Rail Europe tickets question

Mar 6th, 2007, 05:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 39
Rail Europe tickets question

We have pre-paid for tickets from www.raileurope.com through our travel agent for travel between Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
We received an SNCF Ticket-Reservation with all the pertinent info. (Don't know why it is SNCF rather than Trenitalia). I would hesitate to stick this in a validation machine. Does anyone know what you do with it. My TA "thinks" you have it validated on board. I e-mailed raileurope.com but have not heard back and we leave in less than a week. Anyone have a similar experience? Can't find an 800 number for Rail Europe. Thanks!
joe19 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Anyway, for a reservation of this kind--it includes a reservation number with a specific train and seat, yes?-- you just show it to the conductor when he or she collects tickets. The conductor will enter it in a handheld device and you're done.

Just wondering--how much did you pay? Most people talk about the higher rates at Raileurope, so I wanted to compare.

ellenem is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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We had tickets from our travel agent and just got on the train. We have tickets again thru Gotoday for Rome to Florence March 15th and intend to do the same thing. Our ticket has the train number on it and it is very easy to find the right train.
Michaellip is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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Hi J,

It's not so weird that you have a SNCF ticket. Almost all of the European train systems are connected by computer.

If you are traveling on an ES*, you don't have to stamp your ticket, as it is good only for that train on that day.

ira is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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RailEurope is largely owned by the SNCF and the SNCF issues their point to point tickets probably. Cover makes no difference.
Tickets issued in North America by Raileurope and agents should not be date stamped or cancelled in station machines - like said above just board and show to conductor.
If you'd like this confirmed by an authority rather than waiting for RailEurope to respond call BETS (800-441-2387) and i'm sure they will answer your question even though you bought the ticket elsewhere - they also issue RailEurope tickets so know the exact conditions in case i'm wrong, but i don't think i am in my understanding of such tickets.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Pal is correct..the majority owners of RE are SNCF and the Swiss federal railorads; RE is their North American marketing arm and also the reason SNCF will not mail tickets to North America.

They always use SNCF stock for printing tickets and seat reservations.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the responses.
As to the question as to what we paid: $82.50 per person First Class.
We chose prima classe because I wasn't sure if seconda on that train would guarantee a seat--and my days of standing on a train are long past gt;)
joe19 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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I suspect you would have gotten a better deal at Trenitalia.com buying the tickets yourself. Also, second class on ES trains includes a seat reservation.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Standard fare is 47EUR for 1st class, including everything. You can buy on trenitalia.com and print out your own ticket.

47EUR is $62. And no shipping and handling fees.

RailEurope just made a $20 profit per ticket. More if they charge you for shipping.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Got the tix through an agent so there was no shipping--or atleast it was disguised. I could not tell if second class was reserved or not--and standing is not an option. $20 wont kill me considering what the Euro is doing to my budget LOL.
Thanks to everyone for your responses.
joe19 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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If Raileurope tickets are for trains that require reservations then the reservation is included and should be so noted on the ticket you got - exact car number and seat numbers. And tickets on Rome-Florence trains will most certainly include the reservation.

And for many $20 would be gladly paid to just figure out the often fickle trenitalia site. Folks who use it regularly and know how it works fine - but as legions of posts on Fodors show many people can't successfully use it the first time around.

Though RE may have made $20 on the ticket chances are Trenitalia lost $20 on their tickets - due to huge subsidies. Without know how much Trenitalia is charging RailEurope it's hard to say how much RE is marking up tickets. I wouldn't doubt that Trenitalia is marking them up for sale abroad as well rather than selling them at the in-Italy ridiculously subsidized rate, where rail travel is much cheaper than in other Western European countries.
Why a ticket costs more thru RE than Trenitalia would be hard for the casual observor to say i believe.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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joe19 - consider the $20 or so well spent perhaps - just a few of the torrents of problems Fodorites report with Trenitalia site: $20 probably saved you several hours of frustrating time.

Author: Kealoha
Date: 02/08/2007, 02:57 am
I've been trying to make reservation in the trenitalia website for 3 days in a row now (for an overnight train to Paris), and have ran across problems with the site.

Tonight, I got as far as entering my CC# and sending the order, only to be told they are having technical problems.

Author: Sue_xx_yy
Date: 02/08/2007, 06:19 am
Yes, I have, but not recently.

Author: worldinabag
Date: 02/08/2007, 06:22 am
I can't help but smile every time someone posts about the Trenitalia website. Don't get me wrong - I'm not laughing at your misfortune. If you do a search of this forum you'll discover you're not an orphan! What amuses me is that you'd think Trenitalia would be aware of the frequent problems and get it right. I do hope it works out for you. Good luck and happy travels.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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I'll bet the rail ticket websites pray everyday that trenitalia doesn't fix the "problems", because once you figure it out it's a great site.
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Well that's the big question - why, after several years now of complaints trenitalia just can't make it a bit more user friendly!

no way to run a railway!
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Posts: 1,298
Palen - I'll try a guess. Maybe they don't read their emails often enough to know people are complaining!!
TravMimi is offline  

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