Can I take a different train than the one I booked?

Certain tickets that Trainline Europe sells do not have a set departure time. This is because some rail operators only offer open tickets that may be used during a set validity period and you are not required to take a particular train. Other rail operators will list a fixed departure time on your ticket that must be adhered to.


SNCF

TGV and Intercités tickets with a seat reservation + TER and Intercités E-Tickets
You can only take the train that you have reserved i.e. the one which you have been issued a ticket for. If you wish to depart earlier or later, you can  exchange your ticket or cancel it and re-book it, depending on the fare conditions. Once you have done this, you can then choose a new departure time for your ticket.

Intercités and TER print-at-station tickets without seat reservations
You can take the same type of train, travelling the same route, at any time departing within 7 days of your reserved date. Please be mindful that certain fare conditions do restrict you from taking peak hour trains. For example, if you have a Découverte Senior or Découverte 12-25 fare, then on certain days and times you cannot take any train you wish. Instead you need to consult the following travel calendar to see when you are able to travel i.e. you cannot travel in the periods marked with white, all other times are fine: http://medias.sncf.com/sncfcom/pdf/calendrier/calendriervoyageur.pdf

If you have a Normal fare, then you can use your ticket at any time.

Not sure what fare type you have?  You can find out your fare under "Refund and Exchange" by checking the ticket in your Trainline account or on the confirmation page of your booking. We have also included your fare type and its conditions in your booking confirmation email und “Refund and Exchange”.

Please note that you must stick to the exact same route and same train type (e.g. you can’t use this type of ticket for a TGV train, even though it has the same destination).


Deutsche Bahn

Flexpreis Fare
If you have booked a Flexpreis fare for your Deutsche Bahn ticket, you are not bound to a specific train. Instead you are allowed to take any train within the validity period of the ticket. If you are travelling less than 100km, you are able to take any train, at any time, travelling to the same destination on your reserved departure date. 

If you are travelling more than 100km then your validity period is 2 days. So this means you are able to take any train, travelling to the same destination, on your reserved departure date or the day after your reserved departure date.

You are also allowed to change your route to travel to your reserved destination. Yet if this new route has a difference in fare to the one you originally paid (i.e. you travel a further distance), you will be asked to pay for the difference on board.

Europa-Spezial Fare
If you have booked a Europa-Spezial Schweiz, Niederlande, Belgien (or any other country) then you are bound to your reserved train. If you wish to depart earlier or later, you will have to cancel and re-book your ticket. Once you have done this, you can then choose a new departure time for your ticket. Please note: these tickets can only be cancelled up to midnight before departure.

Sparpreis Fare
You can only take the train for which you have been issued a ticket for. If you wish to depart earlier or later, you will have to  cancel and re-book your ticket for a fee of €17.50. Once you have done this, you can then choose a new departure time for your ticket. Please note: these tickets can only be cancelled up to midnight before departure.

Regional Fare 
We offer many types of regional fares throughout Germany. Many have special fare conditions, allow for freedom in travel, and do not specify a departure time. See this page for information.

Not sure if what type of fare you have booked? You can find out your fare under "Refund and Exchange" by checking the ticket in your Trainline  account or on the confirmation page of your booking. We have also included your fare type and the conditions in your booking confirmation email und “Refund and Exchange”.


Thalys

Thalys TheCard holders with a Semi-Flex or Flexible Fare
Flexible fare: You are allowed to take any train departing on your date of travel for the same route. Please be aware that you are not guaranteed a reserved seat or that you will receive your meal in first class.
Semi-Flex: You are allowed to take any train departing directly before or after your reserved one. Please be aware that you are not guaranteed a seat or or a meal in first class.

All other fares
You can only take the train for which you have been issued a ticket for. If you wish to depart earlier or later, you will have to  cancel and re-book your ticket, if your fare conditions allow this. Once you have done this, you can then choose a new departure time for your ticket.


Trenitalia

Ordinaria Fare
With this fare, you are allowed to take another Trenitalia train, that travels the same route, within 4 hours of your reserved departure time.

All other fares
If you wish to take an earlier or later train then you will have to exchange your tickets. Depending on your fare conditions, you will have to do this at a Trenitalia ticket counter at a station. You can find more details about this in your confirmation email or on the ticket in your account.


Eurostar, RENFE-SNCF, Thello and Italo, TGV Lyria, OUIBUS and OUIGO

You can only take the train for which you have been issued a ticket for. If you wish to depart earlier or later, you will have to  cancel and re-book your ticket, if your fare conditions allow this. Once you have done this, you can then choose a new departure time for your ticket.


NS, SBB and SNCB 

All of these rail operators offer open tickets, which means you will not see a set departure time listed on your ticket. Instead you will only see the period of validity (which is in general one entire day). This means you are able to take any train on your reserved departure date, that is travelling the same route and departs + arrives at the same station. Please take note of the particular conditions listed on the ticket e.g. with certain routes you may not travel on high-speed services with this ticket type.