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Trouble getting English language SNCF site

Trouble getting English language SNCF site

Jan 30th, 2008, 01:02 PM
  #1  
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Trouble getting English language SNCF site

Yes, I am clicking on the British flag in the lower left corner, which takes me to this page: http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/home/ According to MorganB's excellent instructions, I should be able to click on "advanced search", which I don't see on this page. When I click on "more criteria" I get another search page, but when I fill it out, leaving country as France, and click on search, I get flipped right back to the French language site that I started with. (And if I change country to U.S., of course I am switched to RailEurope).

I have done lots of practice searches on the French language site and I think, between my high school French and my trusty French-English dictionary, I could buy my tickets this way. But I prefer to do it in English. Can anyone think why I might be having trouble getting an English language site? Thanks for your help!
nicki is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:20 PM
  #2  
 
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I don't know, it did the same thing for me. Maybe they are folling around with the website and it's not working right now. Or, possibly, SNCF has decided they don't want to have people messing around on their website booking tickets for anything but the TGV if they can't read French. I tried some other languages (like German) and it does the same thing. Although if you click on the French flag down below, it also does the same thing, so something is wrong with that redirection from those flags.
Christina is online now  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:21 PM
  #3  
 
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I can't say why, but I have never succeeded in English, and I think the localization of the SNCF web site is just not that good. So just go for the French option, and make sure you do not agree to have tickets mailed to an address in France.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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I just discovered that too. Since RailEurope is owned by SNCF, it doesn't surprise me that they'd would want to cash in on their English speaking customers with higher priced tickets. I'm still going to try to use the French site to get discount fares. I've bought enough tickets when it was in English that I'm pretty sure I can deal with it in French. Guess I'll find out next week when I plan to try for a PREM fare.
JEFF_ is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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The SNCF site has recently been revised. You no longer can book tickets in English without being bumped to the RailEurope site. Another change is that if you want to pick up your tickets in a country other than France, you will be bumped to the version of the SNCF site that is in the language of the country in question.

So if you want to take advanctage of the advance purchase discount fares that are available on the SNCF site, you'll have to rely on your high school French and your trusty dictionary.
TimS is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:38 PM
  #6  
 
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Oh no! I have also noted this change and was hoping it was a temporary problem whilst website was upgarded/modified.
So this is for good then?
I too, am wanting to try for PREMS next month...
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:59 PM
  #7  
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Thanks everyone, for confirming that the site has changed and that its not my lack of computer skills that is the problem. Guess I just have to do it in French. One more question. Since I can't take my practice searches past the page where you put in your credit card info., can anyone tell me if there is anything likely to trip me up on the next page. I assume, if I get a PREMS ticket, that the next page asks for the name and birth date of the passenger. Am I correct that the following page will give me the actual ticket to be printed, but that I will also get an email with a PDF version of the ticket and a URL, for other printing options? And if I don't get a PREMS and have to pick up my ticket at the station, does the next page give the confirmation number? Is there anything else I should be aware of on those last pages? Thanks again!
nicki is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I THINK this is a permanent change. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it isn't.
TimS is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 02:03 PM
  #9  
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I suspect that it is probably a permanent change too, Tim. Makes sense (from their point of view). Oh well, I needed to brush up on my French anyway.
nicki is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 02:16 PM
  #10  
 
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I checked my stored url for English language, and got a "Document non trouvé" message. So the site has changed.

I went in through the front door ( http://www.voyages-sncf.com/ ) which gave me an introductory page in French -- no surprise there. Ignoring the language buttons, I clicked on "train" and it gave me a booking page in English! The site software must recognise that I am working from an English-speaking country.

I don't know if that will work from the US, but it might be worth a try.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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It's been two years since I booked a PREM'S ticket and at that time I did it in English. As I recall, I was sent an e-mail telling me how to print the ticket and was told that I could print the ticket as many times as I wished (in case of a printer malfunction, I suppose). If you get a regular ticket and choose to pick it up at a station or SNCF boutique, here is the wording in French: Retirer votre billet aux guichets d'une gare ou boutique SNCF en vous munissant du numéro de dossier et de la carte bancaire utilisée pour le paiement.
TimS is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Padraig, no luck for me doing what you did - I clicked on train also and next page is in French as well.
What a blow to all of us not proficient in French!
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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It's just switched to French for me as well!

I'm okay with French, so that wouldn't be a problem for me. It looks to me, however, as if basic operation of the booking procedure should be simple enough for an Anglophone, as enough of the words are so similar to their English cognates.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Mmmmm.... I think there are still some glitches. Now, when I go through the process and get to the page which says "if you are not re-directed ..... click here" it takes me back to home page again?
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 04:05 PM
  #15  
 
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It's really weird! I have the booking page in English again.

Try closing your browser, then re-opening it and starting over, and see what happens.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 04:13 PM
  #16  
 
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Most likely, this is not a conspiracy to promote French. SNCF just did not do a proper job when the site was localized to other languages, which is often the case with websites and software. Thus, the inconsistencies.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Still French for me and also not showing any PREM fares for my 'dummy' dates which it has been previously? Don't know if this is a coincidence or not?
We are going CDG (Roissy) to Toulon on 26th May on the 1354 and I have been checking as far out as I can go (for example today tried 28th April) and no PREMS.
Last week was showing 163E I think, now cheapest is about 282 in first!
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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WillTravel, was posting at same time... do you think that means there will be improvement or this is what we will be stuck with?
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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ozgirl,

The best fare I could find for CDG-Toulon was a Loisir fare of 99.20€. However, I found a PREM'S fare for Paris-Toulon as low as 25€. You may want to take either the RER or the Air France bus from CDG to Gare de Lyon to take advantage of the lower fare.
TimS is offline  
Jan 30th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Hi Tim, have just had another look and now there IS a PREMS fare showing! (I am just using 28th April as a 'test') for two in 1st class - 165.20 euro! I am positive it wasn't there half an hour ago!
Thanks for the suggestion of leaving from Paris, I did look at that and the IDTGV option but I think after nearly 30 hours of flying to get to CDG, I am willing to pay extra to just get on the train!

By the way, does it matter whether I put Roissy or Aeroport 2 in as the departure point?

This is so frustrating because I was feeling quite confident about booking this last week and now it appears to be a whole new ball game!
ozgirl is offline  

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