Why full ticket is cheaper than seat reservation

  • 2 September 2023
  • 1 reply


Booking regular ticket on sncf costs: 19€

Booking a seat reservation on interrail costs: 22€


I feel this situation unfair and that SNCF is overcharging seat reservations and removed online booking to prevent people from using interrail in their country.


Maybe someone can explain this situation please ? 

Thanks in advance,



Best answer by thibcabe 2 September 2023, 10:46

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Userlevel 7
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This is one of the known exceptions where it is cheaper to buy a ticket yes. Furthermore the TGVs from Brussels have a passholder quota… (you're lucky that there are still seats !).

You can reach Lille reservation-free via Tournai but it takes longer.

Another similar situation are the TGVs from/to Switzerland : 29€ reservation in 2nd class (while you can find 29€ tickets well in advance). The common advice is to board the TGV in France instead for only 10-20€ : Bellegarde, Mulhouse, Strasbourg,...