True Seat Reservations When Booking Online

Seat Reservations When Booking Online

The info on this page is has been lovingly together for people who will be buying tickets for European train journeys, but if you will be travelling with a Eurail or InterRail pass - we have a whole other world of info available here.

Our seat reservation availability summary can take much of the confusion out of booking European train tickets online, particularly if you do usually prefer to reserve a seat when making long distance train journeys.

What can vary when booking tickets for train journeys in different European countries, is whether a reservation (an assigned seat) is:

- included when booking a train ticket online, or
- optional, or 
- not available at all.

(1) Reservations are NOT available when booking these train services (and more):

- Any national train journey within Belgium and Luxembourg

- Any national train journey within The Netherlands

-  journeys by TER trains in France

- on IR trains in Switzerland

- journeys by Regionale and Regionale Veloce trains in Italy

- on the Oresundtag trains between Denmark and Sweden

- virtually all journeys on independent railways in Switzerland

journeys by Regional Express trains in Spain

- trains in Great Britain operated by Northern, SouthEastern, GreatNorthern, C2C, Southern and Thameslink.

(2) Reservations are optional when booking these train services listed below - meaning that you can add a reservation when booking online or request them when booking at the station.

If you don't speciically ask for a reservation at a station ticket desk, the booking staff may assume that you don't want to reserve.

There will be an additional charge for booking these reservations, so when booking online check to see whether the price of the reservation has been included in the price that you initially see,

Though the 2nd class fees are always under €5.

(i) Austria – Railjet (domestic and international) and on the IC trains

(ii) Denmark – Lyn and IC train services and the EC trains to Germany  - reservations ARE compulsory on these EC trains between May and September,

(iii) Germany – when booking 2nd class tickets on IC and ICE trains both national and international; they're included when booking 1st class tickets.

(iv) Poland - on EIC and TLK trains

(v) Switzerland – on IC train services

(vi) and on EC trains on these routes:

Germany ↔ Austria
Germany ↔ Switzerland
Austria ↔ Switzerland
Czech Republic ↔ Hungary (are included when booking journeys from Hungary online on MAV)
Austria ↔ Hungary

 When looking up journeys by these train online, the price you initially see usually won't include the seat reservation fee.

You will also have to proactively add the seat reservation(s) to your booking - and pay the price for doing so, if you don't the booking service will assume you don't want a seat reservation

(3) Reservations are included when BOOKING TICKETS* for these train services online - and at stations.

Therefore you won't see a seperate seat reservation price when looking up journeys by these train services - Instead you may be prompted to choose a seat from a seating plan

*Eurail and InterRail pass users will need to reserve prior to boarding and you can find more information on how to do this here.

(i) these international DAYTIME train services;

DB-SNCF  l   Eurostar  l   Lyria

  l   TGV France-Italy

  l   Thello

and on EC trains on these routes:

Switzerland ↔ Italy

Germany ↔ Italy via Austria

Germany ↔ Poland

Germany/Austria ↔ Slovenia/Croatia

Austria/Hungary/Czech Republic ↔ Poland

Hungary ↔ Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia

(ii) in France – on TGVs plus the Intercités routes  on which reservations are compulsory

(iii) Germany – when booking 1st class tickets for journeys by IC and ICE trains - including international services

(iv) Great Britain* – when booking ONLINE with these Train Operating Companies:

Cross Country  l   East Midland Trains,
Grand Central  l   Great Western Railway,
South Western Railway  l   Trans Pennine Express,
LNER  l   Virgin Trains

(v) Hungary** – on IC trains and on EC trains for journeys within Hungary

(vi) Italy – on Trenitalia’s Frecce and Intercity trains and on Italo trains.

(vii) Norway – Regiontog trains

(viii) Poland – EIP trains

(ix) Sweden - Snabbtåg trains within Sweden and from/to Sweden and on IC trains operated by SJ

(x) Spain – on Altaria, AlviaAvant, AVE, Euromed, MD and Talgo trains

(xi) When booking bed, couchette berth and most seats on OVERNIGHT trains.

*In Great Britain reservations are included free of charge when booking with those Train Operating Companies online, but reservations are optional (and incur a fee) when tickets are booked at the station.

*In Hungary reservations are automatically inncluded when booking journeys by IC trains, daytime trains to Croatia, Poland,  Romania, Serbia and all overnight trains irrespective of whether tickets are booked online or at stations.

However, when booking international daytime journeys by train to Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Slovakia they are only included if booked online and NOT at the station.

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