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Paper ticket reservation by mail delivery but traveling in 3 days

  • 17 September 2022
  • 12 replies
  • 208 views

Hey,

I start traveling in 4 days and like to book tickets for a seat reservation in a TGV train. When I tried to book the seat reservation on the interrail website I saw it is only possible to buy a physical ticket which means I must be delivered by postman in 3 days. That's risky.

What should I do?

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Best answer by rvdborgt 18 September 2022, 00:32

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Userlevel 7
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That's too risky.

What route do you want to make a reservation for? There are several ways to make reservations and they differ a bit depending on what route the reservation is for.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 

 Planning

The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 

 Reservations 

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

https://community.eurail.com/train-connections-reservations-47/how-to-get-reservations-105

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process, when you choose the start day of the validity of the pass, the first day of the validity period is automatically made a travel day, even if you don't enter a journey, the advice is therefore not to activate the pass before the first travel day as you only can deactivate the pass before 00.00 on the day the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you will loose travel days if you have activated the pass in advance.

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

A TGV with delivery via the post sounds like a TGV France-Spain. That train can also be booked via DB (ticket office or by phone) or by phone via SNCF (they'll send it via email). Other possibilities here:

If it's another train, please specify route, date and departure time.

Thank you

I am going to have a look to book the reservation directly and not via interrail website.

Yes, it's the train from Paris to Barcelona.

What's the phone number to call SNCF from Germany?

Userlevel 7
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What's the phone number to call SNCF from Germany?

https://www.sncf.com/en/customer-service/contact-us/telephone

As mentioned in the link I posted.

I tried but failed when I like to switch to Englisch line :/ and have been in waiting lines for 20 minutes but then my call was canceled. I guess I have to go to an DB terminal tomorrow (I am from Germany)

But thanks for your help

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I tried but failed when I like to switch to Englisch line :/ and have been in waiting lines for 20 minutes but then my call was canceled. I guess I have to go to an DB terminal tomorrow (I am from Germany)

Press #85 for English if you call SNCF.

I'm not sure what you mean with "DB terminal”. You can book this reservation via a DB ticket office or via phone (030 2970 and then collect via a DB ticket machine). You cannot book it yourself at a DB ticket machine.

#85 didn't work idk.

Yeah, I will go to an DB ticket office.

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

Reservations purchased from Interrail/Eurail for travel between Spain and France can only be issued in paper format that needs to be posted to you by traditional mail. The general rule of thumb is to order this at least 6 business days in advance to ensure timely delivery, although the lead time was significantly extended this last summer season. As an alternative, you can follow the advice of fellow Interrailers above. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

All reservations for travel between Spain and France can only be issued in paper format that needs to be posted to you by traditional mail.

@Claudi. 

This is true for ordering via Interrail/Eurail but not when you order via SNCF: they can send reservations by email. Are there any plans to implement this on the Interrail/Eurail reservation website?

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

All reservations for travel between Spain and France can only be issued in paper format that needs to be posted to you by traditional mail.

@Claudi.

This is true for ordering via Interrail/Eurail but not when you order via SNCF: they can send reservations by email. Are there any plans to implement this on the Interrail/Eurail reservation website?

Oh yes of course, sorry I thought that was implied in my answer, but thanks for flagging, I've made it more explicit now. This issue is definitely on our radar. We do know how problematic the paper tickets are. It’s unnecessarily logistically complicated, not climate friendly, and liable to all sorts of delivery issues that's a major pain point to our travelers. Ideally it is something that we would like to improve on and be able to issue electronically. Realistically, I have no idea how urgently that matter is being addressed or what the time frame for it would be.  

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