Daily advice to travellers concerned about the impacts of coronavirus
Updates for our train travellers on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Conditions can vary everyday and are only valid until further updates on our websites (as per train operators’ updates)
At Rail Europe we care for the health, safety and satisfaction of our customers. We are endeavouring to process all refunds as quickly as we can and maintain the excellent service we promise at Rail Europe. However, please bear with us as we are all working under far from normal circumstances.
Many of our teams are working from home, following governments’ recommendations. Our primary concern, at the moment, therefore, is to preserve the health of our employees and local communities. If this means that our customer service has slowed down, we hope you will understand.
We do recommend that you send your requests for refunds so that we can add them to our list. However, please consider holding off on this if your planned journey is after April, so that we can prioritise the earlier ones. We will attend to all refunds as soon as we can, we promise.
I have already booked and don’t want to travel. Can I get a refund?
This depends very much on the train operator you have booked to travel with. Italo and Eurostar, for example, do not offer any exceptional refunds beyond their standard policy.
Train operators’ policies change regularly and we will update the details below as soon as we get information. If your train operator is not listed below, then they have not yet offered a refund policy based on coronavirus, but their normal terms and conditions will apply. In most cases, we can help claim the refunds through Rail Europe - we provide all relevant links below.
Please note: When you send a request through the Contact us form, please make sure you give us the booking number in the subject line. You will also need to give us the following information: name of the passenger(s), train operator(s), route(s) and date(s) of travel.
SNCF France and international trains
All TGV, Intercité or TER trains, as well as France-Germany TGV, France-Switzerland TGV (Lyria), France-Spain TGV and France-Italy TGV tickets, for travel up until 31 August 2020 are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge, as long as they are requested prior to travel. For exchanges, if the new fare is more expensive, the customer pays the price difference. You can apply for exchanges or refunds via your Rail Europe account.
Deutsche Bahn trains
DB offers two options:
1) A free exchange of all tickets, valid for all travel up until 04 May 2020 as long as the tickets were booked by 13 March 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
2) Use your original tickets on the same route for travel up until 31 October 2020, as long as the tickets were booked by 13 March 2020. If you opt for this, there’s nothing further for you to do — just make sure you show the original ticket and ID on board.
Eurostar offers a free exchange of all tickets, in the form of a voucher, for journeys between 13 March and 07 September 2020. Vouchers may be redeemed up until 12 months from date of issue, for a new Eurostar booking up to six months in advance. You can apply directly at Eurostar’s website. For any other questions, please feel free to contact us
Off Peak and Anytime tickets for all journeys can currently be refunded at no additional cost. Claims must be submitted within 56 days of the travel date. Advance tickets for all journeys can be refunded at no additional cost if purchased before 23 March 2020, at 07.00 hrs, for travel on or after 23 March 2020. Claims must be submitted prior to the travel date. These policies are in effect until further notice. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Italo offers a free exchange of all tickets for journeys up to 30 June 2020, in the form of a voucher which is valid for one year. Apply directly for refunds on Italo’s website and select the category “Refund for health emergency 2020".
Full refund for all customers opting out of travel for reasons associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Requests are to be submitted by 30 June 2020. This also applies to Eurocity and Italy-Switzerland. For Italy-Austria trains, tickets valid until 01 May 2020 are refunded free of charge. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Full refunds are being offered to all travellers on Thello trains between Paris and Venice for travel between 10 March - 31 July 2020 and for all trains between Marseille-Nice-Milan between 10 March and 03 June 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
Full refund or exchange for all customers wanting to opt out of travel. Valid for all travel until 31 August 2020. Exchange or cancellation of tickets must be done prior to travel dates. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
France-Spain High Speed TGV
All France-Spain High Speed TGV tickets, for travel up until 31 August 2020, are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge, as long as they are requested prior to travel. For exchanges, if the new fare is more expensive, the customer pays the price difference. You can apply for exchanges or refunds via your Rail Europe account.
Swiss Travel System (STS)
Tickets are fully refundable if cancellation is done until one day prior to the first day of travel. All other requests will be handled case by case. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
All Thalys tickets for travel on cancelled trains between 10 March - 29 August 2020 are exchangeable or refundable without an additional charge, if requested within 30 days after the travel date.
For trains that were not cancelled:
- If you bought tickets before 23 June 2020, for travel during July and August, Thalys will exchange them, without an additional charge, up to 30 days before the departure date.
- If you bought your ticket between 23 June and 31 August 2020, Thalys will also exchange them, without an additional charge. In both cases you will only have to pay the price difference between the old and new ticket. You can apply for refunds or exchanges under Help/Contact Us on the website.
All travellers who purchased their passes on or after 01 June 2019 and before 01 April 2020 are automatically entitled to an additional 12 month extension of original validity period, as printed on the pass. You do not need to do anything else and you may activate your pass up to 12 months after the “Must be activated before” date on your pass, at any train station in Europe.
The normal deadline for exchanging or refunding your pass has been extended, so you can request an exchange or refund up until 01 May 2021. Full refunds are being offered on (non-promotion) Eurail passes. Travellers who bought a promotional price pass are entitled to 85% refund. You can apply for refunds under Help/Contact us on the website.
Are all European trains being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic?
European train operators are updating their train services all the time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many services are being cancelled, sometimes at the last minute. Please check on the train operator’s website for timetable updates.
Will I be insured for travel in Europe at the moment?
Note that anyone choosing to travel to a region, against their government’s recommendations, risks invalidating their travel insurance. We advise checking with your travel insurance company for any specific terms and conditions before travelling.
Many thanks for your patience as we continue to inform and, hopefully, reassure you, our valued customers.
Rail Europe Customer Support