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Who do I talk to at train station if problem with Eurail pass?

  • 4 November 2021
  • 10 replies
  • 139 views

Hello. I have a few questions as a non-EU traveler:

1) Is there a phone number I can use to contact Eurail, if there is an issue with my mobile pass while in Europe or at the train station?

2) My credit card concierge service purchased the rail passes on my behalf with their account. Would it be possible to add my email address to the order so that emails are sent to me?

3a) Due to covid, it'd be easier if I can reserve the seats and then activate the pass once I am in Europe. Is there there anyway to reserve seats without activating the pass first?


3b) Can I make the seat reservations with my order number or does my credit card concierge service need to purchase the seats with their concierge account, since they, also, purchased the rail passes?

4) Let's say my pass is activated but there is an issue with the pass and it's not scanning correctly at the station. I'm at the train station and my scheduled train is leaving in 2 hours or even 1 hour. What do I do? Who would I contact to get it fixed? Is there a phone number? I can't wait 8 hours, 5 days, or 7 days to get something like that fixed. Is there some Eurail representative at each major train station that can help me in person? Since my credit card concierge service purchased the tickets with their account, would I have to contact them or can I contact Eurail directly if such an issue occurs? And how would I contact them at the train station?

Thank you for your time.

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Best answer by rvdborgt 4 November 2021, 15:44

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  1. There is no phone number. To contact customer service, use this form. For some questions, this forum may be quicker.
  2. No idea. @Nanja?
  3. a. There is no need to activate the pass before making reservations.
    b. If you're making reservation though Eurail, I think you will need to use the account that is linked to your pass. But I'm not quite sure because I haven't booked reservations that way because of the additional fees that Eurail charges for reservations.
  4. You can contact Eurail yourself using the form I mentioned. The pass is valid however, even if some rail staff can't scan it properly (which until now seem to be issues on the operators’s sides). All data is also available in readable form on the screen.
    Issues are prioritised and if you're already travelling, you have a higher priority.
  1. There is no phone number. To contact customer service, use this form. For some questions, this forum may be quicker.
  2. No idea. @Nanja?
  3. a. There is no need to activate the pass before making reservations.
    b. If you're making reservation though Eurail, I think you will need to use the account that is linked to your pass. But I'm not quite sure because I haven't booked reservations that way because of the additional fees that Eurail charges for reservations.
  4. You can contact Eurail yourself using the form I mentioned. The pass is valid however, even if some rail staff can't scan it properly (which until now seem to be issues on the operators’s sides). All data is also available in readable form on the screen.
    Issues are prioritised and if you're already travelling, you have a higher priority.

I can’t thank you enough for your help and generosity in answering these questions! Thank you!!!

 

I tried contacting Eurail on Social Media but I have not received any replies. My concierge service tried calling the German and Luxembourg Bahn offices but was able to reach a representative. I thought let me give the Community a try and you answered these questions rather promptly. Very pleasantly surprised!

  1. Thanks for the link to that submit form! Yes, I will definitely reach out to them
  2.  
  3. a.  So, I should be able to reserve seats on the train with a Eurail pass, whether it’s activated or not? Great, I will try to reserve seats without activating the rail pass and see how that goes.
  1. b.  I will try reserving seats directly and see if it goes through. I have the order number, the pass number, all that information. The credit card concierge service forwarded me the email. I have the transaction info. What I don’t have is their account info. I’ll give it a shot.
  2. That is a relief! My biggest worry is missing a train if my pass is not scanning properly. As long as I have that pass and even a seat reservation, I should be able to make the train, I wager.

Thank you again for your help and your time. I appreciate it. 

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4) Let's say my pass is activated but there is an issue with the pass and it's not scanning correctly at the station. I'm at the train station and my scheduled train is leaving in 2 hours or even 1 hour. What do I do? Who would I contact to get it fixed? Is there a phone number? I can't wait 8 hours, 5 days, or 7 days to get something like that fixed. Is there some Eurail representative at each major train station that can help me in person? Since my credit card concierge service purchased the tickets with their account, would I have to contact them or can I contact Eurail directly if such an issue occurs? And how would I contact them at the train station?

Thank you for your time.

Traveling by train in Europe isn’t like take a plane. Usually you get (depending from city to city) between 1h and 30 Minute before departure to the train station to be not stressed to find the platform. You can get to the train also 1-2 minutes before departure, but I don’t recomend this. You could also have not much time to change trains, if they are delayed. If you have an Eurail Pass for First Class you can use the first class lounges (not everywhere available)) of the train carrier (information about that you can find it on the specific facts on eurail.com about every country) or you go to a bar or restaurant to wait. There are (mostly) no security checks at train stations. EXEPT: Security checks in Paris Est and in Spain for Thalys to Brussel-Germany-Amsterdam and High Spead Trains in Spain. → Security checks for Eurostar from/to London. You have to be 45 Minute before departure at the station and go to the special gate. 

There are Eurail Aid Offices at major train stations in Europe Eurail Aid Offices | Eurail.com or use the the help form https://eurail.zendesk.com/hc/en-001/requests/new 

 

Only in France, Spain and The Netherlands (and some spots in Italy) you have to scan the Eurail Pass before entering the train. In the Netherlands you scan your Eurail Pass and it works 100%. In France you take the QR-Code of the reservation to enter on TGV. And in Spain the check is by personal. Ticket checks are in most of the cases on the train. You will find staff in major stations.

4) Let's say my pass is activated but there is an issue with the pass and it's not scanning correctly at the station. I'm at the train station and my scheduled train is leaving in 2 hours or even 1 hour. What do I do? Who would I contact to get it fixed? Is there a phone number? I can't wait 8 hours, 5 days, or 7 days to get something like that fixed. Is there some Eurail representative at each major train station that can help me in person? Since my credit card concierge service purchased the tickets with their account, would I have to contact them or can I contact Eurail directly if such an issue occurs? And how would I contact them at the train station?

Thank you for your time.

Traveling by train in Europe isn’t like take a plane. Usually you get (depending from city to city) between 1h and 30 Minute before departure to the train station to be not stressed to find the platform. You can get to the train also 1-2 minutes before departure, but I don’t recomend this. You could also have not much time to change trains, if they are delayed. If you have an Eurail Pass for First Class you can use the first class lounges (not everywhere available)) of the train carrier (information about that you can find it on the specific facts on eurail.com about every country) or you go to a bar or restaurant to wait. There are (mostly) no security checks at train stations. EXEPT: Security checks in Paris Est and in Spain for Thalys to Brussel-Germany-Amsterdam and High Spead Trains in Spain. → Security checks for Eurostar from/to London. You have to be 45 Minute before departure at the station and go to the special gate. 

There are Eurail Aid Offices at major train stations in Europe Eurail Aid Offices | Eurail.com or use the the help form https://eurail.zendesk.com/hc/en-001/requests/new 

 

Only in France, Spain and The Netherlands (and some spots in Italy) you have to scan the Eurail Pass before entering the train. In the Netherlands you scan your Eurail Pass and it works 100%. In France you take the QR-Code of the reservation to enter on TGV. And in Spain the check is by personal. Ticket checks are in most of the cases on the train. You will find staff in major stations.

 

Thank you! Yes, have to watch for those train transfers if the train coming to the station is delayed and the transfer train is on time.

That’s a wealth of information! Very much appreciate it.

Surprising that in the covid era (which hopefuly will end sooner than later) there’s a lack of security checks.

So how does covid travel work with multi country train travel in Europe? Let’s say I’m fully vaccinated and traveling from Germany to Switzerland by train. Will they check me at the German train station that I’ve passed all the covid requirements to travel to Switzerland before I even step foot on the train? Or will the covid entry check for Switzerland only occur once I reach Switzerland and stepped off the train?

To piggyback off your point about air travel, when it comes to covid, I can’t even get on the plane to my destination until I have satisfied the covid entry requirements for the destination. If the destination country requires you to be fully vaccinated and have a negative covid test, I need that proof on me before I’m even allowed to board the plane. I’m wondering if the covid entry rules are the same with multi-country train travel in Europe. Is there going to be somebody at the train station who will check my covid entry status at the departure or destination train station?

 

Thank you again.

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So how does covid travel work with multi country train travel in Europe? Let’s say I’m fully vaccinated and traveling from Germany to Switzerland by train. Will they check me at the German train station that I’ve passed all the covid requirements to travel to Switzerland before I even step foot on the train? Or will the covid entry check for Switzerland only occur once I reach Switzerland and stepped off the train?

Most likely there will be very few checks. There may be spot checks but there is simply not enough staff (by far) to check all passengers. In addition, rail travel is largely designed as an open system (“turn up and go”) and there's simply no capacity (infrastructure-wise) to check all passengers. You'd be creating large crowds, chaos and delays for everyone.

Do check the entry requirements for each country. Reopen.europa.eu is a good starting point. Spot-checks will e.g. check any forms you'd have to fill out.

To piggyback off your point about air travel, when it comes to covid, I can’t even get on the plane to my destination until I have satisfied the covid entry requirements for the destination. If the destination country requires you to be fully vaccinated and have a negative covid test, I need that proof on me before I’m even allowed to board the plane. I’m wondering if the covid entry rules are the same with multi-country train travel in Europe. Is there going to be somebody at the train station who will check my covid entry status at the departure or destination train station?

Some countries require a COVID certificate (under various names) to use long distance trains, coaches, planes, ferries. E.g. in France or Italy. In such cases there may be checks. So you will need to be able to show your certificate but there won't be checks everywhere.

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Due to the Schengen travel area in most European countries (no pass control at all between members (with exceptions)) you will not be checked at all, you will be checked randomly or everybody will be checked at the border. It’s hard to say, it depends from the police officer, the time or the border station. Due to the Schengen agreement, there are also no border stations or border police more and so they don’t have enough staff to check.   

In Italy or France you need a valid covid-19 certification (like vaccination) to use long-distance trains, this will be checked at the platform or onboard of the train. 
Fore some countries like Italy, Malta or Slovenia you need to fill out the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF) (euplf.eu), for other countries there are specific forms, for others you don’t need it at all. 

Please check before traveling the travel restrictions for people not from Europe, or when you’re traveling in a region that have bad covid-19 you might need a covid test to enter in an other country. This changes from day to day.  

 

Thank you all for your help.

One last set of questions on this topic:

  1. Is there a difference between 1st class deluxe sleeper/bed 1-person versus 2nd class deluxe sleepr/bed 1-person on the OBB NightJet trains? Is the bed exactly the same? Same size room? The only thing I can find that was different is 1st class quarters gets a private bathroom. I’m more concerned about the quality of sleep.
  2. I see that you can cancel seat reservations on Eurail but the refund policy is dependent on the train operator, which is OBB NightJets in my example. I can’t find anything on their website which specifically discusses the refund/cancellation/exchange policy for seat reservations purchased on Eurail. I emailed OBB to inquire about refunds and exchanges. Does anyone have any information on OBB NightJets refund/cancellation/exchange policy for seat reservations?

Thank you again for your help.

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  1. “Deluxe” on ÖBB Nightjet means you het a private shower and toilet. The compartment is a bit larger but the beds are the same IIRC. Without "Deluxe”, you still have a small sink.
  2. See https://www.nightjet.com/en/buchung/tarifinformationen/allgemein
    I wouldn't book ÖBB Nightjet via Eurail but via ÖBB directly (follow these steps). Eurail always charge an extra 2 EUR per person (and another extra 9 EUR for paper reservations), so it's only a last resort for me and I haven't used it yet.
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The ÖBB Nightjet is only a 2nd class train, but you can upgrade from a seat to a couchette to an sleeper or an deluxe sleeper. A first class Ticket is not needed to use a deluxe, you only pay the reservation inclusive upgrade for you chosen accommodation. 

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Hi @NatLamponEuroVaca, to tap into your 2nd question - we can't add your email to the account connected to the order. If possible, you can ask the details the concierge service used to log into the account and change the email address of the account. Though that won't change the email address connected to the order.

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