Photo credit (banner): Géronimo Potier / SNCF

Frequently asked questions: Booking & buying

How do you buy a ticket for your pet? What should you do if you forget your Avantage card? How do you book a seat next to someone who’s already got a ticket? Here are answers to the most common questions from SNCF customers across all communications channels.

Booking & buying

Got questions about the SNCF Connect app? You’ll find answers on our dedicated Connect&vous FAQ page.

Go to the Connect&vous FAQ (in French)

Like other European rail operators, we’re showing solidarity with refugees from Ukraine by offering them free tickets on SNCF trains, for travel throughout France and to neighbouring European countries. To get your free tickets, here’s what you need to do.

When you arrive at the station, you must go to a ticket window and present one of the documents below to get your free ticket:

  • a passport or ID card issued by Ukraine
  • a HELP UKRAINE ticket issued by Deutsche Bahn 
  • a valid Ukrainian residence permit, if you are not Ukrainian but are fleeing the conflict
  • a Ukrainian resident alien card

Learn more

The name cannot be changed. E-tickets are issued in the traveller’s name: they are personal and non-transferable.

No. Metro tickets can only be purchased at sales points in select stations.

Learn more


Trains become unavailable for booking when they are full. In this case, check the timetables for other options, or contact your travel agent to receive an alert if a seat opens up on the train you want.

Go back to your travel agent’s website and enter the information you used for the original booking. You can also contact their order-tracking service.

If you bought your ticket through an SNCF sales channel, please visit an SNCF agent or sales office, or call 3635 from inside France (cost of a local call). From outside France, dial +33 1 84 94 36 35.

You can still buy a ticket for your pet after you’ve bought your own. Choose one of these options:

  • visit an SNCF ticket window
  • use a self-service machine
  • call our telephone support service any day of the week. From inside France, dial 3635 (no surcharge). From outside France, dial +33 8 92 35 35 35. Once connected, say “Billets” and give your travel dates. For service in English, wait for the prompt, “For this service in English, press #85” and follow the instructions.

Important: if you’ve already bought your ticket, you can’t book one for your pet online.

Note: requirements for travelling with pets vary according to their size and weight.

Learn more about our solutions for travelling with your pet

When you fill in the second passenger’s profile, tick the “Travel companion Carte Avantage” box.

The rate for tickets is 10%.

VAT on transport is not deductible.

If you’re travelling with TER or INTERCITÉS on a physical ticket, you can board a full train as an overbooked passenger, but you aren’t guaranteed to get a seat. If you’re travelling with TGV INOUI or OUIGO, however, you cannot board a full train.

If you’re travelling with TER or INTERCITÉS on an e-ticket, you can only board the train you booked.

Some of our business fares allow you to board a full TGV INOUI, but you must exchange your ticket and you are not guaranteed a seat.

E-tickets are linked to your Voyageur card when you book. To add them afterwards, please call the Voyageur programme and speak with a telephone representative.

SNCF is currently unable to issue invoices.

If you need a printed receipt, contact the vendor you chose when you bought your ticket—a station, an SNCF sales office, an app, or an authorized travel agent (brick and mortar or online).

A receipt is a document showing that you have actually made a journey. It can be used for any kind of official transaction, such as documenting travel for an employer, an accounting department or tax authorities. Important: your receipt will not show value-added tax because it does not apply to rail or road transport.

Different transport providers have different procedures for issuing receipts for travel within France and/or in other countries.

Learn more

Your travel agent may be able to help you get the coach and seat you want. The booking system will try to seat you according to your preferences. You can also speak with a telephone representative any day of the week. From inside France, dial 3635 (no surcharge). From outside France, call +33 8 92 35 35 35.

If you have the Assistant SNCF app, you can store your card on your smartphone or other device. Simply download the app, enter your card number and follow the instructions.

Learn more about the Assistant SNCF app

Learn more about digitizing your cards

If you’re having difficulty with the SNCF Connect site, contact one of our other sales channels:

  • call customer service. From inside France, dial 3635 between 07.00 and 22.00 (no surcharge). From outside France, call +33 8 92 35 35 35.
  • go to an SNCF station or sales office
  • visit an online agency

You can also contact the SNCF Connect team. Call +33 1 84 90 90 90 (no surcharge) 08.00-20.00, or use Messenger.

To see all of the ways you can contact the team at SNCF Connect, go to the SNCF Connect homepage and enter “speak to an adviser” in the search bar.

When you search for a train, look at the very first page. In the Passengers section, click on “Complete my profile”, and you’ll see a number of fields to fill in, such as age range, season ticket, and loyalty card.

Go down to the box marked “Promo code or voucher” and paste the code from your e‑voucher into the box. When you begin your search, a small box will pop up with the message that the amount will be deducted from your final payment.

Important: you can combine 2 or more vouchers.

Follow the link below to get complete information on our updated fare offer and new Avantage cards.

Learn more

You may have noticed that you can’t use your Liberté card or your Avantage Jeune, Adulte or Senior card when you book some TER tickets.

The discounts offered by these national cards don’t always apply because each French region has created its own cards, independent of our Avantage and Liberté programmes. These regional cards offer savings on travel all year round. Visit the website for your region to learn more about them and choose the one that’s best for you.