How do I reserve a seat on the train?

Sep 17th, 2003, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 51
How do I reserve a seat on the train?

I already have a ticket in hand from Como to Florence (bought through my travel agent). I just happened to look at the ticket and realized that it says "reservations compulsory." My TA told me not to worry, and just get the seat when I get to the train station. The problem is, the specific train I want is the ONLY nonstop train the WHOLE day, and I figure it may be full. How do I reserve this seat before it "sells out"?
pal is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 26
Try the following website:

This is a good place to start, but remember you'll need to put in the correct date of departure.
Lil is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 05:28 PM
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Posts: 15,749
Well if I had bought that ticket from a travel agent, the first thing I'd do is tell the travel agent I want and NEED my seat reservation NOW. Otherwise you certainly need a new travel agent, one who knows what he or she is doing.

If the travel agent can't or won't do it for you, and I can't imagine why not, then come back and let others tell you what to do. Normally I suppose you could do it through Rail Europe (a little pricey) but I don't even think they'll make reservations if they don't sell you the seat. Not sure about that.

And I agree with you, when you really need to make sure you are on a specific train, I would not be comfortable waiting until I got there to see if I could get a seat.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Are you sure you don't have a seat reservation now? In France with the TGV trains reservations are mandatory and no ticket is sold without one.

A couple of weeks ago a couple of people thought they had TGV tickets in France without seat reservations. After a little back-and-forth they realized that there was a "voie" and "place" (car and seat) assigned.

Of course France could be completely different.
indytravel is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 202
Contact your TA and ask them specifically if you have a reserved seat. If they say no, tell them you want one. They might have been trying to save you money by not reserving the seat; if they are knowledgeable they may know that you won't have any problems getting on the train. But the option should have been given to you regardless. It is usually around $11 US to reserve an actual seat on Rail Europe. If your agent tries to tack on any charges other than the actual reservation cost, speak to their manager and tell them they should be responsible for any additional costs as the option of having a confirmed seat was not offered to you. If they are reputable, they will do so. If not, you will know not to work with them again. Good luck.
sjbisanz1 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 262
Maybe I'm slow, but there is a local train hourly from Como to Milan and a separate ES every hour from Milan to Florence. All ES trains have an automatic seat reservation, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Go to and check the schedule for a possible alternate.
mmr41 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 466
you need a new travel agent. If you are first class on most trains you get a reserved seat. 2nd class you just arrive and sit wherever you find a spot. If you have ticket on a specific train you shld also be able to reserve a seat if it's possible (some IC trains are also 1st come 1st serve even in first class).
e_roz is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
I agree that you should change the t/a. What a lazy person. If you are in 2nd class only then you can take whatever seat's available but not in 1st class where it's mandatory to have a res.
francophile03 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 125
Seat reservation is mandatory on the Cisalpino train.
Absurd is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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The bit about not needing a reservation on Cisalpino trains or Eurostar trains in Italy in second class is wrong. You need a seat reservation in either class. You may well have to pay a supplement in addition to the ticket unless your travel agent also included the Eurostar or Cisalpino supplement (about $7-15) in your ticket price. Have you agent make the necessary reservation for you through RailEurope. Though it may be the only direct train, there are at least hourly Como-Florence links via a change in Milano, a mild inconvenience so you should be able to reserve something in Como, especially if you do it a few days ahead of the train. Doing so in Italy will also be cheaper as you avoid RailEurope's $11 seat reservation fee plus $15 handling fee - reservations in Italy are just a few bucks, but again you may have to pay a supplement on the Milano-Florence Eurostar Italia train if you ticket doesn't include it.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 07:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 51
Hey all, thank you so very much for your great help! With the help of your posts, I went back to my TA (who incidentally just got back from Italy yesterday) and asked him what happened. He apologized that he gave me an open ticket (he assumed this is what I wanted), and said that he would procure a reservation for me tomorrow. I hope it works....

Anyways, thanks for your help!
pal is offline  

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