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Reservations with Eurail pass - how far in advance?

  • 8 December 2021
  • 6 replies
  • 418 views

Hello,

I’m going to taking 3 rail trips in Italy (Fiumicino-Naples, Naples-Florence, Florence-Fiumicino) between Dec. 9th and 19th and am trying to figure out if the rail pass makes sense. Since it’s already just a few days in advance the individual tickets are getting expensive (I need some flexibility for two of them) and I’m tempted to get the pass, but I don’t understand how the timing on reservations works. 

I read in one place that you’re required to reserve at least 3 hours in advance, another place 24h in advance, and another that you can just reserve right before you board. The timing of one of the trips I won’t be sure of till the last minute (arriving flight) so it would need to be right before boarding. (Seems like advance reservations start to defeat the purpose of having the pass, in terms of flexibility.) Can anyone please help to clear this up? I’m probably missing something obvious….

Thanks!

Darren

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Best answer by rvdborgt 8 December 2021, 06:25

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Userlevel 7
Badge +7

It's the Eurail reservation service where you can only book until 3 hours in advance. I'm not sure where it is 24 hours. At the ticket office in Italy, however, you can book until departure time, as long as there are seats available. In Italy, I'd just book at the ticket office. It's cheaper there (Eurail wants a fee of 2 EUR per seat).

There is no specific quota for pass users but as far as I know, long distance trains in Italy are still limited to 50% occupation and some trains will be fully (i.e. 50%) booked. Therefore, for busy times, e.g. Friday and Sunday evening or during rush hour, it is advisable to book a few days in advance or have a few alternatives.

Finally, you only need to book long distance trains. Regional trains cannot be booked.

Ok thanks for the info! Given that 50% capacity limit, would you also say that it’s not necessary to go with 1st/business class just for the sake of having a little more space due to covid concerns? (Any idea if alternate seats are necessarily kept empty?)

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Ok thanks for the info! Given that 50% capacity limit, would you also say that it’s not necessary to go with 1st/business class just for the sake of having a little more space due to covid concerns? (Any idea if alternate seats are necessarily kept empty?)

From what I've seen in August, you should always have an empty seat next to you, so 1st class is not necessary if that empty seat is enough for you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

In IT there are SPECIAL and hopefully temporary measures to limit the spread of covid. Understandably, re the history of the pandemic over there. Since this week you ALSO need to download a "green pass'’ (QR code for EU-citizens)=this means you have either been vaccinated twice or have recovered from covid since a certain time. This applies in fact-legally- to ALL trips in any form of public transit. This may hence also influence the needed time in advance for REServations.

I dont know how non-EU people, even when also fully vaccinated, can get it. Try a site like forum on tripadvisor if you belong to that category.

The first and last trip is also quite possible, but slower, in non-HS trains. Or try the usually cheaper competition=Italo, for to see what their tickets cost

Also good to know, thanks - everything I’ve seen though says other official vaccination records will still suffice for non-EU citizens. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

In Italy trains are since September 80% full. Every third or fourth seat is free in long distance trains. In regional trains, there is less capacity for people that doesn’t have a seat. 

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