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Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

Boulder, Colorado...
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Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

This is my primary question:

1) $7.95 fee to "deliver my tickets to me in the mail" Is this for real? It's 2018 folks.

I read in a forum that this was optional, and you could print tickets at home. But, during the booking process there is absolutely no option to change this. It is a fixed line item added on without any alternatives.

What is the best site for booking Europe train tickets? I am also looking at GoEuro.

These are the supplemental problems I had with RailEurope, not sure why I am even mentioning these:

2) I tried to chat with them but it was a broken chat system and did not function. It asked me to rate them for feedback before any chat took place, then it disconnected.

3) I had to create a second account because the password reminder email for my first account never arrived.

4) The forums are inexplicably confusing. Couldn't use my main account to post, so I think i posted anonymously. My question (about the above fee issue) never appeared.

For such a slick looking booking site it seems to have a scary amount of problems. Thoughts?

Best alternative site for booking Europe train tickets?

Thank you

31 replies to this topic
Trondheim, Norway
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1. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

The best site by far is the site of the train company actually running the trains - so it will depend on where you are going.

A good place to start is https://www.seat61.com/

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

" Best alternative site for booking Europe train tickets? "

Best strategy is to avoid Rail Europe, Euro Railways, Go Euro, RailPlus, International Rail !

What makes you go to Rail Europe in the first place? There are thousands of posts in this forum recommending to avoid Rail Europe.

Book directly with (depending where you travel)

www.bahn.com

www.b-europe.com

www.trenitalia.com

www.oebb.at

www.cd.cz

Read the bible: www.seat61.com

Oodnadatta...
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3. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

primary question should be why choose a dodgy agency rather than deal direct

Nijmegen, The...
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4. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

There is no one stop shop for train tickets. All those GoEuro, RailEurope and the likes are equally bad. The best and only place to shop for train tickets are the sites of the railway operators themselves.

There are a few reliable agencies because some sites are notoriously bad to use (yes RENFE I'm looking at you) and because for some international journeys it can be cheaper to use an agency because they can combine 2 systems. These basically are www.loco2.com and www.trainline.eu. There are very small exceptions to that rule (www.polrail.com in Poland for instance) but the general rule of thumb is book at the operator.

Quainton, United...
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5. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

We are not the United States of Europe - each country has it's own train operator, with its own ticketing system and website.

Loco2.com and Trainline.eu come closest to one-stop shops - but even they only connect to Spanish, Italian, French and German systems (and in the case of Loco2, the UK system and Trainline now also connects to the Austrians). Neither site charge any mark-up or fee. Indeed, I prefer them to the Renfe (Spanish) or SNCF (French) railways sites.

Other than that, use the operator's own site, the place to start for international journeys is the country where the journey starts. E.g. for Prague to Krakow from €19 with print-your-own delivery and no fee or markup, you need the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz - no-one else connects to them.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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6. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

As you can see by now, it's not as simple as you thought when it comes to buying rail tickets for Europe. It is one continent, but over 40 separate countries, all of whom are independent regardless of whether they are EU members or not.

My advice to you is run away from any site that gives the impression by it's name that it is some sort of pan European booking portal. These will be resellers, and as noted already, most of them are very poor outfits. As well as Rail Europe, Go Euro and the others mentioned thus far, add Rail Ninja to the list of sites that you don't want to go anywhere near.

Be very grateful that you (apparently) have not been able to buy anything from RE. Apart from their postage fees, they will most probably overcharge you for the tickets as well.

Chester,England
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7. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

There you are Jaws, all the info.you need, be interested to hear how you get on.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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8. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

It is a matter of times changing. When I first began train travel in Europe in the 1970's/80's the Cooks Train timetable was the Bible which I carted everywhere. I bought passes (guess by mail cannot remember) and booked seats/couchettes at the station ticket office. When I began travelling again in 2000, I used Rail Europe to buy passes and book travel. They probably made a lot of money from me but there was not much else. By about 2010 I began to use https://www.bahn.com/i/view/index.shtml and gradually discovered other ways listed above. Unfortunately, despite a number of attempts, I have been unable to stop emails from RailEurope although they automatically go to my spam folder. Cooks timetable is no longer published, it would be good if RailEurope went the same way.

Boulder, Colorado...
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9. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

Haha thank you so much. I only went to RailEurope because I googled about train tickets in Europe and it was the first one to come up, And it's front end is rather well organized and very clear to understand, so I felt it was probably a popular and trusted resource for reserving tickets. But it all broke down after that.

Boulder, Colorado...
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10. Re: Booking Issues with RailEurope - WTF is with that site?

True, but I don't know all the different rail companies in France, TER, TGV, SNCF, on and on. I just want to go from A to B. It seems far easier to go to a booking site like this and compare.

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