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Setting up an account with SNCF

I've just set up my account. I do not have a chip and pin credit card. When I go to book my first ticket I have two collection option - either "collect from automatic machine with chip and pin" or "delivery free by post". I'm trying to charge this on my regular magnetic strip Master Card, so I assume I have to use the second option. It appears I have to set up at 3D secure process. If I choose the second option, is this where I set up the 3D secure?

Further down the page it asks for "contact details". Do I use my USA home address and FRANCE as my collection country or something else?? My goal is to print these at home prior to departure.

Sorry to ask so many questions but Ricks instructions don't match the screen I'm looking at. Thanks for your help!

Posted by
672 posts

Hi Susan,

Check out captaintrain.com - you should be able to buy tickets like you would from SNCF here, but it's much easier. Do a quick search on "captain train" to get more details. Good luck!

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks, I signed in ( wow much easier) but it doesn't show all the times listed on the sncf site. Is this normal?

Posted by
8867 posts

I tried to buy tickets on the SNCF site in the last couple of weeks and it rejected my attempt to use my Visa card. I was able to purchase the exact same tickets with the same Visa card on the https://www.capitainetrain.com/search/ website with no problem. I printed the tickets at home.

Posted by
7701 posts

Susan -- you can choose "pick up at kiosk" but then actually pick up the ticket at a ticket window (or an SNCF boutique) rather than a machine if you prefer to purchase from SNCF rather than Capitaine Train because of options. Just show your credit card to the clerk at the window or the boutique.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you everyone for your assistance. SNCF won't take my credit card and Capitaine doesn't list my preferred departure time. I'm thinking about booking the tighter connection on Capitaine.
I'm landing at CDG from the US on Delta at 6:15am. Can I make a 7:55 train to Reims from CDG?? Worried about getting through customs at "rush hour". Hope to be carry on only.

Is there another site i can try for booking?

Posted by
672 posts

Susan,

That tight of a connection would make me nervous.

On Captaine Train, after you've typed in "Aéroport-Paris-Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle CDG" and "Reims" and click on Search, there's a green box at the top of the second screen that says "Fastest Route Only". Have you tried de-selecting that box? I wonder if that would bring up more options.

I looked at dbahn.de (the Germain train site that shows schedules for all countries). Are you wanting to catch the 9:22 train that arrives in Reims at 11:16? On Captaine Train I see a 10:26 train that gets into Reims at 11:20 - only 4 mins later than the 9:22 train.

Posted by
8867 posts

I think your chances of missing that train is something to consider. Not only can it take you some time to get through immigration, but you have to consider the possibility that your flight can be delayed. Even if it meant waiting around for awhile, I personally would allow plenty of time cushion.

Posted by
14 posts

Dawn,
Thank you for your "deselect" suggestion. Even with that, I only see two trains on Capetain website. It lists the 7:44am departure and the 12:52 departure but not the 10:26 - which is the one I want. Interesting that you see that departure and I don't. I'm going to try a different browser and see if i get your results. Thanks for sticking with me through this saga....! It seems to be a big difference in price to have to buy them elsewhere.
Susan

Posted by
3486 posts

Right now I am seeing the 10:26 train you want on the SNCF site WITH a print at home option ( But keep in mind Kim's comment about going to a manned desk ) . http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/reservation/order Use FRANCE as your collection point and try clearing your credit card on your credit cards website for international transactions before proceeding . Also note that this particular ticket ( for 10EU more ) allows for exchange up to departure .

Posted by
16883 posts

I also would not book such a tight connection at CDG. Note that advance-discount tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged if you miss a train, so you'd have to purchase a new ticket at regular fare. You could also just plan to pay regular fare and buy the ticket upon arrival.

In addition to the credit card issue, SNCF does not deliver tickets to USA. But if the "Prems" rate is available, then that rate is sold as a print-at-home ticket and accepts payment through PayPal. See Rick’s France rail travel page.