It is a great time for us, slovak immigrants. Since last year there are 3 different railway companies offering transport to east Slovakia- České dráhy (state owned), Regiojet (privately owned) and Leo Express (privately owned). I had a chance to use both Regiojet and Leo Express on my way to and from Slovakia last weekend.
I am not going to talk about the overall service, theres was no significant difference in my opinion. There was one thing, though, that made me consider one of the companies over the other in case I need to use their services in the future. Well, actually two.
I was actually supposed to go to Slovakia during Easter. But me being a young irresponsible adult of course I managed to oversleep. Regiojet ticket was already gone, but I could still salvage the money for the return ticket bought from Leo Express. I cancelled my order and, surprise surprise, they did not offer to refund my ticket. Only thing I got was some kind of “credit” I can use when buying a Leo Express ticket in the future. If I remember well Student Agency (operator of Regiojet) always just sent the money back to your bank account.
I mean, yes, I still have the money. But I can’t use it for anything else but a ticket! It was always super convenient know that even if I decide to oreder 4 tickets and then cancel them I will always get the money back, almost instantly. Not in this case. Now I would just have lots of credit for future rides. Rides that I take maybe 3 times a year.
Using Leo Express credit
The sole fact that one of the companies gives me back my money while the other doesn’t is argument enough to pick Regiojet. But as I already had the credit and knew I still need to go I decided to use it for my trip back from Slovakia. Or so I thought. I decided to get a business class ticket, as I was supposed to travel all night and me being really tall can get extremely painful in a small seat. When I got to the point of paying for the ticket I picked “Use credit” and surprise, surprise, it did not let me pay for it as I did not have enough “credit money” to pay for a more expensive ticket.
And I could not pay the difference by card (checked with the customer service line, just in case).
For any future travels to Slovakia, Regiojet it is…
EDIT: It took Leo Express 20 minutes to reply to my email concerning smoking, Regiojet: 2 days.