Report on TGV from CDG Paris

Sep 19th, 2002, 03:03 PM
Posts: n/a

When you buy the ticket, you pay for the trip. When you buy a reservation, you reserve a seat on a particular train. On the TGVs, a reservation is mandatory. On other trains, you don't need one, but if you're unlucky, all seats will be taken and you'll have to stand during the trip (or more likely to seat on your suitcase somewhere in a corridor).

Now, I can't remember whether a reservation is always included when you buy a ticket on the SNCF website or not (because I pretty much never buy tickets online, I always call the SNCF or buy the ticket just before boarding the train. The site is really poorly designed, IMO). Probably other posters will know.

How does it work in practice : you find your train, punch your ticket in one of the orange machines which are omnipresent on the platforms (don't forget to do so, you could be fined if you didn't) and just board the train. That's all.

If you don't have a reservation, check the little boxes just above the seats (or if it's a train with compartments, look at the compartment's door). If there's no paper inserted stating the seat is "reservé" just seat there. If not, search for another available seat.
If you have a reservation and the train is rather empty, follow the same procedure and seat where you want, then remind your SO you told him/her it wasn't necessary to waste money on a reservation.If you have a reservation and the train is full, search for your car and seat, then congratulate yourself for having wisely decided to pay for a reservation.
Sep 19th, 2002, 03:11 PM
Posts: n/a
And a last advice : when the conductor check your tickets in the train, ask him whether your car is going to the right place or not. Some trains part in some station on their way, half the train going to someplace and the other half to some other place. It's quite uncommon, and even in this case, the conductor will tell you so even if you don't ask (but he could be distracted), but since I assume you won't understand the announcments in the train, it could be annoying to find yourself some hundred kilometers away from your intended destination. Once again extremely unlikely, but from time to time, a poster tells it happened to him.
Sep 20th, 2002, 07:30 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks Joe & Clairobscur for your replies. I did e-mail sncf and they replied (very quickly) that I do have seat reservations as well. I'll post my experiences when I return in late October. I can't wait!

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