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Another TGV question: traveling from CDG to Avignon

Another TGV question: traveling from CDG to Avignon

Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 355
Another TGV question: traveling from CDG to Avignon

My DH and I will arrive at CDG on Friday Sept 25 at 8:45am and plan to take the TGV to Avignon. I’ve been reading all TGV related threads over the last few weeks, like this one from May:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...dg-airport.cfm
and I've visited the SNCF and TGV Europe websites to practice and familiarize myself with prices. Thank you to all you Fodorites who patiently (and sometimes not so patiently!) answer questions from us newbie TGV travelers.

I live in the US, in the Central time zone, and if I understand correctly the PREMS tickets for my travel date should start appearing on June 24 at 5:01pm. (Per Stu D that’s 3 months ahead, not 90 days!) I think I’ve calculated the date/time correctly but please advise if I’m off.

So… just to go through the steps for other US residents who may be interested…
1. Go to www.voyages-sncf.com/
2. Click the Great Britain flag on the lower left
3. I am transferred to www.tgv-europe.com
4. Click Great Britain on the map
5. In the Book Your Ticket box I enter Leaving from Roissy and Going to Avignon
6. Select Single which I’m assuming means one way (not Return which I’m assuming is round trip)
7. Select 2nd Class
8. Select Outward date Sept 23 (this evening I cannot pick Sept 25 so I am experimenting with Sept 23)
9. Number of passengers is 2
10. Select Great Britain as my country
SEARCH

The earliest train that makes sense for us (allowing time to clear customs and walk to TGV station) is the 11:43am train.

OK, now I’m actually going to ask a question!
I see 2 trains at 11:43 in the search results
#05164 and #09826
They both leave and arrive at the same time and both appear to be non-stop.
Are there actually 2 trains leaving at 11:43? Or is it the same train with multiple numbers (kind of like a codeshare flight on an airline?)

If there are 2 trains I’m wondering if there is any difference between them? Or is it safe for me to pick the one with the lowest price? (I’m seeing nice PREMS prices! 22 Euros for 2nd class and 40 Euros for 1st Class!)

NEXT STEPS:
11. Pick the ticket with the best price
12. When asked to “Choose how to collect your ticket” select Printed Ticket
13. Enter name and email address.
14. The next page says “your dossier reference information will be sent to you via email” which I’m assuming is an eTicket.
15. Then you enter credit card info. I haven’t completed this step yet of course. Is there any risk that the system will recognize my card is not from Great Britain?

Please tell me if you see any steps I should be doing differently. Thank you for your help!!
bniemand is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:36 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,820
I bought also the TGV to Avignon N.05164 that leaves at 11:43 and paid 44 Euros (22 Euros each) for two people.

You can collect them at the window or print them.
I have printed mines.

I used my MC However I had problem using my ATM card that is also a MC,therefore I had to use a different card.
kismetchimera is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
  #3  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,255
Just FYI, I found it easier to do the entire purchase in French, using www.voyages-sncf.com.

5164 and 9826 should be the same exact train. My guess (just a guess), is the train will split up into 2 at some point after Avignon heading to two separate destinations. But for your purpose, you can buy your tickets on either train.
yk is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:34 AM
  #4  
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Thanks kc and yk for your responses!

kc, I will be using a Mastercard that is NOT also an ATM/Debit card.

yk, your theory about the trains splitting after Avignon sounds logical. Anyone out there who knows for certain the reason for 2 numbers?
bniemand is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:39 AM
  #5  
 
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Posts: 47,461
Yes, the train will split up, probably goes on to Nice or something. Can't verify your procedure for sure, although it sounds correct, as I always use the French site.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,357
Some of them also go to Marseille....I also have used the French site without problems. Just uesed it for this past April.

Joan
gracejoan3 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:37 AM
  #7  
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StCirq and gracejoan, thank you for confirming the train will split.

I gather by everyone recommending I use the French version of the SNCF site that it doesn’t ask for country of residence and I'll be able to use my US credit card without problems. (I speak barely any French but have a French-English dictionary so I'll try practicing on the SNCF site.)

Anyone out there who successfully used the TGV-Europe site, claiming GB residency and using a US credit card?

Thanks again everyone.
bniemand is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:03 AM
  #8  
yk
 
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Posts: 24,255
Actually, when using voyages-sncf.com to buy tickets, you have to leave the country of residence as FRANCE. Just follow these step-by-step instructions:
http://tinyurl.com/mdz9bh

If you're not comfortable, check here:
http://tinyurl.com/m3ezdk

Good luck.
yk is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:06 AM
  #9  
 
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Use FRANCE as the country of residence and indicate you will print (imprimer) your tickets.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:49 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 25
bniemand--I bought the prems on the voyages-sncf.com last month. I used my US credit card and all went thru fine, including the billing. I did practice several times in advance and I copied and pasted each section of French text into Google translator and Yahoo Babelfish and maybe one other which I forget to be sure in my practice sessions that I understood the gist of it all since most of it was beyond my years-old rusty French. I printed a couple of copies of each ticket and saved each ticket file in PDF just in case. The link was also sent to my email. I'm glad I won't have to worry now about collecting tickets at the station in Avignon for a 6:40 am departure. You still have time to cram for your French finals--go for it!
sunupdj is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:21 AM
  #11  
 
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I bought another PREM fare last night Avignon/Nice route and paid 44 Euros for two.
Didn't have any problems printing the tickets.
kismetchimera is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:20 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Just remember that if you buy in French, notify your credit card company before you do it.
Plan2GoSoon is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 03:59 AM
  #13  
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Thanks again for all the tips. I'm planning to book tickets tonight if I see good PREMS fares. I'll let you know what happens.
bniemand is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 05:37 AM
  #14  
yk
 
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Good luck, let us know how it goes!
yk is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #15  
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OK, I'm seeing PREMS for 44 Euros per person. This is much more than the 22 Euros I found when testing the other night. My travel day, September 25, is a Friday so I'm guessing the higher price is because Friday is a popular day to travel? Do you think this is as good as I can expect? (I'm not overly concerned about the price difference -- 44 still seems like a great deal!)
bniemand is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 03:07 PM
  #16  
yk
 
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Posts: 24,255
I just looked. I see 25 euros PREMS for the 11:43 train 09826 for Sept 25. For some reason the 05164 train (same departure time) is showing 45 euros PREMS. I'd get the 25 euros ticket for 09826.
yk is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 03:55 PM
  #17  
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Hi yk, I see the 25 E fare you found when I search on the SNCF French language site. Interestingly, that PREM fare does not appear when using the TGV-Europe site using the Great Britain residency method. All the other fares (Loisir, 1st Class) are the same on both sites.

So even though all of you encouraged me to use the SNCF site in French, I really wanted to see if I could use the TGV-Europe site and get through all the steps I listed in my original post. So I did it, and it worked and I didn't have to get out my French dictionary

In the end, I couldn't resist the 45 Euro per person price for First Class (this price is showing on both sites.)

I got a bit nervous when entering my Mastercard number because the MC logo on the site said "Eurocard MC" which mine obviously is not. But my card worked fine, and I was able to select the Printed Ticket option. I printed the tickets at the end of the booking process and also received an email with links to print the tickets again if need be.

Those of you who have traveled in first class will have to tell me if there are any significant benefits over 2nd class. I'm not expecting much, but any additional pampering will be welcome after an 8 hour overnight flight.

So I know I didn't snag the best deal, but I made myself feel better by going to the raileurope.com site. Boy, it sure doesn't pay to be honest about your country of residence! For the same train they are charging 188 E for 1st Class and 136 E for Restricted 2nd Class.

Thanks again everyone. Maybe when I book our return tickets (Avignon to CDG on Oct 6) I'll do it in French!
bniemand is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 05:25 PM
  #18  
yk
 
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bniemand - Don't sweat it. One baby step at a time; and 45 euros for a 1st class sounds great. I haven't taken first class in France, so I can't be of help.

If you want to use the French website to buy your return tickets, click on the links I posted in this reply:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...omment-5751608

Those are links to www.seat61.com with step-by-step instructions & translation (in English) on how to purchase tickets from SNCF.
yk is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 11:06 AM
  #19  
 
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You got GREAT rates. When I looked online in early May (2.5 months before the July trip) the PREMS were running about 85E each way, CDG/Avignon (i.e. about 340E total for two people).

For one or another reason I didn't get them then (just for the ones for Dad and me in early June) and now I just paid nearly 100E each way for tickets (i.e. about 400E total). I guess you gotta forget about deals in July? Tour de France and all that...?
flygirl is online now  
Jun 30th, 2009, 11:11 AM
  #20  
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Yes, I'm sure it helped that I'm traveling in late September!
bniemand is offline  

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