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Eurail Global Pass: How are you sure when reservations are needed?

Eurail Global Pass: How are you sure when reservations are needed?

Aug 3rd, 2011, 04:37 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Eurail Global Pass: How are you sure when reservations are needed?

We bought a Eurail Global Pass for a 3-week trip to Europe, composed of France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and quickly through Switzerland back to France. We noticed, though, as we planned each leg of our train travel, that some legs required reservations, costing additional money. We would appreciate experienced travelers sharing how this works.
Seth7 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 04:43 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,183
For Italy, all trains (AV, ES, IC) except R (Regionale) trains, the slowest kind, will require seat reservations.

Helpful info about the various countries here: http://www.seat61.com/
ellenem is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 04:55 PM
  #3  
 
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Once you find out that certain train says "reservation obligatory" on the schedule, you have to get reservations. Where do you buy them? You can always get them at stations. You have to deal with ticket agent and the lines at large station can be very long. I have waited one hour in Nice. (I buy tickets differently now in order not to repeat this mistake.) There are alternative places you an do this such as SNCF boutique storefront in big French cities.
The Raileurope can sell reservations with high premium.

You noticed there is a note about limited seat availability for pass holders? While some argue that this does not happen that often, here is an example if that happens: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...eservation.cfm
greg is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 05:09 PM
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You can go to the station in Italy and choose just to book a reservation on whatever train you want to take. We always used the automatic machines to book our reservations.

For Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, you shouldn't have to reserve any seats unless you want to (we never have).
lindy27 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 06:24 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,781
This chart will give you an idea of which trains and how much.
http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/pdfs/reservations.pdf
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 08:38 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Both Rick Steves's site and www.railpassdeals.com/global.php are pretty helpful. Also, if you email Rail Europe directly, I found their customer service very responsive and helpful.
AcuvueOasysLens is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 12:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Try to avoid any use of Raileurope- this firm well known for very high ticket pricing
molker is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 04:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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In France you will need a reservation on any TGV, Téoz or Lunéa train. iDTGV trains are only booked through the internet and, to my knowledge, are not available to pass riders.

Additionally, available seats allocated to pass riders can be very limited and during certain times, August for example, you will have difficulty finding availability unless you book well in advance. When booking well in advance, it will most likely be much cheaper to simply purchase a point to point ticket than try to use a pass and make a reservation.

If you have plenty of time and patience, avoid the TGVs and simply take the TER trains which require no reservations.

I agree with molker, Raileurope sells tickets at top dollar and almost never offers discounts tickets. Additionally, RE displays only partial train schedules so when making price comparisons or itineraries, use this website:

www.tgv-europe.com (in English but if asked, those living in the USA should select any other country as their residence to preclude being bumped to raileurope).
Sarastro is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 12:30 PM
  #9  
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You have been so considerate and helpful. We appreciate it.
Seth7 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 11:41 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 6
Just got back from Europe. While travelling from Berlin to Prague, the train was full and they made the announcement that any travellers without a reservation would not be let on - it was a Saturday morning (peak time for weekend getaways), but beware, it can happen.
thertein is offline  
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