Eurail's magical passes allow you to hop on, hop off most trains
across the continent on a whim, offering an unparalleled level of
freedom and flexibility—perfect for travellers on a multi-city,
multi-country trip to Europe.
But it's not just about getting from Pretty Capital Point A to Bucket
List Point B; simply just riding the train in Europe quickly becomes
part of the fun. Relaxing while you watch the scenery pass by out the
window, having dinner & drinks in the dining car, chatting with
other travellers: you'll remember these travel experiences long after
you head home. And you won't get them on any other mode of transport.
I recently had a chat with Yi Ding, the Business and Growth Manager
for Eurail, about the current state of Eurail and some of the exciting
new developments that will shape the future of the iconic passes. Since
joining the company in 2014, she has focused on building the awareness
of Eurail and its rail passes to business audiences, and ultimately
What are the most important things that travel advisors and
travellers should know about Eurail in general and Eurail passes in
Travel advisors should be aware that Eurail recently launched a
distribution platform that allows travel companies and OTAs to more
easily sell and issue Eurail Passes. With the new platform travel
companies can sell the mobile Eurail Passes that were introduced in 2020
as well. OTAs can connect via an API connection, for offline sales
there is the Eurail Ticketing System (ETS).
In Austria, they can book a ride aboard the Arlbergine line that runs
between Innsbruck and Bludenz through the breathtaking scenery of the
Austrian Alps. Train travel is not just about getting from point A to B,
it’s an experience in and of itself and it’s a sustainable way to
travel for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Since it's the time of year to look forward, will there be
anything new with Eurail in 2022 that travel advisors and travellers
should be aware of?
There are a few new routes that were added in recent years that are
relatively new for many of our travellers as a result of the slowdown of
travel during the pandemic. These routes include the Baltic countries
of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Macedonia and Great Britain.
The rising popularity of night trains has seen the announcement of
some new night trains including a Vienna - Munich route, Paris - Vienna
and Amsterdam – Zurich route starting this winter. Towards the end of
2022 there will also be a Nightjet train operating between Zurich and
Rome with a stop in Milan. A new player in the market, European Sleeper,
also has some projects in the pipeline including a train from Brussels
to Prague via Amsterdam that is slated to launch in April 2022.
Eurail mobile passes have been active for a while now. What has the reaction from travellers been like?
More than 85% of our customers choose the mobile Pass instead of the
paper Pass. It’s one Pass that works across the systems of dozens of
train operators across 33 countries, which is no small feat. Now that
we’ve gone mobile, it’s easier for travellers to plan their journey,
make changes to their itinerary and take advantage of partner discounts
all through the app.
What are the biggest benefits of selling Eurail for travel advisors?
It’s an opportunity for travel advisors to tap into selling a new
method of travel that allows for flexibility and can in and of itself be
an experience for the traveller. For example, with Eurail a traveller
in Switzerland can take a trip aboard the Glacier Express through some
of the most breath-taking winter scenery one can ever see, and this is
just an example of one of our many scenic routes which can take
travellers through vineyards in Italy and past castles in Germany or
And if the client is experiencing a case of flygskam (flight
shaming), an advisor can offer them travel via railway which is arguably
one of the most sustainable forms of travel. Additionally, it has been
proven that on distances of 1,000 to 1,500 km trains are often as fast
as flying when one accounts for transport to/from the airport and
airport waiting times with trains travellers arriving right in the city
centre. Furthermore, our products are commissionable, so it’s a win-win
for both parties.