The level of reservations for the summer is already 10% higher than that, also a record, of the summer of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said.
“We are doing as usual, but the trains are fuller and we are emphasizing the distribution of luggage tags to avoid forgotten luggage,” a spokeswoman for SNCF Voyageurs told AFP. The company now offers labels with QR codes on all TGV routes, allowing the owners of abandoned luggage to be found in complete confidentiality.
This weekend is special: it’s the great crossover of the Julyists and Augustians. One million passengers in all are expected and a third of the 650 TGV Inoui and Ouigo circulating every day (out of 800 main line trains) are full. The Parisian stations, but also those of Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Avignon, should be the most crowded.
The SNCF mobilized for the occasion some 1,500 “red vests”, volunteer employees responsible for guiding travelers.
– fashion you train –
The most popular destinations this summer are unsurprisingly the Mediterranean, the South-West and Brittany, the “top 5” of the most requested cities being, like last year, Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Avignon.
Less expected, the Grand Est is also popular this year, with notable increases in bookings to Nancy (56% over one year), Metz (50%) and Reims (63%).
“All available trains are in circulation this summer,” insisted the public company, while many trains are already full or have become very expensive without a discount card.
The company had planned for this train boom already before the summer, and made available 500,000 additional places over the summer. The possibility of paying for your train ticket online with (dematerialized) holiday vouchers is popular with customers, noted a manager from SNCF Voyageurs.
Internationally too, the fashion for the train is accelerating with destinations such as Italy, Spain and Germany, which “are doing well” according to the spokesperson.
As for the occasional and weekend attendance of the TER, it is also considered excellent, up by almost 20% compared to 2019.
For last-minute travelers without a train ticket, the SNCF reassures: there are still 6 million places available on long-distance trains in August.
If necessary, it will be necessary to favor less popular destinations “like the north of France”, or “go to the sea on a Tuesday rather than at the weekend”, explains the SNCF.