I've ( rather the autofill on my browser ) filled in my surname in place of my cotraveller's surname. Now he's got a ticket on the wrong name.

It is a non-refundable, non-exchangable ( hence, affordable ) SNCF print at home ticket ( Which says i can reprint at the station ).

How big a problem is this? Is it likely that they'll deny us boarding? Raileurope ( from where i bought it ) give me a standard "You'll have to book a new ticket" reply.

Does anyone have any experience with the TGV lyria? How strictly / how much in advance do they check the ticket and ID? Having to rebook is a bit silly for such a small mistake.

Although I'd rather not be looking for loopholes,

  1. Does the conductor have a copy of our names that he'll check against?
  2. Does the ticket at the station have our names on it?
  3. Will we manage to get ourselves onboard before the mistake is realized? If it is and it's unacceptable, How big is the fine?

I'll probably end up booking a new ticket, but these things are ridiculously expensive without the offer we got.

Update: I contacted TGV-lyria as suggested by Tony in his answer. They replied saying "" In general when you have printed tickets these are not controlled together with your ID-Card. It should also not cause any problem when explaining your situation to the chief on board.""

That's enough assurance for me. Thank you everyone! :)

*Update 2: * The ticket Master didn't even ask for ID. And so far everyone has been very friendly about the tickets so I doubt it would have been a problem had he noticed the mistake

  • 2
    On my journey's on TGV the conductor has only ever checked if my seat and class are correct and never corroborated my name mentioned in the ticket. But it wouldn't harm to call them up and ask what are your options. But it may become an issue if the customs people board the train who are looking for contrabands and you are selected for checking (happens after Cannes on the way to Nice). If you are coloured and alone, be sure to be checked else they might give you the miss.
    – DumbCoder
    May 31, 2017 at 8:00
  • Since it is a print-at-home ticket it will most likely be PDF, right? You can simply edit the PDF file in regular text editor, search for the wrong name and correct it. But please work on a copy of the original file.
    – 8192K
    May 31, 2017 at 8:23
  • In my opinion this would be acceptable since names are rarely if ever checked on European trains (95% of the tickets don't have names in the first place). And secondly, should they check your name, it will be the correct one. They will not check what the name was in their computer system, I even doubt the name would be in there somewhere.
    – 8192K
    May 31, 2017 at 8:31
  • This is good info. I was afraid of fiddling with the PDF because then I'd be doing something punishable and it would no longer be an honest mistake. But from all that I've read, they seem rather relaxed about it. As for customs people, Is it about the particular cross-border journey ( I'm going to Lausanne from Paris btw ), or just random checking? Because We'll have our Visas, Passports and numerous other bookings in order. @DumbCoder, Is your experience recent or from before this whole immigrant/terrorism phobia has set in?
    – 2bigpigs
    May 31, 2017 at 9:06
  • 1
    Experience since the past 4 years and on every single journey on that route.
    – DumbCoder
    May 31, 2017 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


Quite the same happened to me, but I was travelling with my wife (who does not share my family name but kept her maiden name). Her ticket however had my name printed. In summary: it worked out. But it was a little difficult. ;-)

Regarding your questions:

  1. Not that I know of. He checks the tickets as such.
  2. Yes, afaik they have exactly the same content as the ones that were available online.
  3. Yes. However, if you cannot somehow explain why your name is on your co-travellers ticket, you might have a problem (i.e. using the train without a valid ticket).

I would however suggest to contact them directly and explain the situation and get their opinion on the case.

  • Thank you. I've tried SNCF, I'll try Lyria as well. Just to confirm, Yours were e-tickets, right? We've been considering faking a marriage certificate. Should be easy enough in our country XD
    – 2bigpigs
    May 31, 2017 at 9:10
  • Yes, e-tickets. You dont even need to fake anything imho. We had no documents to prove anything (our passports dont show marital status or name of the partner). May 31, 2017 at 9:18
  • That was a joke. We're both men. It's illegal in our country afaik. Every passenger we've asked so far seems to think this is acceptable. I'll just have some faith in the conductor. I hope being brown doesn't make things harder for us. Thank you. This makes us feel easier.
    – 2bigpigs
    May 31, 2017 at 9:20
  • hahaha ok. ;-) No, honestly it should not be a problem. I just asked a co-worker and he mentioned that the names are hardly ever really checked. But to be on the safe side, I still suggest to consider contacting them and also get their advice (SNCF / TGV) May 31, 2017 at 10:12
  • I did contact lyria and they said it shouldn't be much of a problem. Updated the question accordingly. Thank you for the contact link. Now we can travel in peace :)
    – 2bigpigs
    May 31, 2017 at 21:03

It's very much luck of the draw.

Technically the conductor can ask for ID and check your name against the ticket and see that it is invalid thus as good as travelling without a ticket; the fine for this could be up to 88 euros. https://www.thelocal.fr/20150220/sncf-to-increase-fines-for-ticket-dodgers

However I've never encountered a conductor in France who was bored enough/enough of a dick to do this. The majority of the time they will just check your ticket and not bother to check your name.

Even if they do check your IDs, with a small mistake like this any decent person would let it go. Again; technically the conductor could class the ticket as invalid but if you're nice with them and they're a decent person in a good mood they probably won't.

I guess it comes down to how much of a gambling man you are. Take account of your finances and compare the possible fine if you get unlucky to the cost of booking a 100% correct ticket.

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