SNCF: exchange, cancellation, refund… What to do during the holidays?


Who says Christmas holidays says last minute contingencies. As the Christmas holidays approach, whether in the event of a health problem or a strike, you may need to modify your train journey. Refunds, exchanges and costs… Planet reminds you of all the SNCF procedures and procedures for exchanging your train tickets. It is not always easy to find your way around on time, especially when you know that the rules are about to change from February 1, 2023.

As a reminder, you can currently exchange or have your train tickets refunded free of charge up to three days before your departure date. If your trip is canceled due to an imponderable after this deadline, be aware that if you exceed this deadline, the costs amount to 15 euros for Intercité and TGV train tickets. The terms of exchange and refund are different for Ouigo train tickets, SNCF’s low-cost commercial rail service.

Indeed, on this low-cost service, the exchange of your train ticket is only free within the hour following the purchase of your train ticket. If you miss this deadline, you will have to pay 10 euros. In the event of a ticket exchange, if the new journey you are taking in exchange is more expensive, you will be obliged to pay the difference in price between the two tickets. In the event of cancellation of your trip, be aware that the Ouigo ticket will not be refundable.

However, there are special exchange and refund conditions in the event of a national strike. Indeed, during the industrial action which took place at the SNCF from 2 to 5 December last, the SNCF set up special exchange and reimbursement conditions for all passengers who would be affected by the strike during their trip.

“All travellers, whether their train is maintained or canceled and regardless of the TGV Inoui, Ouigo or Intercités ticket, will be able to benefit from a 100% refund of the ticket price for journeys scheduled between Friday December 2 and Monday December 5. included, or a free exchange on all trains where there is space until Thursday, December 8 inclusive”, can we read on SNCF Connect. In terms of procedure, all you have to do is go to the SNCF website in the “tickets” tab and fill in your 6-character ticket reference and the name used when booking. For TERs, the refund and exchange policy is different depending on the region.

Faced with soaring energy costs, the SNCF has decided to increase the prices of its tickets by 5% on average, but also to tighten its exchange and refund conditions. On February 1, 2023, be aware that the deadline for modifying your train ticket is six days before departure and that the costs will now be 19 euros, i.e. 4 euros more than to date.