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Interesting Article About Capitaine Train

Interesting Article About Capitaine Train

Jul 28th, 2014, 10:47 AM
  #1  
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Interesting Article About Capitaine Train

Just browsing and saw this and thought it was interesting since so many of us are using Capitaine Train for booking in France these days.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/28/how...h-engineering/
grandmere is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Who knows, maybe one day it will be possible to buy cross-border tickets online.
bvlenci is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 11:13 AM
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I have just traveled on TGV trains using tickets from Capitaine Train. Comparing to voyages-sncf.com which has made booking tickets progressively harder and often puzzling, I plan to use Capitaine Train every time for trains requiring advance purchases. The purchase process was astonishingly simple while providing discount options without markups, and best of all, takes US credit cards, and the ticket retrieval is done using ubiquitous SNCF yellow machines, which I have been looking at with envy before, with just the six letter confirmation code and the last name. I compared ticket availability and prices side by side with voyages-sncf.com and there were no differences in offerings for my trips.
greg is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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marking for future digestion - merci pour posting!
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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I see one flaw in their business model: what if SNCF and the other sites simply improve their websites and fix the problems with US credit cards? SNCF has the incentive to do this so that they don't have to pay outside commissions to companies like Capitaine.
Andrew is offline  
Jul 31st, 2014, 07:55 AM
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The redoubtable Man in Seat 61 is sympathetic to this company, which carries a lot of weight with me even though I have no big problemts (yet) with SNCF. However, this cheerleading article conveniently ignores a significant factor: How does the plucky upstart generate revenue? Where will its profit come from? There is no free lunch in private commerce, and no free train ticket either.
Southam is online now  
Jul 31st, 2014, 08:50 AM
  #7  
 
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One thing I found odd in that article is it says SNCF used to sell on its own website and on Expedia. Huh? You could actually buy SNCF tickets on Expedia, is that true?

I agree that article leaves out the most important thing about any business -- how are they making a profit if they sell at the same price as SNCF? It says legally they can do it because SNCF must sell to travel agents, so I understand that. But they say they don't want ads on the website. Okay, so no ads and no fees?

These kind of companies get venture capital in San Francisco area, who knows why, and they "disrupt" local commerce (becoming a hackneyed word lately) and then disappear after wreaking damage because they are not profitable. Now Capitainetrain can't do the same kind of damage to SNCF as some of these unprofitable businesses do to local businesses, but no decent article should talk about a company without mentioned their business model and how they make money.

Capitaine train is depending also on venture capital now, if I understand correctly. I have not used them as I have no trouble using SNCF but is it true they don't mark up the ticket at all? Or is it like Expedia who marks them up, but only about $5?
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Jul 31st, 2014, 09:12 AM
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"Eventually, the SNCF had to grant access to the reservation system — it was a legal obligation."

I notice when you go to the Voyages-SNCF site THESE days you actually are given a choice of being moved over to the SNCF/SBB-owned RailEurope North American marketing arm as opposed to having to lie about your country of origin.

The Trenitalia website used to be problematic for me and then I started using the low markup Italiarail.com site which was MUCH less problematic.

I'm not sure these are disruptions depending on one's point of view, obviously.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2014, 09:44 AM
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I have not used them as I have no trouble using SNCF but is it true they don't mark up the ticket at all?

No mark up as far as I can tell. This year I got tickets through Capitaine Train and they were the same price as in a previous year on the SNCF site. Given the low price (15€ Limoges-Paris), I doubt that they would have gone down over the years.
Michael is offline  
Jul 31st, 2014, 10:07 AM
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Where will its revenue come from? Does SNCF plan on paying them for generating revenue by selling those tickets?
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