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Booking train ticket online - USA rates are much more?

Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Booking train ticket online - USA rates are much more?

I am researching train tickets from Paris to Bayeux, If I put in any other "home" country than USA I get a good price - if I put in I'm from USA, It sends me to Rail Europe and the price is more than double. I tried to book using Ireland as my home country, my only option is to pick up ticket at the machine - and I'm worried my Visa may not work (according to Rick Steves) Any suggestions??
Whats up with that?
Thanks!
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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here's is what's up with that.

The SNCF (along with the Swiss Federal Raiways) OWN RailEurope..it is their North Amercian marketing arm and, of course, they WANT you to get the tickets through RailEurope for various reasons. That's why the default is to the RE site when you put in your home country as the US.

How far in advance are you going to BE in france prior to the trip to Bayeux? I am wondering how necessary it will be for you to book waaaaaay inadvance vs a few days.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:28 AM
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Rail Europe is much more sine they are really a trvel agent and are putting their profit on top of the ticket price. If you buyt tickets online from the national train company you should be able to pick up at the train station - at a manned booth if the machines don't work with your credit card. (Steeves plays this up since his company sells tickets at a profit.)
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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They are OWNED by the railroad so any of that "profit" is going to the RAILROAD...
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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We are traveling Sep 22nd. I wanted to get the "Prem" price. Would I still be able to get that if I bought it there?
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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I have never been asked my "home" country on booking tickets on SNCF, it is not necessary, it is only required if you try to insist on having tickets mailed to you, which I never do. I imagine you are booking on the TGV website, not the regular SNCF website, as the regular one doesn't ask you that (www.voyages-sncf.com). It isn't a TGV, anyway (to Bayeux). YOu do have to know French to use it, as I don't think they have other languages on there, though.

YOur Visa probably won't work in automatic machines, I agree with that. Tickets to Bayeux can't be that expensive, anyway, you can easily get them in Paris. The regular second class fare is only about 34 euro.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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oh, didn't see your new question. No, you can't get PREMS by buying in person, they are advance purchase fares (nonrefundable) only available online.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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The above link does indeed ask for what country and it you dont put it in, you cant get any further. No way around it. The difference in the Prems price R/T is Euro 65.60 = about $90. I think that is enough to want to get that cheaper ticket if possible. hmmm....
Is anyone sure they can use a real person if the visa doens't work in the automated machine? That might be the way to go?
Thanks!!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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Just keep the country as FRANCE when you first enter the information. You don't need to be a resident of france to buy the PREM tickets.

I bought a few last year and my US Visa card worked on voyages-sncf.com
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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In any case i think the potential savings on a Paris to Bayeux ticket is not as much as potentially on TGV fares - no TGVs run to Bayeux - just Corail trains that are not that expensive so just show up and buy your ticket if you can't get the sncf.com site to work.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Use France or GB as your country... it really doesn't matter.

A Prem ticket you can print out yourself. If you get a ticket that needs to be picked up you can get it from a manned booth since you don't have the right credit card to use a machine.

There are multiple SNCF boutiques in Paris. You can pick up your ticket before your day of travel from any one of them but you must have the same credit card you used for the purchase
with you.

Rob
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 08:12 AM
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ditto rob,

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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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Also ditto Rob.

It doesn't ask for your "home" country. It's a website. It doesn't care where you live. Put in France and keep maneuvering through the site. I doubt you'll be saving much money anyway, as it's not a TVG ride, but a Corail one, and you could probably just as easily get to the train station a half-hour early and buy a ticket at the window. If there IS a big price differential, just say you're in France or GB.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 09:47 AM
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I doubt you'll be saving much money anyway, as it's not a TVG ride, but a Corail one,

Just as with the TGVs, PREM tickets are indeed available on Corails trains. Purchasing tickets in advance for a Corail train can save a great deal of money.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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I appreciate the help -and dont want to be argumentative, but using the above link - it does care where are you are from, before you can even get a schedule or price, it wont let you go any further. I challenge you to try it and see how far you get or what I am doing wrong? I put in France, then everything is in French - unfortunately I dont read French. It turns into TVG site - and the difference in a prem ticket for 2 it $90r/t That seems significant to me. Prehaps if I were to buy at the ticket, its much less than the TVG site displays.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 09:55 AM
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jeepsterchick, I don't speak/read French, but I was able to buy my SNCF and TGV tickets in French using help from this board as well as other websites.

Stick with country FRANCE.

Click on the following website: it has an english step-by-step instruction as to how to purchase your tickets in french:
http://www.seat61.com/France-trains.htm#in French
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Sorry, don't click on the link above, but cut and paste the entirety (including the word French which wasn't included in the clickable link).
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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You can use the www.voyages-sncf.com. At the bottom of that page choose the British flag. It will send you to TGV site. Use Great Britain as country every time it asks. It will send you then to the same prices you can get in French (I tried both and you can get mid-day 15 Euro fare each way on prem in September.) The site there looks the same in English as in French (just different language). I picked a departure and a return date and time, got a total fare and the page to choose to print myself (or collect at ticket machine or by mail.)
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Voyages-sncf.com has an English version. Just put Canada or Mexico in there and you will get a whole process in English. Then choose the print-at-home for Prem's or the pickupat the station option. If you have a US card without chip, just go to the SNCF booth and you will be able to retrieve your tickets.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Thank you - for some reason I am not given print at home option or I would have, But I feel assured if my CC doesn't work, I will go to the booth and still be able to pick them up now. Thanks!
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