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TGV Avignon to Paris

I'm trying to understand the difference between ID TGV, TGV INOUI, and the regular TGV which I have taken in the past years. 2 years ago we were able to get a great €25 per person fare by booking 3 months in advance. I am looking for the train which does not charge extra to bring "checked" or full size bags. In addition, there seems to be more than one website or at least it looks different. And one last question: so far all the trains look like they arrive at Gare de Lyon but I remember taking the train from the Avignon TGV station to Gare Montparnasse, which is much closer to where I am staying in Paris.
Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated.

Posted by
8000 posts

What site are you using? This is the official one https://en.oui.sncf/en/ They changed it a couple of years ago.
ID TGV no longer exists TGV INOUI is just newer train a re-branding of older TGV trains.
Gare Montparnasse serves only the west of the country.

Posted by
3772 posts

If you are traveling between Paris and Avignon, the train station that you will use is Gare de Lyon. At times, there is track work or something like that and trains may go into stations that they do not normally use. That is the only explanation I can think of for why a train from Avignon would go to Gare Montparnasse.

Posted by
9776 posts

The TGV OuiGo trains are the lower-cost TGVs — as you note, they have restrictions on how much baggage you can bring, and they jam more people in each train car. Think budget airline — a less pleasant experience for a lower price.

You probably want just a regular TGV, so be careful not to choose a OuiGo train.

As someone said above, ID TGV doesn’t exist any more.

And trains to/from Avignon depart from/arrive at Gare de Lyon.

And yes, SNCF has rebranded itself so that its website is now oui.sncf instead of SNCF voyages or whatever it used to be. I think their rebranding is horrible and confusing.

Posted by
621 posts

Thank you everyone! I'm so glad to know which train I need to book (TGV or TGV INOUI )! And now I remember, the last time I took TGV to Paris was from Albi, not from Avignon and it was a couple of years ago. And the train I took before that was from Paris to Avignon which was at the great price of €25 per person. Probably no chance of getting such a great deal now, but who knows? I'll have to wait for 3 months in advance to find out. Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you! I tried other ways of getting this information before trying Rick's site. Always a mistake. There has never been a time when I have asked a question on this forum which is not been completely and thoroughly answered. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Posted by
621 posts

Again, many thanks for all your help. I just now saw a journey from Avignon TGV to Paris for an incredible price of €38 for 2 seniors. This was exactly 2 weeks before I actually need to take the journey but I was trying to see what might be possible in advance. Of course, this was an ouigo and this fare and did not include any baggage other than carry-on size. But when I click through it showed my larger, 2 m, 30 kg bags would be charged at just €5 each if I paid for them when booking the tickets. Does this sound possible? And, if so, are there other reasons to not take this direct train (it also looks like I might be able to book a quiet car for another €10). In other words, does ouigo differ from the regular TGV in other ways?

Posted by
8000 posts

But when I click through it showed my larger, 2 m, 30 kg bags would be charged at just €5 each if I paid for them when booking the tickets. Does this sound possible?

That is correct. Those are the rules. If you book online it is a lot cheaper than paying on the day of.

In other words, does ouigo differ from the regular TGV in other ways?

Not that much in my experience. Except It does not have wifi or dining car or a person walking through selling snacks coffee etc. but of course you can bring your on snack.

Posted by
16894 posts

OUIGO service is also different in requiring purchase online and tickets printed at home or downloaded to the OUI.sncf mobile app about 4 days prior to the train departure (or whenever received by e-mail, but confirmed seats are not assigned not too far ahead). Ticket cannot be purchased or printed at a station. Early check-in on the platform is also required. See the rules and follow all links when clicking through to purchase, or on the dedicated page for this service at https://ventes.ouigo.com/en-GB.

Posted by
621 posts

Thanks for the information! Any ideas as to whether waiting the 1-2 weeks until the regular TGV opens for bookings might provide a similar or perhaps cheaper fare?

Posted by
7002 posts

A regular TGV fare won't be cheaper, if you book on the morning (French time) of booking opening day you might get 29€ tickets but otherwise a 'good deal' is closer to 50€ for Paris to Avignon (an average deal would be 75, and full price about 100). So if you don't mind the thirty minute check-in, the slightly reduced comfort, and the lack of on-board catering, buy those ouigo tickets.

Posted by
46 posts

I think OUIGO gets a bad rap. We recently took OUIGO from Avignon to CDG because our plans changed & the regular TGV trains were full. Overall impressions:

  • The online-only ticket purchase was a bit confusing at first but worked out okay.
  • The ticket cost half as much as the regular TGV.
  • Given the extremely low ticket price, paying €15 for three additional/oversize bags was essentially irrelevant. (We probably only needed to pay for two bags but the extra €5 was cheap insurance.)
  • Because of the baggage fees most travelers didn't carry additional bags -- which meant that there was plenty of room for our luggage, quite unlike on the regular TGV. This was a very welcome plus.
  • As far as I could see the coaches were identical to the regular TGV. Same seating. Seats were reserved.
  • The 30-minute pre-departure check-in was actually a positive -- they had a very well-organized approach to getting the passengers to stand at the spot on the platform where the door to your coach would be located when the train pulled in. As a result the boarding procedure was quite orderly and un-rushed (despite the fact that the train was at the platform for only 3-4 minutes.)
  • There were a couple intermediate stops that the regular TGV didn't have. Adding ten minutes to a 2:40 trip was barely noticeable.
  • Did I mention the tickets cost half as much as the regular TGV?

Some of the posts on this forum made me a bit apprehensive about using OUIGO -- especially the comparisons to bargain airlines, which I avoid like the plague -- but I found the experience to be quite positive.

Posted by
621 posts

Thanks again, everyone for your continuing excellent suggestions! I've now come across (perhaps created) a problem. I signed up for an OUI SNCF account as the site indicated that I can book more quickly that way. After setting up the account (for which I gave them personal information) I went to complete my profile which is, again, supposed to streamline the whole process of getting tickets. All went well until I put in my date of birth (DD/MM/year). When I entered the correct information the site would not let me proceed, saying my birth date was incorrect. It wanted to revert back to one day earlier. Possibly I clicked the wrong date when originally signing up as I was doing this whole thing rather quickly. In any case, I cannot now enter my correct profile information in order to expedite purchasing a ticket. My other concern is that the E ticket might show an incorrect date of birth if I do not find way to correct this. Also, there seems to be no way to delete my account and start over. Does anyone have any idea how I can extricate myself from this mess?

Posted by
33130 posts

did you swap months and days in the confusion of American vs. rest of world dates?

Posted by
621 posts

Thanks, Chicago. That was one thing I was wondering about.
And thanks to you, Nigel. Nope. I did not swap days and months. I thought I put in the correct day, correct month and correct year. But no, after I registered, with no problem, I then went to fill out my profile in order to facilitate obtaining tickets. At that point they want you to fill in information again, including date of birth. They pre-filled it in with the incorrect day (off by one day), correct month, correct year. Every time I changed it to the correct day the red notice appeared under the box saying the date of birth was incorrect. There is absolutely no way around this that I can find. And no way to delete my account and start over. And no way to actually contact SNCF except by phone from the US (expensive). Since, as Chicago says the date does not appear on the E tickets and I don't remember them ever checking passports, possibly I could just leave the incorrect day as it stands. I just did not want there to be a time-consuming glitch when my whole purpose of this was to save time. Once again, I very much appreciate the very helpful responses.

Posted by
9776 posts

One small and correction to someone’s response above: there are more seats crammed in the same amount of space on the low-price OuiGo trains.

I don’t know how much difference it makes to any individual traveler, but they are fitting more people in each rail car because they have made the seats smaller and put more of them in there.

Posted by
12172 posts

If it's 25 euro, it's probably a OUI train - a fast train with no services.

For that trip, I'd seriously consider flying. It's about 50 euro one way and less time. Fly to Orly and take Orlyval into Paris. I travel light so not sure about luggage.

Posted by
621 posts

Thanks Kim and Brad. I think by the time we would drive the extra distance to Marseille from Avignon and get to the airport early for our flight and pay for 2 checked bags it will probably be faster to take the train from Avignon. But I will keep the possibility of flying in mind for my next trip. Thanks for the additional information about how crowded the cars in the cheaper option might be. I've pretty much decided to hold out until the regular TGV INOUI becomes available. Yesterday I found a way to send SNCF an email asking them to correct my birthdate on my account. Haven't heard back from them yet so I sent another today asking them to delete my account (which I now understand an agent can do). Then I can start over again. I think this should work as long as it can be done in a timely manner. Tickets are still not bookable for my date or the week before so I think I'm okay for another week or so.