I'm trying to book our Paris-Avignon tix and have the option of buying the deeply discounted PREM's. But when it comes to the page where I can choose how to collect the tickets, the option of printing isn't available. Has SNCF removed this option? I'm afraid of selecting the automated ticket machine option because I hear the French machines don't take credit cards outside of the country.
Enter the date and time of day you wish to travel and click on "Search now." Select one of the times shown ("Choose this outward journey"). You'll get a new page. Leave France as the default country and click on "continue" (or whatever it says to do at the bottom of the page). You'll get a new page with several train times and a list of fares available for those times. Select the PREM'S fare for the time you want. Important: Pick only a train that goes directly to either Avignon TGV or Avignon Centre. Do NOT pick a time that shows your having to take a bus from Avignon TGV to Avignon Centre. Click on "Choose this outward journey." You'll get a new summary page. Click on "Search now." Decline cancellation insurance. Click on "Confirm." Choose "Print your ticket yourself" and fill in the fields for name and e-mail address and click on the box saying you accept the conditions. Enter your credit card information and then confirm and pay for your order.
I just did a dummy booking and I would have been able to print my ticket. What time and date do you wish to travel?
August 10 and August 13. I tried two different browsers multiple times, but every time I was never given the print option.
When we bought SNCF tickets on the web a few years ago, we encountered the credit card issue you are talking about. Fortunately, I had a printout of the confirmation (not the ticket itself, but the confirmation). This had the confirmation number. We just went to a ticket window and they were able to print our tickets, using the confirmation number. If the SNCF site still gives you an option to pick up tickets at a ticket window, that could be an alternative.
I ran out of room on my previous post. Taking a TGV to Avignon TGV and then a bus to Avignon Centre technically requires TWO tickets, a PREM'S for the Paris-Avignon TGV leg and a regular ticket for the Avignon TGV-Avignon Centre bus. Since you cannot print regular fare tickets, you can only get the PREM'S-regular combination by either having them mailed to an address in France ou getting them from an automatic ticket machine. And, as you , know the ticket machine won't accept US credit cards because they don't have embedded chips. You probably could go to a ticket window and get your tickets there because the computers at the window DO accept US credit cards (a choice that is given on the SNCF site when booking a standard fare ticket), but I don't know if I would take that chance.
Either book one of the TGV trains that goes direct Paris-Avignon Centre, or book the Paris-Avignon TGV direct train and take the shuttle bus from the TGV station downtown. It's an Avignon city bus timed to meet the TGV trains and cost about 1.50 euro..you should be able to get a ticket from the info counter in the station or on the bus. Or take a taxi...it's only about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the TGV terminal. That way, you'll be able to buy a PREMS ticket and print it out on line. Just don't sign up for trip insurance, or it'll ask for your home address...and your booking will be doomed!
I've been having a lot of trouble trying to use the SNCF website. When I put in the route I want to take and hit SEARCH, it showed me the train I wanted, but when I tried to CHOOSE THIS OUTWARD JOURNEY, it bumped me over to the homepage. I've tried multiple times and have never been able to see how to book a ticket or how much tickets cost. What am I doing wrong?
You may be doing nothing wrong. Sometimes the site malfunctions. When it does, being bumped back to the home page is often the result.
What date, time, and route are you trying to get fares for?
Thanks for your help! I'm going to try again. The SNCF can be hard to navigate, but the cheaper prices are worth it!
I read this thread here very carefully, and tried my hand at booking my train tickets. Well, not quite booking, just trying to figure out where to buy them from. I tried side-by-side comparison between RailEurope and SNCF. I need to travel from Zuerich to Strasbourg on August 24, and then from Strasbourg to Paris on August 25. What I get is $97 total for both tickets at RailEurope and 82Euro at SNCF. That's about $25 dollars difference. And actually I want to say it is not the money that bothers me, I am just too chicken to make the reservations at SNCF. What if it does not work? Is RailEurope a "safer" place for ordering tickets, in case something does not work? I booked all my hotels and plane tickets online, and I shop on eBay like there is no tomorrow, but this things scares me:) Any advice?
Besides direct TGVs from Zurich to Strasbourg, you can take regional trains (Zurich-Basel and then Basel-Strasbourg). There is frequent service all day. Buy your ticket in Zurich.
For Strasbourg-Paris on 25 August you can save a lot of money if you book at sncf.com. I found both €39 PREM'S (2nd class) fares and €39 PROMO ETE 1 (1st class) fares for that date. Leave France as the default country, do NOT choose cancellation insurance, and print your own ticket.
Tim, I did it! It worked just fine, and I now have a 1 class promo ticket for 39 euros. I will also take your advice and buy a Zuerich-Strasbourg ticket when I am already in Switzerland. Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I guess I needed to hear it from a guy;)
Have a great trip!
I just read through this thread again and noticed that Tim says you can only print Prem tickets from the SNCF site. To clarify - it's not possible to print tickets at the regular fare off of the website??
If the website won't let you print out tickets at home, you will have to pick up the tickets when you arrive in France. You will be emailed a confirmation number and all you have to do is enter that number in one of the automatic ticket machines, or go to one of the staffed ticket counters. It's any easy process.