Avoid costly mistakes booking rail travel

Avoid costly mistakes booking rail travel

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Train travel is easy but avoid costly booking errors.

Train travel is easy but avoid costly booking errors.

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WHAT are the five most common mistakes travellers make when booking their rail tickets, and how can you avoid them?

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WHAT are the five most common mistakes travellers make when booking their rail tickets, and how can you avoid them?

Rail Plus offers this advice:

1. Personal details

Always ensure names are spelt correctly and as per passport, and give special attention to the date of birth and country of residence. This is especially crucial for rail passes and French electronic tickets. Keep in mind, too, that any instant purchase products are issued automatically and may be non-refundable, so any changes required post-purchase may require a new booking.

2. Choosing the Right Pass

The best way to determine the right pass is to count the required number of travel days and ensure the region/countries the journeys go through are covered. Also, double check the class of service in which the pass is booked. Second-class pass holders can't travel in first-class, even if the seat reservation made is in first-class.

3. Cancellations

Cancellations apply to most passes and open tickets. Paper tickets need to be cancelled and sent back to the office prior to the travel date (or even earlier for certain fares). For electronic tickets, a cancellation request needs to be sent through to the refunds department. Always check the cancellation deadline in the terms and conditions section.

4. Payment deadlines

It pays to pay attention to payment deadlines. Every time a payment deadline is missed, the booking needs to be reinstated, which may result in higher prices. Should an extended payment deadline be required, always seek the assistance of the reservations team.

5. Fine print

It is imperative that travellers read the fine print as different carriers offer different policies on refunds and travel flexibilities. For example, offers with "Book early" or "Promo" usually imply the tickets are non-refundable and often available only as an instant purchase. Should extra flexibility be required, you should ensure the passes or tickets booked are open tickets or based on flexi-fares.

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