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Timing of Glacier Express Seat Reservations

We are a group of 4 traveling together. We purchased first class Eurail Passes for a trip in May and June 2020, covering 4 European countries, but mostly, to have good seats on the Glacier Express. We understand we need to make seat reservations, and are struggling to understand how far ahead of time we can do this. It says, on the glacier express website (, that this can be done 90 days in advance, but today when we looked at the site, it appeared that many of the good seats were already taken on train trips well over 90 days away.

Today we reserved our connecting Bernina Express seats, which we read can be reserved 120 days out, and were disappointed to see only 4 first class seats left on the only day we had set aside for this trip, so we have no choice in our seats, and none of the 4 available seats are by windows. We thought this was the first day we could book, so how are almost all the seats gone already?
If the tickets go that fast, & you can only book 90 days ahead of time, does that mean you should count 90 days backward starting on your travel day, or on the day before? what time of day in US CST should you start your purchase?

Posted by
2829 posts

Often, they add more panoramic cars to a previously scheduled train. There is no way o knowing whether will they add new cars or not until 4-6 weeks or so before departure.

Posted by
7205 posts

And why in the WORLD do you think Eurail tickets will provide you good seats on the Glacier Express??

Posted by
8889 posts

I agree with Tim. You paid the extra for a 1st class pass, just for the one train you actually wanted to travel 1st class on?
Would it not have been cheaper to buy a 2nd class pass and buy 1st class tickets for the Glacier Express extra?

Which date are you looking at? I did a quick check and can see 40-80 1st class seats on most dates in May

Posted by
16966 posts

The last date from today you can reserve the Glacier Express for is May 20, which looks to be 90 days away. Not only do there appear to be plenty of 1st class seats available, there are 2 trains a day at that time of year, 1 hour apart.

Also, even though you bought 1st class passes, you could opt to travel in 2nd class if you wanted 4 seats together across a table. Just a bit less room.