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Rail Europe booking problems from Australia

Rail Europe booking problems from Australia

Oct 24th, 2012, 05:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
Rail Europe booking problems from Australia

Take care, I have had problems booking with the raileurope.com.au web site for a trip from Paris to Munich with a stop in Strasbourg.

The inital booking wa made for several people at a total cost of $AUD 683. The booking could not be confirmed and I had to wait for an email to tell me that it was confirmed before completing the booking. The email arrived with instructions on how to complete the booking that did not make sense. I tried unsuccessfully to contact Rail Europe via their web site and via email but could not et any response.

After a few days (when the original booking would have expired), I made a new booking. Guess what, the cost had now increased to $AUD 809 and the problems were still there. I received an email telling me that the booking was now confirmed and could be completed but the instructions did not relate in any way to their web site.

At this stage, I gave up and tried to make the bookings directly through my daughter in England. The bookings were completed quickly and the total cost about $AUD 290. In part this was a lot cheaper since we were able to take advantage of an advance purchase ticket that was not available through Rail Europe.

I will not be going back to Rail Europe in a hurry!
Richardc51 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 200
We have also just had problems with RailEurope Australia, and like yourself, gave up. They 'lost' one booking and said the prices had increased for another, as no cheaper seats available. A quick look at SNCF site showed that not to be true. Finally, we mastered the French site, by saying we were from Antartica!

Enjoy your trip to Munich
SusannahT is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,049
Why are you even using RailEurope for those routes to begin with? To avoid their inflated prices, use www.sncf.fr or www.tvg-europe.com.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
If you need help see http://www.seat61.com and an Australian's
French train advice at
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 200

We are aware of the differences between these sites but the French sites are not keen on allowing those from the Antipodes to use them. Hence the need for Antartica residence.
SusannahT is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5
My visit to Copenhagen soon coming to an end. Next stop will be London via Cologne, Germany. Anyone with some traveling wisdom out there have any suggestions? looking for decent and inexpensive resting stops for a few days in Cologne and London. Cheap but efficient transportation would be nice too in case I have to give it up on the lodging side. All comments and suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance
TravlynGypsy1 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 684
StCirq, Voyages SNCF and TGV Europe are not available in some countries outside France/Europe. If I try to use either, I get redirected from TGV europe to raileurope.com and from Voyages SNCF to a page ebabling me to check schedules but not to reserve.

For anyone trying to reserve TGV trains, I think the IDTGV site MIGHT work for us:
Keren is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,511
Keren, the SNCF pages bump US and Australian customers to RailEurope, so specify some other country as your residence. Using Canada avoids the bump. So does using Antarctica. Go figure. The choice makes no difference to picking up tickets in France or printing them out if that selection is available on your particular purchase.
Southam is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,109
I've just booked Paris to Munich via Strasburg on the www.bahn.de after some very helpful advice on this site.

I too could not work out why the fares were 3 times as much on rail europe........I think I got sucked in as its a .au site.

bahn was very easy to use.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Oct 26th, 2012, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 684
Thanks, Southam, but I don't even get the option of choosing my residence. I live in Israel. TGV Europe's URL automatically leads to raileurope. SNCF lets me type in my destinations but I always get this instead of any result:
"En raison d'une forte affluence sur le site, l'accès au service de réservation de billets de train est actuellement indisponible..." Well, it couldn't be busy the whole time could it, this service is just not available to us. Maybe it's due to too many credit card frauds originating in Israel, I don't know.

SO IDTGV is OK but that's it. I once found an online board where an SNCF representative admitted to having blocked access to Voyages SNCF to users outside France. Apparently, this is not the case for everyone but they advised using a French reservation site like this one:
which I intend to try whenever I need to buy TGV tickets in the future.
Keren is offline  

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