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Are reservations on TGV really necessary?

Are reservations on TGV really necessary?

Jun 25th, 2010, 05:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Are reservations on TGV really necessary?

I just took a TGV train from Lyon Part Dieu to Paris. I made a reservation and sat with comfort for the 2 hours journey. However, I am surprised to see that many people are either standing on the train, where some even sat on the stairs leading to the 2nd deck.

It was very obvious that these travellers did not make any reservations on the TGV. As such, i was wondering if reservations are truly necessary on the TGV?
sgt1 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Well, apparently they are if you want to have a seat.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
When all the seats are booked, the SNCF sells a few extra places without a guaranteed seat. In practice, some people book seats then miss the train or change their plans, so there are often odd empty seats.
If you board a TGV without any reservation, they will not stop the train to throw you off, but the ticket inspector, I believe, will charge extra.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,144
Hi S,

Not only necessary, but required.

As GH says, the SRO tickets cost extra.

I was told that you could jump on a TGV without a ticket, but that you must go find the ticket agent before he/she finds you and pay the extra fare. If the agent finds you first, you will also pay a large fine.

ira is online now  
Jun 26th, 2010, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,420
That's an unusual experience, I have never seen people standing on TGV trains on any I've ever taken. Well, I've seen people standing for a bit in some areas because they wanted to but they also had a regular seat.
Christina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,827
Yes, the official SNCF "rule" is that you must purchase a ticket at least 5 minutes before the TGV departs. If you justs climb on board you are subject to a fine.

I've never seen anyone just standing on a TGV who didn't also have an assigned seat.
StCirq is offline  

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