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Interrail

1 post
1 review
Interrail

READ THIS BEFORE CONSIDERING INTERRAIL- I completely regret buying my ticket.

Myself and my partner recently bought 2 discounted tickets for 7 days travel to use within a month. We were extremely chuffed with the discounted price and the idea of a cheaper way to travel for our summer holiday. We then used interrails app to plan our trip, it was only when we logged into our account that we realised that we would have to double our costs in order to get on our chosen trains. Some reservation fees were quoted as €120 for 2 people, from Barcelona to Marseille. Furthermore, being less than 8 days before we travel, interrails online reservation service wouldn't work.

After searching high and low for a customer service number, I spoke to someone who then managed to get my complaint email sent on to the appropriate people. I then waited 2 Days for a response, in which I was told that they would give me an "exceptional" pass exchange. (After looking at other comments here, it's clear it's not exceptional). In order to exchange my pass, I need to get to a train station, get it stamped, send it back (at my expense) and then purchase another ticket (at full price this time) and then they will give me a refund minus €15 exchange fee.

Needless to say, I extremely unhappy with this "resolution". Interrail is a company that exploits those who cannot afford it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

For those of you considering interrail, don't do it! Save your time and money, it's really not worth the stress. Interrail have ruined my summer, and left me completely out of pocket and without a holiday.

11 replies to this topic
Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
9,103 posts
1 review
1. Re: Interrail

I have used Interrail passes before on several occasions. They are very useful if used in the way they are intended. So that you buy one, then just travel. For example, in your case I would have just reserved Barcelona to Marseilles at the station in Barcelona... And it would certainly not have cost 120,-...

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,701 posts
478 reviews
2. Re: Interrail

Interrail can be excellent value. I've bought Interrail passes since they were restricted to young people in the 1970's. I was delighted when they became available to older people, and bought them again.

The real issue isn't with the tickets themselves, but the way that some countries, notably France, Italy and Spain, have introduced various restrictions to using all passes. This was a compromise as intitially they wanted to pull out of accepting them completely, as they did not feel that they were getting sufficient revenue for the usage people were making of the rail services in those particular countries.

If memory serves, this al happened in the early 1990's and I remember buying a Euro Domino ticket one year when I was about 40. These were passes for individual countries. I don't think Spain, Italy and France were included.

Anyway, the point is that using Interrail is still very straightforward in most countries. It's a shame that the ones you want to travel through are not the most pass friendly. I suspect that Krist is right that if you had reserved seats at the station on the day, it would have cost far less than €120.

Edited: 02 August 2018, 22:26
Scotland
Level Contributor
51 posts
3. Re: Interrail

"The real issue isn't with the tickets themselves, but the way that some countries, notably France, Italy and Spain, have introduced various restrictions to using all passes."

Indeed,

On the other hand, in Germany things have got better. I remember in the 90's having to pay a (small) supplement to use InterCity trains in Germany, and for ICE trains you had to pay the difference between the ICE tariff and a normal ticket.

Now it seems that you don't need to pay extra for either type of train (apart from the few ICE Sprinter services).

I seem to recall that Italy had distance-related supplement on lots of trains even back then.

And now you can even use it in your own country at the start and end.

Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
9,103 posts
1 review
4. Re: Interrail

The thing that is odd is that even in Pass unfriendly Spain a reservation for two people from Barcelona to Marseilles is never going to be 120,-

So I guess we are seeing a combination here of people who are not very experienced in train travel (why would having to go to a railway station to have your pass cancelled be such a hardship otherwise), expectations, and travel in countries where a pass is not the best option.

I recently had to spend a week doing some business in Wolfsburg. Couldn't find accomodation there so got a hotel in Spandau. Got an 1st class Interrail pass, travelled in one week Interlaken - Wolfsburg, then Wolfsburg - Spandau and back 4 times, then back to Interlaken. The pass was absolutely worth it, and got some interesting comments when I expensed it...

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,163 posts
41 reviews
5. Re: Interrail

It is very important to check BEFORE buying any kind of pass those countries where reservations are compulsory for long distance trains. No pass includes them. The means of getting such reservations and the cost vary from country to country.

This is not a comprehensive list, but do the research and maths first if travelling in or between France, Spain and Portugal. Ditto France and Italy, also domestic long distance in Italy with both companies. International Thalys trains France to or from Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. France to or from Switzerland. Domestic travel on many trains in Sweden and Poland. Almost all overnight international trains.

Scotland
Level Contributor
51 posts
6. Re: Interrail

"It is very important to check BEFORE buying any kind of pass those countries where reservations are compulsory for long distance trains. No pass includes them. "

The Interrail Premium passes offer free reservations in Italy and Spain...so long as you make them at least three business days in advance and on the Interrail.eu web site.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,701 posts
478 reviews
7. Re: Interrail

>>>On the other hand, in Germany things have got better. I remember in the 90's having to pay a (small) supplement to use InterCity trains in Germany, and for ICE trains you had to pay the difference between the ICE tariff and a normal ticket.<<<

I can well remember paying supplements to travel on certain types of trains in Germany in the 1980's. It was a samll amount, though, even by the prices at the time, I seem to recall paying 3DM or so in the middle of the decade for a ride from Hamburg to Frankfurt.

I don't remember any distance supplements in Italy, but that's probably more of a reflection of my memory than anything else.

Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
9,103 posts
1 review
8. Re: Interrail

At that time you had to pay the IC supplement in Germany if you had a normal international ticket too...

Quainton, United...
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
9,461 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Interrail

€60 Barcelona-Marseille?

That's NOT an interrail passholder fee. Sounds like a regular advance-purchase fare you could have bought without a pass.

The correct passholder fee for the direct Barcelona-Marseille/Lyon TGV trains is about €18 in 2nd class or €25 in 1st class.

Which is steeper than normal anyway, The fee for a domestic TGV is either €10 (limited availability) or €20 (applies when no €10 places left). In Italy, the fee for any high-speed train is €10. In Germany.Switzerland/Benelux/Austria/central & eastern Europe there are usually no fees.

Edited: 04 August 2018, 16:17
Chester,England
Level Contributor
1,558 posts
73 reviews
10. Re: Interrail

Eurostar charge a hefty €30 standard class fee each way, to Interrail pass holders

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