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Lyon - Barcelona 22 September 2023

  • 7 August 2023
  • 37 replies
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Hi 😀

I have interrail global pass, and want to like to do a reservation for AVI 9742 from LYON PART DIEU (2:30pm) - Barcelona Sants (7:32pm). I get over the interrail seat reservation this error message: “It seems no price offer is available right now. It is possible that all pass holder seats are sold out. Please check 'More information' and try other ways to book this seat reservation, or buy a separate full fare ticket to board. You need to buy a seat reservation to board.”

So i called SNCF and they said to me, this train doesn’t exist, so it’s an failure from interrail website. 

Could somebody confirm that to me? That i would look after a different connection.  
More background information why this train: So I will start the trip in Munich, and want to be before 9pm in Barcelona. so I found the connection (5am start in munich - 7:32pm arrival in barcelona) 

Thanks for you help! 

Patrick 

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Best answer by thibcabe 8 August 2023, 16:55

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They (annoyingly) cannot sell the international AVE trains as I said, only domestic journeys.

Yes Ouigo is the main reason they stopped cooperating...

Oof! Thanks for the heads up, those bypasses would leave us stuck there. 🫣 Where did you find that info?

I tried the Münich haubtbahnhof international servicedesk, as I was  already there, and the clearly experienced clerk sighed what I already feared for; no way to make a seat reservation for that AVE train through DB in Germany. Gotta show up in time at the platform.

Today in the newspaper; The agressive low prices that the SNCF backed “Ouigo” train company maintains in Spain after the market was declared free, apparently lead to record losses for RENFE (-€109m euro in 2022). Seems like a plausible reason for the lack of communication between renfe and sncf. 🤔
 

 

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DB can sell domestic Spanish reservations but not those international AVE trains. The issue really lies on RENFE side, any news on that @Mukhammad @Camilo. ?

It would be incredibly helpful for this summer.

Now it seems that tickets aren't yet on sale for 19th May due to works around Nîmes and Montpellier. Looking at other planners the train seems to be diverted via Nîmes Pont du Gard and Montpellier Sud de France (LGV bypass) with the same arrival/departure times.

However at the same time RENFE website is having issues right now (more broken than usual!) so I can't say for sure.

Check back soon I guess. Good luck!

I'd say that Sunday is the least busy day of the holiday weekend so you have good odds to book a seat on the spot.

Thanks for the quick reaction thibcabe!

My travel date is may 19, which is pentecost and i know that’s quite qidely celebrated in France so i’m afraid the tickets will sell out. But we’ll see! So far haven’t given up on teying to make a reservation ahead of time. 
 

Surprisingly NS (dutch railways) international ticket office in Amsterdam wasnt able to make reservations. They recommended DB, as “the db has acces to different reservation systems”. 
 

it all reminds me of Terry Gilliams movie “Brazil” a kafkaesque dystopian movie 😅 Kafka would have loved modern rail travel! 

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Impossible at French ticket counters. SNCF and RENFE aren't cooperating anymore at all (they're "at war" even).

Other AVE trains are available on interrail.eu so this issue lies entirely with RENFE. :(

Maybe it could work with your friend but staff will likely want to see the pass and ID.

Buying the reservation on the platform has been done many times by multiple users so that works. However on busy dates the train could be sold out so some risk remains.

What's your travel date ? Since you have a reservation afterwards I might suggest buying a regular ticket online so you don't get stranded in France (a shame it comes to this of course!). Maybe you could request a partial refund afterwards saying you had Interrail but couldn't book in advance (there's a tiny chance it could work...).

I am very curious how this worked out. Also used interrail for the first time since the invention of the internet and so far I’m under the impression european railway systems haven’t improved one bit!

I made seat reservations from bruxelles-midi to Valence TGV (10:17-14:48) and from Barcelona-Sans to Madrid (21:25-23:55) With the hopes to travel from the Netherlands to Madrid in +/- 15 hours. 

The missing link is AVI/AVE 9742… Valence TGV to Barcelona Sans 15:13-19:34… for which I too need a reservation but cannot find a way to make one. 🤪 

I’ll be in France next week and try a railway station but from what I heard here it would be impossible. I aso have a friend in Spain but it seems no-one had any luck with that either?

 

 

 

Yes regular tickets are easily available through RENFE or Trainline but Interrail/Eurail passholder reservations (10€) are impossible to get unfortunately...

I would contact trainline in advance, they have a customer service, I am sure they can work it out. Have you tried that?

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Yes regular tickets are easily available through RENFE or Trainline but Interrail/Eurail passholder reservations (10€) are impossible to get unfortunately...

I booked this train through Trainline.com, there's also an app in the Play store. I will depart this afternoon! 

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The efficient English speaking lady who served me, assured me this was exactly the case. They could NOT give me a seat reservation to a Renfe train. They could in Paris but not in Lyon.

According to her, it would be possible to buy my way out of this when I boarded the train.

I am willing to pay the fine, and play nice..

Wish me luck, the alternative is three shifts and 2 hours longer into the night...

I've read multiple report from people who did just that when boarding an AVE in France: speak with the staff and then pay the regular €10 fee once on the train. One such report mentioned there were 3 pass holders at just one door and probably more at the other ones. Hopefully RENFE will get the message that a better solution is needed, but until then, I'd advise to do it like described here. But don't forget to talk with staff before boarding.

The efficient English speaking lady who served me, assured me this was exactly the case. They could NOT give me a seat reservation to a Renfe train. They could in Paris but not in Lyon.

According to her, it would be possible to buy my way out of this when I boarded the train.

I am willing to pay the fine, and play nice..

Wish me luck, the alternative is three shifts and 2 hours longer into the night...

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I may be wrong, but it's looks like that advice applies only to SNCF trains, and not RENFE trains.

Worst that can happen is you get a fine and/ or thrown off the train. Best that can happen is you ‘get away with it’. Middle case is that they allow you to buy the reservation on board!

Last phone around try involved calling DB, and SNFC. DBs site said, unable to make reservations and no success with connecting by phone.

SNCF, however, according to information on this page:

https://eurail.zendesk.com/hc/en-001/articles/11400852218141-How-to-book-tickets-for-domestic-Spanish-trains

“Please do take note here that it is not possible to book the international TGV between France and Spain at a Spanish train station. You can book this via our self-service, at a French station, or by calling SNCF at (+33 1 84 94 3635). Please press #85 for English assistance

This call was the most informative and presented the problem: No, SNCF could not issue any seat reservations, and No in Lyon, the ticket office at the station wouldnt be able either but Yes I would be able to contact the Train Master on embarking and be able to buy a seat reservation !!

so far so good,

With this assurance, and for what it is worth, I will take my chances. My wife says, what is the worst thing that could happen?

As said before this is the first Interrail that I have undertaken since 1976….

If you know someone in Spain, they can (if you provide them with a screenshot/photo of your pass or ID card) book these reservations for you at Renfe ticket offices. Once the actual reservation is emitted from a ticket office, you can import it onto the Renfe app. Absurdly that's as far as I know the only way to get a reservation for this train. 

 

 

If only…...

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If you know someone in Spain, they can (if you provide them with a screenshot/photo of your pass and ID card) book or collect these reservations for you at Renfe ticket offices. Once the actual reservation is emitted from a ticket office, you can import it onto the Renfe app. Absurdly that's as far as I know the only way to get a reservation for this train. 

I might take the one suggested, ending 2 hrs later in Brc via Valence, but I am pretty cooked at this point and will not be too late at my booking...

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Okay I understand, I was only trying to show other alternatives to your route...

Yes the B-Europe page I linked can only book domestic TGVs. Reservations for the AVE International are impossible to get apart from RENFE ticket counters.

The situation will hopefully change at some point (since they mention they acknowledge Interrail/Eurail passes) but I'm not even sure. Until a few months ago it was impossible to book Spanish trains on interrail.eu because of RENFE alone, now a few trains are available but a lot are missing.

Complaints have been made but the company doesn't want/need to do anything as most of their trains leave full anyway !

Enjoy your trip and good luck.

I'm not sure you'll enjoy the long following day after a sleepless night but it's your choice.

I've updated my post above. The TGV you'd like to take is almost fully booked (between Dijon and Lyon). It is the French school holidays and TGVs avoiding Paris aren't frequent and in that sense very popular.

Book it ASAP. Interrail doesn't show availability until you're logged in/have added a pass.

Domestic TGV seat reservations can be booked on :

- interrail.eu (2€ fee per person per train)

- https://travel.b-europe.com/Eurail-GE/en/booking-tgv#TravelWish (4€ fee per order)

Questions welcome.

Please read it again:

The stretch is solely from Lyon to Barcelona

*My local central rail station could not book it for me.

*Eurail cannot book it for me, nor cannot other search engines for trains,

*-The link you showed, does not load Lyon to Barcelona ! Says No matches  for Barcelona !!!

*Renfe says in telephone that they cannot guarantee a manual seat reservation in Lyon itself.

*Renfe says in rules that seat reservations can only be booked and collected at Spanish station (!)

I am truly b***ered, I can only try to explain my predicament, be allowed on board and hopefully pay the fine of 75€ for not having a reservation, if at all.

 

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I'm not sure you'll enjoy the long following day after a sleepless night but it's your choice.

I've updated my post above. The TGV you'd like to take is almost fully booked (between Dijon and Lyon). It is the French school holidays and TGVs avoiding Paris aren't frequent and in that sense very popular.

Book it ASAP. Interrail doesn't show availability until you're logged in/have added a pass.

Domestic TGV seat reservations can be booked on :

- interrail.eu (2€ fee per person per train)

- https://travel.b-europe.com/Eurail-GE/en/booking-tgv#TravelWish (4€ fee per order)

Questions welcome.

I understand that the situation is frustrating.

You could get a couchette on the Hamburg - Basel night train (44€). It will be a way better experience than a seat.

Have a margin in Basel for sure since night trains are often delayed.

I'm sorry I thought you were travelling on 4th December so I gave those prices. I'll write a good itinerary down below :

Saturday 4th December :

As planned by yourself + get a couchette if possible.

Sunday 5th November :

- TER

thnx

the overnight train in a seat is not a problem, but the missing seat on the leg from Lyon to Brc is …

the beauty of this arrangement is the short time before going to the end goal, any other solution would add a dy more, many other routes have been scrapped, believe me..

In the end it is down to the securing of seats...

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I understand that the situation is frustrating.

You could get a couchette on the Hamburg - Basel night train (44€). It will be a way better experience than a seat.

Have a margin in Basel for sure since night trains are often delayed.

I'm sorry I thought you were travelling on 4th December so I gave those prices. I'll write a good itinerary down below :

Saturday 4th December :

As planned by yourself + get a couchette if possible.

Sunday 5th November :

Option 1 (fastest but most expensive) :

- TER Basel SBB - Mulhouse 09:21 - 09:44

- TGV Mulhouse - Valence TGV 09:57 - 13:47 29€ 1st class incl. upgrade (2nd class is sold out, only a single 1st class seat left!)

- AVE Valence TGV - Barcelona-Sants 15:11 - 19:32 79€ ticket

Also possible to change in Lyon but as you found out it is more expensive. Book the first TGV ASAP if that is your choice. To buy the upgrade you need to use https://travel.b-europe.com/Eurail-GE/en/booking-tgv#TravelWish

Option 2 (cheaper but longer) :

- TGV Mulhouse - Dijon 09:57 - 11:11 10€

- break, lunch there

- TER Dijon - Lyon Part-Dieu 12:41 - 14:43

- TER Lyon Part-Dieu - Valence-Ville 15:20 - 16:31

- TER Valence-Ville - Valence TGV 16:45 - 16:52

- TGV Valence TGV - Barcelona-Sants 17:09 - 21:25 25€

Option 3 : you could even go via Paris for 20€ + 35€...

I am starting in Dk Saturday 4/11

 

If this last train is full, I would have the option of buying a full ticket 115€ !! in order to absolutely sure.

But I have a paper pass already paid. I can wait for a 69€ ticket the next day, but I have a room waiting on Brc….

I have not been riding on Interrail since 1976 and I am now 69 and not liking the insecurity any bit!

This should have been arrangeable and not this mess….

I do not like to have to sneak into a situation and having to plead for mercy…..

I am advised to approach the train staff and explain my situation and hope they will let me on, at any given seat…...




 

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You can always try on the platform but your chances are slim. I was on the train last year and they made someone pay 75€ because he didn't have a reservation. 

DB (or SBB) cannot offer this train. It hasn't changed unfortunately.

A ticket from Lyon costs 55€ (59€ in 1st class) or 31€ from Perpignan. When you have in mind that the TGV reservation costs 35€ it is worth the investment (but I agree that it is a shame)…

What is your full journey that day ?

I am stuck in my planning on my itinery from Lyon part Dieu to Barcelona Sants, the same problem as the previous Qs

AVI 9742

AVE International     04/12  14:30 Lyon to 1930 in BRC sants

Can I insist and get on the train but standing only or being charged in the train or merely taking an unreserved seat, what are options here?

I have a hotel reservation waiting for me that night in Brc, and I do not like to pay for an extra ticket when I have the Interrail Pass?

I have a deperture already made out Saturday Nov 4, all filled in, My station could make seat reservation all other stretches but this one….

I have a stopover on my way down to Spain in Hamburg btw 8 and 10 pm

Did any recently have any luck at the ticket office in Hamburg ???

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Yeah there currently is a bug on the website... the correct price is shown during checkout : 35€ + 2€ booking fee.

Great that you could call SNCF ! :)

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