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Changing seat reservation Eurostar

  • 17 September 2023
  • 17 replies
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Hi there

This is our first time interrailing - my friend and I are in our 60’s and finding it long winded and confusing so I am turning to this community for enlightenment and hopefully guidance!

 

I have booked 2 seats on 14.29 St Pancras Eurostar 25th September 2023. We wanted the earlier train but at the time of booking earlier was not available. I believe earlier is now available but on the Eurorail website where my booking is to be found it says there is no option to change. Is that correct? I find that quite surprising. 

 

ALSO !

 

Having found the night train we wanted Wednesday 27th September Bruges to Vienna 1808hr - 0915hr I go to book it on the Eurrail and no seats are available. Is there any other way to book an overnight couchette please? 

Many thanks in advance

Siobhan

 

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Best answer by ralderton 17 September 2023, 17:58

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Userlevel 7
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You should be able to change your booking on the Eurostar website for £10. Try putting in your alphanumeric booking reference and surname into Manage My Booking.

https://www.eurostar.com/customer-dashboard/en/get-booking?market=uk-en

Userlevel 7
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There are reservations available in the couchette for that sleeper train. €33.30 per person in a 6-bed, or €43 in a 4-bed.

It’s best booked on the Austrian Railways website here

https://shop.oebbtickets.at/en/ticket

Click ‘change’ where it says 1 adult without discount, and add the Eurail pass. Then search for ‘one way tickets and day tickets’.

No reservation needed between Bruges and Brussels, so I suggest you just search for Brussels to Vienna.

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Availability is not shown on Rail Planner, it only lists prices (30€ + 2€ fee for Eurostar).

Eurostar and night trains definitely sell out a few days in advance. It is possible that the night train has sold out, let me have a look [see later]

Eurostar availability can be better seen here : https://www.b-europe.com/EN/Booking/Pass#TravelWish

Those trains are really popular and have a passholder quota… Most European trains outside France, Spain and Italy do not require seat reservations so that's a whole lot easier :)

EDIT : 25th September : Eurostar trains between London and Brussels have seats remaining at 06:16, 17:04, 18:04 and 19:34. I'd suggest keeping your original plan.

27th September : Nightjet -> follow ralderton's advice. 33.20€ in a 6-people couchette compartment.

Userlevel 7
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One suggestion: the 1808 from Bruges gives you 25 minutes to connect onto the Nightjet at Brussels.

That’s ‘enough’ time, but I would give yourself a little extra in case of delays. I wouldn’t do this if I was connecting to an hourly train, but missing your Nightjet would be a pain! You could get the 1756 or 1731 from Bruges and have a beer or a coffee in Brussels!

Add the two trains to your trip separately.

 

And another tip: there’s plentiful and cheap luggage lockers at Vienna Hauptbahnhof, and lots of cafes etc for breakfast. And your pass is valid on the S-Bahn (but not U-Bahn) in the city.

There are reservations available in the couchette for that sleeper train. €33.30 per person in a 6-bed, or €43 in a 4-bed.

It’s best booked on the Austrian Railways website here

https://shop.oebbtickets.at/en/ticket

Click ‘change’ where it says 1 adult without discount, and add the Eurail pass. Then search for ‘one way tickets and day tickets’.

No reservation needed between Bruges and Brussels, so I suggest you just search for Brussels to Vienna.

Thank your this this reply about the night train and the one about the Eurostar booking. We have decided to stick with the 1429hr. I have now managed to book 2 x couchette on the nightjet at €88 for 2 in a 6 berth. I guess that includes the train from Bruges to Brussels which adds on the extra cost as I didn’t need to look for 2 separate journeys. I have email confirmation. The next issue is do I request a pdf or do we collect tickets at the station? PDF seems safest but means we cannot cancel the trip if necessary. 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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I think you might have paid (unnecessarily) an extra €22 for some sort of reservation from Bruges to Brussels on top of your couchette. That’s why I suggested just looking for Brussels-Vienna.

I believe ÖBB might allow you to cancel for a refund, and then you can rebook just the couchettes - which should cost €66.40 for 2. But somebody who knows better than me should probably advise before you try it.

Don’t download the PDF yet if you intend to try cancelling. 

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As far as I know Nightjet tickets can only be fully refunded 15 days before departure. This info can be found under Komfortticket/Flex on nightjet.com.

As a reminder : you need to add each train you’d like to take to the app before boarding, like a logbook. This will give you a QR-code (your ticket which inspectors can scan). When reservations are required you’ll have to show both.

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As far as I know Nightjet tickets can only be fully refunded 15 days before departure.

Ah, yes. In that case you might have to stick with this reservation. It’s only €11 each that you’d get back, so it’s not the end of the world.

I’ve always used the PDF and never bothered to print it out, just show it on your phone. But if you have access to a printer, then it can’t hurt.

I think you might have paid (unnecessarily) an extra €22 for some sort of reservation from Bruges to Brussels on top of your couchette. That’s why I suggested just looking for Brussels-Vienna.

I believe ÖBB might allow you to cancel for a refund, and then you can rebook just the couchettes - which should cost €66.40 for 2. But somebody who knows better than me should probably advise before you try it.

Don’t download the PDF yet if you intend to try cancelling. 

Ok so I need to look out for that happening on any other trains but how are we to work out what we need to book and what we don’t? Or am I not concentrating enough? For instance I followed advice and went onto the Austrian train service website and booked but on the Rail Planner app I now realise there are points in the journey where it says ‘seat reservation necessary’ but of course in the steep learning curve I forgot that detail. I am not going to cancel these and rebook - as you and Thibcabe have said there needs to be 15 days before travel to cancel. 

As far as I know Nightjet tickets can only be fully refunded 15 days before departure. This info can be found under Komfortticket/Flex on nightjet.com.

As a reminder : you need to add each train you’d like to take to the app before boarding, like a logbook. This will give you a QR-code (your ticket which inspectors can scan). When reservations are required you’ll have to show both.

 

Thank you for this. This is very helpful and important!

 

When you say - “add each train you’d like to take to the app….” I have added my desired trains manually and deleted the daytime ones we are now not going to take and I have email proof of the Eurostar tickets and I believe the Nightjet tickets but neither of us have any official QRcoded tickets loaded officially onto our apps. Where do we do that from please? 

Userlevel 7
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One suggestion: the 1808 from Bruges gives you 25 minutes to connect onto the Nightjet at Brussels.

That’s ‘enough’ time, but I would give yourself a little extra in case of delays. I wouldn’t do this if I was connecting to an hourly train, but missing your Nightjet would be a pain! You could get the 1756 or 1731 from Bruges and have a beer or a coffee in Brussels!

Add the two trains to your trip separately.

 

And another tip: there’s plentiful and cheap luggage lockers at Vienna Hauptbahnhof, and lots of cafes etc for breakfast. And your pass is valid on the S-Bahn (but not U-Bahn) in the city.

As a daily commuter from/to Bruges. Avoid the 1731 to Brussels (Airport) that train is always a bit too short and stuffed with airport people having spent the day in Bruges ;). The 17:56 will work out nicely and is by far more comfortable. (Unless there are delays, check on https://www.belgiantrain.be/en for real time information a bit before you leave)

I think you might have paid (unnecessarily) an extra €22 for some sort of reservation from Bruges to Brussels on top of your couchette. That’s why I suggested just looking for Brussels-Vienna.

I believe ÖBB might allow you to cancel for a refund, and then you can rebook just the couchettes - which should cost €66.40 for 2. But somebody who knows better than me should probably advise before you try it.

Don’t download the PDF yet if you intend to try cancelling. 

The €22 Bruges-Brussels seems about the ordinary ticket price for two 60+ passengers. Tickets bought online are not refunded by SNCB, don’t know if this policy also extends to domestic Belgian tickets bought elsewhere. But it isn’t that much. I wound try to refund it, probably not a smooth process.

Ok so I need to look out for that happening on any other trains but how are we to work out what we need to book and what we don’t? Or am I not concentrating enough? For instance I followed advice and went onto the Austrian train service website and booked but on the Rail Planner app I now realise there are points in the journey where it says ‘seat reservation necessary’ but of course in the steep learning curve I forgot that detail. I am not going to cancel these and rebook - as you and Thibcabe have said there needs to be 15 days before travel to cancel. 

 

The app is sometimes wrong about reservations too.

You’ll need reservations for Nighttrains, most French, Spanish and Italian long distance (high-speed train), Thalys, Eurostar,… Most other trains don’t know reservation or have optional reservations (recommended to take those on busy times though).

The man in seat 61 gives good overviews and guides on how to use the pass in every aspect:

https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-an-interrail-pass.htm

Where you find this handy map of possible reservations:

And a country to country overview of most reservations of interest of the interrailer:

https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm

Userlevel 7
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As far as I know Nightjet tickets can only be fully refunded 15 days before departure. This info can be found under Komfortticket/Flex on nightjet.com.

As a reminder : you need to add each train you’d like to take to the app before boarding, like a logbook. This will give you a QR-code (your ticket which inspectors can scan). When reservations are required you’ll have to show both.

 

Thank you for this. This is very helpful and important!

 

When you say - “add each train you’d like to take to the app….” I have added my desired trains manually and deleted the daytime ones we are now not going to take and I have email proof of the Eurostar tickets and I believe the Nightjet tickets but neither of us have any official QRcoded tickets loaded officially onto our apps. Where do we do that from please? 

Reservations are totally seperate from the rail planner app. You cannot load them on it. On trains with mandatory reservations, like Eurostar or TGV or nighttrains, you’ll need to show the QR-code from the Rail planner app + the train you registered and the pdf with the reservation upon inspection.

Use the pdf to open the ticket gates at the Eurostar terminal. PDFs for night train reservations, you might want to print. As staff usually keeps your ticket when you board.

Hello there I’m having real issues trying to book a single seat on a Eurostar train from Paris Nord to St Pancras International 9th October. I went to eurail and found seats, I spent half an hour checking timings and connections from Strasbourg  but by the time I pressed the button to buy the seat it is gone along with all seats that day. How am I supposed to get home? What are the alternatives? There’s no one to ask questions. Eurostar website is completely useless. Please help. I’m due back in uk and can’t get there. 
 

many thanks. I tried setting up a separate question on this community and that is not working either. So I’m having to ask here. 
 

Siobhan 

Userlevel 7
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Rail Planner or interrail.eu/eurail.com don’t show availability until you’re logged in, they only list prices. It’s a shame but it is what it is. You can use this website to check : https://www.b-europe.com/EN/Booking/Pass#TravelWish

On 9th October the 11:09 and 12:00 departures from Paris-Nord have seats available. The other trains may not be sold out but remember that there’s a passholder quota because Eurostar prefer customers paying full price !

(There is a 07:56 departure from Brussels too but it isn’t really useful to you.)

You could then make that connection :

  • TGV Strasbourg - Paris-Est 07:48 - 09:38 20€
  • easy 10 min walk
  • Eurostar Paris-Nord - London St. Pancras 11:09 - 12:30 30€

Do not hesitate for further questions. I’d book as soon as possible.

If you have a 1st class pass departures at 08:30, 20:09 and 21:03 are also possible.

Thank you for your reply which I have only just found this morning. I’m confused because I’m always logged in so not sure why no seats were showing. I’ll try again now…

I have now booked a seat using the link you attached to your reply to my call for help. Thank you for that. It’s earlier than I wished but at least I will get home! Interrailing is fine if you are happy to spend hours on the apps. We have found it confusing and tiring and without this community to turn to I would have been stuck which is also problematic as I discovered last night when I had issues sending a message here. Once again thank you for your help in all our travel issues. Much appreciated. Siobhan 

Userlevel 7
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You're welcome ! Glad you can get home :)

Yeah Interrail is more complicated in France, Spain and on cross-border routes like Eurostar. Mandatory reservations reduce flexibility by a lot and since they're popular routes…

I guess there also must be some kind of event on or around Monday (Rugby World Cup ?) because I could find multiple trains with availability for today but not next Monday…

Hope your night train journey went fine too ! ÖBB/Nightjet tends to have some issues at the moment…

Interrail really works best in Germany, Switzerland, Austria (or the UK as soon as you've crossed the Channel) where reservations are optional and/or easy to get.

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