Solved

Seat reservation cost and availability


Hello. I’ve bought my first Interail pass for myself and my kids. Whilst I was aware there were going to be seat reservations to pay, I’m shocked at how expensive they are for myself and two kids. I’m also struggling with availability and starting to regret getting Interail passes at all. For example, I want to travel from Aix en Provence to Barcelona but whenever I search, although lots of trains come up it’s telling me none of them are available to book. Once, on my mobile app, it allowed me to click through to book them but I was shocked to learn it was 80 euros which included 10 euros postage (why when I have a mobile pass?) and 6 euros booking fee. Please can anyone help with regards to if this is all standard and if so i I might cancel my Interail all togas it’s too much hassle and cost, or am I just doing something wrong/not giving the whole process a chance? Many thanks 

icon

Best answer by seewulf 22 May 2022, 16:41

View original

11 replies

Thank you, this is so useful and I wouldn’t have known any of this! It does seem to feel like interail is particularly complicated. I travelled all over France on different trains a few years ago and had no problem booking my trains on the train websites without an interail, I’m not entirely sure I would do this again! Thank you so much. 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The advice from the experienced travellers is to not make the reservation on the Interrail site.

The Interrail site takes an extra fee of 2 EUR per reservation. If you make the reservation through other ways there is often no extra fee.

Here is a guide to how make reservations:

https://community.eurail.com/train-connections-reservations-47/how-to-get-reservations-105

If you have questions regarding reservation of specific trains you can ask in the community.

Ah this is very interesting, so I don’t have to book seat reservations through the interail website? I can book elsewhere? How would I go to TGV or any other website and just book a seat reservation using my interail pass, I don’t see any options for doing this?  I’m looking to travel in August, I realise this is a busy month but I thought by planning ahead and booking now it will be possible. I’m doing lots of research and I honestly think it seems cheaper and easier for me to book independent tickets for each leg of my travel and NOT bother with the interail pass. For what I want to do, it seems to be far too much hassle/difficulty and expense. But maybe I just don’t understand enough about how it works? Thank you

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The complete timetable Cerbère/Portbou - Barcelona is here.

Currently, it is also included in the DB planner, but not too far in the future because Spanish railways can't be arsed to publish their timetables much more than a month in advance, it seems.

The Interrail booking module has a long-standing bug for France, meaning it won't show 20€ reservations for domestic trains in France after the 10€ seats have sold out. Instead, it will say that no prices were found. Belgian railways will show those though.

Finally, good detailed advice is only possible if the detailed timetable is shared: from where to where on which date, preferably with departure time.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

So I decided to look at travelling within France only and scrap the Barcelona idea, but I’m trying to look to get to Nice (I just used this as an example) and every day/every time each ticket says this:

Prices unavailable

No price results were found for this connection. It is possible that all pass holder seats are sold out. Please try searching for another connection or check 'More information' and try other ways to book this seat reservation. If no pass holder seats are available anymore you need to buy a separate full fare ticket to board.

 

Looks like you use just the “Railplanner” of Eurail please note that this Railplanner is not complete and doesnt have all train time in Europe (because not all companies share their timetable via the European Timetable Server from where the Railplanner get his times)

First question is for which time are you looking? You are maybe looking to far in the future.

For the Route France - Barcelona you could easyily catch a TGV till Perpignan (10€ per seat limited and 20€ per seat until the train is sold out) From Perpignan you take Regionaltrains via Cerbere/Portbou to Barceölona :)

@rvdborgt  maybe post here the timetable for the trains between Portbou - Barcelona

Interrails reservation service have currently a bug and assume in the case that the 10€ reservations are sold out the entire train is sold out (unable to sell the 20€ reservations)

Why you get sometimes just Paperreservations (thats because some Railcompanies dry to determine Interrail/Eurail and changed their booking system) Because of that Eurail can only issue paperreservations via a different booking sytem.

For the same reason (to determine Eurail and get more money from the tourist) some Traincompanies mainly SNCF (France), RENFE (Spain), Trenitalia (Italy) noticed that they are quite poular for tourist on Interrail & Eurail and thought they could get more money by charging supplements in form of “Reservations”
Eurail charge a “service fee” for providing the service (I personally use them as last option and try to reserve trains directly with the railcompanies or with well experienced ticket agencies)

So I decided to look at travelling within France only and scrap the Barcelona idea, but I’m trying to look to get to Nice (I just used this as an example) and every day/every time each ticket says this:

Prices unavailable

No price results were found for this connection. It is possible that all pass holder seats are sold out. Please try searching for another connection or check 'More information' and try other ways to book this seat reservation. If no pass holder seats are available anymore you need to buy a separate full fare ticket to board.

 

So I’ve found one train available, its a slower way to get there and involves a change in train, it seems to have availability and be allowing me to book, but even going this way its still costing me 111 euros for myself and my children (who are 9 years old) which includes a mandatory 9 euros postage fee and 6 euros booking fee. Whilst I understand you are saying that interail is not for jetting about on fast trains (which I get and which isn’t what I was looking for) I’m still very shocked and confused by lack of availability on the routes I want and the overall expense, for example why do tickets have to be posted to me when I have a mobile pass and why do I have to pay a seat reservation fee AND a booking fee, even on a long, slower journey which isn’t the one I wanted? What other hacks am I missing here in order to keep my costs down? Thank you

 

Every train seems to be saying this:

SEAT RESERVATIONS UNAVAILABLE

It seems no price offer is available right now. It is possible that all pass holder seats are sold out. Please check 'More information' and try other ways to book this seat reservation, or buy a separate full fare ticket to board. You need to buy a seat reservation to board.

 

Thank you for your replies, I would be happy to take a slower train but I can’t seem to book on ANYTHING for that journey, even something free?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

As about any newbee seems to want to ride exactly the most expensive and hard to get trains-and apparently also seems to think her probs are so unique to have never before asked- then you get this.

This forum bundles years of experience in how to avoid and how to plan. Seewulf has even made a long item on how to make these REServ a better way.

PAsses are NOT for just racing on a few hi-speed lines, but more for leasurely explorations of side+byways on local trains. Thats why railways who also need to make some money set these high supplmts on these sectors. AND- it will get worse- ESpana is without any doubt the much harder to use pass country-tops the bill.

Aix-Bcn can be done in a more leasurely way on local trains=takes longer, a few more changes, with even ANY supplmt.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

If you give the exact details: departure date, departure time and route, you can get advice on where it is best to make the reservation.

Reply