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Luggage Transfer Correos

SNCF warning

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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
A heads up -- those planning to travel to their starting point of the Camino in France by train should be advised that the SNCF has decided to close many ticket counters across the country, for cost-cutting purposes and because they want to try and force people to buy their tickets online, which apparently is leading to massive queues at the counters of the larger stations -- I've seen a report of a two-hour long queue in one of the Paris stations.

And some of these are instituting reservation systems to get yourself an appointment to buy your ticket !!
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
A heads up -- those planning to travel to their starting point of the Camino in France by train should be advised that the SNCF has decided to close many ticket counters across the country, for cost-cutting purposes and because they want to try and force people to buy their tickets online, which apparently is leading to massive queues at the counters of the larger stations -- I've seen a report of a two-hour long queue in one of the Paris stations.

And some of these are instituting reservation systems to get yourself an appointment to buy your ticket !!

Hmm, seems I was lucky in Montparnasse last time. Only had to queue for 45 minutes.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Have booked online (local mirror of RailEurope website) to travel Montparnasse to Bayonne to SJPP 2017 and 2018 - quick, painless and removed once potential source of anxiety.

Might not have been the cheapest option but would do it again every CF I walk... Queuing kills the joy of travelling for me...
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Have booked online (local mirror of RailEurope website) to travel Montparnasse to Bayonne to SJPP 2017 and 2018 - quick, painless and removed once potential source of anxiety.

Might not have been the cheapest option but would do it again every CF I walk... Queuing kills the joy of travelling for me...

Good! But don't forget that during peak moments you have to wait in line anyway to get your ticket scanned, paperversion or the cellphoneversion.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
If you buy your ticket on line from SNCF you get a code you can enter at a ticket kiosk, but if you buy your ticket from Trainline you need to download the ticket to your devise, the kiosk can not use the confirmation code from Trainline
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Good! But don't forget that during peak moments you have to wait in line anyway to get your ticket scanned, paperversion or the cellphoneversion.
Really? 2017 and 2018, I printed the tickets at home and we just got onto the train and found our seats as soon as the gates opened - no-one checking tickets as we boarded... But maybe 7.30 am isn't peak time?
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
Is it cheaper to buy your ticket online in advance or on the day at the station?
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Not my favourite Train operator.........
Last time I turned up.......with a ticket....they went on strike.
So we flew to Biarritz. :(
Might do that in future I think........
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Is it cheaper to buy your ticket online in advance or on the day at the station?
I have not done any comparisons, but I have seen posts here that suggest that pre-purchase online is substantially cheaper than over the counter. No doubt the rail company works on the principle that if you wait until the last minute to buy at the station, they already have you at a disadvantage and they can (just about) charge whatever they feel like...
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I adore the SNCF . Especially their gentle reminder to put your phone on silent and take your calls in between two carriages. Peace and quiet on those high speed trains.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Is it cheaper to buy your ticket online in advance or on the day at the station?
It varies tremendously -- if your train ends up being very empty at departure, it can be cheaper on the day. But usually it's cheaper mainly if you get your ticket a long time in advance.

Having said that, it's *still* possible to buy a normal ticket without a reservation -- it does mean travelling on certain slower trains only, so no TGVs -- but that pretty basically requires getting your ticket in person at the ticket counter, and they're making it increasingly difficult to get one. Their own computers even fail to provide the SNCF ticket counter staff with the full range of travel possibilities for your projected journey.

And they've recently discontinued the old little paper timetables that were so precious for organising a train journey according to personal taste.

It's still technically possible to get a normal open ticket, then get a TGV reservation separately, but they **really** do hate it when you attempt it. And it would also basically be more expensive anyway.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
Have booked online (local mirror of RailEurope website) to travel Montparnasse to Bayonne to SJPP 2017 and 2018 - quick, painless and removed once potential source of anxiety.

Might not have been the cheapest option but would do it again every CF I walk... Queuing kills the joy of travelling for me...
I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about Queuing spoiling the joy of travel...that is one of the main reasons why I always get to airports much earlier than my flights...fewer crowds and a pretty easy transition through security screening, then a nice relaxing sit down to read my book or to just people watch. I HATE queues with a passion.
 

Hugh Larkin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
Pieterpad 2018
Another app alternative is OMIO by GoEuro. It allowed us to book a fare in Spain where no train agent nor kiosk existed. It was recommended by an Irish couple we met while walking the C Sanabria last year.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
The option is not exactly buying online vs long queues at the station. There are automatic ticket machines, also. Big yellow things, you will see them. They are not particularly complicated, and have almost no queues at all. The only "but" is that you will need the "chip included" kind of credit card. Ah, and you need to know the exact name of your station destination (main cities could have two or more....but anyway, I can't imagine an inspector checking tickets for that). The system is well explained in this blog
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
The option is not exactly buying online vs long queues at the station. There are automatic ticket machines, also. Big yellow things, you will see them. They are not particularly complicated, and have almost no queues at all. The only "but" is that you will need the "chip included" kind of credit card. Ah, and you need to know the exact name of your station destination (main cities could have two or more....but anyway, I can't imagine an inspector checking tickets for that). The system is well explained in this blog
The last two times I was in France, those machines wouldn't take my North American (chip) credit card.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
A heads up -- those planning to travel to their starting point of the Camino in France by train should be advised that the SNCF has decided to close many ticket counters across the country, for cost-cutting purposes and because they want to try and force people to buy their tickets online, which apparently is leading to massive queues at the counters of the larger stations -- I've seen a report of a two-hour long queue in one of the Paris stations.

And some of these are instituting reservation systems to get yourself an appointment to buy your ticket !!
The SNCF’s smartphone app is super easy to use. They have a companion OUI app which you use to actually make your purchase. That’s where your ticket then resides. I’d save yourself the time and just get the apps.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The SNCF’s smartphone app is super easy to use. They have a companion OUI app which you use to actually make your purchase. That’s where your ticket then resides. I’d save yourself the time and just get the apps.
Unlikely to be the case for us Windows Phones Grognards ...
 

Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Is it cheaper to buy your ticket online in advance or on the day at the station?
Seasonality may play a part but anecdotally my train from Paris to Bayonne is costing me 55 Euro in September for a first class ticket (it was only 10 Euro more than standard), if I were to make the same journey on the same day this week it would be 199 Euro! I'd book ahead.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Really? 2017 and 2018, I printed the tickets at home and we just got onto the train and found our seats as soon as the gates opened - no-one checking tickets as we boarded... But maybe 7.30 am isn't peak time?
You are right and this is new to me: You don't have to scan tickets like e-billet, Billet Imprimé, Print@Home, Ticketless anymore, you just board the train and take your seat. Apparently, you only have to do this (get a stamp at the machine near or on the platform of your train - a process known as composter) when you have a cardboard ticket bought from an SNCF ticket office or sent to your home address.

I've travelled quite a bit on SNCF trains in not so distant years - long distance, local and regional trains - while getting to a departure point or leaving a point of the long Saint Jacques trails through France, and I was impressed by the punctuality of the trains and the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. I've never been affected by any SNCF strike.

I personally would always purchase a ticket directly from SNCF, preferably online, and not through a third party. In my albeit limited experience, directly purchased tickets are easier to exchange or modify.
 
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Diceallion

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino goal mid september 2019
Is it cheaper to buy your ticket online in advance or on the day at the station?
I just bought mine on Sunday (Departing Sept. 24th) for 82$ CDN with the 1st class option for the 1st leg of the trip. I was comparing the price online as if I were to leave next week and the price is around 180$ CDN
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Primitivo, Oct 2019
The SNCF’s smartphone app is super easy to use. They have a companion OUI app which you use to actually make your purchase. That’s where your ticket then resides. I’d save yourself the time and just get the apps.
That's what's on my phone. Saved me missing my train. Just ran to the train and the conductor scanned my phone before I stepped on. Tried to use the RENFE app but it seems you need to be a citizen of Spain to complete registration.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
A heads up -- those planning to travel to their starting point of the Camino in France by train should be advised that the SNCF has decided to close many ticket counters across the country, for cost-cutting purposes and because they want to try and force people to buy their tickets online, which apparently is leading to massive queues at the counters of the larger stations -- I've seen a report of a two-hour long queue in one of the Paris stations.

And some of these are instituting reservation systems to get yourself an appointment to buy your ticket !!
Tickets are very easy to buy online before you go! https://en.oui.sncf/en/train-ticket
 

Carolyn G

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
I agree - it was very easy to buy from Trainline. We printed the ticket from home and had the bar coded ticket on the app. Montparnasse is HUGE. We were short on time and would’ve missed the train if we’d also had to look for where to buy the tickets.
 

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