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Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Paranaque...
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Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Hi All,

I read in a few blogs that people lose their reserved seats to others (ex., when they hop on the coach someone is already in their seat) in spite of advance booking online at Trenitalia. They ended up just looking for another empty seat. If and when this situation happens, is it locally acceptable to simply ask the person to move to another seat? I'll be traveling around Italy via Trenitalia so just want to make sure I do the right (locally acceptable) thing if faced with a similar situation.

Cheers,

Gary

Chicago, Illinois
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11. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

How do you know which carriage (wagon) your seats are in? I have seat assignments on the fast train from Rome to Florence. My reservation says Car 1. Does that mean the first carriage? With 11 carriages, I don't want to get on the wrong one.

Guernsey, United...
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12. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

It happened once. The couple hadn't realised that there was reserved seating as their tickets did not have that. I said that I had thought the whole train was reserved seating so they sought out the ticket inspector. Turns out they had purchased tickets for the wrong train luckily the inspector allowed them to purchase a ticket rather than fine them.

Chicago, Illinois
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13. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

My reservation has a train number. After researching Termini, I feel confident that I can find the right train, but the Trenitalia website says the fast train has 11 cars. Does each car have a seat no. 10A or does only car no. 1 have a seat 10A? My reservation also says Car: 1.

Watertown, MA
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14. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Lakergrl

the carriages are numbered either on the carriage itself or on a electronic sign on the train and sometimes in the train. It will be obvious.

The first time I took a train (after a transatlantic flight) I boarded the slower train to Venice rather than the faster train that I had bought tickets for. The conductor looked rather bemused and didn't comment. Still made it to Venice : )

Mel_Fuzz, they were lucky!

GAC
Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Sardinia
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15. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Seat numbers are repeated in each and every railcar. Consequently, you MUST board the CORRECT railcar even before seeking out your reserved numbered seat. Railcar numbers are shown near the doors. At major stations such as Roma Termini, Bologna Centrale and Firenze SMN, there are overhead signs showing the railcar numbers where the train will come to a stop. That helps to anticipate the correct railcar without having to run from one end of the platform to the other.

I have personally witnessed, more than once, people seeking their numbered seats, but in the incorrect railcar of the train. They discover the mistake when they find other passengers seated in "their" seats.

Chicago, Illinois
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16. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Thanks for the replies.

Castellina in...
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17. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

On the fast trains, the carriages are in numerical sequence so carriage number 1 will either be at the start or end of the train. As the other posters have indicated, look at the overhead monitors to see where your carriage is anticipated to stop. The number is painted on the side of the carriage near the door. So are the seat numbers since each carriage has two doors. Save yourself and others a lot of hassle by boarding through the door nearest your seat.

New York City, New...
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18. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

>> The number is painted on the side of the carriage near the door. So are the seat numbers since each carriage has two doors. Save yourself and others a lot of hassle by boarding through the door nearest your seat. <<

I hadn't noticed signs indicating which end of the carriage it is best to board. Maybe that's because we have the bad habit of arriving on the platform five minutes before the departure. We'll make it 15 minutes from now on. That would also help with storage space for our luggage.

-- Steve

Sydney, Australia
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19. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

I have to admit to greedily taking seats that face forward if mine face backwards, but only after the train has begun to move. This has meant that I have been asked to move at the next stop, when the real owners get on, which I have happily done. It is a bit like grabbing two adjacent seats on a plane after the doors have closed.

I would agree that the most common cause is someone being in the wrong carriage.

Adelaide, Australia
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20. Re: Are reserved train seats REALLY reserved?

Yes thats easy to do if you are in a rush...get on the wrong carriage...I went to my seat, someone was there..they looked at my ticket and said you need car 6..I was so embarrassed! Arggghh move the bags again. Then I learned to look at the TV screens at the large stations up above, beside the train, there is a tv showing the carriage it is next to. The car number is also written on the car near the door entry.

by the way, the trains can be very long, sometimes 11 cars long...and can take a while to get to. If you stand there and wait for the train, you can usually board 20minutes before the departure time, which is good to get best bag spot, get settled, get your devices set up on the charger, once you have found YOUR SEAT!♡