I have not been given a seat reservation?

In some cases your ticket will not have a seat reservation. This is because not all train types allow seating allocation in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.


France

TGV Trains

If you have reserved tickets for a TGV train then you will be given an allocated seat. You must sit in these seats, and cannot choose freely from any other seats on the train. If you want to move during the journey that is fine but you will have to explain it to the ticket inspector upon inspection.

TER Trains

If you have tickets for a TER train then you will not be assigned a seat. TER trains do not have mandatory seating reservations, nor can any seats be reserved. If you have a TER train ticket then you can freely choose from any seat on the train, as long as it is in your travel class.

Intercité Trains

Some Intercité trains do allow seating reservations. If this is the case then you will see a drop-down menu in the seating preferences section when selecting your ticket. If you do not see this option however, then it means you cannot make a seating reservation. So you will be able to freely choose from any seat on the train as long as it is in your travel class.


Germany

Deutsche Bahn Trains

Deutsche Bahn does allow seat reservations for an additional cost of €4.50. However this does not mean you can then also choose a specific seat (such as with TGV trains). Instead you will be randomly allocated a seat. If you choose not to buy a seating reservation then you can still sit anywhere you like on the train. It could happen that you will be sitting in someones seat who has paid for the reservation. This can easily be resolved by moving to another seat.

Are you travelling on a domestic train in Germany and would still like to buy a seat reservation? No problems! You can easily do this on Deutsche Bahn’s website. Simply select the Seat only (no ticket) option on their booking website after you enter your exact journey details. This will allow you to purchase a seat reservation in case you missed on this during booking: www.bahn.com


Italy

Trenitalia Regional Trains

There are no pre-assigned seats provided for Trenitalia regional trains. This is because all tickets for these trains are open. If they have a fare called  Ordinaria, the tickets can be used for any train, travelling the same route, within 4 hours of the reserved departure time. So this is why there are no assigned seats either and instead they can be picked freely on board.


Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands

SBB Trains in Switzerland

The Swiss rail operator SBB never issues any seat reservations for any of their trains. This means that you are free to choose your own seat on board, regardless of your travel class. Additionally, no other passengers are given seat reservations either. So everyone on the train is able to select their own seats. If you’re worried about the train being too full, we recommend arriving a bit early at the station or boarding at one of the carriages at the very ends of the platform. 

SNCB/NCMB trains in Belgium and to/from the Netherlands

The Belgian rail operator SNCB never issues any seat reservations for any of their trains. This means that you are free to choose your own seat on board, regardless of your travel class. Additionally, no other passengers are given seat reservations either. So everyone on the train is able to select their own seats. If you’re worried about the train being too full, we recommend arriving a bit early at the station or boarding at one of the carriages at the very ends of the platform. 

NS trains in the Netherlands and to/from Belgium

The Dutch rail operator NS never issues any seat reservations for any of their trains. This means that you are free to choose your own seat on board, regardless of your travel class. Additionally, no other passengers are given seat reservations either. So everyone on the train is able to select their own seats. If you’re worried about the train being too full, we recommend arriving a bit early at the station or boarding at one of the carriages at the very ends of the platform. 

DSB trains in Denmark

The Danish rail operator DSB never issues any seat reservations for any of their trains. This means that you are free to choose your own seat on board, regardless of your travel class. Additionally, no other passengers are given seat reservations either. So everyone on the train is able to select their own seats. If you’re worried about the train being too full, we recommend arriving a bit early at the station or boarding at one of the carriages at the very ends of the platform.