Need TGV info.

Arriving at CDG 11:30 on a Monday and want to take TGV directly from CDG to Avignon.
1. Is it smart to book my tickets ahead of time since I know my itinerary.
2. The closest train to my arrival leaves at 2:00; will that allow time to get through customs and to the train station at the airport?
3. If I'm running late can I use my 2:00 ticket on the next train?
Any other info is appreciated.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
5219 posts

Looks like all the Monday trains at 2:00 pm (1:58 pm actually) are full fare only for the next 6 weeks. The note is "changeable on day of departure for 12 euro administration fee." I'd ask TGV for some more clarification on this. It would be good to have ticket in hand if you are running late as the ticket line could be 15-30 minutes and you would need a PIN&chip card to buy from a machine. The next train is 3 hours later.

Posted by T.
Seattle, WA, US
371 posts

While it is smart to buy TGV tickets in advance for peak times, you can buy them at full price anytime the day of departure if there are seats available--which there usually are except during holidays. I arrived at CDG at 8:30 recently and caught the 9:40 TGV to the west. Because of the possibility of my flight being delayed, I did not buy tickets in advance. However, I did have a true chip-and-PIN card (from Andrews Federal Credit Union) which worked in the SNCF machines, saving me many minutes in the ticket office line. I also had carry-on bags only and landed at Terminal 2, where the train station is located. I think you will make your 2 p.m. TGV to Avignon, but I wouldn't buy at ticket in advance. If you are arriving at Terminal 1, you need to study carefully the CDGVAL shuttle before you go, since you'll need to take it to Terminal 2.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8845 posts

Advance purchase may save money and guarantees you a seat on that train, if you make it. But tickets are sold up until the departure of the train, if seats are still available. Using a ticket on the next train is only possible with full-fare tickets; read the specifics online before purchasing.

2.5 hours is enough time to connect at CDG if all goes well, but not if your flight is late. I would either book a later train, for a better chance at not missing it, or plan to buy tickets in person for the next available departure. If the airport station advises you that the best/only available train is leaving from Paris Gare de Lyon, you can take the Les Cars/Air France bus #4 directly there.

Posted by JHK
Fremont, California, United States
448 posts

If you buy a ticket ahead of time, you should know that even for full fare tickets you will have to make your changes prior to the departure time of train.