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No Oui for me?

Because Strasbourg is to far to walk to from CDG, I decided to buy a couple of train tickets. Of course, being a wizened Rick Steves traveler, I pulled up oui.sncf to purchase said tickets, only to discover that it wouldn't take my order. Every time I entered my name and email, then clicked 'purchase', it would take me right back to the same screen and ask me to put my name in again. Finally, I noticed my region was set to the EU (little EU flag at upper right of the webpage), so I changed it to "Outside Europe" and was taken to Rail Europe.

Le sigh.

Anyone used oui.sncf successfully lately?

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
8395 posts

Seat61.com explains the issue you had. Seat61 recommends buying through Loco2.com or trainline.com, as jazz wrote.

Posted by
7695 posts

Indeed, just to support the first two responses— trainline or loco2 are your friends.

Posted by
16941 posts

Since SNCF owns Rail Europe, they want you to use their overpriced services. Trainline will add a few percentage points to the purchase to cover US credit card fees. I don't think loco2 does (yet).

Posted by
8395 posts

Loco2 does not add a fee. Trainline does.

Posted by
39 posts

Hi, Mike. Yes I have been using oui.sncf APP successfully many times in last few years. I created an account and am able to purchase tickets in advance and also on the fly. I can’t recall which setting I used but my options appear in Euros.

Posted by
384 posts

Thanks, y'all -- I am more the edified now. loco2 sounds like the place to go!

Posted by
16883 posts

I always use the EU flag to explore the site in English. No problem with moving through a test order, but actual credit card approval is a separate issue, requiring a 3D Secure system, which many US credit cards don't have. Only some of the cheapest fares are payable with PayPal.

Rail Europe doesn't sell a few categories of ticket, including the OUIGO budget trains, but in other cases, you should find their prices pretty similar.

How did you buy your Paris-Lyon tickets last year?

Posted by
384 posts

How did you buy your Paris-Lyon tickets last year?

Turns out I bought 'em through Rail Europe back then. Apparently, I'm a total schmuck when it comes to buying train tickets in Europe.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
10344 posts

Yep, we give you an okay to get tickets on RailEurope, despite the dire warnings you'll occasionally find here about paying "too much." If something's easier, and the price differential isn't huge, make life easier and do it.
It'll just be our little secret.

Posted by
6011 posts

For what it is worth, I am able to use the App and purchase tickets. I found I had to set up an account and a payment option, but my first purchase needed to be on my laptop online. I also had to go through a verification process with my credit card, I suppose that was the 3D Secure, I recall receiving codes from maybe both SNCF and my Bank. Once that first purchase was done, I could purchase on the app and did not require additional verification from then on.

Can't say that is the magic process, but only my experience. It may also be significant that the card I used is a Chip and Pin with PIN priority, so it may have some security features other cards do not. I can say that it has worked in every instance of manned and unmanned POS in Europe and a half dozen countries so far, really happy with it.

Posted by
337 posts

Hi
I guess it's only because you don't have a chip and pin credit card.
Something we have had for a number of years both mastercard and visa.

I've booked multiple trips with no issues, and also have the mobile app so ticketless.

regards

Posted by
11292 posts

Chip and pin vs. chip and signature is not an issue with online purchases. It's other things, like Verified by Visa (which US cardholders can usually get) and 3-D Secure (which US cardholders usually cannot get).

Posted by
31516 posts

Mike,

I generally use Trainline.com to buy tickets for trains in France, Italy, Germany and Spain (among others). Once you're registered on the site (including payment information), it's very user friendly. Since the payment details are set up when you register on the site, purchases generally go through without any problems.

As I recall, I went through the extra steps on my cards to get Verified by Visa and the MasterCard equivalent. That's a useful feature when making any "cardholder not present" purchases.