I’m sad

Lowest fares missed because booking "ninety days prior to trip" actually refers to date of "return" leg of a two-way trip.

I am in the process of booking a "return trip", Paris to Aix en Provence, with the two legs of the trip ten days apart. As seniors on a budget, I wanted to get the lowest fare possible. I know that we can't book more than ninety days in advance. Ninety days prior to the start of our trip, i.e., the "going" leg of the trip, I checked the web site, clicked "return trip", entered our dates, and got "tickets not available at this time - check later". After doing this for four days in a row, now well less than ninety days prior to our departure, and still getting the same response, I instead clicked "one way trip", and was able to book the "going" leg. But then, all the cheap rates were gone for our departure date and I had to book at more than two times the cost of the lowest listed fares. I was not happy.
Why does your site not make it clear that "ninety days prior" to trip means ninety days prior to the "return" leg of a return trip? When there is no discount for booking a "return" trip versus two "one-way" trips, it makes no difference whether one books two one-way trips or one return trip - except that clicking "return trip" on your web site likely means low fares for the "going" leg of a trip will be gone by the time one can book a "return" trip.
I feel that we missed out on the low rates of our "going" leg of our trip because your site does not explicitly state that "ninety days prior to trip" for a "return trip" refers to the date of the "return" leg of the trip. At the very least, you should change your site so that this is made clear for anyone wishing to book a "return" trip. Better yet, allow customers to book the "going" leg of a return trip when they attempt to book a "return" trip within ninety days of the date of the "going" leg.
Thank you.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 18, 2016 20:48
    Hi Kevin,

    We're sorry if you missed out on lower fares. Generally, trains in France can only be booked within 90 days of intended departure date. The 90 day booking window would be applicable to the trains themselves (i.e. individual trains). Any individual train, whether it's a one-way or part of a round-trip, would be subject to this.

    If the fares were higher when you went to look at the outbound by itself, that is likely because they weren't associated with any round-trip discount. Therefore, you would have to wait until the return leg is within the 90 day booking window (for individual trains) to book a route as a round-trip and be quoted any possible round-trip discounts.

    We are not able to assist with specific orders through this forum. If you have questions about a specific order you placed with us, you would have to contact us either by calling us 1-800-622-8600 or sending an email to customercare@raileurope.com. If you send an email, please be sure to include the booking number for your order, as well as your full first and last name. However, please note it can take up to 48 business hours to receive a reply to email correspondence.
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