Making a Reservation on the Paris to Latour night train

  • 6 November 2021
  • 18 replies
  • 170 views

My partner and I each have 4-days-in-a-month Interrail All-Europe passes.  We are planning a trip in December from London to Sevilla.  

 

On the outward journey, we want to take the Paris-Latour Intercite de Nuit couchette service on Sunday December 5.  Using your website, I added all the various journeys to the Basket [London to Paris and returning; Barcelona to Sevila and returning; Barcelona to Paris on the homebound leg; plus the night sleeper service on the outward leg.]

 

When I tried to proceed to Checkout, there was a message in red below the Paris-Latour leg of the journey, saying “Please find an alternative connection.”

 

I tried again.  I also tried booking a 2nd class couchette instead of 1st class [the class of our Interrail passes].  But I got the same message.

 

Please can you help me to book this service for myself and my partner.  


18 replies

Userlevel 5
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If I’m not wrong, there are some technical problems between Interrail.eu reservation service and the train carrier SNCF. 

You could get a reservation throw B-Europe, I don’t find the link now, but you can find it on the railplanner app on the section seat reservation>France. B-Europe want 3€ fee on top of the reservation online. You can also reserve via call center. 

Userlevel 7
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The URL for the Belgian railways reservation Interrail reservations for French domestic trains is:

https://travel.b-europe.com/Eurail-GE/en/booking-tgv#TravelWish

(4 EUR extra fee per order instead of the 2 EUR per seat that Interrail themselves charge)

Unfortunately, Latour-de-Carol is not included there.

Details about the phone service are here:

https://www.b-europe.com/EN/Contact/Contact-Centre

(No extra fee but you have to pay for the phone call.)

Thank you so much, both of you, for taking the trouble to help me on this.  After trying to book the Paris-Latour night train on the B-Europe website, and failing, I called them.  She looked it up, and confirmed that B-Europe is unable to book this Intercite de Nuit train for Interrail passengers.  She suggested I try booking direct with SNCF.

 

Does anyone know of an SNCF web page or phone number which deals specifically with reservations for people with Interrail Passes?

Userlevel 7
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The SNCF's phone number is 0033 1 8494 3635.

Press #85 to continue in English. Don't continue in French because then you can't pay with a non-French credit card.

In August, they refused to sell me Interrail supplements for Thalys and TGV (they said they had just stopped selling them via phone - don't know why) but I was able to book via Belgian railways. Please let us know what SNCF say about this night train.

I phoned SNCF, and spoke to a very helpful guy.  He explained that SNCF could not sell me a Passholder Reservation for couchettes on the Paris-Latour night train.  He checked.  There are plenty available in both classes.  But they can only sell reservations when they sell tickets.

I also tried Belgian Railways.  They also could not help on this.

So, I have reached a dead end.  Unless anyone here has any bright ideas, there seems to be no way to purchase couchette reservations on the basis of an Interrail Pass on this night train.  Very disappointing. 

Any bright ideas???

Userlevel 7
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So… either SNCF only sell Interrail reservations for their night trains at their own ticket offices (and possibly via agents using their system) or they don't sell Interrail reservations for their night trains at all.

You could try an SNCF agent. Seat61 mentions that the UK travel agent International Rail can sell SNCF tickets. You could ask them - if you do, let us know what they say.

SNCF have really become a pain. They stopped selling Interrail reservations via their website, via phone, changed their booking system, which caused problems for other railways (e.g. Deutsche Bahn, who currently don't sell SNCF Interrail reservations) and for night trains, they made it even more difficult :(

My sense is that, for the “Intercites de Nuit” night trains, SNCF no longer sells reservations separate from tickets.  This sort-of makes sense.  They don’ want people turning up late at night making a fuss, because they have a ticket and no reservation!  Unfortunately, however this has presented a problem for Interrail users, who already have a ticket, but just need a reservation.  It would appear to be impossible.

I have completed an online Enquiry Form for International Rail, and I will wait 24 hours.  But I am not hopeful.  ( will post an update here after that.

If there is anyone out there who has actually managed to purchase an SNCF couchette reservation on the basis of an Interrail ticket, do please tell me the secret of your success!

 

 

Userlevel 7
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If there is anyone out there who has actually managed to purchase an SNCF couchette reservation on the basis of an Interrail ticket, do please tell me the secret of your success!

I seem to recall I used one a few years ago with Interrail but that was before SNCF started to be difficult about Interrail reservations and before they changed their backend system.

International Rail never came back on my online enquiry, and kept me hanging for 10 minutes [@ 10p/min] before I gave up that one too.  In the end, I bought two tickets direct from SNCF by phone, with couchette reservations.  When we get to Paris, I can then buy the Interrail couchette reservations, and get a refund on the tickets from SNCF.  I lose 15 Euros per person on the refunds, but I figure if this is the only way we can get on that night train, it’s worth it!

All very frustrating. If Interrail is reading this, you need to sort this out with SNCF!

Userlevel 7
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International Rail never came back on my online enquiry, and kept me hanging for 10 minutes [@ 10p/min] before I gave up that one too.  In the end, I bought two tickets direct from SNCF by phone, with couchette reservations.  When we get to Paris, I can then buy the Interrail couchette reservations, and get a refund on the tickets from SNCF.  I lose 15 Euros per person on the refunds, but I figure if this is the only way we can get on that night train, it’s worth it!

All very frustrating. If Interrail is reading this, you need to sort this out with SNCF!

Do let us know if you succeed in Paris. It's insane you have to resort to doing this. Did the SNCF phone service suggest this? In any case, a clever workaround, given the circumstances.

@Nanja will be reading this :) and I hope she can update us on the future possibilities to book SNCF night trains via the Interrail reservation service.

Just a quick response to your question.  SNCF did not suggest this.  I came up with the idea myself.  I could not figure out any other way of getting on that night train using my Interail Pass.  And I am glad someone from Interrail/Eurail will be reading this thread.  Maybe they will now figure out a more sensible solution than the one I had to use!!

Userlevel 6
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Hi, it is indeed not possible to book with SNCF directly online or by phone. We are in contact with them about their online reservation option. That said, you should be able to book your reservation with SNCF at the station without a problem. If this turns out not to be the case, please do let me know @Andrews so that we can further investigate. 
I will look into why it is not possible to book the reservation through our system and get back to you on that, rvdborgt.

Userlevel 6
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@Andrews I tried to replicate the route in our reservation system, but I am able to book it for the 5th of December. 
Can you please provide me the following information so I can make sure I am checking out the option you have in mind:

  • ​​​​​​​Departing and arrival station
  • Date and time
  • Type of train
  • Number of travelers
  • ​​​​​​​A screenshot of the page where you see it is not possible to book


​​​​​​​Thanks

From Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Latour-de-Canal, departing 22.12.  Intercite de Nuit.  2 travellers, both holding 1st Class Interrail Passes [4 days in one month].  Rather than provide lots of screenshots, if you look back through this thread, you will see all the various attempts I made to buy Passholder Reservations for this journey.  

Any help you can give on this would be greatly appreciated.

Userlevel 7
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I've just tried with my own account. With a 2nd class Interrail for one person on 22 Dec. from “PARIS” to “LATOUR DE CAROL ENVEITG”, I can get to the payment page.

@Andrews, I think just one screenshot (of the whole screen) would be very helpful and that is the screen where it is saying "Please find an alternative connection.”.

Userlevel 6
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I have the same result with a 1st class Pass and I am able to book the 4-berth couchette 1st class. I also proceeded all the way to the actual payment successfully. It would be great if you can share a screenshot. 

Encouraged by your success, I have just tried again.  When I proceeded to Checkout this time, I do not get the message “Please find an alternative connection.”  This time, I went to payment, and completed the order.  And SNCF arranged my refund over the phone.  So, success at last!  And it remains a mystery why your system generated this message when I tried this a few days ago.  Thank you so much for your help.  

Userlevel 6
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Happy to hear that, Andrews! Have a great journey!  :relaxed:

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