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Using a Youth Pass on Adult Fare-only trains + Reservations

Hi there,

I am looking to purchase a Youth Rail Pass for myself in May, but I was wondering if someone could answer a couple of my questions.

If a train route does not offer any tickets for Youth, am I still able to board the train with the Youth pass? or will I have to pay an adult fare?

Also how many days minimum do I need to make reservations for seats? I will be travelling with a friend, but from my understanding he will only be using tickets (he's only there for one leg of the trip). Ideally I'd like the two of us to be sitting together, will it be possible if I purchase a pass and he purchases tickets?

Lastly, are the reservations that need to be made similar to those found on an airplane? Will booking a reservation guarantee me a specific seat on that specific train, or will it only guarantee me a spot on the train, allowing me to sit anywhere in the class?

Thank you in advance.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 11, 2013 18:12
    Hi Michael,

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains 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.) Since the rail pass covers the ticket costs, you would not purchase tickets for the individual trains you take, you would just purchase reservations.

    Reservations are required on all high-speed trains, night trains, and many international routes. In western Europe, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations will be required for many of your trips there.

    There are no additional youth rates on top of the reservation fees, as any youth rate already would be applied to the rail pass you purchase (if the rail pass you're purchasing happens to offer youth rates; however, not all rail passes offer youth rates).

    After you add the pass to your shopping cart, you would click 'Continue Shopping' to add your reservations. On the next screen, you would then click 'Buy a Reservation' under where it says 'Reservations for Pass Holders' (to check reservation costs and schedules beforehand, you would click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com.)

    A reservation is a specific seat assignment. You would receive your actual seat assignment once you receive your reservations. If you will have a friend traveling with a regular ticket on one of the trains, then I would recommend that you call us at 1-800-622-8600 to book that leg of your trip, if you wish to ensure that you are seated together.

    Due to high demand, many of the trains that require reservations can sell out very quickly, so I would reccommend booking your reservations as soon as possible, prior to departing for Europe. Most trains in Europe can be reserved within 60 or 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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