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French rail discount.....surprise!!

Not really a question. I was in France recently and bought some point to point rail tickets. Each time, the agent asked if I had any discounts. I said no, knowing I don't have a fair reduction card, rail pass, or anything similar. At my last purchase the agent asked and I again replied no. He then asked if I was aware there was a "pensioner's discount" of 25 percent for rail travel. I said no, but since I was A US citizen I assumed I did not qualify. He said nationality made no difference, and the age was either 60 or 65 (don't remember) for the discount. I told him I was 65 and he gave me the discount. Non of the other agents asked, and I assume they just can't ask your age...just if you qualify for the discount. So, if you are a senior traveling in France, tell them your age and ask if you get a discount. I could have had some significant savings if I had done my homework!! I don't know about other European countries....but I will find out before my next trip!!

Posted by
16729 posts

Its 60, and yes I found that out last year. Its only on regional trains, not TGV and it is only for travel after 9 am. My wife did not get the discount, and she would have killed me if I asked. That is why there is a box in the inquiry page on the website asking your age. They'll give you the 25% if you qualify. I also bought tickets online from SBB and it backfired on me. My wife got a 25% discounted savings fare but I got full fare with a 10% "pensioners discount".

Posted by
3580 posts

It's good to know these things. I bought a senior rail pass in London recently. It's good for a year of big rail discounts after 10 am if you are old enough. It cost 30 GBP. I saved the cost of the pass as soon as I bought 3 rail tickets.

Posted by
1850 posts

We just, ahem, entered this bracket and are learning to always ask, anywhere. Same thing happened to us with French trains, our problem, not theirs. In the UK locals in line around us at some sights often were surprised to learn of discounts themselves. I wonder if such discounts have been more common here than in Europe? but really don't know. Gosh, if older age gets you 50 cents off a McDonald's coffee, I'm in.

Posted by
3580 posts

Look for OAP rates in Britain. For those of us not embarrassed to admit being senior citizens it stands for Old Age Pensioner. When ordering tickets from Eurostar, they ask for age. I think a discount goes with being an OAP. Sometimes the expression for this same sort of discount in Britain or elsewhere is "concessions." I've seen it in Italy.

Posted by
263 posts

Thanks for all your commebnts.....I had just assumed since I was not a resident of the country, I would not be eligible for discounts. From nbow on, I will be asking! Lots of businesses in the states do offer discounts. I sometimes ask, sometimes they just give it to me. I guess that's one benefit of aging.

Posted by
16729 posts

As my errr elder sister told me, "Always ask for the senior citizen discount at the movie theater, no matter what your age is. To a 16 year old movie theater clerk, anyone over 40 looks positively ancient."