booking sncf online

Feb 4th, 2003, 02:06 PM
  #1  
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booking sncf online

I am booking a train from Paris to Rennes at http://www.voyages-sncf.com In March, 2nd class sounds fine.

On the "Booking and buying tickets" page, I selected "adult between 26 and 59 years." Under the choose a fare option, I choose FULL FARE and RESERVATION REQUESTED. Will the ticket I receive for 56.10 EUR include a seat, or is there an additional charge for the seat? The price seems to be the same if I check RESERVATION REQUESTED or do not.

My luggage will be an airline carry on and a small backpack, both small enough to go on a US airplane with me. Do I have to check them? It looks like checked bags would double the price of the trip.

I am returning from Caen. It looks like I just but that ticket separately.

Keith
(slightly confused in Kansas)
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Feb 4th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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The train from Paris to Rennes is a TGV, on which reservations are required. Your reservation is included in the price of the ticket, whether you request one or not - that's why the price is the same.

No need to check luggage - there will be plenty of room for your bags (a lot more than on an airplane).

Yes, I think you would buy the Caen to Paris ticket separately.
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Feb 4th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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You'll need to print out your reservation confirmation and take it to the train station with you. When you turn it in at the counter, you'll be given a seat assignment. There is no requirement to check luggage on the train (I don't even think it's possible).
StCirq is online now  
Feb 4th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply!

Keith
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Feb 5th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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Does anyone know if there is a way to book tickets more than 2 months in advance? I know you can't on the website, but perhaps by calling? And if you call can you get the discounts offered on the site (J30 advance purchase, senior discounts)? I was hoping to get a good price for myself and 7 others in June (TGV from Paris to Avignon), but in playing around with the SNCF site, it seems that these discounts aren't always available, even several weeks in advance. Would I be more likely to get a good price by calling rather than booking on their web site? Thanks.
Betty1 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 06:06 AM
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I don't think they can sell the tickets in advance over the phone as well.
francophile03 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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They have restrictions on the discounts and sometimes they simply aren't available, period. All seats are not discounted, if it's a very popular run that is always full, it may not ever be. I don't think you are going to get any different price by calling than the website, they don't price that way.

I think there is just a limited window within which they want to conduct business for management reasons, and they don't want to get into trying to sell tickets too far ahead of time because they could change times, runs, trains, etc., and it's too much trouble. That's my take on it, that it's just too complicated to be dealing with people way in advance. Any discount you can get, you can get online, as far as I know. I know J30 discounts are only given on certain trains and certain dates, J8 discounts are more flexible.
Christina is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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Tickets are not sold for dates beyond 60 days - even in person at the stations in France.
yavamos is offline  
Feb 10th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Either I am being particularly dense, or http://www.voyages-sncf.com/ does not have an option for residents of the United States to purchase tickets.

It has a long drop-down list of countrys, but I can not find the US on the list. If I do not select one of those countries, I can't purchase tickets unless I have and address in France.

Any help?

Keith
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Feb 10th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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I believe you can purchase tickets no matter where you live, but can only have them mailed to you if you live in Europe. No problem, just leave it saying France on the first page, then on the last page when giving payment info, say you will pick them up in France at a train station. I believe you can just pick them up at any station you are at.

P.S. Does anyone know FOR SURE if J8 are less restrictive than J30? It doesn't say on their site other than both are 70% refund 4days before travel...
Spawned is offline  
Feb 10th, 2003, 02:41 PM
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Last post is correct, that country dropdown window is for mailing, so if you intend to pickup, be SURE to choose France in that box. You cannot have tickets mailed to US you buy online.

My remarks on the J30/J8 restrictions were taken from the SNCF website. I didn't make it up. This is an empirical question, though, if a discounted fare is applicable and available to the route and train you choose, it will be shown to you.
Christina is offline  
Feb 10th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Thanks Spawned, I had made it to the payment page and didn't realize that checking the pickup box, would actually change the page so I didn;t have to provide an address.

Not used to being able to use a charge card online, without being required to provide an address.

Keith
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Feb 15th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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I have a couple of related questions.

How regular is train service in France? Baring strikes, are they almost always as scheduled?

How early should I arrive at the station?

Keith
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Feb 15th, 2003, 12:44 PM
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I find trains in France, and other countries in Europe to run close to schedule. With all the inter-connections, they have too.

You don't need to be there any earlier than your train, so as long as you know exactly which track to go to, you don't need to be there early.
elberko is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 06:17 PM
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I can't seem to book on line. I get "You are not authorized to view this page: HTTP 403-Forbidden." Has anyone else had this problem?

In reading the fine print elsewhere on the site, it says you can't buy on line from North America-but to use their partner RailEurope. Of course as far as I know, they charge more.
JEFF_ is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Keith: NO, I've never had that problem, and Yes, you can easily book from North America, I do it all the time. I don't know what you're doing wrong, but it's really easy to book tickets on the sncf site, and you get discounts for booking ahead of time. Try it again.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:37 PM
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I'm getting the same message- can't book from N. America online, must use Raileurope.

How is this done online?
grandmere is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 05:56 AM
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I was able to do this last year.

Are you putting in your address in N. America? It's not needed, because you are NOT having them delivered, and perhaps this is what triggers the Raileurope message?
elberko is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 06:09 AM
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I've booked online too without any problem, I don't think there's any way they even know you are in N America unless you tell them, because you can't get delivery here as others noticed.

I imagine it's just a temporary glitch in their server or something -- those kind of error messages about not being allowed to view stuff sometimes appear on various web sites I've viewed, and usually it will work if you just try later on. Not sure what causes them, maybe traffic or the server being down or work on or something.
Christina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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I continue to get the message on my PC, but have no problem using the computer from the public library. Strange.
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