4

Next week, I am landing in Paris CDG airport and an hour later I have to be at Gare du Nord. Therefore, I wanted to buy a ticket in advance to get from the airport to Gare du Nord as quickly as possible without having to buy a ticket first.

Here is what I did:

  1. Googled and found this https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs/airport-tickets where it says that the ticket with RER B costs 10,30€.

  2. Followed the link to Book online with Parisinfo where I chose "RER B One way Train Ticket Charles de Gaulle airport - Paris" and clicked on "Add to basket". So far so good.

  3. How it wants me to choose where I would like my order delivered to:

    • Collection point (Free)
    • Home delivery (from 14,50 €)
    • Delivery at your hotel in Paris (12 €)

So clearly, this particular path ends up with them wanting to deliver the ticket physically.

Is there a way to buy this ticket truly online? By "truly online" I mean that I don't just pay online but the ticket actually gets delivered online, with a QR code to verify its authenticity if needed before or on the train or something like that.

  • 2
    If you need to be at Gare du Nord to catch a train, maybe there’s an alternative leaving from the CDG train station? – jcaron Jun 22 at 19:58
  • 2
    Even without the ticket purchase/collection ovehead this seems very tight, I hope you have some backup plan. – Ganesh Sittampalam Jun 23 at 11:02
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It’s clearly not possible. Fare gates are equipped with only two readers:

  • one for paper tickets which have a magnetic stripe
  • one for contactless passes using NFC-like technology.

For the first type of tickets, there’s no choice but a physical paper ticket bought from a machine or from a sales window.

For the second type, you currently need a Navigo contactless pass, and then load it with a day-pass.

They are currently working on extending Navigo passes to other types of tickets (using a different type of pass), but that doesn’t change the problem.

There are experiments to load passes on compatible phones, but this is very very restrictive, definitely not for tourists.

There is no support for credit card contactless use (they have talked about it but it’s still not effective).

So, no, I’m not aware of any way to have anything but a physical ticket at the moment.

3

I have just found someone asking exactly the same question back in 2016:

Q: If arriving at CDG airport with family, heading for Gare du Nord, is it possible to buy RER single-trip tickets in advance to save delays and currency problems at the airport?

A: Only multi-use Paris Metro/RER passes can be purchased online ahead of time. Single use RER tickets such as for the RER B from CDG to Paris, can only be purchased at ticket windows, offices and vending machines within Paris.

Source: https://parisbytrain.com/question/can-one-buy-rer-tickets-online/

Now, three years later, the answer still seems to be "it is impossible".

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