traveling with your pet can be very expensive

Traveling by train with your pet can hold surprises. In June 2022, SNCF changed its rates. If the owners of large dogs have gained, those of small dogs, cats or rabbits have seen the prices more than double on certain routes. RTL has met passengers who have decided not to pay for their animal and who hide it when the controller arrives.

The new pricing for pets was nevertheless presented by the SNCF as excellent news. In June 2022, the company announces that a single price (7 euros) is now practiced. Until then, the price depended on the size of the animal.

For a large dog on a leash, you had to pay the equivalent of a half-fare ticket for a human, which could cost several tens of euros. Undoubtedly, this new single rate has relieved the masters of Great Danes or Afghan Hounds. But owners of small animals, dogs, cats or rabbits have discovered that they sometimes have to pay a lot more.

2 connections: 3 tickets…

From now on, the ticket charged by the SNCF is indeed 7 euros for a direct TGV or 8 for an Inoui, but if the journey then includes connections by TER, “you have to pay again for each section of the journey”, confirms a controller in the TER Bellegarde – Annemasse in Haute-Savoie. If you change trains twice, you pay for three tickets”. Thomas, owner of two rabbits that he transports in the same crate, confirms that he had to pay three times 7 euros to go from Paris to Thonon-les-Bains with two changes. Since then, the regions responsible for TER fares seem to have wanted to mitigate the increase a little by creating a fare “Illico Animals”a kind of flat rate for TER journeys of 5 euros in PACA or Rhône-Alpes or 7 euros in Occitania or Brittany.

“I hide my cat when the controller arrives”

“But if you take a TGV, then a TER connection behind, you still pay 7 euros + the Illico package, so 28 euros round trip to Brittany with my cat Alfred”, explains Carine, who has decided not to pay any more. “When the controller arrives, I hide Alfred’s cash box under my coat and I cough to hide possible meows“. Carine does not want to “pay as much for a place which in addition does not exist. There are no designated places for animals on trains and we have to carry them on our laps.”

Pierre, who goes regularly to Haute-Savoie no longer wants to pay either and hides Maya, his dog, a Cairn terrier, at his feet. A little further in the train, Thomas, the owner of the rabbits, admits that he has not paid during certain trips, but that he hesitates “because the fine incurred is 35 euros per train per rabbit! That still very expensive for rabbits!” Pierre says he no longer accepts being “taken for a pigeon”. “On a short journey, for example between Annemasse and Machilly, my dog ​​pays more than me. His ticket costs 5 euros and mine 3.10 euros!”

Tariff freedom granted to the regions

Contacted by RTL, the communications department of the SNCF explains that the company is not responsible. “This is a consequence of the freedom of tariffs now granted to the regions. On the trains which depend on the SNCF, the tariffs have fallen sharply for owners of large dogs. And have remained at 7 euros for small animals transported in a container”. Then, the regions are free to add a price for connections. However, the SNCF explains that it is trying to work on the subject with the various stakeholders and in particular with the regions to try to improve the situation.

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