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SuperCity Connections Cheaper and Shifting to an Airline Tariff

Starting in September, a ride on a Pendolino train will be more affordable for a wide range of passengers. ČD has prepared an offering of special reservation prices for its customers, starting at CZK 35…

In the extreme case, however, it is even possible to obtain a reservation for a Pendolino connection free of charge. The new tariffs change according to time and the train’s available free capacity. The earlier passengers make their purchases, the lower the price they can obtain. It also depends on whether they want to travel at peak or trough times. ČD took inspiration along these lines from air carriers.

First come first served

Spoje SuperCity zlevňují a přecházejí na letecký tarifThere will not be a more fitting statement for Pendolino passengers from 1 September, as the price of reservations on these connections will depend in particular on timeliness and the type of travel document purchased. The previously introduced reservations at special-offer prices will be even more dynamic, and the changing prices will take into consideration other factors as well, for example, whether a passenger will travel during peak hours or use a connection during a transport trough. Customers – including holders of the Railway ID application – will thus have greater choice.

Dynamic pricing

On a journey from Prague to Ostrava aboard a Pendolino train, passengers in 2nd carriage class will pay in the ideal case just CZK 35 for a reservation. (When using a SuperCity connection all the way from Františkovy Lázně, the price of a reservation for a journey to northern Moravia and Silesia starts at CZK 70.) As the capacity of a specific connection becomes exhausted, however, the price of a reservation will rise as well. Thus, the price will gradually increase from CZK 35 to CZK 70 and CZK 100, and possibly as high as CZK 150 or CZK 200. On certain SuperCity trains (train 502 on Mondays, and trains 511, 513 and 515 on Fridays), however, the minimum price of a reservation for the Ostrava/Olomouc – Prague route will be set at CZK 70.

The price of reservations in 1st carriage class will not depend on the moment of purchase, but always only on whether the train will travel at a peak or trough time. At weekends, and during less crowded hours on weekdays, the price of a reservation should be CZK 100, while during peak times the price will increase to CZK 150 or CZK 200. A reservation in 1st carriage class for a segment journey (e.g. Prague – Pardubice or Prague – Plzeň) will cost CZK 100. In the case of the Railway ID application, prices will be higher than for regular passengers. For example, between Prague and Ostrava holders of this application will pay at least CZK 100 more for a reservation aboard a Pendolino train in 1st or 2nd carriage class. At the same time, however, this still represents a perceptible reduction in price compared to the previous state of affairs.

A portion of reservations free of charge

In exceptional cases, ČD can even offer reservations for a Pendolino train free of charge. This, however, applies only to the routes Český Těšín/Havířov/Bohumín – Ostrava/Olomouc or Ostrava – Olomouc and return in 2nd carriage class. Reduced-price reservations under to the “airline” regime can be reserved starting on 15 August. Some passengers have thus already discovered this new development when using ticket retrieval points at ticket counters or in ČD Centres, as well as when using ticket vending machines. The same applies to electronic sales, i.e. the ČD eShop. It is precisely on the eShop that every interested party can most easily determine the current price of a reservation on a specific connection. Information is of course also available from ČD employees at the ticket counter.

We are expanding second class

Another development on SuperCity connections is expanded capacity in 2nd carriage class. The original configuration with 105 1st carriage class seats in a unit will be reduced to 52 1st carriage class seats in favour of economy class, where the number of seats will increase from 226 to 279 + 2 seats for physically disabled passengers. In taking this step, ČD is reacting to a long-term trend of growing interest in 2nd carriage class travel aboard SuperCity connections. It is not insignificant that our Pendolino has a spacious 2+1 configuration of seats in economy class, whereas in other countries a 2+2 configuration with a central aisle is used.

Václav Rubeš

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