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Pass not available to be used during my trip ? WHY? French rail station denied pass but offered me full fare on same train

After using you guys for years, i was surprised this year to be refused to book any train i needed at the train station in france . i am told now that there is a quotat of seats negociated and if used, i have to buy full fare to get on these trains. i was told they was no seats available for a few days so i had to buy full fare all weeks to compensate for my 3 days europass that i could not use... what is the deal?
by the way the train i had to buy ticket on had plenty of empty seat all the way but none available for eurorail customers?
i never had that issue before.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 03, 2014 16:11
    Hi Nick,

    We're sorry to hear that the trains you needed were sold out of passholder rates.

    The national rail networks of Europe set aside a special allotment of seats to be sold at the Passholder rate. Therefore, a particular train may be sold out at the Passholder rate but may still have seats available at a full fare rate.

    It is especially the case in France that these trains can sell out very quickly, so it is recommended that reservations be purchased as soon as possible. Trains in France open up for bookings 90 days from a departure. There are many factors that can influence availability. It is true that trains in France have been selling out quicker since about 5 years ago, especially during the busy Spring and Summer travel seasons or around holiday weekends.
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  • i never had that issue for the last 10 years i go back home (i am french but work and live in the US)
    it was also the first time i am told that these pass belong to an allotment of seat. if that the fact and since they were in strike the week before i can see why they had no seat left, however i think eurorail should specify that these seats are limited to a allotment capacity. i do not remember seeing that anywhere nor be told that. bottom line they told me for every one of the day i tied to travel that i would have to wait 3 to 5 days to have seats under the pass agreement, really bad when you home just for a week and try to visit your family...
    so what do i do now with these 4 europass that i could not use/.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 03, 2014 21:36
    It really applies with France more than other countries, as their national rail network decreased the number of seats on their trains made available to be sold out at the Passholder rate about 5 years ago.

    TGV trains in France run on some of the most popular and widely traveled routes in Europe, as it is already.

    That being said, overnight trains and other internationally operating trains are known to sell out quickly.

    It is stated on our website that reservable trains can sell out quickly and that there is a set allotment of seats that are made available at the Passholder rates. This information can be found under the question "Should I buy my seat reservations prior to leaving North America, or can I just get them at the station in Europe?" at the following link: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-help/all-about-seat-reservations/booking-seat-reservations.html.

    For information regarding what to do about your specific order, please send an email to customercare@raileurope.com or call us at 1-800-622-8600. If you send an email, please be sure to include the booking number for your order, as well as your full first and last name. Please note it can take up to 72 business hours to receive a reply with regard to email correspondence.

    We are not able to provide assistance with specific orders through this forum. With this being a public forum, we don't advise sharing order numbers or any other personal information here. Any posts containing such information would be removed for security purposes.
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