TGV Train tickets (non-eurail pass): is it better to buy them online before arriving in France or easier to buy once there?

7 replies

gaschmon

QF

Member since 19 Feb 2013

Total posts 28

TGV Train tickets (non-eurail pass): is it better to buy them online before arriving in France or easier to buy once there? Have found ticket prices on raileurope.com.au cheaper than on the official French railways site sncf.com.

bob342

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 35

We travelled from Paris to Bordeaux and Bordeaux to Irun last year, and we bought our tickets Loco2 (www.loco2.com).

I'm not familar with the train system in France, and it was stupidly easy to book tickets that suited us.

Our tickets from Paris we could print at home.

Our tickets at Bordeaux, we had to collect from the station.

Personally, I found it easier just booking online before we left AUS, that way I knew everything was organised, but from what I could see it looked just as easy to retrieve our ticket in Bordeaux, than booking an brand new one.  If it's a print at home ticket then it's obviously much much easier.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

apacau

Member since 02 Jun 2013

Total posts 34

Not sure ablout the loco2 website you refer to, but I have found in the past that booking trains via 3rd party sites often had much higher ticket prices than booking through the rail operator (in this case SNCF), plus you were limited to major high-speed routes, not the full networks.

It used to be notoriously difficult to book online directly through the operators from Australia, but in the last couple of years this has changed. In fact just last week I took a couple of trains in Germany booked via the rail operator (DB) website and used their "print at home" option which allows you to print the ticket as soon as the ticket is booked, anywhere in the world.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

I just wanted to comment on the German efficiency involved in their ticketing, I also booked online with DBBahn and it was a First Class 10 day unlimited travel within 30 days ticket with the International extension, which had to be ordered from outside Europe, and was delivered to my Melbourne home on the exact day they claimed it would from DBBahn Singapore.Their trains ran like clockwork, and all the ICE and IC's were just supurb. Getting back to SNCF, I'd order it directly, no mark up in  commissions payable hopefully. If you find huge differences in prices on some other website, I'd be a bit concerned.

asw

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Aug 2012

Total posts 11

Ditto.  Have booked both SNCF and DB tickets online direct.  Just works.

FWIW: The DB Navigator / DB Tickets apps are also very easy to use.

apacau

Member since 02 Jun 2013

Total posts 34

Plus I should add that (no different to airline tickets), if the price is right, my preference is always to book direct with the operator, as I believe that when/if things go wrong they can't so easily tell you to go away and address any issues with the booking provider!

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Exactly.

jianga

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Feb 2015

Total posts 141

I used both SNCF and DB, among with other European rail providers websites (OBB, NS, etc). Booking directly online with the train provider is very easy and highly recommended. Just print tickets at home and go straight to your platform when you're at the station and board the train. Do keep in mind though, make sure you carry the credit card you booked the tickets with when travelling, ticket inspectors onboard often ask to check your credit card with the tickets. Also, most TGV services require seat reseravation in advance which is done when booking via SNCF, so if you see cheaper price on 3rd party websites, they may not have added the seat reservation costs yet so be careful.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on TGV Train tickets (non-eurail pass): is it better to buy them online before arriving in France or easier to buy once there?

Attach Files