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All the other reviews pretty much sum it up. Poor service, canceled trains, lack of refunds, etc. You actually don’t need Rail Europe. They are a broker, instead try the actual train site or just buy the ticket at the station. You will save yourself lots of money and grief.
Several weeks prior to our planned departure, we purchased 6 Eurail Global Passes for our family trip. We also purchased their “Travel Protection Plan” which started it covered lost or stolen passes, cancellation once no questions asked, and other assurances. As it turned out, my husband who is 77, was suddenly hospitalized 4 days prior to our departure for Europe.
After his week’s confinement, we attempted to exercise the Rail Protection Plan to cover our outlay of over $1,000. Even though the planned return date of our trip was not yet up, Rail Europe refused to honor their “insurance” because the passes were not returned to them before our scheduled departure date! To add insult to injury, I had to spend $38 to UPS the passes back unused in addition to the cost of their “Travel Protection Plan” (approximately $138.00). They refuse to refund the price of our tickets or any expense based on a fine print technicality. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! They do not care about their customers.
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At first I would like to say that we are used to travel through a large part of Eurasia and North America since late 1970-s. This year RailEurope advertised a "Black Friday" sale. The price was good, so I ultimately ordered a 3-month rail pass for myself and 3 days in one month rail pass for my son. The sale started very bad: the site of RailEurope was unable to take the order for about two days because they did not program it correctly. There was no way to contact them by the phone, I had to e-mail to the head of customer support, Shirlee **. After three days being lost, they fixed the problem of their website. But it was a limited sales event, with three days already lost.
The next problem was again with their website: it is unable to deal properly with the situation when the charge is first declined by the credit card, than re-authorized. In such situation the credit card is ultimately charged because the charges after the call to the credit card issuing bank goes through - but at a later point their system will fail. You will be asked to book again (with already a pending charge!). One more day was lost just due incompetent booking system. Finally, in the last moment the booking was made properly - but it took 4 days.
The next challenge was the delivery. The driver of the DHL made a mistake and delivered the envelope to the wrong person within the same apartment building. We do not even know, who got the tickets because only her last name ("Larissa **") is known. This was discovered 2 days before the travel should begin. The answer of the RailEurope customer service was that we have to work it out with DHL. However, our contract is with RailEurope, not with DHL. We had no influence to choose the carrier.
As of today we still do not have the tickets we bought. Given the attitude and the incompetence of the customer service I am not optimistic. Under such circumstances they should send the missing documents by a different carrier overnight. The price of the tickets is 1110 Euro. It is obvious from the DHL tracking that the delivery wasn't signed by the proper person. The only positive is that RailEurope does not charge for the ticket delivery. But given the loss of time and frustration the saving is not worth it.
Rail Europe booked train travel for me from Vienna to Paris, taking me first to Munich then Stuttgart then to Paris. Due to a rail strike the last leg was cancelled. Rail Europe would not refund the cost of the entire trip, only the Stuttgart to Paris segment. I understand it was not their fault and that part of it was running, but my agreement with them was to get me from Vienna to Paris, not to Stuttgart where I would need to wait three days before I could get a train. I ended up booking a flight to get where I was going. Not their fault but they did not do what they agreed to do. I don't think that should be money out of my pocket. Won't use them again, that is for sure! Wish I had read the reviews before I booked with them.
Traveling to Austria and then to Slovenia for the first time we wanted to experience as much of the beauty of the country as possible. What better way than to book a train from Salzburg to Slovenia? First we were mailed the tickets along with someone else's tickets. They were incomplete so no way to get in touch with them. We had a train switch along the way. We had 10 minutes to reach the platform. We got to the platform only to find someone yelling at us to get on the bus to go to Slovenia. No train. No reason or explanation.
We were jammed onto a crowded bus and made to travel in extreme discomfort to Slovenia. I emailed Rail Europe asking why we were on a bus. They said we weren't on a bus. Really??? Then they said they would check on it. Then they wanted proof we were made to ride a bus. Then they wanted us to mail our tickets to customer service in India. Then they let us know they received them. Two months later they say they are looking into it and no guarantee for refund. Just don't try it. There are so many bad reviews that I wish I had read in retrospect. Their lack of service and communication is deplorable.
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Booked several months in advance and paid for the insurance through Rail Europe. Rail travel from Rome to Milan on the Trenitalia and Milan to Paris overnight 1st class family sleeper car on Thello train. Notified by Rail Europe one day prior to our trip July 9 (in a very confusing email) that overnight train cancelled due to a mudslide from July 2nd in the French Countryside. Informed by email to proceed from Rome to Milan on first segment as there would be no interruption and we’d be taken care of by Thello in Milan to Paris and that our trip would not be ”affected.”
This was our first trip abroad - we tried calling for clarification - no answer or human voice. One email telling us essentially to continue with our travel no worries. Several attempts to reach them by email - both train companies plus Rail Europe no response. We arrived almost midnight as planned in Milan and were rushed to a bus! A bus without bathrooms, no room for our family to sit together, no communication on arrival time or bathroom breaks. No food safe enough to eat. They gave water bottles though. The bus driver made 2 stops to smoke which allowed for bathroom breaks at very sketchy locations. There were two Thello staff members who did not communicate to anyone and sat below with bus driver. We paid in advance for first class private sleeper car. We planned a year for the overnight train experience.
We encountered a frightening tire blowout and learned after walking around the bus that most of the tires were without tread/bald and unsafe. We were in the middle of nowhere. The bus driver acted as if this was normal. We took photos of the bald tires and dismal condition of the bus overall. Other families on the bus were visibly shaken and upset. We had poor cell service (trying to determine if other mode of transportation available) and no outlets to charge phones on the bus. Later we noticed that the exit doors were blocked with boxes and that our luggage was tossed on random empty seats on the 1st level (we sat on 2nd level). Overall a stressful trip. We were delayed for our one and only day visit to Paris. We arrived in Paris after being on that bus 15 hours! Upon our exit from the bus, the two Thello reps gave all of us all a complaint form and told us to file a claim. As it turns out they could speak English fairly well!
We have emailed Rail Europe and Thello several times and since July 2019 the only reply we have to date from Thello: “reviewing our claim” and they will get back to us in 4 weeks - that was almost 8 weeks ago and several attempts to reach them by all communication modes. And from Rail Europe: they are reviewing are claim and will get back to us 4-6 weeks. We have heard from rail Europe - they are waiting to hear from Thello!! We bought the insurance through Rail Europe! We sent all communication and photos. The customer service has been a huge disappointment! All we are seeking is the amount paid for 1st class private sleeper tickets from Milan to Paris. The replacement travel accommodations were unacceptable and unsafe. Communication would have made a difference. Very disappointing how this has gone on almost 12 weeks without consideration.
Please read all the reviews on this site. I wish I had. Raileurope is nothing but a scam. Very deceptive and there's no reason to buy from them. Buy direct. Cheaper and better service. They will fee you to death. And after I realized all the additional charges I tried to cancel (literally minutes later), they said I could but it would cost be about 22%. And there are so many caveats you're sure to get screwed even more. They make all their money on added fees. Run from this company.
I was taking train from Paris to Salzburg together with my girlfriend, and there are few connecting trains in between which I will breakdown below:
2. Stuttgart - Munich (Ticket can only be printed at ticket machine located in train station within Germany) So I could not print beforehand, however email confirmation has my seat number and I bought First Class.
3. Munich - Salzburg (Same scenario as no.2 except that this train is free seating so no seat reservation is needed.)
The gap time between the first train and second train only had about 25 mins, which I thought should be sufficient at first. However, the train arrived at Stuttgart 20 mins late which left me with only 5 mins left to print the ticket, look for the terminal for the next train and board the train before it departs. When I was only left with 5 mins, I had no choice but to give up searching for the ticket machine to print out the physical ticket, I used that precious to find the correct terminal to board the train which I did.
As soon as I arrived at my seat as per my email confirmation (Refer to no.2), there were two guys sitting at our seats and say they have the same seat number. So, we went to this lady staff in the train, so I explained to her that I only had email confirmation as the previous train was late and I had no time to print out the ticket, I also informed her about our seats taken by somebody else. She told us that the train was fully booked, so there might be case where a seat had double reservation, and she asked us to sit at wherever was empty which we did.
But halfway through the journey, there was this ticket inspector guy to check on the train ticket, so I was explaining to him about I didn't have the ticket, and I showed him my email confirmation with the seat number. He didn't seem to understand English, and kept on shouting at us for ticket. I also spoke to him that I have explained to one of the lady staff about my encounter. He didn't seem to understand until I needed to look for the same lady and asked her to explain to the inspector.
So, to sum this up: 1. Train from Paris to Stuttgard arrived 20 mins late. 2. Had no time to print the ticket and had to rush to make it to the next connecting train. 3. Booked/bought first class seat, and ended up having somebody taken your seat. 4. Shouted at by the inspector for not having physical ticket. 5. Didnt get any peace of mind throughout the train ride from Stuttgart to Munich. Purchased first class ticket for better service but got me mad throughout the train ride from Stuttgart to Munich. Great.
I booked SNCF Train tickets from Paris to Bayeux a month before going on my trip. I did not look at the reviews on-line prior to booking. I did so after and got very anxious based on what I saw however, I did not have any issues. In fact aside from the worry that I got from on-line reviews, everything went well. I booked online and was emailed two digital tickets instantly. I also received follow-up emails reminding me of my upcoming trip with ticket information. The prices were comparable and it was as easy as printing my tickets and scanning them at the gate.
This company adds a surcharge for their train ticket booking service. They are only middlemen who charge. There are no savings or advantages to booking a train with this company. Book directly with the SNCF and save money and disappointment. Do a little homework.
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