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PoissonRouge Apr 19th, 2012 09:41 AM

Eurail 1st & 2nd Class
My brother and I have purchased Eurail passes and will be traveling everywhere together. But since he is 27, he had to buy a 1st class pass. I however, am younger and could buy a 2nd class pass. So my question is, how will we communicate to each other when we need to get off the train if we're in different compartments, will we be able to walk into the next class' area?

We plan to get our phones once we get there, but when we first arrive in Europe and get off the plane, we have to go straight to ride the train, we won't have the time to get a phone working then.. : /

It's our first time in Europe, we need to be able to communicate!!

adrienne Apr 19th, 2012 09:46 AM

Why doesn't your brother sit in 2nd class with you? That would be the obvious solution. I can't believe you're going to split up. He did not have to buy a 1st class pass - there are 2nd class passes for adults over 26.

PoissonRouge Apr 19th, 2012 09:58 AM

According to the Eurail website, it only has the option for adults over 26 to buy 1st class. Now, I could have bought 1st class but i didn't because it's more expensive.

adrienne Apr 19th, 2012 10:07 AM

Well some of the passes do have 2nd class available for those over 26. You didn't specify which pass you bought.

StCirq Apr 19th, 2012 10:34 AM

I hope you carefully priced out point-to-point tickets and compared them to the cost of a pass before you bought one.

hetismij2 Apr 19th, 2012 10:44 AM

There is nothing stopping your brother joining you in second class.
As St Cirq says hopefully you priced up point to point tickets first. Too late now though - enjoy your holiday together.

dfourh Apr 19th, 2012 12:21 PM

If a train is super crowded he might want to head over to 1st. If he does, you are free to go visit. The conductor might only raise an eyebrow if it looks like you are settling in for a longer time.

nytraveler Apr 19th, 2012 04:48 PM

Most people of all ages on all trains are taking 2nd class - not 1st. Can;t understand why he bought 1st class. And there is no need to buy passes for Eurail - which is just a reseller - a travel agent - not a train company.

Are you stuck with these passes or can you return them I think you will find point to point tickets to be cheaper - esp than 1st class.

janisj Apr 19th, 2012 05:58 PM

Of course adults can buy 2nd class EurRail passes. Were these some sort of 'special requirement' passes that had age limits?

But unfortunately that is water under the bridge - so make lemonade out of these lemons. He can sit in 2nd class w/ you.

scatcat Apr 19th, 2012 06:16 PM

I think the OP purchased a Global Pass. They are only available in 1st Class except to people under age 26.

kappa1 Apr 19th, 2012 06:50 PM

I think scatcat is right. I was surprised that other older/seasoned posters don't understand/remember OP's post. In the old days, as I remember they were called Eurail Pass (1st class) and Eurail Youth Pass (2nd class for only under 26 y.o.). Now they seemed to be called Eurail Global Pass & Global Youth Pass. Also certain poster might be confusing Eurail Pass company with RailEurope that's often mentioned negatively on this forum. It did happened to me that I bought Eurail Pass (1st cls) although I was under 26, in order to travel with another person who was over 26. That was more than 30 years ago. To OP, yes you can go to 1st class to talk with your brother or he comes to 2nd class. But it does seem an awkward/inconvenient (although economical) arrangement that you need to sit away from each other all the time.

scatcat Apr 19th, 2012 07:03 PM

I always bought my son 1st class to sit with me. Once we did sit in 2nd class with two girls we had met. The seats were like benches and hard as rocks. Italy.

flanneruk Apr 19th, 2012 10:53 PM

Leaving aside the "I wouldn't have done that" and the "I once sat in standard class in 1903 and it was horrible" claptrap, you need to understand that:

- your passes entitle you to travel on trains operated by dozens of different, independent, companies, with widely differing rules, train configurations and corporate cultures about interpreting those rules

- There's no closed physical barrier between the classes. The layout of some trains means passengers in standard class often have to walk through first just to get to their seats or to get to the bar: in others, first is restricted to one end, with clear demarcation, and the company's rules can simply ban standard class customers even from being in the area (Germany's DB enforces such a rule in its UK operations - even to the extent of trying to prevent standard class passengers on overcrowded commuter trains from standing in first class. I'm not aware of its employees being quite so obsessive in its domestic operations)

- Which said, I'm not aware of any railway company with the airline culture of aggressively discouraging standard class passengers from visiting associates in first. But both ticket inspectors and other passengers might object to even the hint of abuse. It's just as easy for you to visit your brother as for him to visit you - as you're likely to be reminded fairly forcibly, though there'll be journeys where no-one bothers.

- However traumatic scatcat's nanosecond of travelling like real people might have been, hundreds of millions of us travel in standard class dozens (for tens of millions of us, hundreds) of times a year. The last wooden benches were phased out in civilised Europe around 1950, though they did survive in bits of Italy till the 1970s. I've certainly endured far greater discomfort in American domestic first class airline seating than I routinely encounter on my local standard class commuter train.

If you can downgrade, you'll honestly suffer no significant discomfort, save a few euro to do something worthwhile and ease your communication with your brother.

PoissonRouge Apr 20th, 2012 08:11 AM

To clarify,
We bought the Select pass for 3 countries, 11 days of travel.
I am 18 and i bought the $478 pass
My brother, 27, HAD to buy 1st class, and his was a little over $700.

Considering that the pass allows for unlimited amount of travel within each day, i'm pretty sure we saved money. Especially because at the end of every travel day, we have to head back to the main base of where our host family lives.

PoissonRouge Apr 20th, 2012 08:22 AM

I first heard about it from these guys-

Are they full of scheisse?

november_moon Apr 20th, 2012 08:33 AM

I think flanner summarized things quite well. You guys will do just fine with your passes, being able to sit together in 2nd class or visit each other in your respective classes. No problem. And if it turns out that it would have been cheaper to get point-to-point tickets or a different pass, so be it. We all have those types of travel learning experiences. No one gets everything right the first time. Go - have a fabulous time - and as soon as you get back, start saving for your next trip :)

kappa1 Apr 20th, 2012 08:51 AM

Yes Eurail Select Pass is also 1st class only for above 26yo.

Interesting thing is I see this 1st class select pass has Saver pass ( like Swiss Pass) that give reduced price from 2 persons.

Eurail Select Pass 3 Countries
11 days within 2 month
1st cls :
1. € 526.00 for one person
2. € 448.00 x 2 for two person = € 896.00

2nd cls
3. € 343.00

I understand that you and your brother paid € 526 + € 343 = € 869.00. It seems you could have bought two 1st class passes for the two of you by paying only € 27.00 more. Or am I mistaken?

adrienne Apr 20th, 2012 08:52 AM

I think you are going to France and Germany. For both of these countries you can buy point-to-point tickets (individual tickets w/o a pass) inexpensively if you book ahead. You can do this over the internet from home. In France, you can get big discounts on high-speed trains if you book 90 days in advance. For Germany, the farther ahead you book the cheaper the price.

Since you're not taking long train trips (need to be back to your family by the end of the day) it might have been cheaper to buy individual tickets, especially as your brother could have bought second class tickets.

Without knowing all the facts no one can say if you got a good deal or not. The next time you go to Europe and travel by train check individual ticket pricing prior to buying a train pass.

Do you know about needing seat reservations for the fast trains in France? This requires an additional fee and booking.

kappa1 Apr 20th, 2012 08:59 AM

In any case OP's original question has already been answered, about if OP can go to see his brother in 1st class coach and vice versa.

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