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Eurail Pass - don't waste your money

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May 13th, 2012, 10:12 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2012
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Eurail Pass - don't waste your money

After previously using and enjoying train travel in Europe with the Eurail Pass, I had a horrible experience with it this past March. The Eurail Pass is supposed to be all First Class, however you now have to purchase a very expensive reservation in order to use it in First Class on most trains. And you can't make reservations on the internet from outside the countries you want to travel in.

The biggest problem is that most country's train systems only have a very few seats (or maybe none, from what I could tell) available for Eurail Pass use, so you can't get a reservation. It's worse than trying to use reward miles on an airline.

Furthermore, the "First Class" Eurail Pass does not allow you access to the First Class lounges in train stations when you find that you are stuck there for many hours waiting for a train where you could actually use the Pass in First Class.

You can use the Eurail Pass more easily in Second class with a cheaper reservation but after adding it all up - it would have been cheaper and far less frustrating to simply buy the second class reservations & tickets at train stations once I got to Europe.

So - the Eurail Pass is a big ripoff and an epic fail.
DDThexton is offline  
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May 13th, 2012, 10:33 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
The reservation business truly is a hassle - in some countries much more than others.

Some countries, like Germany, are much less reservation-happy. It's often better to go with individual country passes or 2-3-country passes in those places where using passes is still convenient and a good value, and if you're in a reservation-happy country, to make other arrangements for getting around. Buy P2P tickets for regional trains (which don't generally require reservations), fly a discount carrier, maybe rent a car.
Russ is offline  
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May 13th, 2012, 10:37 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,329
i agree. we used to use eurail all the time. but for quite some time, now, have had the same experience where you can't use first class for first cla ss. most of all-- they used to be great for the freedom they offered. but now that making train reservations online is so simple-- i think that all of the country passes have seen their day. for our travel in italy this summer, i added it up and i think we travelled with online reservations for almost half of what the pass would have cost.. because we made the reservations in advance, using the 'mini fares'. some of the mini fares were unbelievably cheap. it's been hard to say goodbye to the eurail pass, but i agree with you. i think it's time.
kawh is offline  
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May 13th, 2012, 11:10 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,463
There are a LOT of trains in Europe which have First Class sections that do not require a seat reservation
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