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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  All other train travel questions  |  Buy entire "kupe" on Russian trains
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Author Topic: Buy entire "kupe" on Russian trains  (Read 5335 times)
momota
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« on: May 19, 2013, 12:14:28 pm »

Hi,

We are two adults and one child that plan to take the Trans-Siberian railway this summer. We would however like to book entire 4-berth compartments ("kupe") and leave the fourth berth unused.

Can anybody please advise how we best enter this reservation when booking on pass.rzd.ru without running into trouble when wanting to enter the train? As full personal details are required when booking, should we better use one of our names/passport no:s twice or rather "invent" a fourth identity? Would they mind if we book the fourth berth as a child in order to get that discount?

Some quick feedback would be appreciated as we're less than 45 days to departure.  ;)
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 01:05:51 pm »

Well, first of all it is better to book additional ticket on the name of the passenger who is actually traveling, so in your case you (or your child*). That way if some issue would arise you would have a solid position, because even in the RZD rules (it's question-answer, but in the answer RZD official gives a reference to the particular article regulating the issue) it's officially written that passengers can buy out the whole compartment on the bases of full ticket issued on the name of the one of the passengers traveling, no problem that two tickets will be issued on the name of the same passenger.

*Regarding child ticket it's a bit more tricky. Obviously buying child ticket is cheaper, however than you basically don't follow the rules, thus if for some reason carriage conductor will decide to accommodate some outsider in your compartment (usually passenger without a ticket who "bribes" the conductor for a short ride, in Russia it still happens sometimes), then you will end up in a rather delicate situation - from one side conductor in such cases operates on illegal grounds, but on the other side you can't really present your additional child ticket (in order to prove that the bed in your compartment can't be taken by anybody) because you also in a way bypass the rules and purchased cheaper child ticket instead of full fare adult one. Although you also might get lucky and travel the whole route without a need to show anybody your fourth "child" ticket. So at the end child ticket is a bit of a risk, justified or not - it's already your choice. Besides the above issue with child tickets we also heard that some passengers had trouble booking two child tickets on one name/document, RZD website simply didn't allow that. Not sure if it's still an issue, but it might be and then you basically left with the only choice of getting full fare ticket. 
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momota
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 01:28:57 pm »

Thank you very much for the informative reply and the link to the official rules.

So from the clause "...subject to payment of the full cost of registration and other travel documents (tickets)" (Google translated), it may be understood that a physical adult may buy two berths in his name, but that a physical child may not? Well, better safe than sorry. ;)

Do you see any difference in booking the fourth berth in the same booking as the other three or make a separate booking? One idea is to save some costs by just buying the fourth berth for some overnight parts.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 01:49:15 pm by momota » Logged
tUt
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 02:04:54 pm »

Do I understand you correctly that a physical adult may buy two berths in his name, but that a physical child may not?
Yes, at least we read about problems with buying two tickets in the name of one child (at the ticket counter it's simply impossible, since there you'll have to present documents for all the children, while online at RZD website this possibility apparently blocked (though we didn't check it ourselves)). Guess the point behind all these is that RZD doesn't care as far as someone pays full fare for a the "unused" ticket, but at the same time they don't want to loose profit with "smarty pants" passengers buying multiple child tickets instead of full fare ones. "Inventing" a child with fictional name option also doesn't really make sense, since then you have even less "rights" compared to the case with potential two tickets on one name of the reall passenger, and again only hope with such option is that there will be no need to present such ticket to anybody, thus relying on the premise that Russian conductor won't try to accommodate anybody in your compartment
 
Do you see any difference in booking the fourth berth in the same booking as the other three or make a separate booking?
Nope, doesn't really change anything
One idea is to save some costs by just buying the fourth berth for some overnight parts.
Well, this trick works on some shorter routes where you can simply buy short distance ticket for some overnight part and basically have good chances that nobody will bother you for the rest of the journey. But with really long journeys it's simply impossible to know what's the "weak" portion are, thus ones for which it's better to play it safe and buy a ticket, you won't buy six different tickets for all six overnight legs, won't you?
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arrivans
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 02:38:44 pm »

NOte that railway official rules say, that even when the tickets have been bought, but not used in fysical appearance of the passenger, then the main conductor, or in Russia likely also the provodnitsa, is allowed by law to sell these places to someone wanting to travel last-minute. CAN-does not perse mean will.
I myself always wonder why people always rave about meeting other people on the train and then decide to rather not do that. Do you always buy more airplane tickets to have noone beside you?
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tUt
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 05:59:37 pm »

...or in Russia likely also the provodnitsa, is allowed by law to sell these places to someone wanting to travel last-minute. CAN-does not perse mean will.
Indeed, but as far as I remember it's not "provodnitsa", but only "trainmaster" (=head of the train) can officially sell tickets and allocates passengers. And nowadays it happens on extremely rare occasions, so, imho, chances to get in such situation are really low
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