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Warning: Discriminatory prices for Paris-Barcelona TGV trains

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You should now make sure you book these trains from a French-based retailer such as www.captaintrain.com .

As from this month, Renfe-SNCF has introduced discriminatory pricing for the France-Spain TGV & AVE trains.

This includes all the direct France-Spain TGV & AVE trains including those between Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Perpignan and Barcelona.

French and Spanish ticket retailers may continue to offer the complete fare range, from €59 upwards in 2nd or from €99 upwards in 1st class, in the case of Paris-Barcelona.

All other ticket retailers not based in France or Spain - including uk.voyages-sncf, loco2.com, raileurope.com, raileurope.ca, raileurope-world.com and (incredibly) even voyages-sncf.be, voyages-sncf.de, voyages-sncf.nl and so on - are no longer permitted to sell any fare level below €100 (or below €118 it seems, in 1st class).

In other words, if you buy tickets from any non-French retailer you may pay €100 even when a €59 or €70 fare is in fact available, thus being overcharged by up to €41.

To avoid being overcharged in this way, you should now buy tickets for this route at French-based www.captaintrain.com

This is pretty much the only option for these trains now with the correct prices from €59, and an English language version and worldwide credit card acceptance and print-at-home tickets.

Unless of course you want to book at the main SNCF site voyages-sncf.com in French, avoiding its Machiavellian redirects to subsidiary sites showing the new discriminatory prices, or at renfe.com with its strange English translations and less than perfect credit card acceptance.

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