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How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

I have tried to make reservation for train ticket from Rome Termini to Florence and during check out there was additional fee on top of reservation fee indicated during selection. The price basically increase from US 25 to US 44 during check out, and we are talking about just one way ticket. I feel that it is a reap off and there was not mention of reservation and other additional fee when I purchase Eurail pass. The website I try to book from is ItaliaRail, is there other website that offer cheaper booking fee? Felt like I have been con. Anyway during my Eurail pass number was invalid, and I have to choose option of I don't know pass number. Why is it so? I find the website confusing and not user friendly.

20 replies to this topic
Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
8,925 posts
1. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

That you feel like you have been conned is because you have. Eurail is bordering on a scam.

Best thing to do is: wait till you’re in Italy, and book when there. The whole point of a pass is to be flexible. You’ve paid for that privilege. Now take advantage of it. Just make your reservations here at the station. They’ll still cost you 10,- pp for high speed trains, and a bit less on IC trains.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,168 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

Use the web site of the Italian train operator, and you will get a reservation for the correct fee of €10.

Go to www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en and look for trains from Roma Termini to Firenze SM Novella on your travel date. Don't forget to set the hour field (to the right of the date). When you see the list of trains, click on the price of the one you want to use. A pane opens, showing the ticket offers for that train. At bottom left of that pane, click on "View other offers". Then in the "Offer" drop-down, select "Global Pass". The price will change to €10, and you can complete the booking.

It is a pity you have already bought the pass. In Italy, it costs much less to buy ordinary tickets well in advance.

Quainton, United...
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
9,395 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

Eurail isn't a scam: Unlimited first class train rides of unlimited distance the whole length of Italy all day from midnight to midnight for what, €55 per day plus a €10 fee per train?

That's great value, you could just turn up, make a few €10 reservations at the station (with no added fee) and go up and down all day, Naples to Milan back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down, for that.

But people just don't DO that.

They buy a pass, then just make one train ride, of finite distance, pre-meditated so no flexibility actually needed or used, from Rome to Florence, a journey that costs €63 full-flex 1st class (so comparing like with like), but which could be booked in advance from just €39.90 (or from just €29.90 in 2nd class).

That's the problem. The knee-jerk: It's in Europe. It's a train. So I MUST buy a Eurail pass.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 16:32
Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
4. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

there was not mention of reservation fee on Eurail website,. There is actually plan to use the pass on days I will be making for trip but after doing some math it is not worth it with the additional reservation fee and hidden charges price double during check out

Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
5. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

Tq for reply,. I was worried that train will be full if I do not book in advance,. Because from some website I go through seems to encourage to book at least 1 week bfr trip. And then, it will not be flexible anymore.

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
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57,777 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

In countries like Italy, France and Spain where reservation is compulsory for long distance travel, trains can and do sell out. If there are no places remaining, the train is full and you cannot buy a ticket. That is an important reason why passes are not good value in those countries. A reservation must be obtained, at an extra cost, with a pass. If you buy your travel ticket direct from the railway company, the reservation is automatically issued and free of charge.

Either way, if there is a trip you must make on a specific day and time, a reservation should be obtained in advance.

Turin
Level Contributor
9,518 posts
1 review
7. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

> I was worried that train will be full if I do not book in advance

I've been using local and long distance trains every week for 20 years and I have never find a sold out train. I have never heard about somebody who could not find a ticket for the train they really wanted, at worst they had to pay for a first class seat.

I have had the same experience in France, Switzerland and Germany for years: a sold out train is an exceptional occurrence.

More, before they introduced discounted fares for advance purchases I have never purchased a train ticket in advance more than 30 minutes before departure.

I really think that Pass sites blatantly lie to those customers from countries who don't know how a railway system work.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 19:15
Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
73,981 posts
478 reviews
8. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

It looks like you are syaing that you boiught your pass from the Eurail website. If so, I've just had a quick squint at it and there is one whole section devoted to reservations. In that section, I found this after only a few seconds in a big box:

"As a general rule, reservations are required for all European night trains and most high-speed trains.

In popular countries like France, Spain, and Italy you usually need to make a seat reservation. If you're traveling in high season, from June until September, we recommend that you make reservations early."

It doesn't actually specifically spell out that you need a reservation for particular types of services there. It looks a sif you have to dig a bit deeper for that. But there is definitely information there, incluidng what looks like a video to explain it, which I admit I couldn't be bothered to watch.

I wouldn't say that Eurial or the passes are a scam. Maybe not even a borderline scam. They are poor value for the vast majority of people who want to travel by rail in Europe, but that's not the same thing.

I'm sorry you've ended up paying for something you don't need, zoekee. The best time to do the maths and work out if you want a pass or not is before parting with any money, and this is what we all regularly advise on here. You could investigate whether you can get a refund at all. Even if there is a penalty attached you may still be better off.

Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
9. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

Thank you all for your very helpful advice,. Very much appreciated.

Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
10. Re: How to make reservation using Eurail pass?

In my understanding of making reservation is that I do not have to pay for reservation. Maybe Eurail should make it clear at website that one have to pay to reserve., and also should inform us that most train in Italy require reservation. I am looking to return the pass hopefully can be done. Thanks for your explainations.

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