We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

Atlanta
Level Contributor
908 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

I need to buy a set of 5 TGV tickets for July 2, which should be available for purchase tomorrow, on April 2 (it is not yet available today, April 1, though may be late tonight). This morning I got an email stating that the SNCF sale would be on April 3 and so now I'm wondering if I should go ahead and get the tix tomorrow (or tonight, actually) or wait another day. I'd prefer to pay less as these tix are pricey right now, but I'm worried that if I wait until Apr 3, the tix will be snapped up so fast that they'll end up being even more $$$.

I also need tix for July 6, which weirdly ARE available right now for a reasonable price. Again, should I go ahead and get them or wait for the sale and risk the lower levels getting snapped up. It's running 36 Euros Nice-Paris right now per ticket, which seems pretty good to me.

I guess I just wonder how much of a sale this will be (or has been in the past). If it's 10% off sort of thing, then I'd rather just buy now rather than take the risk.

Any advice is appreciated.

Edited: 01 April 2014, 14:25
Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access...
493 reviews
from US$72.60*
Likely To Sell Out
Moulin Rouge Show Paris
3,167 reviews
from US$108.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Eiffel Tower Priority Access Ticket...
585 reviews
from US$51.30*
Likely To Sell Out
Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne...
465 reviews
from US$299.60*
Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,811 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

My understanding is that they 'go on sale' not that there's a sale. The big deal about this is that for the rest of the summer, the tix go on sale on april 3 as opposed to the regular date of 90 days out. I missed this last year and ended up paying way too much for our Basel to Paris tickets. If your dates are available today (or tomorrow), I'd book them asap. From my experience, they won't get any cheaper.

ETA: they used to go on sale at midnight Paris time, so 7pm EST I think.

Edited: 01 April 2014, 14:30
Atlanta
Level Contributor
908 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

THANK YOU. That is exactly the info I needed. I see what you mean. Normally August tix wouldn't be available until May under the 90 day rule. The "sale" isn't a discounted price; it's just the fact that the tix will be available for purchase. I think most Americans would read SALE as a discount, so your clarification is very, very helpful.

I'll purchase tonight at 7 PM EST. I have been testing that and it does work. Weirdly, there are times when I can "purchase" 91 days out, but today is not one of those days. : )

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,217 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

Based on the ad on the SNCF site I can see that casperjj is correct. The ad says that Summer bookings go on Sale April 3 and when you click on the link it further explains that this for travel from July 3 to Aug 24.

So tonight you should be able to get your July 2 tickets, and tomorrow night you can get the July 6 tickets. I did a quick search for July 1 and saw fares as low as 25 euros, but some trains were much more expensive. So you will need to be flexible to get the lowest fare.

Edited: 01 April 2014, 14:47
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,217 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

Are you also aware that SNCF doesn't like US-issued credit cards. I did have luck with AMEX, but it was a no go last year with 2 different Visa crads.

As an alternative you can use www.capitainetrain.com

Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,811 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

F1racegirl, maybe you can help me with something related. I need to book Thalys tickets from Paris to Ghent for late July. I've been searching and searching the SNCF website. My understanding is that this early sale only covers SNCF trains. So other TGV trains to Brussels but not the trains from Paris to Brussels. Since I'm travelling on Thalys, while they SELL Thalys tickets, it wont' be covered by the early sale promotion... am I correct with this?

Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,811 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

RB, another thought, I don't think Europe has changed their time for daylight savings yet. What used to be 7pm our time (for their midnight), may actually be 8pm. I'd look into that. I think the clocks change this weekend there.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,217 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

casper, I'm sorry I have no idea about the Thalys tickets. You might try www.seat61.com

Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
828 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

The clocks in Europe have already changed in the early hours of Sunday morning. It's always the last weekend in March.

Edited: 01 April 2014, 15:31
Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,811 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

Thanks Michael. Sorry about that RB, I'm a week off :-)

Thank you f1racegirl. I had a look and didn't see anything but I just posted on the Train forum. Someone there should know.

Atlanta
Level Contributor
908 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Wait for SNCF sale or buy early?

I'm going stalk the site beginning around 6 PM and then on the hour hence. Thanks for the heads up re daylight savings though! I hadn't considered that. My main problem with the ticket prices is that we're leaving out of CDG. THose are more expensive, it seems (around 280-300 Euros for all 5 of us, so ~ 55 Euros each). I looked at going out of Gare de Lyon but by the time I add the RER ticket price, it's competitive with the higher CDG price. And then there's the PIA of just getting to the other station (with kids in tow!). And our arrival time in NCE is not much different.

We're on a 8 AM arrival (international long haul) and I'm planning on taking the direct TGV from CDG-NCE at 2 PM. (There is a 12 PM but it has a near 2 hour layover in Marseille.) The alternative would've been from Gare de Lyon at 12, which worried me with time for transport to station, or 2, which doesn't make sense unless I can save more than $100 or so (doesn't look like it). Any thoughts on my rationale here are appreciated.

F1racegirl. Thanks for the tip re SNCF and visa. That's good to know. I was actually planning on using capitainetrain anyway b/c I find their site so much friendlier. I have an amex for SNCF, if necessary, but I'll use my no foreign fee visa on CT if it works!

You all have been fabulous help! Thanks again.