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I'm supposed to be leaving tomorrow from Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (a train station near Tours, France) at 07:17 (going to Gare Montparnasse, Paris), but it was suddenly cancelled just 10 hours before the trip (about an hour ago)!

On their site, they offer a "ticket exchange", although not really, because you have to pay the full price of another ticket and get nothing back. I thought I could manage with that, but apparently there are no more places on the next train. If I take the next next train, I will arrive at Paris at 11:30 (that's more than three hours later than my original reservation) plus I have to pay an extra €20 for the train ticket.

I need to be in Paris before 09:30 tomorrow, because I've also bought a bus ticket to Beauvais, and, long story short, if I'm not at Paris at 09:30 on 19/02/2017 I'm going to miss my flight.

Is there any way to dispute this with SNCF?

Their communication lines are open between 08:00 and 22:00 and by the time I got their cancellation message I had no way of calling them or sending them a message through a chat.

I've done this trip multiple times and it's the first time something like this has happened. I'm thinking I should go to the train station tomorrow and demand to take the train that apparently has "no places left" - I don't care if I travel comfortably, I only care about not missing my flight. The problem is that their boutique (basically their offices) opens at 10:00 tomorrow, so my chance to catch my flight will be lost by then.

What rights do I have in this situation?

Are there any alternatives?

  • Why do you say that there are apparently no free seats on the next train departing Saint-Pierre-des-Corps at 8:14? Looking at voyages-sncf.com, I can currently book tickets for this train. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 18 '17 at 22:35
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo are you sure we are talking about the same train? When I try to book a ticket for the train leaving at 8:14, I get the following message: "Oups ! les dernières places disponibles ont été vendues. Veuillez sélectionner un autre train." – jimkokko5 Feb 18 '17 at 22:38
  • Yes, the TGV from Saint-Pierre-des-Corps to Paris on February 19th, 8:14 AM. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 18 '17 at 22:42
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo that's very weird, I tried multiple browsers and yet I still get the same message. I also tried logging off of my account and sending the same request. I cannot book a ticket on that train. – jimkokko5 Feb 18 '17 at 22:43
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    Just fyi, I cannot see any free seats on the 8:14 train, neither first nor second class. @Tor-EinarJarnbjo , are you maybe logged in to that website and getting benefits from their rewards program? – helm Feb 18 '17 at 23:27
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I can still book ticket on the 8h14 train from SPC, but not in the first class.

Anyway, I don't see other solution if you need to be at Paris by 9h30, but you should be able to board the train and showing your ticket to the ticket inspectors : I would not expect any problem if you explain that your train was cancelled and you were unable to change your ticket online.

I am not sure what your rights are in this situation, you may be able to ask at the ticket counter tomorrow, but be aware that the rules regarding ticket changes are more flexible once inside the train in my experience, especially if you have a legitimate reason.

  • Thank you for your answer. I was able to finally book a ticket, although it is in 1st class and it cost me 62 euros. I never had the choice of booking in 2nd class and it seems really weird seeing that both you and @Tor-EinarJarnbjo were able to do so. The unfortunate thing is that even this train is now delayed so it is not certain I will be able to catch my flight... Do you have any idea if I could get my money back, and/or file a report on this situation? – jimkokko5 Feb 18 '17 at 23:07
  • You can try to cancel the second ticket there : voyages-sncf.com/services-train/suivi-commande, but for a fee... I don't know what you can do with the cancelled train ticket, unfortunately. I hope you still will be able to catch your plane, unless you are willing to find a taxi to Paris during the night, I don't see any other option. – corentin Feb 19 '17 at 0:06

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