to find and book a flight, so if they come here they're probably not looking for that information.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for your perspective, and several of your points are pertinent to my argument. 

Firstly it is not just a question of cost, but more about making the best of your holiday, both in time and adventure. By flying from or to your home to a distant point means I can see more without repeating a well worn path from Leeds to France/Belgium.

Secondly the UK is a lot more than London - I live 300 Km from London and fortunately have, by UK standards, a regular high speed to London. Many need over 4 hours journeying by several trains just to get to Eurostar, assuming seats are available. This is similar to the situation for users from Spain and Scandinavian countries.

OOI currently I can fly from my  local airport  (5 Km) on at least 3 low cost airlines to anywhere in Europe for 100 euro or less with cabin baggage. Eurostar takes a full day from home, costs about 40 euro and then needs one night accom. Then I need to take a second travel day to reach my planned start point. Return takes the same. I can just about do it in a travel day but many from the ends of the UK (Lands End to John O’Groats either have to leave early and take a late E* or use 2 travel days with an overnight stop.

On a 10 day holiday that means 4 days total travel there and back plus extra payments for 2 non IR travel days and hotels.

The only difference between Eurail and Interrail is the 2 day in home country rule, so my point is still why do some community members seem to think that advising IR pass holders to consider a hybrid approach is any different to a Eurail pass holder flying in, Should Eurail be withdrawn because it is only facilitated by users flying thousands of miles?

p,s, I hope I have never patronised any member by advising how to book a flight, merely given a point of view that including a flight can enhance your IR experience.

Userlevel 7
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Thank you for bringing this up in a separate topic @Yorkie , this ensures a more confined place to have this interesting discussion. Instead of bringing it up every now and then in topics raised by people looking for help and suggestions which can be annoying and boring for some original posters 😉.

I do apologise if you felt attacked, not my intention what so ever to attack you as a person. I always admire your very qualitative posts here on the forum. But I do like good, factual discussions and discussion about differing views. I’m probably gonna make some long texts about this. 😁

First of all, I agree with the last point of @Schelte . Most people know how to book a flight. Dozens of websites are available, it’s very easy to book a flight from A to B. We probably all wish booking rail journeys would be as easy, but they’re not unfortunately. In contrast, it’s so complex. So many different ways of doing it, complicated reservations, confusing train types, weird outcomes, 30 different travel planners,… It’s just very complicated.

The advent of low cost airlines slashed a lot of choice for land travellers. Where’s the autotrains to the mediterreanean? Sleeper trains? The slow Eurocities in western Europe? Why has it become so much more difficult and expensive to cross a border by train the last 20-30 years?

If people come to this community with a question, I assume they already made the choice to Interrail, already did a lot of research, but couldn’t find the information they need. After that they still didn’t decide to fly or take the car. Then they’ve found this forum and asked for help. So they made the choice to not fly or take the car to get to their destinations and travel via rail, or at least stay with both feet on the ground and do things differently than the majority of the people. I sincerely think 99% of the Interrailers here are really not waiting for suggestions to go fly to their destination. They’re looking for help taking the train (or other low carbon, slow-travel alternatives).

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Secondly, t’s true to that for some exocentric European, countries, especially the UK and Portugal, you’re bound to very specific routes. Brexit didn’t help things as well. It’s easier advocating these things if you live more central. Everybody has the right to relax and to be on holiday, so if one is restrained by money and only have a limited amount of holidays, I will be the last to judge if someone takes a plane if you have limited choices.

Thirdly, time for some facts. It’s just a fact that short distance flying (+/- <1000 km) is very emission heavy. Not only direct CO2 emissions, but also on secondary non-CO2 effects from high altitudes. Figures vary, but it’s estimated that it takes factor 7 to 10 to 20 times more emissions to fly than to rail (depending to the source and type of train). That’s quite impressive and means that rail is one of the most energy efficient way of travelling after walking or taking the bike. There’s the social aspect to of low cost airlines really playing about with social rights of their employees.

I admit, I flew a couple of times too for short distances. But I always compensated the CO2 by donating to local nature conservation organisations, since I’m convinced airline tickets don’t cover a fraction of the cost the negative externalities it causes. I also refuse to take low cost airlines. If you do decide to screw up the environment, you better ensure people get paid properly for their work an get respected for it.

For example, my employer effectively forbids us taking the plane for distances under 1000 km. If taking the plane for works is needed, my employer compensates for it. (Okay, I admit, I work for the Environmental Department, on a Division for Spatial development, Environmental Planning and Projects Division). I think a lot of organisations should follow this example for business travel, why not even put it in laws. It will make a big difference for professional trips.

Working for my division, I work to adapt society and the built environment to the effects climate change has on us every day. It’s real. It’s happening. It’s not a joke. We really need to get our asses moving. Big disturbances are already caused by climate change.

E.g. last summer we were only a week away from strict water rationing, enormous transportation problems, extra energy problems in an already difficult time, salination of the groundwater because of the droughts, very low crop yields. They were some scorching 40° C days, nature fires,… It just started to rain on time. In one of next years, we won’t be so lucky.

The summer before ten thousands of people got homeless, dozens drowned because of an unseen water bomb causing huge floods. We were only centimetres of water away from a dam break that could’ve wreacked havoc in lower lying areas. In the middle of the summer.

These issues were unheard of 15 years ago… This all directly correlates to global warming. This was even only in Belgium and neighbouring countries. With an average temperature rise of about 0,9° C,… Currently where on a trajectory for +/- 4 – 4,5 ° C temperature rise in comparison to the pre industrial age by the end of this century (and my life expectancy). I hope that you can imagine what that would mean? A lot of young people are very, very, very concerned about this and a lot of those padawans are finding their way to interrail for their travels. That’s a second big argument why I think plane suggestions are not well suited in this forum.

I’m still young and plan to stick around in this world for quite a while. But this kind of future doesn’t look bright and inviting and I refuse to be a victim of it. That’s why I’m quite adamant on it: If alternatives to flying are available for your personal travels, they should really be considered in 99% of the cases if you have the time and money for it. The earth is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be squandered for the needs of short-term pleasures.

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Lastly, Eurailers come from far away, overseas. The Americas, Asia, Africa,… there’s no logical, clear, affordable connection for passengers. The few exceptions for a non-flying route to Europe, probably means you’re in Morocco or other places in North-Africa with decent ship connections, Turkey, or Western Russia (the latter obviously impossible because of the Russo-Ukrainian war).

Emission wise, taking long haul flights makes more sense if the alternative is a slow, giant ship, taking weeks to get there, burning the dirtiest oil you can think of. I assume that for Eurailers most people this is a very rare and exceptional trip. I’m convinced this should be used sparingly. Taking a long time for planning, they don’t do every year. I mean, I won’t criticise them. I think we all have far away dream destinations on our bucket list we save for.

For a lot of non-Europeans, they’lld like to visit Europe. Why shouldn’t they do it by the only viable way available to them? But I’ll never blame them flying, since there’s no proper alternative. I just hope they compensate their emissions and that they try not to take planes within Europe. Or that the externalities of flying finally get calculated in the price of a ticket. I won’t advocate that here, that’s policy work for which other channels are more suited.

To conclude: it’s better to strive to be inconsequently good, than consequently bad when it comes to avoiding emissions.

Quite a long couple of posts with arguments to say I will never advocate flying when using Interrail ;).

Userlevel 7
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Secondly, t’s true to that for some exocentric European, countries, especially the UK and Portugal, you’re bound to very specific routes. Brexit didn’t help things as well. It’s easier advocating these things if you live more central. Everybody has the right to relax and to be on holiday, so if one is restrained by money and only have a limited amount of holidays, I will be the last to judge if someone takes a plane if you have limited choices.

Thirdly, time for some facts. It’s just a fact that short distance flying (+/- <1000 km) is very emission heavy. Not only direct CO2 emissions, but also on secondary non-CO2 effects from high altitudes. Figures vary, but it’s estimated that it takes factor 7 to 10 to 20 times more emissions to fly than to rail (depending to the source and type of train). That’s quite impressive and means that rail is one of the most energy efficient way of travelling after walking or taking the bike. There’s the social aspect to of low cost airlines really playing about with social rights of their employees.

I admit, I flew a couple of times too for short distances. But I always compensated the CO2 by donating to local nature conservation organisations, since I’m convinced airline tickets don’t cover a fraction of the cost the negative externalities it causes. I also refuse to take low cost airlines. If you do decide to screw up the environment, you better ensure people get paid properly for their work an get respected for it.

For example, my employer effectively forbids us taking the plane for distances under 1000 km. If taking the plane for works is needed, my employer compensates for it. (Okay, I admit, I work for the Environmental Department, on a Division for Spatial development, Environmental Planning and Projects Division). I think a lot of organisations should follow this example for business travel, why not even put it in laws. It will make a big difference for professional trips.

Working for my division, I work to adapt society and the built environment to the effects climate change has on us every day. It’s real. It’s happening. It’s not a joke. We really need to get our asses moving. Big disturbances are already caused by climate change.

E.g. last summer we were only a week away from strict water rationing, enormous transportation problems, extra energy problems in an already difficult time, salination of the groundwater because of the droughts, very low crop yields. They were some scorching 40° C days, nature fires,… It just started to rain on time. In one of next years, we won’t be so lucky.

The summer before ten thousands of people got homeless, dozens drowned because of an unseen water bomb causing huge floods. We were only centimetres of water away from a dam break that could’ve wreacked havoc in lower lying areas. In the middle of the summer.

These issues were unheard of 15 years ago… This all directly correlates to global warming. This was even only in Belgium and neighbouring countries. With an average temperature rise of about 0,9° C,… Currently where on a trajectory for +/- 4 – 4,5 ° C temperature rise in comparison to the pre industrial age by the end of this century (and my life expectancy). I hope that you can imagine what that would mean? A lot of young people are very, very, very concerned about this and a lot of those padawans are finding their way to interrail for their travels. That’s a second big argument why I think plane suggestions are not well suited in this forum.

I’m still young and plan to stick around in this world for quite a while. But this kind of future doesn’t look bright and inviting and I refuse to be a victim of it. That’s why I’m quite adamant on it: If alternatives to flying are available for your personal travels, they should really be considered in 99% of the cases if you have the time and money for it. The earth is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be squandered for the needs of short-term pleasures.

I really appreciate your comments and the understanding of the balance between leisure and the environment for individuals. 

Although short distance flights may be more carbon heavy than long haul the total carbons a 10000km flight generates per person will still outweigh my short haul 1000 km flight.

I do not advocate that pass users in much of Europe use flights - I certainly wouldn’t if I lived on the other side of the channel, and I would use rail a lot more in the UK if it did the same as some European countries and launched low price regional or even national passes.

As a scientist with a knowledge of trend analysis I realised that Global Warming was real quite a while ago. I fully agree that we as a global population do need to adjust our ways and I have taken many measures, but whilst flying is cost and time effective with poor alternatives I will keep advising the very few Newbies to keep that option on the table.

I do agree with the French edict that regional flights will not be licenced where there is a suitable TGV option available, a shame they seem to have watered it down,

Maybe Eurostar could be subsidised to run dedicated trains for pass holders or to  release unlimited reservations.

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Lastly, Eurailers come from far away, overseas. The Americas, Asia, Africa,… there’s no logical, clear, affordable connection for passengers. The few exceptions for a non-flying route to Europe, probably means you’re in Morocco or other places in North-Africa with decent ship connections, Turkey, or Western Russia (the latter obviously impossible because of the Russo-Ukrainian war).

Emission wise, taking long haul flights makes more sense if the alternative is a slow, giant ship, taking weeks to get there, burning the dirtiest oil you can think of. I assume that for Eurailers most people this is a very rare and exceptional trip. I’m convinced this should be used sparingly. Taking a long time for planning, they don’t do every year. I mean, I won’t criticise them. I think we all have far away dream destinations on our bucket list we save for.

For a lot of non-Europeans, they’lld like to visit Europe. Why shouldn’t they do it by the only viable way available to them? But I’ll never blame them flying, since there’s no proper alternative. I just hope they compensate their emissions and that they try not to take planes within Europe. Or that the externalities of flying finally get calculated in the price of a ticket. I won’t advocate that here, that’s policy work for which other channels are more suited.

To conclude: it’s better to strive to be inconsequently good, than consequently bad when it comes to avoiding emissions.

Quite a long couple of posts with arguments to say I will never advocate flying when using Interrail ;).

Again a well thought out and informative post, but you have not answered my fundamental question - why accept Eurailers are OK flying, albeit because they have no option, but not accept that Interrailers shouldn’t be allowed the same option when it fits their needs?

As with Eurailers, these Interrailers with challenges getting to the main countries only have the choices of long rail journeys and costs, flight or, as you admit, dirty oil ferry journeys.

I totally respect your choice to not suggest the use of flying, although I would prefer you post a simple (short) addendum post about responsible flying and carbon offset options. I would also be happy to add a suitably worded p.s. to any time I suggest considering a flight option, or even a link to a suitable website.

Userlevel 7
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Again a well thought out and informative post, but you have not answered my fundamental question - why accept Eurailers are OK flying, albeit because they have no option, but not accept that Interrailers shouldn’t be allowed the same option when it fits their needs?

As with Eurailers, these Interrailers with challenges getting to the main countries only have the choices of long rail journeys and costs, flight or, as you admit, dirty oil ferry journeys.

I totally respect your choice to not suggest the use of flying, although I would prefer you post a simple (short) addendum post about responsible flying and carbon offset options. I would also be happy to add a suitably worded p.s. to any time I suggest considering a flight option, or even a link to a suitable website.

People that know me, know that I rarely accept flying as an option 😅 I’lld never advocate Eurailers to come every year to Europe to trot around here. But if it’s your dream holiday, you’ve been saving a couple of years for. Who am I to deny it to them?

If there would be a zero emission alternative viable for most overseas tourists, I’lld advocate that. No matter the time it takes. There’s none available for the moment, unless for a very few options for some very specific countries. Interrailers mostly have an alternative available, even though it sometimes takes a long time. If they can, they should save on their carbon footprint.

I am convinced that moderation is key with flying, though. That would be weird to fly 10 000 km every year just for your 3 week summer holidays. There are many different ways to take leave, to travel, to enjoy your holidays. Close and far. You don’t always have to travel thousands of kilometres to enjoy your holidays. I can enjoy a bike tour starting from home as much, perhaps even more, than a transoceanic flight to the white beaches of the Caribbean.

Perhaps a food comparison does well: if you eat an entire cake every day it’s not healthy or enjoyable any more. If you eat healthy and in moderation, you can enjoy a piece of cake on special occasions only a couple of days in the year. Using planes (far or close) should be used in moderation. Preferably with a good amount of excercise the day after to avoid gaining weight ;)

Perhaps I’ll add an extra point: in general I’lld always suggest a slow-travel route. Just because I find it the most respectful way of travelling. Not only environmental, but on other aspects as well. You get to experience much more of the place you’re visiting, you see the landscapes change, feel the distance better, you use the amenities that are meant for locals too.

I live and work in two cities that are quite popular with tourists, one recently became popular. There are less interesting things now in the centre, in comparison to five years ago. A lot of touristic clichés and thirteen in a dozen chains popped up, diminishing the choice for the people living there. I studied abroad in a city engulfed by cruise tourists in summer. I don’t like it. It loses the sense of place that people who live there, grow fond of, because of over-tourism. 

It made me decide know which kind of tourist I prefer and made me decide the way I want to travel. The ones that delve deeper, take their time and want to experience the real deal versus the quick hop-on hop-off visitor that flew in, staying only for two days doing the clichés and then flying out. I go for the first, and Eurail best guarantees that.

I wouldn’t recommend to fly in or out a country, and go or return by a slower, more sustainable option. But it’s IMO already much better than going for a return flight for a quick visit for a couple of days.

PS. There are many different ship fuel oils. Usually ferries and river barges stick to cleaner and lighter diesel oil, obliged by international and national marine legislation. Hybrid ferries do exist, electric ones too (be it usually much smaller). Usually transoceanic container shipping uses the heaviest, cheapest and dirtiest (bottom of the barrel) bunker oil. Most passenger ferries don’t use the bunker oil, making their emissions not great but not as bad as a flight, because of the huge amounts of cargo and people they can transport at once at relatively short distances. 

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A most interesting topic. For us poor souls in UK there are limited options to get to the European network. Effectively we have Eurostar from London but many cities are several hours from St Pancras. There are often regional airports much closer so with limited holiday days and low fares air becomes a strong contender. With only two days for UK travel many of us can’t get beyond Paris or Brussels on day one and hotels in these cities are very expensive. The best ferry route is Harwich to Hoek but not brilliant for France and Italy. Dover Calais is VERY foot passenger unfriendly and terribly slow. Newhaven is slow with poor connections. 
It would help a lot if Eurostar was seen as a European journey and not subject to the inward outbound rules. However I understand the revenue risk for Eurostar as they are unable to grow their business due to capacity issues in London.

In summary I wouldn’t fly if there were alternatives but sometimes there just aren’t. We all travel for different reasons. I think we need to be careful not to judge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Yet again interesting points from all. 

It seems we all share many common values and there is in fact only a little area where we significantly differ, in that I will continue to keep flying on the advisory agenda ( with care to the points about rail travel’s advantages for the environment), and others will maintain the opposite approach, but each accepts sometimes it is in the individual’s interest to use a flight to start or end their Interrail experience, albeit not the best option for the environment.

One small point re the argument on the miles travelled by Eurailers, it isn’t that any single Eurailer travels here frequently, but that the majority of them do travel huge distances by plane or even trans Atlantic cruise ships, often as part of a Grand Vacation. 

I, for example, have  only travelled using Interrail/fly twice this year, both times planning a routing allowing a trip back on trains, but I had a third planned with a flight to Nice with a return from Prague (unfortunately cancelled). 

Userlevel 7
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From quite another view-and I am very well aware this is not populair at all: beside the fly (cheap if possible for me) or not issue is also the issue of ´allonlybytrain´-making sometimes torturing trips out of what could have been a decent, nonstop and fairly quick bus (coach for UK) ride. Perhaps from the idea that one has to make that pass pay off. Also the using of only discounted ferries etc-whereas it often may be cheaper in the end to use another ferry that does not tell it has pass-discount.

I blame it/or just think of it as either ignorance, persistent clinging to ideas without a hint of broader thinking (that is where Germans are famous for outside of that country-the Swiss too by the way) or the perhaps tied to a certain age ´changetheworldnow!´ beliefs. Like the Swedes after Gretha has called out her mission-even leading years later to a newly re-instated overnight train from there (which I booked and was told to be refunded as cars not ready yet-and got charged twice instead for it). It seems mostly more a personal thing how strong people follow that-and how far they tend to go in telling others to also stick to it. But many of those railfans do have a reputation of being a bit one-sided in their opinions.

 In pension myself since a few yrs, but in my job was working on the side with many airlines and other transportations: what sticks to me is the unbelievable burocratic ways that most of those state-railways run/were organised, even as ministries in some countries, though the same was also valid for quite a few state-owned national pride airlines, making giant losses usually-just as the railways do. That was just what I encountered and what also still holds. Use it sensibly, and be very, very smart in the ways to handle those nasty railways in your own, sneeky if you want, bypass their money grabbing methods.

Userlevel 7
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Most of the points were already said, but still want to post also my view on this:

  • Everyone can do what he/she wants, BUT you are constantly posting “oh you could take a low cost flight to XY, then it will be cheaper”. I think people where already thinking about how they want to travel before they started posting their questions and if they want to use a flight, then they would have the right result in 2 minutes. For taking a train this can be way more complicated to find out (construction works affecting the line, interrail ticket not valid, reservations needed or not, ….) and also there are often several different options and interesting stops along the way, hence people here ask their questions about TRAINS. 
  • You are constantly ignoring the point that flights are much more harmful to the environment and that your beloved Ryanair is one of the biggest environmental polluters in whole Europe and also ignoring the facts about bad employer treatment. Instead saying that trains are not much better. OK, today saw a documentary about a trip from Turku to Rovaniemi. Train was 110 times less CO2 emitting than the plane and also way less than the car. So if that is not much better than I don’t know? Of course on some lines with diesel this ratio can be less good but STILL way better than by plane.
    And you are not understanding the principles of low cost carriers. If a flight is not having a good revenue, they will not do it any longer. So of course if people book those cheap flights, then they support those flights.
  • About why not about EURAILERS: well, what would be the point of it to post it to every person who is according to the profile coming from a non-European country? I am not saying it is good - can’t change that and also can’t blame them for doing that (although I think it is obvious that our current kind of tourism isn’t good for our planet). I am also not blaming you for using a flight (I also did that in the past, although never connected with an interrail trip), but I am blaming you for constantly giving advices which were not asked for (as written above, people who want to use a flight, will do it so or so and don’t need advice here on the forum).
Userlevel 7
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Most of the points were already said, but still want to post also my view on this:

  • Everyone can do what he/she wants, BUT you are constantly posting “oh you could take a low cost flight to XY, then it will be cheaper”. I think people where already thinking about how they want to travel before they started posting their questions and if they want to use a flight, then they would have the right result in 2 minutes. For taking a train this can be way more complicated to find out (construction works affecting the line, interrail ticket not valid, reservations needed or not, ….) and also there are often several different options and interesting stops along the way, hence people here ask their questions about TRAINS. 
  • You are constantly ignoring the point that flights are much more harmful to the environment and that your beloved Ryanair is one of the biggest environmental polluters in whole Europe and also ignoring the facts about bad employer treatment. Instead saying that trains are not much better. OK, today saw a documentary about a trip from Turku to Rovaniemi. Train was 110 times less CO2 emitting than the plane and also way less than the car. So if that is not much better than I don’t know? Of course on some lines with diesel this ratio can be less good but STILL way better than by plane.
    And you are not understanding the principles of low cost carriers. If a flight is not having a good revenue, they will not do it any longer. So of course if people book those cheap flights, then they support those flights.
  • About why not about EURAILERS: well, what would be the point of it to post it to every person who is according to the profile coming from a non-European country? I am not saying it is good - can’t change that and also can’t blame them for doing that (although I think it is obvious that our current kind of tourism isn’t good for our planet). I am also not blaming you for using a flight (I also did that in the past, although never connected with an interrail trip), but I am blaming you for constantly giving advices which were not asked for (as written above, people who want to use a flight, will do it so or so and don’t need advice here on the forum).

Whilst I accept much of the spirit of what you say my fundamental question remains - If it is accepted that Eurailers have to fly, why is it so wrong for an Interrailer for whom rail travel to mainland Europe by rail is challenging. Regrettable as it is, flying adds far more to the Interrail experience than you can imagine for somebody who is travelling on both a financial and a time budget. Remember that I can easily fly 1000km to Sicily, Malaga, Budapest etc in less than 4 hours and then return by train. The same journey would involve 6 or more trains, at least 2 nights and need the same to get home, duplicating some of the same routes,

In all honesty I do not care about which airline I fly with, anymore than which rail operator, but it just so happens that Ryanair operates from my local airport to many potential start points for Interrailing experiences. I don’t doubt that most independent travellers are just as capable of you or I on searching and booking flights.

As for working conditions, if I got concerned for all the workers in the World who have bad bosses I would never sleep.It is surely up to the employees to make their own defence - my boycotting them does me no good whatsoever, and is hardly likely to influence Mr O’Leary.

If they abandon a route I simply transfer to another one - I am a flexible sort of planner.

If it eases your mind I will also mention Jet 2, Wizz Air, Easy Jet and even KLM as companies I will use if itinerary and price suit.

Finally (for now), I disagree that advising Newbies to consider a hybrid approach is unnecessary as I see many queries from Newbies who feel it is compulsory to use the train throughout, especially from the UK, with all the problems of getting to London and then beyond. Those who fully intend travelling by train will ignore the advice anyway - fine by me. 

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I think @Yorkie you are not getting the point, "hybrid" using of the trip with interrail and plane is not wrong. But I wouldn't advertise it any further, because flying is much easyer to book. Using rail is much less common. 

About your point to fly somewhere and get back by train, yes it is a possible trip. But you could go from UK via South France, Cinque Terre, Venice, Ljubljana, Budapest, Prague to Brussel and back to UK. If you have time. But yes I get it on a 4 days Interrail you don't have this time to do this. But this problem about getting somewhere takes long is only a problem for UK people not living in London, Ireland, North Scandinavia or other places with bad transportation with other countries (*Spain*). I think it is a common thing about people on the island to think they are appart of the continent.

I would also add your dislike about night trains. Yes I get what you think about, but often very good for a planing on budget and tight time. Transport + sleep in one. 

Without it it would not be possible for me to get in 18 days from Italy-Bernina-Rotterdam-Copenhagen-Stockholm-Trondheim-Oslo-Prague-Budapest-Ljubljana-Italy (excluding visiting places near this places).

On the other hand it is good to have more points of view for the newbys here, so they can select the best way for their trip.

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I think @Yorkie you are not getting the point, "hybrid" using of the trip with interrail and plane is not wrong. But I wouldn't advertise it any further, because flying is much easyer to book. Using rail is much less common. 

About your point to fly somewhere and get back by train, yes it is a possible trip. But you could go from UK via South France, Cinque Terre, Venice, Ljubljana, Budapest, Prague to Brussel and back to UK. If you have time. But yes I get it on a 4 days Interrail you don't have this time to do this. But this problem about getting somewhere takes long is only a problem for UK people not living in London, Ireland, North Scandinavia or other places with bad transportation with other countries (*Spain*). I think it is a common thing about people on the island to think they are appart of the continent.

I would also add your dislike about night trains. Yes I get what you think about, but often very good for a planing on budget and tight time. Transport + sleep in one. 

Without it it would not be possible for me to get in 18 days from Italy-Bernina-Rotterdam-Copenhagen-Stockholm-Trondheim-Oslo-Prague-Budapest-Ljubljana-Italy (excluding visiting places near this places).

On the other hand it is good to have more points of view for the newbys here, so they can select the best way for their trip.

Thank you for your constructive comments. 

Re night trains, for my type of travelling they work out at least as expensive as Ibis type hotels ( I would never use a couchette) for two and cabins always appear minimalist or extortionate, and sharing toilets at the end of a carriage does not appeal. 

As I have often made clear I am not a traditional backpack traveller, I have earned my little luxuries.

This is in no way saying night trains do not suit many, only that a sleeper train is not for those like me who prefer to stay in a full size bed, have a private bathroom and preferably be in the same bed as my travelling companion.

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Yes like I said, I can get that it is not for everyone like to share a compartment with others. Maybe in next time you could try the new Nightjet capsule hotel like accomodation on they're new rolling stock that should start operating on Venice-Vienna/Munich Nightjet on late Summer 2023 and further on on all trips to Italy and later to Hamburg/Amsterdam-Vienna/Innsbruck. Paris or Brussel should stay with the old carriages due to regulations in this countries or something like that.

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Paris or Brussel should stay with the old carriages due to regulations in this countries or something like that.

ÖBB reckons that getting their new train sets approved for France will cost way too much time and money, so they're not even going to try it. That means that Paris/Brussel - Mannheim - Berlin/Vienna will use existing stock for the foreseeable future.

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This is in no way saying night trains do not suit many, only that a sleeper train is not for those like me who prefer to stay in a full size bed, have a private bathroom and preferably be in the same bed as my travelling companion.

Trenitalia has some sleepers with a double bed and their own toilet/shower. I recently read they were also going to run on the Milan - Sicily night train. Not sure what they'll cost though...

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This is in no way saying night trains do not suit many, only that a sleeper train is not for those like me who prefer to stay in a full size bed, have a private bathroom and preferably be in the same bed as my travelling companion.

Trenitalia has some sleepers with a double bed and their own toilet/shower. I recently read they were also going to run on the Milan - Sicily night train. Not sure what they'll cost though...

A quick check on an excelsior cabin from Syracusa to Rome mid January says for 2 the price is in excess of 170 euro and these do not seem available with Interrail. The day train costs 6 euro with a global pass. I assume that in high season these retail prices will change (upwards) and availability of these superior cabins will be very limited. Also it seems that you cannot book these cabins as a single, but that may be like a hotel room, the same cost whether there is one occupant or two (Or you have to buy 2 tickets or share with a stranger.)

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You are contradicting yourself @Yorkie. In one post you write you have earned your little luxuries and in the next you complain about “high” prices for a sleeper (which are actually not high for that standard and you save a hotel night) and as a luxury traveller you are using Ryanair… yes, ok, I get it 😂.
Sharing toilets doesn’t appeal - so what are you doing on a daytime train not even speaking of a plane or airport toilet?

Yeah, if you read the questions here on the forum, you see that in almost no post people are asking about plane advices but still you are constantly suggesting them.

For many people on here the journey is the destination. They like to use trains to see something in between and see how the people along the way change. They don’t want to rush but see something from the scenery. Beside in many cases it is also the cheaper option, especially when taking luggage etc. into account. 

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You are contradicting yourself @Yorkie. In one post you write you have earned your little luxuries and in the next you complain about “high” prices for a sleeper (which are actually not high for that standard and you save a hotel night) and as a luxury traveller you are using Ryanair… yes, ok, I get it 😂.
Sharing toilets doesn’t appeal - so what are you doing on a daytime train not even speaking of a plane or airport toilet?

Yeah, if you read the questions here on the forum, you see that in almost no post people are asking about plane advices but still you are constantly suggesting them.

For many people on here the journey is the destination. They like to use trains to see something in between and see how the people along the way change. They don’t want to rush but see something from the scenery. Beside in many cases it is also the cheaper option, especially when taking luggage etc. into account. 

There is no contradiction in my arguments, I simply blend my personal choices into a pleasurable holiday, some of which might suit some community members, especially those like me and my wife transitioning from a lifetime of fly/stay and fly/cruise holidays.

The reason I can afford these little luxuries is that I do not waste my money on full price airlines or expensive hotels, but rather a middle of the road hotel or apartment and a couple of hours in a low cost airline. These give the same end result as an economy seat on a mainstream airline these days.

You seem fixated by my preference to fly to my Interrail experiences and that I do not see my use of a sleeper train as either a good experience or good value. I have recently travelled across Europe for an average of well under 100 euro per night in decent hotels, enjoyed many relaxed meals and promenades around cities and towns and a great train journey in daylight. Where does a sleeper with en-suite match or even beat that? That in no way says overnight trains do not have a place for Interrailers, merely that my preference is a valid option to consider.

I assure you that when considering my Interrail journeys I do consider using trains, but as you well know in the UK we only get 2 travel days per pass and I prefer to buy long term passes and do a few adventures - my last pass was 10 days in 2 months and covered 2 trips, so I used a plane out and train home. Our next pass is a 3 month continuous and is planned to give at least 3 trips, including one to mate up with a repositioning cruise. That would require at least 4 to be paid for Eurostar/LNER journeys and 8 wasted days getting to each start point.

Maybe Interrail would consider opening the options to unlimited travel days where you can use the pass for cross border trains and outward/inward travel in your home country? 

AS a separate point I cannot remember ever advising anybody how to research and book a low cost flight, unlike the number of times I and many others have helped members to search alternative rail routings and times.

I do accept that most people considering the flight option would be perfectly capable of finding that info for themselves, as well as best prices.

 

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