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A new snag – SNCF Bordeaux-Aix

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I have bought SNCF tickets several times on behalf of French-challenged (and computer-challenged) friends, always with success. I use a French (BNP) card so no problem there, and I can receive confirmation SMS codes on my phone here in California. I did this as recently as March 2012.

I know to go directly through voyages.sncf.com to avoid Rail Europe.

Today, trying to book a ticket Bordeaux-Aix-en-Provence, I was stopped by two things:

• No apparent option to receive the ticket as a PDF and print it at home. Pickup at the station or mail to my home are the only two options. (I know not to check the USA box as my country of residence.)

• No apparent way to pay for the ticket using my card but to have it issued in someone else's name.

Maybe if I went deeper into the payment and delivery process, I would see options to do the two above things, but I am afraid that by giving SNCF my card information, I will be buying a ticket for MYSELF that I cannot use.

Any Fodorite wisdom? Many thanks.

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