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What is the benefit of of the Global Euro Rail pass?

I purchased a global rail pass after adding up my train costs and finding it to be cheaper with a pass. However, after buying the pass I went into the reservation area on raileurope.com and found that with reservations the tickets actually cost more than with global pass than without one. How cam that be? Am I looking at the information wrong?

Examples I can site are over night trains from Venice to Vienna and Barcelona to Paris. It's cheaper to not have a pass in these circumstances. Am I wrong?

Posted by
17984 posts

Compared to full fare point-point tickets, a pass with accommodation supplement is usually less expensive. However, you can often get all inclusive, online purchase, discount tickets for less than a pass day and the supplement.

Posted by
839 posts

Basically, your reservations are included when you buy a ticket, whereas the rail pass does not cover them.

For regular trains where reservations are possible, they are around €3-5. For overnight trains and some premium day trains like Thalys, the supplement for rail pass holders is much larger -- for example, around €26 on Thalys, and €40+ on City Night Line. Therefore, if you buy discounted point-point tickets in advance, they are nearly always cheaper than paying for the rail pass and these supplements. The only way that pass+supplement is cheaper is if you compare it to full-price tickets which you don't need to get if you can commit to a date/time and purchase cheaper tickets in advance.

This is something to figure into your calculations when determining whether to buy a pass or not.