Five Rail Booking Mistakes to Avoid


Mistakes. We all make them every now and then. But how can you avoid them? By knowing what to look out for, of course!

Here, we’ve shortlisted the top five common mistakes travellers make when booking their rail tickets, passes and journeys; and how you can avoid them.

Your name on the train tickets and/or pass must match that of your passport

1. Personal Details

Always ensure names are spelled correctly and as per the passport, and give special attention to the date of birth and country of residence. This is especially crucial for rail passes and French electronic tickets. You should keep in mind, too, that any instant purchase products are issued automatically and may be non-refundable. As such, any changes required post purchase may require a brand new booking.

Be sure your book your seats in the correct class. Picture here is service on board Eurostar’s Standard Premier Class.


2. Choosing the Right Pass & Class

The best way to determine the right pass is to count the required number of travel days and ensure the region / countries the journeys go through are covered. You should also double check the class of service in which the Pass is booked. For instance, 2nd class pass holders are not able to travel in 1st class, even if the seat reservation made is in 1st class.


Always check the ticket cancellation conditions and deadline in T&C section.


3. Cancellations

Cancellations apply to most passes and open tickets. Paper tickets need to be cancelled and sent back to the office prior to the travel date (or even earlier for certain fares). For electronic tickets, a cancellation request needs to be sent through to the refunds department. You should always check the cancellation deadline in the terms and conditions section.

Secure your booking and ticket prices by paying on time

4. Payment Deadlines

It pays to pay attention to payment deadlines. Every time a payment deadline is missed, the booking needs to be reinstated. As a result, you might end up paying higher prices. Should an extended payment deadline be required, always seek the assistance of the customer service team.

Rail Booking Mistakes to Avoid
Policies differ with each train carrier, so be sure you read the T&C section


5. Fine Print

It is imperative that you read the fine print as different carriers offer different policies on refunds and travel flexibilities. For example, offers with “Book early” or “Promo” usually imply the tickets are non-refundable and often available only as an instant purchase. Should extra flexibility be required, you should ensure the passes or tickets booked are open tickets or based on flexi fares.


For more tips, inspiration and information visit www.raileurope.com.

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