European Sleeper to introduce bidding for upgrades with Plusgrade

European Sleeper sleeping wagon European Sleeper

Plusgrade, a Montreal-based company that offers ancillary revenue solutions for the travel industry, has announced a partnership with European Sleeper, the Dutch-Belgian railway company breathing new life into overnight train travel across Europe. This partnership, revealed at the World Passenger Festival in Vienna this Wednesday, will allow passengers to bid for premium upgrades on European Sleeper trains.

In today’s era, long-haul rail journeys have gained renewed popularity, particularly overnight. Travellers seem to prioritise sustainability, comfort, and immersive experiences more and more. A trend that railway operators are eager to follow up on.

European Sleeper passengers will soon have the option to bid for upgrades for their journeys on overnight trains. These can grant access to higher cabin classes, including sleepers and couchette cabins, along with other amenities. This feature is meant to cater to travellers with different budgets, from those seeking cost-conscious travel to those who desire a more luxurious experience.The feature will ‘soon’ come to travellers, but a date has not been announced.

Choice and flexibility

For operator European Sleeper, it means it can optimise occupancy rates and generate additional revenue. “Our focus is on creating remarkable and comfortable overnight rail experiences for every passenger that travels with us. Introducing this exciting new upgrade feature offers our passengers choice and flexibility, and an enhanced travel experience as we proudly set new standards for the rail industry”, stated Elmer Van Buuren, director and one of the co-founders of European Sleeper.

According to Plusgrade, Ancillary revenue and upgrades enable rail brands to improve their services and maintain competitive fares. This may therefore help European Sleeper address issues it has had with certain onboard amenities over the summer. Indeed, this summer, issues were reported on board trains, including the availability of functioning toilets, electrical sockets, and internet connectivity. Indeed, their website reads: “In July and (to a lesser extent) in August 2023 we had to master technical challenges on the trains. We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact and to improve the service on board.” It also indicates that issues can still occasionally occur with toilets and power supply onboard, as well as the availability of carriages.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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