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Rail Plus announces changes to European train ticketing time limits

March 12, 2014 Rail No Comments Email Email

Rail Plus will tomorrow (12 March 2014) implement a major change to the ticketing time limits required for point-to-point European rail tickets – a move that will significantly expand seat availability on journeys popular with Australian travellers.

At present, Australian and New Zealand travel agents can book a wide range of point-to-point rail tickets months in advance but only pay for the seats 28 days before clients travel.

Under the new ticketing time limits, once travel agents receive their nett invoice they have until 2pm AEST the next day to pay for all European point-to-point fares (other than instant purchase fares*). The change applies to all booking made via phone, email or the web.

The new ticketing time limit will also apply to any booking combining a point-to-point fare with another product, such as a rail pass or sightseeing product.

Bookings containing only rail passes and/or non-rail products will continue to have a payment due-by date of 28 days prior to the passenger’s departure ex Australia or New Zealand.

Rail Plus General Manager Sales & Marketing Greg McCallum says the ticketing changes – made necessary because of complex amendments to European rail operators’ payment processing rules – have a definite up-side for Australian travel agents.

“These changes – which are designed to ensure that the booking process remains clear and simple for travel agents – will at the same time eliminate the scenario where international consultants can block seats well in advance and then simply cancel unwanted reservations once payment is required,” says McCallum.

“Under the new ticketing system capacity will increase sharply because any seats not paid for by the required deadline will automatically be released back into the system. That provides agents with more opportunities to secure the best seat for their customers.”

*Instant purchase fares are offered by RENFE (Spain), ATOC (Britain), Trenitalia (Italy) and NTV (Italy). With these fares, payment must be made immediately.

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