1st Class Rail Ticket but 2nd class travel?

Hello -

I just looked into reservation cost for a train from Milan to Barcelona. We are purchasing the Eurail Select pass for 4 countries which entitles us to first class travel (i thought) - so how come when looking at this reservation cost it has Economy for $15 and then comfort for $33??

Very confusing, and to be honest makes me think of the select pass as a bit of a joke given we're paying $460 for that and are looking likely to be paying $100+ each for reservations. And some of those won't even be first class unless we pay even more?

Not very cool
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  • Hi Rachel, to sum it up: a reservation is a guaranteed seat on a specific train, assigned to you personally.
    With a Eurail pass you have access to both first and second class reservations which is good in case the 1st class seats are fully booked!

    Whether you need to pay extra for a reservation or not depends on three things: the train you’re on, what type of rail pass you have and the country.

    Let’s start with the train you’re on. There are essentially three types that run in Europe, each with different requirements.

    The first type of train is “Reservations Required.” This generally applies to high speed and overnight trains. Tickets sold for these trains always include a reservation. If you are traveling with a rail pass, you must purchase a seat reservation separately, at an additional cost. If you try to board these trains with your rail pass only, you will most likely get fined.

    Some high speed trains like Eurostar or Thalys do not accept Eurail passes but they give pass holder a discount on the price of a ticket+reservation.

    The second type of train is “Reservations Recommended.” These trains offer you the possibility of a reserved seat, but a reservation isn’t mandatory. You can wing it, but we feel it’s a small price to pay for the convenience and peace of mind of knowing a reserved seat is waiting.

    Finally, “Non-Reservable” trains are trains where a reservation is NOT needed or possible.Simply get on board and sit in any open seat in the class of service of your pass.

    in two cases out of three you are not obligated to book a separate reservation.

    however, You also need to keep in mind that rail carriers usually have a limited number of seats for travelers with a rail pass, so be sure to book as soon as possible if you are taking a high speed trains or a night train.

    Have a great trip
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 14, 2012 15:32
    Also, just think of it like this - a rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains (day trains and night trains) operating within and between any country listed on the respective pass. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a railpass, just as they would be factored into the cost of individual point-to-point tickets. Therefore, a rail pass still often works out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe that cover more substantial distances.
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