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If My Flight is Late and I Miss a Discounted Fare European Train, I'm SOL, Right?

If My Flight is Late and I Miss a Discounted Fare European Train, I'm SOL, Right?

Old May 4, 18, 4:37 pm
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If My Flight is Late and I Miss a Discounted Fare European Train, I'm SOL, Right?

I'm looking for a ticket for a family member to Europe this summer. Given how high summer fares are, I though about perhaps combining a flight and train if it worked out price wise - so many of those European airports have nice convenient train stations.

But, I think I know the answer to this - if I buy a discounted ticket (and they are always train-specific), if the family member misses the train the ticket is worthless and they have to buy a full-price walk-up ticket, just like with air travel - right? No showing that the flight was delayed and getting a break, right?

Seems to defeat some of the utility of having a train station in the airport.
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Old May 4, 18, 4:44 pm
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Well, depends on the country, the rail company and the ticket you want to buy

e.g. in Germany the cheapest discount tickets with DB are not changeable and you will need to buy a new ticket when you miss the train. In Sweden however you can buy cheap tickets with the option to rebook.

But in almost all cases I would assume the cheapest tickets will not be rebooked for free - if at all.
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Old May 4, 18, 11:45 pm
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Can you reveal which European country you have in mind?
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Old May 5, 18, 4:06 am
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I had this dilemma when making a ticket purchase for a TGV from CDG to Lille. Last minute TGV (tres grand vitesse, i.e. high speed train) fares can be nastily expensive. I tried to hedge my bets by buying in advance but leaving just over a 3 hour window from time of landing. (In hindsight a 2 hour window would have sufficed. As for my 'hedge', well, if they'd cancelled the flight for whatever reason, or been really late, I'd still have been out of luck.)
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Old May 5, 18, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by simpleflyer View Post
TGV (tres grand vitesse, i.e. high speed train)
missing a noun in there. (and its gender.)

Train Grande Vitesse

Terms of missing a train should be on the operator's website. The train operator doesn't care where you're coming from (other than one of their trains), so late flight, slept through alarm, flat tire, etc. - you're governed by whatever missed train policy the specific rail company has.

You can contact the ail operator and see if they have something like rental cars - give them your flight and they can actually monitor and adjust for you. But I doubt it.

Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
Seems to defeat some of the utility of having a train station in the airport.
Only if they claimed it would provide special protection/connections. I never assumed they would so this policy would provide the utility I expected.

Last edited by CPRich; May 5, 18 at 7:08 am
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Old May 5, 18, 7:37 am
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You need to check whether there are exceptions specifically for the airport, though they may not extend to connections. For example, in the UK Trans-Pennine Express allow a three hour grace period on "Airport Advance" tickets for travel on their trains from Manchester Airport if your flight is late. The ticket office will check on the flight and then amend your ticket.
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Old May 5, 18, 10:32 am
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I never understand why people would expect to get a discount and not have to take a risk in return for it. No business transaction is a one-way street in your direction.

I suppose you could look at travel insurance that would cover a missed train connection. Insurance companies are in the business of insuring you for anything............for a price.
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Old May 5, 18, 1:17 pm
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Lets move this to our European Rail Travel forum for further discussion. Thanks. /JY1024, TravelBuzz co-moderator
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Old May 5, 18, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by fassy View Post
e.g. in Germany the cheapest discount tickets with DB are not changeable and you will need to buy a new ticket when you miss the train.
Given the reliableness of DB, I've been in the odd situation where I arrived well after the scheduled departure time of the train and still manage to catch my heavily delayed train.

---
@BigFlyer: The idea of discounted/restricted tickets is to accept lower flexibility in exchange for a (heavy) discount. Whether you can take the next train or not will depend on the route (a domestic route may be handled differently than an international route), the operating train company, the ticket, the train service (Some train services don't require you to take a specific train. Others (e.g. TGV, Eurostar) will require you to take the specified train and change the ticket if necessary/possible).
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Old May 5, 18, 3:29 pm
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Also, check your travel interruption insurance. Read the specific provisions of your specific policy. There are a lot of generalizations on FT about what is and is not covered.
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Old May 5, 18, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
missing a noun in there. (and its gender.)

Train Grande Vitesse

.
Yes, but I like mine better. Plus it's my way of mooning the ghost of De Gaulle.
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Old May 7, 18, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
if I buy a discounted ticket (and they are always train-specific), if the family member misses the train the ticket is worthless and they have to buy a full-price walk-up ticket, just like with air travel - right? No showing that the flight was delayed and getting a break, right?
That's why some airlines offer through air-rail fares (in France the SNCF "TGV Air" agreement works with many airlines, so does DB in Germany with Lufthansa and some others...). In that case, should you miss your connection, you would be given a seat on the next available train.
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Old May 8, 18, 4:49 am
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Originally Posted by Nico40 View Post
That's why some airlines offer through air-rail fares (in France the SNCF "TGV Air" agreement works with many airlines, so does DB in Germany with Lufthansa and some others...). In that case, should you miss your connection, you would be given a seat on the next available train.
I think it's more that the airlines would like to fly to the cities served by train, but it's easier to connect to a train, than they really care about passengers missing trains due to flight delays.

The cost of these rail-air tickets may be higher than purchasing the airfare to the airport separately along with a flexible train ticket.

Various airlines apparently codeshare with GWR to provide onwards travel from LHR: https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/jou...ctions/gwr-air
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Old May 23, 18, 1:39 pm
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I’ve had some real close shaves with this at Frankfurt airport after flights which were delayed. So far I’ve managed to not get stung, having caught the train by the skin of my teeth on a couple of occasions. With the Deutsche Bahn I thought it might be possible to buy up to full fair if you miss the train. I had a conversation at the ticket counter once that revealed some measure that meant the ticket was not entirely lost, but I can’t remember exactly what that was now.
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Old May 25, 18, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
I'm looking for a ticket for a family member to Europe this summer. Given how high summer fares are, I though about perhaps combining a flight and train if it worked out price wise - so many of those European airports have nice convenient train stations.

But, I think I know the answer to this - if I buy a discounted ticket (and they are always train-specific), if the family member misses the train the ticket is worthless and they have to buy a full-price walk-up ticket, just like with air travel - right? No showing that the flight was delayed and getting a break, right?

Seems to defeat some of the utility of having a train station in the airport.
Defeat the utility? Not in the least whatsoever. If you choose to buy a heavily discounted ticket, you assume the risk. This is why I typically allow a ~4 hour cushion to catch the train as I want those discounted fares; there are always flight delays and long lines at immigration so the cushion is worth it.
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