Card charged on a failed booking

When you place an order with Rail Europe, we need authorisation from your bank before we confirm your booking with the rail operator.

Sometimes bookings fail after your bank authorises the payment, but before the payment is made. You will not be charged if this happens, but you may see a temporary "payment shadow" in your account.

How we capture payment

When the payment is authorised, your bank will allocate the money you need to pay for your tickets. This gives Rail Europe the right to collect your payment. 
When a booking is successful, Rail Europe captures the money to pay for your tickets.

If the payment fails after the authorisation, we cancel the payment request and remove the payment authorisation. However, sometimes a "payment shadow" continues to show as a pending payment on your account. The money has not been taken, but may still affect your available balance.

How long will a payment shadow appear on my account?

The payment shadow usually disappears as soon as the payment authorisation is removed. However, for some banks, payment shadows can remain for up to 6 days, but 48 hours is often the limit.

If you are worried about your available balance being affected, you should contact your bank and explain that the payment authorisation has been removed by Rail Europe. In some cases it is possible for us to provide an  authorisation code for you to pass to your bank, so that they can identify the transaction and remove the payment shadow sooner. 

Please contact your bank before contacting Rail Europe. If a payment fails, we remove payment authorisation immediately so there is nothing more we can do without involvement from your bank.