02 July 2012

DB - SNCF

Last Wednesday I was in Gare du Nord station in France, validating my Eurail Pass and I asked if I needed a reservation for this train to Germany. The SNCF (French rail) representative told me I did not.
Yesterday I was looking up the train numbers and times online and I saw that reservations were mandatory. Yesterday I took a train from Toulouse to Narbonne and then from Narbonne to Paris. My thought was to get that needed reservation in Narbonne. When I arrived, the ticket counters were closed, and the machines do to allow one to just book reservations.
Today upon arrival in Paris I went to the line specifically for Eurail Pass holders. I had about 1.5 hours before my train, but the man at the counter told me that the train was full and I would have to ask the train manager.
I found the train manager before boarding and proceeded to use my absolute best French (aka very broken French) to explain the situation. He responded in perfect English that I would have to pay more since I was getting a reservation on the train. I once again tried to explain how I had been mis-informed by a representative of his company. He told me to just get on the train and we'd take care of it later.
I found myself a seat in the almost deserted first class section (my rail pass is first class b/c I am over 26 years old). I wish to again printout I had been told by SNCF the train was sold out and that the section I was sitting in had 3 people including myself in it!
This train is co-operated by SNCF and DB (German Rail). Then came my knight in shining armor, aka a conductor wearing a DB uniform. I explained to him (auf Deutsch of course) the situation. He apologized for the mis-information and sold me the reservation at the price I would have paid had I bought it at the station and not on the train. He also told me (which I already knew) that I would not have this problem in Germany because I would not be required to buy a reservation. (although sometimes it is recommended as the trains fill fast!)
Then the knight in DB-Armor told me there was one other problem.... A first class ticket on this train includes a meal, but for whatever reason it will only be served in the upper level of the first class cars. He told me there were still plenty of seats upstairs and suggested I move.
Once I settled in, the SNCF representative I had talked to earlier came by, but my DB-Knight told himi was all squared away. Yay DB!
As for the food .... Wow what a breakfast it was --- I think I've been given smaller meals on airplanes! I ate some of it and put some aside. With this and the packet of food from Maud's family I will not go hungry!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:On TGV train between Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany

4 comments:

  1. I can't believe they gave you food on a train: that's so hospitable! I didn't make my mouth water nearly as much as the market-related post before though. Oh wow. I've got food-envy!
    Alice

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  2. Compared to the post before this was not exactly mouth-watering, but I appreciated it none-the-less .... I certainly didn't

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  3. Last two words cut off: I certainly didn't expect it

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