Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Trouble getting English language SNCF site

Trouble getting English language SNCF site

Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:48 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Don't be afraid of having your tickets mailed to an address in France. I bought tickets last June and had them sent to our hotel. I retrieved them on August 2.

The SNCF site has always sucked, and nicki's report is no different.
Robespierre is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:05 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
OK, update on the site... if I enter Great Britain as country (Australia doesn't appear at all) I stay on the TGV europe site (NOT getting thrown to RailEurope like before)and it continues as an exact English version of the French pages as far as I can see.
However, when you get to the "collection method" page, there is no option for printing own tickets despite (next) point '2' asking for an email address so that you CAN print your own???

Can someone else verify that's what they get please?
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:25 PM
  #23  
blh
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 752
I noticed a couple of days ago that the English version of the SNCF site had changed. However, I seem to be getting the same PREM fares from Paris to Brive using April dates on both the French and English sites.
blh is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2008, 09:31 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
If you have a French address which you fully trust, then of course you can have them sent to that address. But I've read more than one review where people have had such tickets sent to their French hotels, and the hotels did not properly manage them, leaving them without tickets.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2008, 09:34 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Exactly... from what I can decipher though, I can't see whether that option is still on the French page even?
Can someone help?
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 01:33 AM
  #26  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
I would also like to know what is the difference between CALAIS VILLE and CALAIS FRETHUM?
Also: If it shows the first train to LILLE FLANDRES as TER and the next part of the journey to Paris Nord as TGV - does this mean they change engines or we change trains???
Golly, I wish they would put this into English!!
tod is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 02:33 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
tod, I don't think an English language version would answer your questions!

You are being asked to choose between two stations in Calais, and you need to find which one is more suitable for you.

TER and TGV are two different types of train, and the difference is not simply what type of engine pulls them. A change of train is implied. I am sure you check further, you will find an interval (perhaps short) at the station where you change, and that different train numbers are used.
Padraig is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 02:42 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
ozgirl, the option is still there, and I get the information in English. See if this works: http://tinyurl.com/389w8f

I think your best bet is to get somebody with a reasonable reading comprehension of French to sit with you while you work through making a booking.
Padraig is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 03:13 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Sorry Padraig, that doesn't help, I can't see any reference to print at home?
This is what I get on Collection Method page... (if it works, I haven't done a tiny url before!)
http://tinyurl.com/39n6ek

In the meantime, I have received a reply from tgv europe (to an email which the website said it couldn't send!)saying that in Australia I can't receive by post nor print my own tickets which presumably was the case before anyway, that's why we had to leave country of collection as "France."

The options it gives (when I say Great Britain) are receive by post or collect from ticket machine.

Are you confirming it still gives print own tickets option on your page?

I'm confused!
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 03:33 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
ok, I have gone through the process leaving the country as France... best I can tell, it's the same. On the collection page it's the same two options (post or ticket machine) of which you HAVE to choose one.

Then, the next section says "Vos références de dossiers vous seront envoyées par E-mail. Elles seront indispensables pour retirer ou imprimer vos billets."
Which I presume roughly translates to fill in email address and you can print your own tickets?
This is what English site says also (in English) but the problem is you have ALREADY HAD TO CHOOSE "POST" OR "TICKET MACHINE" before moving on to this section?

This is my problem.

ps. when I try to select USA as country, nothing comes up at all.
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 03:41 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
ozgirl, there does not seem to be an option to print tickets for yourself. You can have them delivered to you in a longish list of countries that does not include Australia (I suppose that is where you are), New Zealand, the United States, or Canada. Or you can pick them up at SNCF booking offices on producing the credit card used to make the booking -- I think they want to verify that you live in one of the "approved" countries, and the country of issue of the credit card would serve that purpose.

I imagine that this is being done to preserve the interests of their agents in certain parts of the world.

The tinyurl you gave does not work for me, and I don't think you did anything wrong, as it does lead to a SNCF url that will not display. I am sure that their software recognises what country requests come from, and behaves differently for different countries (I'm operating from Ireland).
Padraig is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 03:51 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Thanks Padraig, I am not going mad then??

Last question before I give up for tonight - re my last entry, can you still print even after selecting one of the first two options?

I am happy to tackle the French page if I can do that but it looks like it is not an option?
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 04:04 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
ozgirl, your latest post arrived as I was composing my last one.

I tried to replicate what you did using Ireland as my location, and I am sent to tgv-europe.com. So there seems to be active management of the interests of SNCF agents (but PREMS fares are offered to me). That management might make it impossible for you to book direct with SNCF.

Yes, it seems you are right that the option to print a ticket seems to be there, just buried deep in the system.
Padraig is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 05:25 AM
  #34  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Praidig - Went to the TGVeurope.com site - I got all the way through the booking procedure and only when I gave my credit card number and clicked 'confirm' did it come back with a "Try again later" message!
Also sent me an email to try again.

I did, but instead of using my American Express the 2nd time, I gave them Visa - Still the same answer.
Now it looks like I have 4 seats reserved but not paid for!
tod is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 06:38 AM
  #35  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
I did it, I did it!!
Looks like the reason my card did not go through was because I gave an address in England for the delivery. Soon as I typed in "get the darn things out of a machine" it all went through - YAY!! 77.80euros for 2 tickets on Eurostar( able to change or cancel right before the dep.time)
tod is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 07:39 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
Hi, ozgirl.

I think I've figured out why you aren't given the choice of printing your ticket when you do a dummy booking, even though you found a PREM'S fare. Technically, the PREM'S ticket is for the CDG-Marseille TGV. You change to a regional train for Marseille-Toulon and PREM'S tickets aren't sold for those trains. So if your route includes both a TGV and a regional train and you do a single booking, the PREM'S ticket must be mailed to an address in France.

Here's the solution. Book the CDG-Marseille leg as a PREM'S ticket and print it yourself. Do NOT choose cancellation insurance and leave France as the default country. Book the Marseille-Toulon regional train ticket separately and choose the option of picking up the ticket at a station or SNCF boutique. Again, leave France as the default country. Retrieve that ticket at CDG.

On the French version of the SNCF site you can enter either Roissy or Aeroport CDG 2 TGV as your departure point.
TimS is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 12:56 PM
  #37  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,565
Way to go, Tim
ira is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 01:57 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
I wake up and my prayers have been answered!!

Thanks Tim, have done a dummy run and yes, the Marseilles fare seems to fix it, I now see three options for collection, at least in French - when I try on the English version (leaving country as GB) I have only the aforementioned two still.

Slightly inconvenient in that I have no option of the English language now so a certain amount of guesswork involved.
On the old site, you could still continue in English even though you selected France as country to collect could you not?

With regard to Marseilles to Toulon, would it be a safe thing to leave that until we get to Toulon as there are no PREMS anyway or would this be a train that may "sell out?"

Thanks everyone again for their input, I am sure this new site is going to create more headaches in the future!
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 02:01 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
sorry, "..leave that until Marseilles.."
ozgirl is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
ozgirl,

There is frequent regional train service between Marseille and Toulon and none of those trains is liekly to sell out. You could easily wait and buy your ticket in Marseille. However, you may have to stand in line long enough that you will miss the train you wanted to take. No big deal. Just get on the next one.
TimS is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO