I’m conflicted

Finding regular tickets to be less expensive than pass for Brussels-Bruges-Paris-Venice-Munich?

Do I really need a Eurail Pass? It seems like the pass + reservations is significantly higher than just buying the tickets directly. My trip is (costs are for three people; Saver pass):
Ticket Reservation
Trip 1 Brussels to Bruges 05/30/2012 $120 $ 0
Trip 2 Bruges to Paris 06/02/2012 $645 $ 324
Trip 3 Paris to Venice 06/06/2012 $504 $ 363
Trip 4 Venice to Munich 06/09/2012 $636 $ 90
Pass 4 Country Select $ 1515
Total: $1905 $ 2292

Questions:
1) Seems like a no-brainer that a pass doesn't work for my situation. I know we may take a few miscellaneous trains along the way, but I would surprised if the cost would exceed the $130/person difference. What am I missing?
2) Your engined said I would need a four country pass. However, since Venice to Munich goes through Austria, don't I need a five country pass. If so, that increases the cost by another $46/person.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 12, 2012 20:08
    Hi Eileen,

    If you find the rail pass to be more expensive than regular point-to-point tickets for your specific itinerary, then you can book regular tickets. We are not able to verify or provide price quotes through this forum. A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains (day trains and night trains) operating between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass, 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.

    That being said, Thello, the train operator for the overnight train from Paris to Venice no longer accepts any rail pass to cover ticket costs for their trains. This overnight option is the most feasible way to travel all the way from Paris to Venice. Since rail passes are not accepted on this major part of your trip, it may have contributed to the rail pass option amounting to more than the option of purchasing point-to-point tickets for each trip.

    Another factor within your specific itinerary that may have contributed to the rail pass amounting to more is the higher-than-usual passholder reservation cost for the Thalys trains (the train that connections Brussels with Paris, as part of your connection from Bruges to Paris). On most reservable day trains in Europe, the passholder rates range between $11 per person and about $25 per person, but are usually $11 or $12 per person. The passholder rates on the Thalys trains happen to be higher than the standard reservation fees on reservable trains throughout the rest of Europe

    There just seem to be certain circumstances specific to your itinerary that make regular tickets a more economical and more feasible option.

    Also, you are correct that you would need to purchase a pass that includes Austria if you'll be traveling between Venice and Munich by train, as each country being traveled through would have to be accounted for on the pass you choose. We apologize for the misinformation from the pass finder engine on our website and hope to fix that as soon as possible. You should have been advised to purchase a 5 country Eurail Select Pass that also includes Austria.
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