France's SNCF launches new ticket scheme for sold-out low-cost trains

The Local France
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France's SNCF launches new ticket scheme for sold-out low-cost trains
A SNCF's low-cost Ouigo TGV trains passes at high speed in the direction of Paris (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

France's national rail service has made it easier for train passengers to cancel their low-cost tickets so other passengers can take up the seats. Here's what you need to know.


When travelling by rail in France, many opt for Ouigo, which offers low-cost TGV trains on certain popular routes.

It is often a great option for getting a more affordable train, but unfortunately it has not historically offered refunds or exchanges - part of the reason it is low-cost.

Even so, 10 percent of people still miss their trains, and with a summer marked by huge passenger numbers on trains, many are seeking to take those unoccupied spots.


Passengers will be happy to hear that on Monday SNCF launched "Ouigoswap", which is essentially a service for those looking for Ouigo tickets when trains are officially sold out.

It allows passengers to add their names to a waiting list for when tickets become available when other passengers can't travel.

Screenshot of Ouigo website

Travellers can now go to the Ouigo website and application, and search location they are seeking to travel to. If the time they are seeking is not available, then the passenger can add themselves to the waiting list. 

Those who have bought tickets but want to get rid of them because they cannot travel can sign up and register for a new option that allows them to pass on their tickets to those on the waiting list. If they is a taker then they are reimbursed 80 percent of their ticket price.

It works on a first come first served basis.

Passengers are not obligated to buy tickets that become available, so simply adding yourself to the waiting list does not mean you have to purchase one. If the seat becomes available, the customer will then be contacted either by email or notification on the application or website. Then, they will be invited to purchase the ticket, which will be listed "at normal price" (full fare).

You can register for a waiting list up until the day before the train is set to depart (until 11:59M). 

For more information and to look for low-cost train TGV train tickets in France you can visit the Ouigo website.


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valmagro 2022/07/21 17:59
Companies should try to fill up every seat available. Swapping tickets makes sense and that should be available for airplane tickets too.
Grabyrdy 2022/07/20 17:21
If it's on the SNCF's site, it won't work.

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