SNCF stumps me once again!

Aug 7th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 109
SNCF stumps me once again!

I have been attempting to purchase a one way Prem ticket from Paris to Lyon for Oct. 2 which is within the 60 day booking window.

I enter all my info, time, date, etc. I move on to the page where you enter your name, e mail and credit card info, then I say purchase (for the 500th time) and it starts to do the transaction.
However it will not finish !!! I can sit there for 30 minutes reading "merci de vous patienter" .

Does anyone know if sncf is now somehow disallowing north american e mail addresses?

I have purchased and printed Prems earlier this year without any problem. I have tried this transaction on a friend's computer just to see if it made a difference---it didn't.

The only thing I can think of now is that I am only purchasing a 1 way ticket. My return trip does not fall within the 60 day window yet.
However I really don't see that this should matter. I was planning on buying the return at the end of August.

Anyone know what's wrong?
jazzyred is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:12 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 474
One-way is not the problem. I have bought one-way online with them recently - Prems. Maybe the server is on strike.
vedette is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Maybe it's your web browser that is causing you problems. I use Safari, and sometimes it will not load pages properly (especially ones that say: Please wait as your itinerary is processed; and of course, it would stay on that page even if I refresh it). I would try booking using FireFox, Mozilla or Internet Explorer as a browser. You can also try calling the SNCF (I don't remember the number,. but I'm pretty sure it's + 33 (0) 8 36 35 35 35).
TransitBuddie is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,459
I agree the one-way thing has nothing to do with it, that is perfectly normal. There is no requirement you buy a RT ticket (which I don't think really means much in SNCF, as it's just two one-way tickets). I bought a couple one-way PREMs in late June with no problem at all online. I'd suggest you just wait and try a different time -- usually when any online site takes too long to process something, it is high traffic or the server is down.

It's hard to say if there is something wrong with your connection, ISP or browser, also.

How would they know you have a "North American" email address? What does that mean? I have used several email address, one my business service and one an but that extension is available in France.
Christina is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Here's the SNCF number. Tickets arrive in the mail a couple of weeks later.

33-8 92-35-35-39
RonZ is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 65
Try booking with Eurail, it is usually pretty reliable.

Unfortunately, you cannot book these tickets with non-French reservation sites (i.e. or
elmothehobo is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 04:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi J,

Do you have an active popup blocker?

Sometimes this can be a problem.

ira is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,020
Ira has made a very good point about pop up blockers and even your security settings can be a problem if they are set too "high". I have had problems even w/hotel websites sometimes. There are some things that when they won't open, if you right click and press "open in a new window", then it works. BTW, *disclaimer*(!) I am the most inept computer person, so take what I say in that context!! However, I *have* successfully bought and printed PREM tkts, so I guess that counts for something.

socialworker is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,020
PS--that point about the browser is also a possibility. When my son put Mozilla on our computer, all kinds of stuff would not work in the same way as it had w/Explorer.
socialworker is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 07:16 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 122
I just purchased tickets for exactly the same scenario (PREM, one-way) yesterday, and also experienced a delay. Out of pure frustration I hit the "X" key on my browser (to stop the processing in hopes of reloading) and suddenly it all pops up paid for and just fine. I completed the transaction, printed the tickets and got the confirming email. So I think it's their glitch. Try again, and either it will go through today, or maybe you can fiddle with it like I did. I feel your pain!
rsb99 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 109
Fodor's people fix problems!!!

This forum rocks!!

I am so impressed with how much knowledge we all have.When everyone contributes their suggestions and ideas I am always bowled over by the results.

Everyone's suggestions re my Prem printing questions were great and I am ecstatic because by changing my browser to Firefox, I succeeded in getting the ticket 1st time!

My 500 former attempts to connect with the site were not in vain. I now know something new and am so thankful for this forum for always coming up with solutions.
jazzyred is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 122
You're so right, jazzyred. Although I piped up just like I knew what I was talking about, yesterday I posted a similar question about my own frustration, and got exactly the answer I needed in about 3 minutes! Youse guys are awesome.
rsb99 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,020
Thanks for letting us know what solved the problem. It gives useful feedback in case one encounters difficulties w/sites.
socialworker is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
So many posts about frustration with SNCF and Trenitalia systems to book their great fares - seems like someone could start a business doing it for others - some computer and site savvy person and charge a little processing fee that many would gladly pay to avoid hours of frustration! No way to run a railroad!
PalQ is offline  

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