Does anyone have an update to the status of the high speed train to link Seoul to Pyeognchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics?
My friend and I each have a pass, but we booked separately, so we're on different reservations. Is it possible to book seats together for a particular trip? I went through the reservation process and found that the system just assigned me a seat - I didn't get to choose.
That's it! That's how it works. Unless you are using the Korean language version, and can login with your Korean Korail membership... you do not have the ability to chose your own seats, they are automatically assigned to you. You "may" be able to do this in person, at one of the KTZ stations? At this point, in the travel debacle with Korail, just having a reserved seat is an accomplishment in itself! (I wouldn't go changing anything... or accidentally doing something that "un-reserves" your tickets, at this point!)
Thanks for the quick reply, Brian G! Good to know.
Is reserving a seat something we have to do for every ride? Meaning, even though we have passes, we can't hop on any train we want? Given that scheduling can be unpredictable, that seems difficult - will we be able to do it on our phones and show an image of a ticket?
Yes, your are supposed to have some sort of reserved ticket (either reserved seating, or actual ticket for one of the "standing tickets") for every single train ride you plan on taking. Korail did not anticipate the demand would be so great... and this has lead to the problem we are all experiencing. Some people on-the-ground in Korea have already reported that certain trains, are indeed at COMPLETELY full capacity, and standing tickets have been sold out! Unfortunately, for foreigners abroad, there is no way to check the sold-out status of the standing tickets on-line, and would need to actually call Korail's customer support line. Adding to this issue, is the fact users of the Korean version of the Korail site have access to a "waiting list" for the sold-out trains, for any tickets that become available (or are cancelled/returned late)... thus ensuring that foreigners have less of a chance of obtaining any of these elusive tickets. I believe many travelers are under the impression that they will be able to hop-on/hop-off the trains with their Pyeongchang Pass... but this obviously will not work for the trains currently at full capacity. I don't think anyone knows how the situation is going to play out... until it happens, on the sold-out trains (IE: will they have someone checking tickets beforehand, before people board the train? Will people be physically removed, who do not have reserved tickets?... we just don't know at this point!?). Most people in Korea report that they rarely actually check tickets on the KTX trains, and there are no turnstiles to prevent unticketed people from entering the trains... but, logically, this just isn't going to work on a completely full to capacity train... right? It would be wisest to finalize any plans that you have, and do everything humanly possible to get your hands on those reserved spots as soon as possible. (I am already going to have to leave a few events early, just to unsure a place on a couple of those completely full trains.) So please, please do yourself a favor, and try and get your remaining tickets now. This situation is only going to get worse, once the foreign visitors start arriving this week, and are available to purchase the standing tickets, in person, once they get off their planes in Korea. Those tickets will REALLY start disappearing (probably) starting tomorrow, and only getting worse, as the week progresses. :/
i'm korean living in korea. if you want to buy a ticket for pyeongchang, i will help to buy. i can use korail smartphone app for korean and it's easy to buy a ticket. give me message.
Wow, that's ... inconvenient. Will definitely start booking (I suppose I'll just be guessing on transport times between venues and KTX stations to figure out exactly which train to reserve). Thanks for the heads up and the details, @Brian G. You cleared a lot of things up for me!