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Nice to Arles train tickets - Borne Libre Service

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May 4th, 2013, 06:35 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Nice to Arles train tickets - Borne Libre Service

Hello!

I'd like to purchase tickes from Nice Ville to Arles from the SNCF website, departing Nice at 16h34 on July 9, 2013 and arriving in Arles at 20h39, 57 euro for 2 tickets.

The only ticketting options they give me for purchasing online is Borne Libre Service - from what I understand is an automatic machine at the train station I would use with my credit card and confirmation number to pick up the tickets OR I can have free delivery (Not an option as I live in Canada).

I'm hesitant, because I'm not sure if my credit card will work in these kiosks (a canadian visa with a chip and 4 digit pin). I checked on seat61, and it doesn't specifically answer this question (perhaps I skimmed too quickly?).

Does anyone have experience with using foreign credit cards in the sncf machines at the train stations to pick up tickets??

I'd like to book these tickets asap, as one leg is a tgv prem, and I want to grab them before prices go up.

Thank you!
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May 5th, 2013, 04:47 AM
  #2
 
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The chip-and-pin cards are what these machines require. Anyhow, at the Nice station you should be able find a real live ticket agent if you prefer. You can pick up the tickets at any SNCF station or boutique. Just be sure to use the same card as made the ticket order.
It seems odd the print-at-home option isn't offered. I can only guess that it's because the second leg of the journey, from Avignon TGV, appears to be by bus with no reserved seating. There is the option of transferring from the Avignon TGV station into the city's old station, by a shuttle bus, and continuing by train to Arles, but that seems cumbersome.
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May 5th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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Abt021; If you succeed in purchasing those tickets online, can you please return here and confirm you did so.

My attempts to purchase TGV tickets online were frustrating, as all our Canadian credit cards were rejected in the final stage of the transaction, though I telephoned the credit card company in advance to say SNCF would shortly be seeking authorization for the charges.

After 3 failed attempts with the same card, that card is blocked in perpetuity, so you can imagine I was not happy.
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May 5th, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Further fiddling around on the SNCF site suggests you might be able to connect through Marseille to Arles, the second leg being a regional ticket with no reservations. One key trick on the site is to unclick the Direct Trains box.
Since the SNCF site redesign, which has not made life easier for those wishing to do business in English but not be bumped to RailEurope, the most straightforward link I have found is http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ I hope others can do better and share their tactics.
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May 5th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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I've seen various tickets for sale on SNCF that only allow that type of pickup, it isn't unique. There are lots of tickets on SNCF that aren't printable at home. So I would be willing to bet that your CC will not work in those machines, if it doesn't have a chip.

YOu can pick those up from a clerk in a train station or SNCF boutique, the website says so if you look at the terms of that type of "delivery" if you pick "borne libre service". <>


Personally, I'd choose a different route, they have plenty of trains that don't require two transfers, one including a bus. They have a train at around 1 pm, for example, that only has one transfer in a train station.
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May 5th, 2013, 11:27 AM
  #6
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Thank you for the replies so far!

Southam: Thank you for your feedback! I feel more comfortable now, and i'll probably purchase the tickets today, but I'll do a quick check on indirect trains first

tedgale: I've already purchased tgv prems from the voyages-SNCF website for avignon to Paris, and had no problem with my canadian credit card, and was able to select the print at home option for these tickets. I think the problem may be with your credit card? (mine is a chip card with 4 digit pin if it makes any difference).

Christina: We only have 2 days total in Nice (2 half days and one full day) so we're trying to maximize on time there, minimize on cost and still arrive in Arles with time to go out for a nice dinner. We're two students, so we don't mind a few more transfers if it means we save a couple euro. This was the trip (of all the options I saw) which balanced all of these things the best. Thanks for the info about picking up the tickets at the teller! This make me much more comfortable with the purchase
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May 5th, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #7
 
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I am also Canadian and bought train tickets on my BMO chipped MC last week for Paris to Avignon, Avignon to Arles, and Arles to CDG (but had to do it in two batches).

After inputting my card info on the sncf site, sncf then went to the BMO secure payment portal. You can sign up on the spot or change your password if you've forgotten it.

The different legs had slightly different options: I printed my e-ticket for leg 1, will collect my ticket from an automatic ticket machine for leg 2, and will pick up my ticket from a ticket agent for leg 3 (no print option provided for legs 2 and 3). I've never pre-booked rail tix in France before and wanted to see how the non-print options work out.

If my card doesn't work in the ticket machine I'm out of pocket only a few dollars on leg 2.
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May 5th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Good on ya, if you made it work.

I did have success for one leg of the trip but none for our bookings from Paris. My primary card is a chip card. That is the one that did NOT work at all.

Southam, I am intrigued by your screen name: Are you in Ottawa?
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May 5th, 2013, 12:03 PM
  #9
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Actually, I've switched strategies: I'm purchasing the tgv prems from Nice to avignon separately, and will purchase tickets for arles when we arrive in avignon! With this option, I can print my ticket myself.

The reason I aborted my first strategy is because on the review your order page, it said something to the effect of, " les cartes étrangeres ou sans puce" won't be accepted in the machines, which I have interpretted as foreign credit cards or cards without a chip. SO! Thanks everyone for all your help!
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