TGV Prem tickets

Jun 18th, 2003, 07:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 60
TGV Prem tickets

These seem too good to be true! 25 Euros from Paris to Avignon? I know that they are non refundable and 2nd class, etc.,etc. Are the TGV not filling up? These prem tickets good only for a certain time like our infamous airline tickets? I plan on buying 4 one ways from Paris to Avignon, for a Saturday morning, Sept 6th. I would imagine that these morning trains would be full of regular paying fares. Do they need to discount this? TGV in trouble,or is there some fine print like smoking only, or if the train is full, one has to stand up the whole trip? Wazzup?
edfran is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Prem fares are like the airlines cheap fares, good only for a certain number of seats (and perhaps only on certain days or at certain times). I couldn't find a prem fare on Sat in May from Paris to Avignon. I'd get on the net about 12:01 AM on July 6 (French time, 9 hours earlier for me).
LVSue is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 07:22 AM
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Could you please explain where the Prem fares are listed? I have found the area on the site for "if you wish a special fare" - should it be listed there if a Prem ticket is available for my particular trip?, or am I missing something? Thanks!
Margie is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 08:08 AM
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I've found the prem fares only show up when they are available. They aren't in the special fares box. Availability seems to be on major lines in and out of Paris, for example Paris to Nantes, Paris to Avignon, etc. When I look at Nantes to La Rochelle the fares do not show up. Also if you have the box checked for first class they don't show up. If there are no prem fares left they don't show up either. I try to book the maximum 60 days out to make sure I have the best chance of getting one.

It seems like the prem fares are a result of the boom in cheap airfares in Europe.

I traveled on a lot of empty trains in France this spring and a few train routes that were replaced with busses. Every time anyone asks for train advice on this board you mostly get answers from Europeans and the US about "you really need a car to see xyz." It makes me wonder about the fate of rail in Europe.
indytravel is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 08:09 AM
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If a Prem fare is available (i.e. not sold out) for a trip it will be shown as the default fare. If you can't see it, it means you'll need to try a different time or date to get the cheap fare.
hanl is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 08:10 AM
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BTW, you can get Prem fares for trips that don't go via Paris, as I got a Rennes-Lyon Prem ticket one time...
hanl is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 08:12 AM
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With the cost of fuel at the level it is in Europe I doubt that rail service will deteriorate all that much...God forbid it shoudl ever get to be as bad as it is in the US! Transportation "advanced" we definitely aren't.
Aug 21st, 2003, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,182
Thank you, this makes sense. I wanted to make sure that I was looking at the site correctly and not missing a chance for a discounted ticket!

BTW indytravel - thanks a lot for advising me to check out the site for my Tours excursion on another thread - I have spent most of the morning "playing" with destinations/schedules/fares - maybe now I should get to work! LOL
Margie is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 10:29 AM
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Thanks hanl, it's nice to know the prems exist elsewhere.

So Margie what if the "slow" train through Orleans to Amboise is faster than the TGV through Tours but costs more? Ahhh! I'm glad I've passed the addiction on to someone else.
indytravel is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 11:06 AM
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The train schedule addiction is almost as bad as the "look at Paris hotels addiction!"
Margie is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 24
Just a word of caution: if you do get the good fares on the TGV, remember that you also need a reservation for an actual seat! The train ticket just gets you on the train. I suppose if the train is not full, you would just take a remaining seat, but to be sure that you will have a place to sit, also purchase the reservation.
letstalk is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 8
My advice to you is to grab the 25 Euro ticket while you can because it may not be there for long. I purchased Prem tickets in July and printed them myself - I believe it automatically reserved the seat as it is printed on the ticket. Like you I had some concerns, posted a question here and was reassured about going ahead to purchase the tickets which was great. The only problem - in that time period the ticket price of 100 Euros for 4 of us was no longer there so it cost me substantially more. We leave Sunday and will be using the tickets next week.
glenda1 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:08 AM
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"letstalk" is WRONG!

All TGV tickets include a seat reservation, regardless of the fare.

Not only that, but as mentioned, Prem fares cannot be exchanged for another train on the same route. It's just like on airplanes: the cheaper the fare, the lower the flexibility.

Andre is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I used PREM FARE tickets this past July.. From Avignon to Paris, is a great way to travel.. Just be certain that you dont miss the train, because they are not reimbursable.
kismetchimera is offline  

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