Question re SNCF rail tickets

Old May 4th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Question re SNCF rail tickets

I am trying to purchase 2 Prems tickets on the SNCF website for a trip to France in early August. The system keeps assigning me 2 seats that say "middle" and do not appear to be next to each other. Since it is still 3 months until the trip, I doubt that separate middle seats are the only ones available. Is there any way to request a window seat and/or seats together with my husband on the website? Or, after I buy the ticket online, can I change the seats later? This is my first European rail journey so I'm sorry for the silly questions. I appreciate your help.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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I'm not terribly familiar with SNCF's website. However, even though it's "still 3 months until the trip," you're looking at the busiest time of the year. I wouldn't be surprised if the window seats have been taken. Have you tried trains departing at different times?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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Are there actually 'middle' seats on a train? I only recall 2 x 2 seating on the trains we've used.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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You can't be outside the 90 day window, and I mean 90 days, not 91. Maybe that's it. Last time I booked tickets, I couldn't do the trip until the return date came into the 90 day window.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:09 PM
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> Are there actually 'middle' seats on a train?

Perhaps, Sara is not buying tickets on TGV (that's 2 & 2/2nd cls or 1 & 2/1st). Compartments are 3 & 3 facing each other. French compartments can even be 4 & 4. I've taken such once Brussels to Paris, long time ago though.

Sara can you tell us when and on which route you are trying to buy tikcets?

> after I buy the ticket online, can I change the seats later?

Normally no. Only if the wondow seats are free or, if not, if those on the window agree to change seats with you.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Thanks to all for the comments so far. We will be traveling from Paris to Caen, one way only, and it is almost exactly 90 days out (August 3). I don't think that the busy season accounts for this as the same thing happens no matter what date or train I select (I have tried this repeatedly experimenting with different times, months, etc.). But of course I could be wrong. What the system keeps assigning us is something like this: "Passenger 1: Coach 10-Seat 17, Lower deck-Middle; Passenger 2: Coach 10-Seat 13, Lower deck-Middle."
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Ok, I truly apologize for my stupidity. After trying yet again, I noticed a small button that says "choisir tu place," I chose window and it gave me 2 window seats (Coach 10-Seat 45, Window, Coach 10-Seat 46, Window). Now I have one last question, however--does anyone know the orientation of the seats on this train (Paris to Caen)? I really want to make sure my husband and I are sitting together, and am not sure whether consecutive window seats would be facing eachother or on opposite sides of the train. Since they are both windows, I am assuming they can't be next to each other. Thank you!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Well, if you choose the First Class for 25-32E, you can 'choose' the seat, meaning window or aisle. (you might have to click on it for the 'choose your seat' drop-down to display).
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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there ya go. I haven't been on this train, but I'm thinking if you chose 'window' for both, you might be split by the aisleway, that is - opposite sides of the car.

Evidently, there might be seating areas for 4 and for 6, so it is quite confusing to guess if you say 'window/aisle' that there won't be a middle b/t you , unless the numbering seq. gives a clue. (like, 24, 26 would be good, 24,28 would not).
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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If I may piggy back onto Sara's topic...if there are 6 of us trying to get Prems on the same train (not necessarily all together), do we have a better chance of getting them if we buy them all at once (ask for six seats) or if the 3 couples buy separately?

Also, Is the train like the plane ticket, where if you get off at an earlier destination (Say you get a Paris-Brest Prem because of the great price, but actually want to get off/return at Rennes) will they cancel our return ticket or not let us on, as mentioned on an earlier Plane thread? Seems like silly question, but you never know...

Thanks Sara for letting me use your forum.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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I may have been unclear...not necessarily SIT together, though that would be nice, but just make it to the same destination at the same time.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Sara, glad you got two window seats. It is a Corail tain (not TGV) St-Lazare to Caen, isn't it? It does sound like two window seats facing each other. In the case of TGV trains(all open space type cars), 45 & 46 would be widndow and aisle as seats are placed 2/Aisle/2 in 2nd cls. But Corail trains have compartments (not all of them) with 3 & 3 facing each other and the aisle is on one side outside the compartment.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Klondike, I would try to book for 6 all together as the side let you book maximum up to 6 persons.

Unlike airline return tickets, you buy TGV tickets each way separately so if you don't use a part of one way, it dones not affect the other ticket/reservation.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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> .. the side let you book ..

I meant the siTe (voyages-sncf site).
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