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Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

Minneapolis...
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Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

I originally posted this on the Paris forum and it was recommended that I ask here as well:

On 31 January 2012 I purchased a one-way Paris-Amsterdam ticket on Thalys.com for 14 March 2012, train #09351 departing Paris at 14:25 and arriving in Amsterdam at 17:44. I selected the print-at-home option, and the site gave the impression that I could print it later. I made my first attempt to generate the PDF file for the ticket around 10 February, and got the following message: "Because of a technical problem, we cannot give you access to your tickets. Please excuse us and come back later. Thank you for your understanding." I tried to generate the ticket from three different computers over the course of a few days and always got that same error message. I've tried emailing Thalys.com using the form on their website (once in English and once in French using Google Translate), and they never respond. I called the phone number listed on their site, and the person I talked to told me to call SNCF; the number he gave me (+33 8 92 35 35 36) only seems to offer services in French and German.

I also used the email form on Voyages-SNCF.com (that website also seems to recognize my booking reference code, but I would get a similar error message when trying to generate the ticket from their website), a got a response a few days later stating: "Après vérification, je n'ai pas identifié votre commande. Si votre commande a été effectué sur le site Thalys, je vous invite à vous rapprocher de leur service." I'm guessing they're telling me to contact Thalys again (when the Thalys representative told me to contact the SNCF in the first place)??

Even more alarming, since I received the email from the SNCF I am now getting a NEW error message when attempting to generate my ticket on Thalys.com or Voyages-SNCF.com: "Your ticket has been issued and / or printed already, we are not able to give you access to it. Thank you for your understanding." I was never able to generate the ticket!!!

So does anyone:

a) know of a current English language phone number for the SNCF

or

b) think I'll have ANY chance of just being able to pick up my ticket at the train station, even though I selected the print-at-home option. I can print out the email with my booking reference and will be traveling with the credit card used to make the purchase (oh, and I checked my credit card statement, and a charge from the SNCF did go through on 31 January, so that shouldn't be what's causing the problem).

The last thing I want to do is be forced to buy a new ticket when I get to Paris (especially since I doubt that they'll refund the original one), I imagine the fares will be at least €100 at that point.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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1. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

When you get to paris, bring your email receipt to the ticket booth in gare du nord and explain that you have a problem printing your ticket at home

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

It seems like a lot of people are having issues with the Thalys website. I was trying to book online but got an error message after entering my credit card info.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

The stories I keep reading about problems with the Thalys website are worrisome to me.

On one of my upcoming trips to Paris, I plan to take a short trip to Amsterdam, and so will be using the Thalys website to purchase tickets in advance. I plan to notify my credit card company in advance that a foreign transaction is imminent, and wish to print the tickets at home.

Do any of the train experts here have the magic bullet to getting stress-free Thalys tickets online without the dreaded technical problems??

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

I have read through various suggestions on different forums but so far none has worked for me. My next option would be to book through the rail europe website although I found many negative reviews regarding that website.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

@Parisecret Why not book through www.tgv-europe.com? The only problem for you in the US would be that you may not have the option to print at home, but collect the ticket from a ticket machine in France, or any SNCF office in France.

(when you go to this site, do not accept redirection to Raileurope site)

@poyan80 Which direction are you going? If going from Amsterdam to Paris, you can also book with www.nshispeed.nl

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

@ hadiwi56a

Thanks for the suggestion but I'll be traveling from Paris to Amsterdam, one way only. Can I use the tgv europe website and book from Canada? I would prefer the print at home option or email so I dont have to collect my ticket at Paris. My French is very limited!

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

@poyan80 It appears (I just did a dummy booking) that you could get a ticketless option from Canada (explanation: the booking and payment has never been a problem, but for US, the option of printing at home is not available, and no delivery option either). I guess this is your only option, you need to bring the paper with the booking number and the card used to make the booking with you.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

@ hadiwi56a Thanks for the info! I will book through tgv website. I wish the websites would make it easier for oversea customers.

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

I'm happy to report that this ordeal is finally over.

Thalys Customer Service finally responded to my first email, two weeks after I sent it; I had completely given up on them ever responding. They were able to generate the ticket at their end and I was finally able to download it this morning. It's now saved on my computer and in Google Docs.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Thalys print-at-home ticket nightmare

I book a lot of travel online and I always use b-europe.com (the Belgian train company) because you can print the tickets when you want (pdf) and several times too. Of course, once on the train, the scanner reads the ticket so you cannot use it twice.

Working with Thalys.com, SNCF.com, Voyages-sncf.com etc is a PITA.

the nshispeed.nl site works well too. You can book trains in any country on these systems...