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Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

New Zealand
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Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

We leave Barcelona on Sept 30 and wish to go to Avignon to meet friends, pick up a hire car, and drive to Vinsobres (South of France).

I have seen various old threads on TA that explain how to do it but I have tremendous difficulty booking these tickets. The RENFE site does not recognise the itinerary, and I have even tried booking Barcelona to Figures-Vilafant (France) ~where I'm advised to change trains for Avignon~ but it won't recognise that either.

So... now I'm thinking of flying to Paris (via Vueling - to Orly airport) and getting a return train trip from Paris to Avignon (since we fly out of Paris when we leave on October 7 anyway). But this seems very expensive and a lot of travel time just to get to the south of France.

Any advice or alternatives is appreciated but since we have agreed to meet our friends at Avignon I suppose we are stuck with that as a connection point?

Edited: 08 September 2013, 10:46
Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

i've just checked on renfe and you can buy tickets from Barcelona to Avignon TGV station. It takes 4h50 min and cost is around 90 euros. You must do a short transfer at Figueres-Vilafant (spain), it is just cross the platform and change to a french train, and later a second transfer at Narbonne (40 minutes trasnfer).

checking on sncf web it is cheaper 75 euros, con there you can select some different class on french trains.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 11:57
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

You do best to book Barcelona-Figueres with Renfe, and Figures-Avignon with SNCF. This is because Renfe and SNCF have separate computer systems, and neither can sell e-tickets for the other's services.

New Zealand
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3. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

I am pulling out my hair! I am on the RENFE site and I enter my itinerary - Barcelona to Figures - and then the date and number of people travelling and then when I click 'schedules & prices' it takes me to a page that has no travel details on it. (I've done this a number of times, the result is the same - is it because I am from a foreign IP address?)

New Zealand
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4. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

okay, now I am SCREAMING!

I just booked tickets for my family (182 Euros) via http://en.voyages-sncf.com/

When payment was confirmed I am told they will MAIL me the tickets!! But I am leaving in 36 hours to fly to Europe!! This is outrageous! The site says in one place (I checked before booking) that I will get an email allowing me to print my own ticket. Once payment is made they tell me "thank you for choosing to receive your tickets by mail"!

I did no such thing!!!

I have emailed SNCF but of course it is Sunday morning there so I won't get a reply till Monday their time which is Tuesday ourtime, which is when I leave.

From their website (the page portal I used to buy) "Book, print and depart: make use of the E-ticket service and print your ticket when, where and as often as you want. Train travel has never been easier!"

Edited: 08 September 2013, 14:14
Toronto, Canada
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for Barcelona
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5. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

Have you checked your junk mailbox? Maybe they meant email and not mail.

New Zealand
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6. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

No, the confirmation email they sent me even gives the address they will mail the tickets to. But it's in the wrong order so I wonder what NZ Post will make of it.

I do not understand why, in 2013, a rail company would offer an online booking service but insist on then mailing the tickets? It is astounding.

Barcelona, Spain
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7. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

renfe sends an online ticket and you can print it at home or at the station. has NSCF given you any code? with it you could print tickets at the station.

anyway, check if there are ane SNCF office in NZ and you can contact them.

Barcelona, Spain
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8. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

I completely agree with you @thunderbirdNZ... this is 2013!

Anyhow, two suggestions: tomorrow Monday contact them to change your mail address and have them sent to the hotel. Alternatively, ask 'what about if I loose the tickets?, maybe they can be re-issued on the spot (at the station).

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

Unfortunately you are not the only one with this problem, but with international tickets it is not easy even if we are in the European community. When you write, specify your code and try to see if they can send you in your hotel. In any case you should be able to re-issue them. Good luck!

Barcelona, Spain
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10. Re: Train or Plane from Barcelona to Avignon, France?

Re comment about 2013 and online booking service. I agree with you that it's rather strange but just to point out that Deutsche Bahn has the policy of posting tickets for journeys starting outside Germany (in their case). Maybe sncf is the same (your journey starts outside France)?

I found out about this from TA forums earlier this summer:I could (eventually, but that's another story!) book and print off Berlin-Warsaw but printing wasn't possible for Poznan-Berlin so I bought the ticket at a station when I was actually in Berlin.

I agree with the others, contact sncf and explain. Tickets can get lost in the post in any case so I'd have thought they must have some directive for cases such as yours/tickets that never arrive.