November 14, 2013 | By Collette Peck
I specialize in rail travel in Europe, but on my recent trip to Germany and Austria it was nice to see the improvements and changes that have been made. When I book European rail tickets or passes for clients I often have to remind them that rail tickets are like airline tickets. They come with cancellation penalties and certain restrictions. With point to point tickets, like an airline flight, you have to travel on the day and time your ticket was booked for. Rail passes allow you some freedom of taking any available train between the cities you want, however; keep in mind many of the high speed trains still require a seat reservations for an additional cost. These seat reservations are non-refundable and must be used on the date and time they are booked. One of the better improvements with rail reservations, is that some are becoming e-tickets. You now have a confirmation number that you would use at the kiosk to retrieve your ticket at the train station, a very simple process, just like airline e-tickets retrieval.
During my recent journey I had the opportunity to travel in first class and business class. I personally found the business class a little crowded for persons traveling with luggage. However; for ‘business’ persons traveling without luggage between cities it would have advantages, with the close seat proximity.
For journeys over 4 hours I recommend first class for my clients. Shorter, local journeys second class is fine, often times only local trains operate these routes with only second class available.
Remember, there is usually no smoking on trains, or they have a designated car for smoking. And there is usually a food and beverage car on the longer journeys. Please feel free to contact me, and I’d be more than happy to help make your European Rail journey come true.
Collette Peck 801-327-7609 Proud Member of Virtuoso