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TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

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Perth
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TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Hi All,

My partner and I are travelling to Interlaken, Switzerland from Paris and I've looked at a few booking agent sites and none of them seem to provide online ticketing options that will allow me to simply print the ticket before travelling.

I'm from Australia, so getting the tickets delivered is not really an option (and if it is, the delivery costs almost as the tickets).

Can anyone recommend a site that allows me to book the entire journey online and then print the tickets. I don't want to have to collect from a ticketing agent or get them posted to me.

I have looked at raileurope and SBB

Cheers

Paul

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Since this is an international trip it is very likely that you will not have the option to print your own ticket. That option is only available for certain fare classes on specific trains. There are really only two places you need to look to book your trip and they should both give you the same fares and the same options in terms of timetables and ticket retrieval. The two sites are www.voyages-sncf.com and www.tgv-europe.com but before using either you should take a look at the excellent information on www.seat61.com that will provide you with all the guidance you need to successfully complete your booking. You should have no problem finding a train at a suitable time and making your booking on either site.

If you use the tgv-europe.com site select Great Britain as your "home" country. For the SNCF site leave the default "home" country as France. Using another country (I think including Australia) will likely cause your request to be routed through RailEurope who will charge you substantially more for the same ticket with fewer options.

You can only book your travel up to three months ahead but if you book as early as possible within that window you should be able to find advance purchase "Piccolo" fares for less than €60. Note that these tickets are non-refundable and cannot be changed once booked.

Assuming you do not have the option to print your tickets, simply select the option to pick them up in France. All you then need to do is take a printout of your email confirmation with the EXACT SAME (this is critically important) credit card used to make the booking to the ticket window at any train station or SNCF "boutique" in France.

Edited: 03 January 2010, 19:14
Sunshine Coast...
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2. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

IrishRovr has given you excellent advice.

I will only add that collecting your tickets (unavoidable for this international journey you are planning) is relatively easy. You can collect them from any of the SNCF stations (not Metro stations) or the numerous SNCF boutiques scattered through out the city during your time in Paris. If you are just transiting in Paris then collect them just before your train departs.

I would allow half an hour but if there is only a short queue the process only takes a few minutes. You won't need to speak French just a simple "Bonjour Madame/Monsieur" and then "Merci" at the end will do.

Hand over your email and (can't stress this enough) the EXACT credid card used to book the tickets. It is used for ID purposes and no further charges are made - so even if it has expired you still need the one you used to book the tickets.

A few minutes later you will have your tickets and you're good to go! It really is very easy.

Have a great trip!

Perth
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3. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Thanks for the terrific advice! Looks like the pick-up option will be easiest.

Thanks again!

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Sorry, I am not ansewering any question here. As we are going to do the same trip on July 3rd, I just have some additional questions. We will take the TGV to Basel/Geneva and then continue to Interlaken. We are family of two adults and two childrens (5 and 13).

I am pricing out Paris-Basel for April 3rd now and 3 tickets cost 60 Euro, but 4 tickets cost 100 Euro. Do they have only 3 tickets on sale?

Is there any way to buy TGV tickets more than 3 months in advance?

Why there is a price difference between RailEurpoe.com and TGV-Europe.com for Paris-Basel on the same train?

We live in USA and if we use UK as our home, could there be a problem?

We will buy 2 swiss cards and do we have to make reservation for Basel-Interlaken part or just arrive in Basel and get on to a swiss train with the swiss cards?

Thanks in advance for whatever you can answer.

Ohio, USA
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5. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

>>>I am pricing out Paris-Basel for April 3rd now and 3 tickets cost 60 Euro, but 4 tickets cost 100 Euro. Do they have only 3 tickets on sale?<<<

Probably. If I am not mistaken this is Easter weekend so the cheap seats will sell out very quickly.

>>>Is there any way to buy TGV tickets more than 3 months in advance?<<<

No. You can buy tickets for the specially "branded" TGVs known as iDTGVs up to 180 days ahead but there are not a lot of these trains and they do not run on all routes. You can find more info at www.idtgv.com RailEurope will "sell" you tickets before the three month limit but the truth is they just take your money and book the ticket when the booking period opens.

>>>Why there is a price difference between RailEurpoe.com and TGV-Europe.com for Paris-Basel on the same train?<<<

RailEurope adds a "commission" on every ticket it sells and then has the added gall to require you to pay extra to print out an e-ticket. They are to be avoided whenever possible, which is usually. See my previous reply about seat61.com for more info.

>>>We live in USA and if we use UK as our home, could there be a problem?<<<

Other people have done it thousands of times with no problem.

>>>We will buy 2 swiss cards and do we have to make reservation for Basel-Interlaken part or just arrive in Basel and get on to a swiss train with the swiss cards?<<<

Check with the good people on the Swiss forum.

Edited: 04 January 2010, 01:54
Perth
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6. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Sorry to bother everyone again, however I'm having trouble booking on the SNCF website (in french). I am able to navigate the site quite easily and get all the way through to the booking stage and everytime I enter my CC details and click "book" I get an error.

I have tried using both of my mastercards, along with my partners and we get the same message each time. I'm considering trying with my Amex, however this is a work card and I try to avoid using it for personal use.

has anyone else encountered similar problems?

Ohio, USA
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7. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

It is possible that your cards are blocked because this will show up as a "foreign" transaction. Call your CC issuer and ask that any anti-fraud block of this kind be lifted temporarily.

NSW Australia
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8. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Hi AusPaul...I was having the same problems & it was actually that I had a date in wrong...birthdate as 56 instead of 1956. I think it said technical error but as soon as I fixed the date all went thru. I would suggest that you double check that you have entered every field, and that there isn't just a little thing not right.

Good Luck

australia
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9. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

Hi below is a link to instructions I created for another OP, you must say you are picking up the tickets in France and also you are in Australia to get your credit card to work. There was a specific way you had to enter information in to remain on TGV/SNCF and not get redirected to RailEurope. If the country you say you are booking from does not match your IP address it will not accept the credit card

There is a lot of data matching nowadays to prevent fraud

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k30500…

The site did change after I had written that but the process was similar

10. Re: TGV Query - Paris to Interlaken (Switzerland)

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