Eurail ticket sent to me has expired!

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Aug 15th, 2004, 05:09 PM
  #1
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Eurail ticket sent to me has expired!

Has anyone had a similar experience: I recieved my TGV tix several weeks ago and scanned the reservation which had the correct time, date and passengers but as I was packing to leave for Paris, I noticed that the accompanying Eurail tickets expried several days ago! If I e-mailed Eurail for reservations and tickets on a train leaving a week from now, how could they have sent me 4 tickets that expired 2 1/2 weeks before my train departs? Has anyone had this experience before? Eurail is closed today--Sunday, and I'm afraid they won't be able to send me new tickets before I depart in a few days. Will they exchange them at Gae de Lyon?

Any words of wisdom welcome Thanks!
LLBABB is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2004, 06:21 PM
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I don't understand exactly what kind of tickets you bought. Eurail is the brand name for a company selling rail passes, and I guess they do sell some point-to-point tickets now (I had neve heard of that, but their web site says so).

SNCF, the French railroad, probably will not exchange them as they are a private company and not the French railroad. I've actually never heard of this type of ticket, but I seriously doubt that the SNCF will have anything to do with the problem as Eurail is a separate company and you gave your money to them. I also don't think they would just replace tickets that have expired. As I understand it, tickets have two-month validity, so they must have mailed you out-of-date tickets, probably old stock of theirs.

I think you have to go to Eurail to resolve this. It's too bad you bought point-to-point tickets from them rather than SNCF. Who exactly did you buy these from? Maybe that info will help explain this or help others give advice. It seems there are several offices listed as selling these things in the US or Canada, for example.
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Aug 15th, 2004, 06:24 PM
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Hold the phone! Check those tickets again. Are you sure you read the date correctly? Europeans write the date dd/mm/yy, whereas in the US, we write it mm/dd/yy.
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Aug 15th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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I was thinking the same thing Betsy.

Could:

1) the tkts be for a future date in "European speak"

OR

2) Are you sure you put in the dates correctly when you ordered them?

If in fact you did enter the right dates and the tkts are wrong -- you will have to phone them on Monday to try to straighten it out.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 01:03 AM
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Eurail PASSES usually have to be validated within 6 MONTHS of the issuing date. Are you saying the passes, if that IS what you are referring to, are more than 6 months old?
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Aug 16th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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It might be the case that Betsy & Janis 1) say.

I have other quetions. By Eurail, you mean RailEurope? As Christina said, I thought Eurail sells only Eurail Passes and not tickets.

Also you have a ticket & TGV reservation on separate 2 papers? This is what it used to be maybe till, what, 10 years ago (?). Today with TGV trains, the ticket and the reservaion are together on one piece of paper, at least that's how it is when you buy it in Europe, as I understand.

Anyway I hope your problem will be solved soon.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 03:48 AM
  #7
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Thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately, the date on the tickets reads valid from 11 June 2004 to 10 Aug 2004. But the lead ticket with our seat reservations clearly states the reservation for the time and day I requested. I found the Rail Europe site by googling for TGV tickets in France. I have only traveled on the TGV once, over 10 years ago, so I had no clue.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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so you really bought from Raileurope, not a company named "eurail"? Well, it's Monday so you have to deal with them and can, now.

I think regular rail tickets expire in two months and they gave you old tickets. I hadn't thought about it, but it is true I don't get a separate piece of paper for a seat reservation any more with TGV tickets, only the ticket with seat on it. I don't think there's any way SNCF is going to refund the money of somebody with expired tickets.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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The Eurail tariff is sort of like a 'suggested list price' that is charged by agencies outside Europe for rail tickets. I'm guessing you bought these tickets on or around the 11 June, and the agency date-stamped them accordingly. They did not issue you old tickets: rather, it is that under the terms and conditions of these tickets, they automatically expire 60 days after purchase. The agency from which you bought the tickets ideally should have pointed this out to you, especially since your date of reservation made clear when you wanted to use the tickets.

As far as I am aware, what expires is the contracted 'suggested list' price; you haven't actually validated the tickets by stamping them in the station machine or by having the conductor cancel them. So technically they might still be considered good if the 'suggested list' price or Eurail tariff hasn't changed, which in such a short time it probably hasn't.

You could try and exchange them in Paris, but if that fails, I'd take a chance and try using them. You have a reservation for the day in question, and as for the price you paid, it is so inflated over the price normally paid by users in Europe that it would seem highly unreasonable of the conductor to hit you for more money. Good luck.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Rail europe sells both railpasses and Eurail Tariff point-point tickets and have for years - I know our agency has sold pt-pt tickets through them. Previously they did not have a validity date of them, they could be used anytime. But a few years ago they started having a two-month validity period during which they can be used. Thus when a client calls us we ask what validity date they want on the ticket - it need not be the issuing date like Rail Europe automatically put on them - their mistake I would say. So your ticket has expired. The mistake also prevented you from refunding the tickets if you trip plans changed as pt-pt tickets can't be refunded after the first date of validity of the two month period they are valid in (can be used on any train in two months that you've paid for). Actually they can be refunded only if in Europe you have a railway official cancel them - say on a Paris-Vienna ticket you decide to stop using it in Munich, you could cancel the Munich-Vienna portion and get the usual refund minus 15%.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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I think you could in all liklihood buy tickets and reservations at the train station, probably for a lot less.

I would contact the agency that sold you the defective tickets and ask them to messenger you good tickets, at their expense. They can deliver overnight fairly easily. If they can't or won't do that, instruct them that you are cancelling the entire order (I'm assuming you paid with a credit card) and have them issue a complete refund to your card. If they can't or won't, dispute the charge within sixty days after you receive the credit card statement, as explained in the small print, probably hidden on the back of the statement, and just buy tickets and reservations when you can get to the train station.

On those thankfully rare occasions when I get a spurious charge, I call my bank, and they make a record of the call, and send me forms to complete and return as my formal dispute.

Enjoy your trip. I take trains on our travels, and have never had an occasion when they wouldn't sell me tickets, even on the same day, although once they couldn't give me reservations, but we still found seats.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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Generally the only reason to buy a pt-pt ticket before leaving is in case you want a seat reservation, in which case you must have a pt-pt ticket or railpass. Prices are usually cheaper in Europe and you may get senior or youth discounts or discounted tickets with restrictions as to refunds, black out periods, etc., not available in Rail europe's one global priced ticket for walk-up use, which can be used on any train for up to two months and which states on it that you can break your journey without formality en route - thus in effect you have a railpass over that trajectory. Another reason for some to buy pt-pts here is that they don't want to stand in line or figure out how to use some foreign ticket machine and just wish to get on the train - then a few extra dollars spent will be well worth it. Pt-Pt tickets issued through RailEurope can be a bargain for walk-up unrestricted tickets. I've looked at the www.bahn.de German Rail site and it seems RailEurope's are cheaper for walk-up fares now than those bought in Germany (I didn't do an exhaustive search but the ones I looked at were cheaper) This is probably due to the decline of the dollar versus the euro - RailEurope's prices were set before the dollar tumbled, making ticket prices in euros corresponsdingly higher.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 05:22 PM
  #13
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I reached RailEurope today, and they looked up my locator number and acknowledged their mistake. They are overnighting me new tickets which I must charge once again to my credit card, and they say they will send a refund when they receive the old, expired tickets certified Mail. I guess I'm just too neurotic to wait until the day of travel to buy train tickets in August. If my family couldn't get seats on the train, our plans would quickly unravel. Thanks for all the advice.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 05:57 AM
  #14
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Good for you LL.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 06:01 AM
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Hip hip Hooray!
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