TGV tickets for Provence

Jan 27th, 2010, 04:29 AM
  #1  
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TGV tickets for Provence

I need to buy train tickets from CDG airport to Avignon for late April. I will be picking up a rental car in Avignon. Is there more than one train station, and if so, whcih one should I choose? I will be returning from Aix-en-Provence 2 weeks later. I will need to turn in the car, catch the train, and get to CDG. Is the Aix station "outside" the city? Do I need to spend the night in Paris in order to make my flight? I have not been to this area before and would appreciate all help with logistics. Thank you, Susan
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Jan 27th, 2010, 06:03 AM
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What time is your flight out of CDG?

Pick up the car at Avignon's TGV station, which is on the outskirts of town -- not the Avignon central station. Similarly drop your car at the Aix TGV station, which is well out of town.

When flying in to CDG, it's hard to make train reservations ahead of time. With flight delays, immigration delays, luggage delays, you don't know exactly which train to take. Wait until you arrive to buy your train tickets unless you can afford to pay for the journey twice -- or if you can save a lot by booking ahead of time.
Mimar is online now  
Jan 27th, 2010, 06:03 AM
  #3  
 
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The train station that you want for Avignon is the TGV one.
Good idea to spend last night at CDG airport. We always use the Ibis right there.We will be going that route in July.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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You might pay three or four times more than you need to by waiting until you're there to get a ticket. You can easily avoid this by buying a PREM ticket online now; just make sure you allow yourself about 2.5 - 3 hours on the ground at CDG. PREM tickets can be bought 3 months ahead of time. They are nonexchangeable and nonrefundable and you print them out yourself. I've never missed a TGV, but I always plan to spend a couple of hours at the airport before departure.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 06:27 AM
  #5  
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Thank you so much for all this information! My flight into CDG arrives at 6:10 am. My flight back home leaves CDG at 1:30 pm (I pretty much knew I should spend the night in Paris). What website do I use to purchase PREM tickets?
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Jan 27th, 2010, 06:58 AM
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Pick up your car at Avignon TGV. The first direct train you could hope to catch from CDG to Avignon TGV departs at 08:21. The next choice would be to depart CDG at 09:25 and make a connection at Lyon Part Dieu.

If you're willing to risk it, you could leave Aix-en-Provence TGV at 06:04 and arrive at CDG at 10:01. That's plenty of time to catch your flight; but you run the risk, however small, of a delayed train causing you to miss your flight. As you have said yourself, it would be wise to spend the night in Paris.

Book your tickets at www.tgv-europe.com. To keep the site in English and to avoid being bumped to the Rail Europe site which doesn't offer discount fares, choose Great Britain as your country of residence.
TimS is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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You may be too late to purchase your PREM tickets for your late April trip if it is before April 27 (today + 3 months). Agree with St Citq - treat a train connection just like an air connection. Don't wait till you get there to pay a whopping fare - purchase cheapie fares ahead, and if the plane is 2+ hours late, then pay the "whopper" fare. PREMS are in the 40E range.

Many times we've taken the TGV directly to CDG for our same-day flight home. The TGV probably has a much better record for on-time arrival than inter-France air connections. If you are comfortable with taking a same-day air connection - I don't see much difference in taking a same-day TGV connection (but allow 2 1/2 between arrival & departure).

Stu Dudley
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Jan 27th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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I think there is a big difference between an air connection and train, because if the air connection is late, the airline is responsible for getting you on another flight at no cost (assuming it's the same ticket). If your train is late, you lose the entire cost of your very expensive transatlantic air fare. So I can't agree with that tactic. I've had TGVs delayed 2-3 hours in France, unexpectedly. Yes, it is rare, but it does happen.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Will United, AA, Continental, NW, etc put you on the next flight if your Air France (or easyjet) flight is late??? Delta might - if it is on the same ticket.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 27th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Quite a few of those morning flights from the United States arrive an hour early due to the tailwinds.

Book your tickets at www.voyages-sncf.com
kerouac is online now  
Jan 27th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Most of the Prem's fares are still available two weeks before the travel date. I don't understand the obsession with jumping on the computer exactly 90 days before traveling. I go to Avignon in July every year, and even then I don't both booking my tickets until June.

On top of that, there are now "late Prem's" fares where they liquidate the unsold seats in the last 3 or 4 days at cutrate prices.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 10:49 AM
  #12  
 
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I don't know if they still do it, but I have bought a United return ticket from San Francisco to Avignon which included TGV Paris-Avignon for same price as SFO-CDG. One need only exchange the United voucher for a ticket at the station.

It worked very smoothly.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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A post several years ago mentioned that Delta will also do the Flight/TGV ticket

Stu Dudley
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Jan 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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That is becoming very common all through Europe. Most of the major high speed trains also have 'flight' numbers.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 02:28 PM
  #15  
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Am I looking at the right train station out of Aix? Is it quite a distance from the city (like 20 miles)? Should a one-way first class ticket be about $130-150? I am not finding anything called PREM. Thank you again, Susan
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Jan 27th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Yep - the train station is about 20 miles out of town. Aix en Provence TGV.

For the 7:43 TGV from Aix to Paris on 4/28
1st class PREMS are 45E
2nd class PREMS are 24E

other times may have different fares

Stu Dudley
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Jan 27th, 2010, 04:16 PM
  #17  
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Stu,
You are saving my life in planning this trip. How do I purchase PREM tickets? The prices I am seeing are over $100 pp on the raileurope website; do I need to enter something special or look elsewhere? Thank you, Susan
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Jan 27th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Don't use raileurope - they don't offer PREMS

Use the SNCF site. Enter your home country as the UK and print your tickets on your PC. Practice first, but don't practice on the day you really want to purchase tickets. Tell your CC company that you'll be doing a charge in France.

http://voyages-sncf.com/dynamic/_SvH...mepageUK&WB=HP

CDG is Roissy
Aix is Aix en Provence TGV
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Jan 28th, 2010, 02:46 AM
  #19  
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How do I select my seats? Which are the best? I don't like to sit facing back because I get motion sick. May thanks.
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Jan 28th, 2010, 03:27 AM
  #20  
 
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For April 28th, the SNCF site is proposing a 1st class Prem's for 36.90€ at 9:16 a.m.
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