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Unable to make seat reservations from Berlin to Gdansk - July23

  • 18 July 2023
  • 6 replies
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Hi, this is my first time using a Eurail ticket, and I’ve spent hours trying to make seat reservations for Polish trains in September. We’re traveling from Berlin to Gdansk, then a few days later from Gdansk to Poznan, and from there to Hamburg, Germany. The train from Berlin to Gdansk, EC59, leaves at 12:52.

It’s not possible to book seat reservations for this train on the Eurail site (it says Prices Unavailable). Next, I tried Bahn.de - same thing, seat reservations not available (train tickets are, so I know the train isn’t full, but then I can’t use my Eurail pass).

Next I tried the Polish website, PKP Intercity. I can see the train that I want to take on that site, but there is no discount for Eurail pass holders, only for  “Youth”. Later trains seem to be available, e.g. one at 13:51 via Poznan, but they cannot be booked online, the message says “You can buy a ticket for this connection at the counter”. No option to purchase a seat reservation. And since I’m not in Poland, I can’t go to their counter.

Has anyone traveled to Poland recently and was able to make seat reservations? I’d be very grateful for any help!

 

Thank you.

 

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Best answer by thibcabe 19 July 2023, 00:07

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This train is not available online. Either you wait until you arrive in Germany (can be done at any DB ticket counter) or you make one online for the Polish leg on intercity.pl : 1 PLN (or 0.20€).

Please note that intercity.pl only works 30 days in advance.

Waiting until you arrive in Germany shouldn't be a problem at all as you're travelling in September outside peak season.

Thank you so much for your response! We’re not that young anymore and are having trouble figuring out Eurail when the seat reservations aren’t straight forward.

It’s good to know about not being able to make reservations before 30 days in advance, also knowing that the peak season should be over in September.

We didn’t realize that seat reservations for the particular train (Berlin-Gdansk) that we want to take can only be done in person at the ticket counter of a German station. I did a lot of googling, and that information wasn’t provided on any website that I came across.

Today, I talked to a friend in Germany who regularly travels to Poland by train (not Eurail). She said that although seat reservations were required, she often just hops on a train, even without a ticket, and purchases that directly from the conductor. She also said that the conductors were very nice and helpful in general.

With regard to your suggestion of booking the Polish leg only, does that mean to make seat reservations for Berlin to the border (Frankfurt/Oder?), and then another reservation from there to Gdansk?

Again, thank you for helping!

Userlevel 7
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Yeah sometimes some cross-border journeys are not available online and it's a bit tricky...

I'd book Rzepin (first stop in Poland) - Gdansk. The German leg doesn't have mandatory reservations, only the case as soon as you cross the border. :)

Do not hesitate for questions. I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip !

That makes sense. Frankfurt (Oder) is still Germany, that’s why it didn’t work.

And I had no clue what the first stop in Poland is, but using that town, all the discounts/seat reservations seem to work, including Eurail.

The trick is to make the seat reservations for towns within Poland. And within 30 days of travel.

Phew, thank you so much, you’ve been very helpful!

Userlevel 7
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Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 

 Planning

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. 

 Reservations 

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:

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

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.

Thanks, good advice about the activation!

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