Using a Eurail Pass
Every rail pass needs to be activated to officially “start the clock” on its travel period. Your clients just need to go to the ticket window at the rail station before boarding their first train. A railroad official will enter the first and last day that their rail pass is valid and stamp it. The travelers will have to show their passports. Rail passes must be activated within eleven months of being purchased. If a traveler tries to board a train without activating their rail pass they risk being fined by the conductor.
In addition, when traveling with a flexi rail pass, the client will need to write the date of travel in the travel calendar before boarding the first train of the day. Not doing so is the same as traveling without a ticket, which means they’ll have to pay for a full fare ticket and risk a fine.
Instructions for activating the pass and filling in the travel calendar are included with the pass.
Eurail Pass Benefits. They’re everywhere.
- Price reductions for SIM card, WIFI access, and travel guides.
- Discounted or free access to public transport in several destinations.
- Price reductions for sightseeing tours and attractions.
- Free access to first-class lounges with a first-class pass.
- Discounts on select hotels, hostels, outlets, and city cards.
Pass benefits can be found on our site on each Eurail pass page under the Bonus tab- just click and scroll down. Clients need only refer to the Eurail app and confirm bonuses while in Europe
Depending on the benefit, it could require the use of a travel day on your client’s rail pass. Generally, free benefits use a day on a rail pass, while discounted ones do not.
What about Reservations?
Your clients have a rail pass. Do they need a reservation? It depends on the type of train they’re taking and whether or not they want to keep to a strict schedule or maintain some flexibility. A reservation gives clients peace of mind as they know they are guaranteed a seat. The reservation fee may include extra benefits, depending on the train and class, e.g., a meal and drink served at your seat, a complimentary newspaper or free Wi-Fi.
As previously mentioned, high-speed and overnight trains (as well as international and scenic trains) require reservations. It is best to make these reservations at the time of booking, since reservations for pass holders can be sold out. When making reservations, enter the from and to cities and be sure to check “Yes” to the question “Are you traveling with a rail pass?”
What you need to know about reservations:
- A reservation guarantees your client a seat or berth on a specific train departing on a specific date at a specific time.
- Children 4–11 traveling free with an adult will need to purchase a reservation for trains that require reservations.
- Sometimes reservations are optional, but it’s often worth making a reservation so your client has a confirmed seat, or the group knows that the individuals can all sit together. However, not all trains offer the possibility to reserve seats in advance.
- Non-reservable trains tend to be more local or regional, and can be a great way to travel and truly experience Europe.
- Reservation costs are not included in a Eurail Pass so clients will need to pay an additional fee. The price of this fee can differ depending on the train and network. If your client boards a train without a required reservation, they may incur a fine.
- There is a special reservation tariff for Eurail Pass holders and you should advise your customer to make use of this benefit.
- Generally, it’s possible to make reservations up to 3 months in advance.
- Seats can be in high demand, especially for popular routes and in the peak travel season (May through August). On a few trains, the number of available Pass holder seats can be limited. Therefore, the earlier a reservation is made, the better.
For more in-depth information on reservations and European rail travel, logon to our agent site and visit the Rail Help page.