Faced with very high demand, it is now difficult to find tickets to summer destinations. But there are solutions.
For this summer, the French have overwhelmingly chosen France and the train. As a result, demand for SNCF has never been so strong with already 8 million tickets sold for July and August, 10% more than in 2019.
Problem, this success causes difficulties today to find tickets. Many trains are full on the dates of major departures.
But solutions exist to get your hands on a ticket…
Postpone departure and return
The SNCF ensures it, places, there are some left. The operator emphasizes that all available trains will run and said to have anticipated this situation by putting 500,000 additional seats on the market, in particular thanks to the reorganization of traffic and the use of double trains for the same destination.
Interviewed by BFM Business, Christophe Fanichet, boss of SNCF Voyageurs, invites travelers to connect regularly to the SNCF Connect app but above all to be flexible and consider staggering departure and arrival days, carefully avoiding weekends.
“Yes, there are full TGVs but not that many, there are millions of places left,” he said on Monday on the set of Good Morning Business.
Try competing platforms
Trainline, Omio, Tictactrip… are websites and apps that centralize the railway offer in France but also in Europe.
train line for example offers routes from 270 train and bus operators in 45 countries. These platforms are connected to the SNCF system so do not expect to see tickets that are not offered by the SNCF Connect app.
However, it is possible to combine SNCF and car and/or bus journeys (with Blablacar or Flixbus) to establish an alternative journey if an SNCF connection is unavailable on your dates.
Look for “used” tickets
These are actually tickets purchased by consumers and then resold on specialized sites such as Zepass, Trocdestrains or Kelbillet. You can also find them on general ad sites like eBay Where The good corner. Or on social networks like Facebook.
Be careful though, this practice is supervised. Thus, the price of the ticket sold should not in theory exceed the original price. In addition, not all SNCF tickets are affected.
Can be transferred for resale:
-The cardboard ticket, the classic SNCF ticket, distributed in the majority of SNCF sales outlets (and which can be obtained via the Internet by selecting the free home delivery service) because it is not nominative (the name listed at the top right only refers to the reservation of the ticket). A controller does not have to verify the identity of a hard-bound ticket, so it can be offered as is for resale.
However, this type of ticket tends to become increasingly rare. For main lines, it is intended to disappear from self-service terminals. In reality, it mainly concerns TER journeys without a connection.
-For TGV-Ouigo tickets, it is possible to change the identity of the traveler free of charge within an hour of placing the order in the “My reservations” section. After this period, this modification is possible but charged 10 euros.
Cannot be transferred for resale:
– Nominative tickets (i.e. “e-tickets” printed in A4 format by the traveler and/or visible on smartphone even if they are paid for at the station and in cash…). Today, 90% of tickets purchased are e-tickets.
Pay attention to the wording
“The e-ticket is nominative, individual and non-transferable. During checks, the traveler in whose name the e-ticket is made out must be able to present valid photo ID: either the identity, either the passport or the residence permit” can be read on the SNCF website.
Beware of sanctions in case of control. If the controller on board the train notices that the name appearing on the ticket or the reduction card is not identical to that mentioned on the traveler’s identity document, he can report it. The rate of the fine is established according to a scale which differs according to the type of train and the distance travelled.
Queues for full Ouigo
From the end of June, the SNCF and the start-up Fairlyne will offer a waiting list to try your luck if a low-cost TGV Ouigo is full, by taking over the seat of a traveler who has given up to travel.
“We have a lot of trains that are full, especially in the summer, almost 40% (…) But we know that we have additional customers who would like to travel with us”, explained Florian Etchanchu, head of strategy. offer at Ouigo, during a presentation at the VivaTech show.
At the same time, “there are a lot of ‘no shows’, around 10%”, he added: travelers who ultimately do not take the train while they bought a ticket. But Ouigo tickets are neither cancellable nor refundable.
A new option, offered on the Ouigo website and application, will allow travelers renouncing their trip to register to offer their ticket. They will get back 80% of the price paid if their ticket is redeemed.
At the same time, those who want to travel in a Ouigo that is full will be able to register on a waiting list and will be offered the seats abandoned by those who have given up on their trip. They will then pay for their ticket “at the normal price”.