Are you considering travelling by rail through Europe?
Here’s why you should get an Europe rail pass from Eurail.com.
I had the privilege of joining Eurail.com, the premier online seller of Europe rail passes, last week in Venice for seven days of free gondola rides and a lively Friday night kick-off party with 500+ travellers.
This event was to celebrate their customers and the Mashable Award they won earlier this year for Social Media Customer Service (more on that later). Before we get to the juicy photos of the party and gondola rides, here are 5 reasons why I think they’re awesome, deserving of this award, and why you should buy a Europe rail pass from Eurail.com.
- Trip planning resources
Eurail.com has a thorough collection of resources for planning your Europe rail travels. When you’re just pondering your trip, they have articles on popular routes, scenic routes and tools to help you find the best Eurail pass. When you’re closer to departing, they have details on when/how to make seat reservations and even packing checklists.
- Fast, authentic online responses
What impresses me the most about Eurail.com is how quick they answer customer questions online. After travelling for 8 months on my current round-the-world trip, I can tell you it’s much easier to ask a question online and check later for a reply than it is to call and be put on hold.
Eurail.com has a commitment to answer all inquiries within 8 hours on Twitter at twitter.com/eurail, Facebook at facebook.com/eurorail and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They even have real-time chat help from 9am to 1pm EST on their website. If you have a question, you’ll get an answer, and you won’t have to sit by the phone waiting for it.
- Genuine trip inspiration
Eurail.com has ample Europe trip planning resources, but they also understand there’s more to travel than just logistics. To ensure you have plenty of trip inspiration, they team up with real-life travellers like,
- Sofia & Nathan, who just finished a 90 day trip to 30 European countries and filmed awesome videos highlighting the best of each city,
- The 6 fearless travellers behind Ultimate Train Challenge, a 30 day train journey from Portugal to Vietnam starting September 1, which may set a new world record for rail travel
- My friend Holger Mette, a lawyer turned pro travel photographer who’s been travelling since 2007 and keeps a daily photo blog of where he is in the world.
Between Eurail.com and these bloggers, you should have no shortage of Europe ideas.
- Post-purchase service
When you’re ready to buy a pass, Eurail.com provides free economy shipping to USA, Australia, Canada and more (see the countries eligible for free shipping.) If you’re already travelling in Europe, they can even ship it to your hotel.
But their service doesn’t stop once you make your order. Every Eurail pass is accompanied by a Eurail travel package containing a Eurail travel guide, rail map and timetable of rail routes between major cities.
If your travel plans change, you even have the flexibility exchange, upgrade or refund your unused Eurail pass. If you have questions about your pass while you’re travelling, you can continue asking follow-up questions on email, Twitter and Facebook.
- Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful
One thing I noticed about the Eurail.com team, both online and when I met them in person, was that they’re genuinely enthusiastic about Europe rail travel. They really do care about your experience. Their professionalism shines through in their responses to the hundreds of traveller questions they get every week. Just scroll through the customer questions on their Facebook page and you’ll see what I mean.
With such a professional and responsive online presence, it’s no wonder Eurail.com won the Mashable Award for Social Media Customer Service.
The Mashable Awards are like the Oscars for technology and online innovation (see the full list of Mashable Award winners). Eurail.com even beat out companies like Hewlett Packard to win the Social Media Customer Service Award.
I had the honour of joining Eurail.com in Venice as they celebrated their award and thanked their customers with a week of free gondola rides and a Friday night kick-off party.
Here’s how the celebration went. Hopefully you can join them next year for more customer celebrations ;)
Eurail.com party and free gondola rides
While some companies offer free pens and paper pads to thank their customers, Eurail.com hit the mark by giving customers a really special experience by throwing a huge party and offering gondola rides in charming Venice all week long.
Friday night party
Over 500 travellers showed up to enjoy live music, splash in the pool and even dance in foam. Travellers got welcome drinks, 10% off drinks all night, plus they arranged the transportation to and from the centre of Venice. Eurail.com travellers also got 10% off their stay at the PLUS Hostel in Venice.
Drinks, foam and pool party not your thing?
Eurail.com wanted to make sure there was something for every customer, which is where the Venice gondola rides came in.
Week of free gondola rides
Gondola rides are listed as a to-do in every travel guide for Venice, so it was no surprise there was a great turn-out of travellers from all over the world, from solo travellers, friends, to couples and families.
Eurail.com’s gondola event was so successful that they were overwhelmed by number of customers who showed up on the first day. Being the awesome people they are, instead of turning away customers, they flew in another gondolier to make sure everyone could experience a gondola ride. Over the week of July 15-21, they gave over 2,000 free gondola rides to customers (yes, 2,000!)
My gondola ride was one of my highlights in Venice. I saw parts of the main canal and little alleys that I couldn’t have explored on foot, and was a great opportunity to take photos of the gondoliers and buildings from the perspective of being right in the canals.
It was a joy meeting the Eurail.com team in Venice. They were fun, approachable, savvy – everything I expected them to be from how they represent themselves online on Twitter, Facebook and email. It was obvious they loved interacting with the customers and even Eurail.com’s Managing Director, Paulien Pierik, found time to join travellers for a gondola ride.
My friends, this is what great customer experience looks like.
If you’re considering a Europe rail pass, I definitely recommend ordering it from Eurail.com.
Want to rail through Europe and take part in next year’s customer celebrations?
Make sure you follow Eurail.com on Facebook and Twitter for
– Breaking news – new countries added to the passes or train strikes
– Last-minute discounts – like a 5% discount on the day they reached 20,000 Facebook fans
– Regular “Thursday Treats” – discounts for Facebook fans
– Promotions and contests – like blogger openings for a German rail pass writer
For more photos of the party, gondola rides and my visit to Venice, see my Facebook album facebook.com/lil.leung.
This post was sponsored by Eurail.com. All opinions are my own, but that’s there not to like about Europe rail travel, great customer service, and free parties/gondola rides? :)
>> Have you ever wanted to travel with a rail pass in Europe?
>> What kind of free give-away should Eurail.com host next year? Chocolate tasting in Belgium? Free trips up the Eiffel Tower? Leave your ideas below!
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