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Buying French train tickets over the internet with a credit card.

Buying French train tickets over the internet with a credit card.

Old Apr 13th, 2015, 02:34 PM
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Buying French train tickets over the internet with a credit card.

I have bought sncf tickets via the internet with a Chase credit card and when reviewing the pick up instructions, I read that I should go to a kiosk in the train station and using the card with which the tickets where purchased, insert the card and a PIN.

The problem is that Chase says they don't have PINs suitable to European ticket retrieval kiosks.

Does anyone have experience with how to get possession of their train tickets once purchased over the internet with out a PIN?

I suppose the on-site ticket counter could help me but I need to buy some more tickets and don't wish to compound the issue if it's a problem.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 02:45 PM
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You usually have the option print out the tickets at home, which is what I do.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 02:51 PM
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When I bought this kind of ticket from SNCF, I had to go to a staffed ticket counter, either train station or in town boutique, to have my none CHIP and PIN credit card used as retrieval id.

Now, I use www.capitainetrain.com. Same price and same availability as www.voyages-sncf.com. It takes U.S. credit cards and gives you PNR code. Walk up to any yellow SNCF ticket machine EMPTY HANDED, select ticket retrieval, enter your 6 character PNR code (looks like airline confirmation code) and your last name and out pop your tickets. However, since you already have to hit the counter anyway, this would not reduce your hassles.

The print at home option is available only for certain kind of tickets.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 03:13 PM
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Thanks to both of you. I re-read the fine print on my confirmation and see now that I can carry my documents to the guichet and get my tickets. I didn't see the "print tickets" option and owe that primarily to my poor French.

I think I'll try the capitainetrian site for the other tickets I need to buy. Great tip and thank you.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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greg,

Just booked my tickets on capitainetrain. Very easy and all of them PREMs which made the costs very attractive. Before booking I checked the prices against sncf and was very pleasantly surprised to find the caitainetrain booked me at the lowest prices.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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One thing I had to get used to with www.capitainetrain.com was the stunning simplicity of the web site. I bought all my TGV tickets last year this way. Upon landing at CDG, went down an escalator at terminal 2E to the ticket counter/machine level, walked up to one of the many unused yellow SNCF ticket machine and had all my TGV tickets in just a few minutes. I glanced with schadenfreude watching others scratching head why their magnetic stripe only card did not work or queues at the staffed ticket windows remembering that I too had to do that in the past.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 05:21 PM
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I was trying to research Paris to Brugge on capitaine website but no luck. They don't service this route?
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 05:31 PM
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I used them for tickets from Paris to Amsterdam. We have a confirmation number and seats, but must pick up our tickets in Paris.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 07:06 PM
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The print at home option is available on all tickets purchased through SNCF.

The question I have is how does capitinetrain make its money without a markup? SNCF, like Renfe, does not pay commissions to agents, nor do they sell special discounted tickets to outside agencies.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 07:22 PM
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How does CapitaineTrain make money? See http://faq.capitainetrain.com/articl...ain-make-money
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 08:12 PM
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The print at home option is available on all tickets purchased through SNCF.
Now I remember that I had to pick up my Brussels – Marseille ticket in Amsterdam (I could have picked it up in Brussels). There was no printing option. It may be that cross-border tickets are not treated the same way as tickets that are limited to the Hexagon.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 08:52 PM
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The print at home option is available on all tickets purchased through SNCF.

That might be the SNCF´s objective but it is not true. Initially print yourself tickets were only available on non refundable fares. This precluded someone´s printing two copies of a ticket, actually using one copy and then sending in the second copy for a refund. As ticket control is improved, more and more tickets will be the self printing type but I would not say that all tickets are.

The question I have is how does capitinetrain make its money without a markup?

There was a lawsuit, in reference to SNCFs exclusive right to sell its own tickets, which the SNCF lost. Capitainetrain took advantage of the SNCFs inability to meet internet demand for tickets and simply produced a better website, easier to use and with a tighter control against credit card fraud. Capitainetrain uses the same ticket database that the SNCF uses and is able to sell competitively with the SNCF and at a profit.
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