Moved my "start" date ahead, website doesn't recognise it

  • 9 April 2023
  • 5 replies

In the app, I set my first journey for 12 May. I was then able to find and buy reservations on the website, as long as they were on 12 May or later. If I searched for an earlier date, I got the “Your Pass isn’t valid on this date.”

Then I decided to leave earlier, and added a journey leaving 27 April on the app. The “My Pass” screen confirmed that my pass now started on 27 April.

But when I searched for reservations on 27 April, I was told again that my pass wasn’t valid on that date.

So what gives? Does it take a while for the website to catch up to the app? Is there some other cause?


(Side note: I wanted to use the website because it often gave me the option of reserving a seat when the app didn’t.)


Best answer by rvdborgt 9 April 2023, 21:10

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Userlevel 7
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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. 


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. 


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:

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.

AnnaB, your response was not helpful or relevant. And was obviously posted by a bot, within seconds of my original post.

Still seeking help.

Update: At (while logged in) I confirmed that the website shows the start date as 27 April. Still unable to find/make reservations before 12 May.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8
  1. It usually takes some time for the website to synchronise.
  2. The app can't book any seats. It can only forward to some of the websites where you can book, including the Interrail website.
  3. You don't need to activate your pass to book reservations.
  4. There is no advantage in activating your pass in advance, only a possible disadvantage. You can only cancel activation until 23:59 before validity starts. If something unexpected happens after that, e.g. you wake up ill, then it will be too late to cancel and you will lose travel days. Therefore, the advice is to activate only shortly before you board your first train. The same is true for activating a travel day (if you have a flexipass) and activating an inbound/outbound journey.
  5. There are often more reliable and cheaper ways to book reservations than via Interrail. See e.g. this thread or this page.
  6. If you have questions about a specific reservation, you can always ask, and then please mention route, date and departure time.
Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I am not a bot and the advice from many experienced travellers is to only make reservations through Eurail if no other options are available.