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Seat Reservations

  • 30 July 2023
  • 9 replies
  • 218 views

Hello,

I bought a 1-month Pass and I will book seat reservations. I want to ask 2 questions because I am confused.

1. I will use a lot of trains, so I don't want to deal with different railway companies' websites. So if I make the reservations through the Interrail website, will I have any problems? After making a reservation, will I have a problem such as not having a train at the reservation time or having an invalid ticket?. Because I saw that it is recommended to buy from railway companies in many articles.

2. I will activate the Interrail Pass on my phone. As far as I understand, there is no connection between the phone and the account I opened on the computer. So do I have to make reservations from my phone?

Thank you :)

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Best answer by thibcabe 30 July 2023, 23:25

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1. The main issues about Interrail website :

- 2€ booking fee per person per train (so it quickly adds up !)

- more expensive optional reservations

- sometimes paper reservations (with a 9€ mailing fee) while they're available online elsewhere for cheaper

- telling you that the train is sold out or unavailable when it's not the case (loads of similar bugs right now)

You're also not contacted in case of delays, strikes or whatever.

2. You can make reservations wherever you'd like. As they're totally separate from the app (you cannot book anything there, you're only redirected) it doesn't matter. Whenever asked on the train you show both the app (your ticket) and the PDF (seat reservation).

Do not hesitate for further questions :)

1. The main issues about Interrail website :

- 2€ booking fee per person per train (so it quickly adds up !)

- more expensive optional reservations

- sometimes paper reservations (with a 9€ mailing fee) while they're available online elsewhere for cheaper

- telling you that the train is sold out or unavailable when it's not the case (loads of similar bugs right now)

You're also not contacted in case of delays, strikes or whatever.

2. You can make reservations wherever you'd like. As they're totally separate from the app (you cannot book anything there, you're only redirected) it doesn't matter. Whenever asked on the train you show both the app (your ticket) and the PDF (seat reservation).

Do not hesitate for further questions :)

First of all, thank you very much for your answer.

I'm new to Interrail and I'm having a hard time understanding it fully because my english is not very good :)

1. "Paper reservation": When I make a reservation, my ticket will be sent as an e-mail and will I have to show it as a PDF?
2. Some tickets say no reservation is required, but reservations can be made for 8€. Do I need to make a reservation? Or can I find a place without making a reservation when I go on the train ?

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You're welcome. :)

1. Reservations are generally sent by email and then you can either show it on your phone (PDF) or you print it. Remember that the Interrail Pass is your ticket (shown through the app) but sometimes you have to add seat reservations.

It happens that Interrail doesn't offer email reservations and they have to be sent by post. To avoid this, book elsewhere.

2. It depends on the route. If you're alone you shouldn't have a problem finding a seat (advice : people are lazy and generally board in the middle so go to train ends to find more seats).

On some busy routes it is a good idea to book a seat, otherwise you may have to swap seats or stand for part of the journey (unlikely but possible).

If you'd like to make one for peace of mind, do not use Interrail to book (way too expensive). Instead use for example :

- ÖBB : 3€ per train in Austria, Germany, Czechia, Hungary,…

- DB : 4.90€ per journey from/to/within Germany

For more precise advice, give us the route and departure day and we'll help.

Actually, it is difficult for me that I cannot understand where to book seat reservations for different railway companies. It would be great if you could help me where to book for the trains on the route I posted below. Also, we will be 2 people on the trip.

 

My route will be as follows,

 

Oslo to Stockholm

Stockholm to Copenhagen

Copenhagen to Hamburg

Hamburg to Berlin

Berlin to Hanover

Hanover to Amsterdam

Amsterdam to Brussels

Brussels to Frankfurt

Frankfurt to Luxembourg

Luxembourg to Paris

Paris to Geneva

Lausanne to Bern

Bern to Zürich

Zürich to Milan

Milan to Florence

Florence to Venice

Venice to Ljubljana

Ljubljana to Vienna

Vienna to Prague

 

Thank you :)

Userlevel 7
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Have a look at these 2 links, they'll answer all your questions :

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

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

Amsterdam - Brussels : take the hourly reservation-free IC and not Thalys (27€).

Paris - Geneva : the direct TGV costs 29€. However if you change in Bellegarde to a regional train across the border, it only costs 10-20€.

Seat reservations are not a thing in Switzerland.

Zurich - Milan can be done reservation-free by switching to the hourly RE in Lugano (not longer). If you can afford the extra hour, take the Old Gotthard Railway for scenery.

There's not a lot of trains between Italy and Slovenia. More options by taking a bus (1-2€, not included) between Gorizia and Nova Gorica.

Thank you :)

My general rules for reserving seats at train stations: 1. Research your intended train connections widely, before going to ticket offices, even down to the train numbers. 2. Type the connection details accurately, briefly and clearly into Google Keep, or a similar note-taking app 3. Copy and paste those details into Google Translate; never assume that counter clerks will speak English; many do, very well, but not all. 4. Go to ticket offices as soon as you arrive in the country for which you need seat reservations; I often go as soon as I arrive; before I go to my hotel. Some countries do not have ticket offices, like Sweden; so you will need to buy and store your reservations online. 5. Check out the queuing arrangements at ticket offices and follow suit; do check if you need a customer ticket; never jump queues, unless it is a matter of life or death. And, try not to hog ticket counters. If you have more than three seat reservations to make, do the most pressing first, and come back later for the rest. 6. Smile, be friendly and business-like when you speak with ticket clerks; you may be on holiday; they are at work. 7. Be polite, kind and appreciative of clerks' guidance; often, they are a gold mine of travel advice, which can enhance your holiday. 8. Have the QR codes in the MyPass section of your Interrail app, ready for clerks to see or scan; these are often necessary to make seat reservations, it seems. 9. Say 'please' and 'thank you'; remember, you are a guest in the clerks' country; be an ambassador for your country. 10. Have a form of payment, increasingly a digital form of payment, ready to buy your seat reservations. Always pay in the local currency; ideally, with a suitable credit or debit card.

I hope that these rules are helpful and accurate. 

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Have the QR codes in the MyPass section of your Interrail app, ready for clerks to see or scan; these are often necessary to make seat reservations,

It very much depends on where you book. In Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland I never have to show my pass. In Italy they need the pass number but not the QR code. In Spain and Romania for example they seem very keen on the QR codes (although not always). Maybe to see that your pass is valid, but it's in fact useless because you can (and should!) deactivate a travel day on a flexipass that is activated in advance. They actually only need your pass number, which is also visible in My Pass under Details.

I'm asking for confirmation because I'm a little confused after what has been written. I bought a one month Interrail pass and added all my trips. I also bought seat reservations through the Interrail website. Other than my Interrail ticket and seat reservation PDF, is there anything else I need to show and do when I get on the train ?

 

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