First time reserving - extra fees and it says they physically mail me a ticket?

Hi,
I am in the process of booking several tickets around France in June. I was about to book one from Lyon to Lons-le-Saunier, with a fare of $22. No problem.

There seems to be a $7.94 surcharge for "preparing and sending [me] the travel documents..."

This seems absolutely bizarre and incomprehensible. Don't I just print out my confirmation via email? That is how we do everything else these days. I can't possibly imagine anyone actually physically sends me a ticket?

Or is the $7.95 a convenience surcharge for the booking? Is this applied to every ticket I reserve?

Trying to understand this before I take any further action. Thank you for any guidance.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 15, 2018 21:13
    Hi Chris,

    In the context of rail travel, it isn't all that incomprehensible. There are still some train companies/rail networks that have not yet enabled e-ticketing. Rail Europe is a ticket seller that does not own or operate any trains.

    The method of ticketing depends on the train/route. Currently, only tickets for trains in certain parts of Europe are able to be issued as e-tickets (in the form of print-at-home and/or print-at-station tickets). This includes domestic trains operating within the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, as well as some internationally operating trains between France and neighboring countries or Germany and neighboring countries. For all other trains, tickets are only able to be issued as physical documents that would have to be shipped to you prior to your departure.

    Tickets for a TGV from Lyon to Lons-Le-Saunier can actually be issued as either 'print-at-home' e-tickets, 'print-at-station' e-tickets, or paper documents that would be need to be shipped. You would make your choice at the first step of the checkout process. Whenever tickets for a particular train are able to be issued as print-at-home or print-at-station tickets, the option displays at the first step of the checkout process.

    When tickets are able to be issued electronically, there is still a processing fee of $7.95 USD. This fee applies per order, not per ticket. Therefore, to avoid any additional and unnecessary processing fees, it'd be in your interest to submit all ticket requests in the same order, whenever possible. Additionally, there is usually a promotion waiving the processing fee on any single order submitted through our website that exceeds $449 USD.

    As the years pass, we hope more of the rail networks enable e-ticketing. There are already many more trains offering e-ticketing than there was before. As recently as 10-15 years ago, all tickets were only issued as paper documents.
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