“Complete train alert”, a feature that visibly benefits SNCF
During periods of high demand, especially in the run-up to the end-of-year holidays, finding a train ticket can be complex. As of November 30, 2023, the SNCF Connect app has responded to this issue by allowing users subscribe to alerts for initially full trainsthus offering a new purchase opportunity within a period of between ten minutes and two hours after the traveler picks up.
Just over two months after its implementation, the time has come for the SNCF to carry out an initial assessment. And it turns out to be very positive: almost 300,000 alerts were created by users, testifying to its massive adoption by SNCF customers. (Without knowing how many of those 300,000 trains had free seats so that an alert could be sent to those waiting.) And when an alert was sent, in 84% of cases people actually purchased the offered seat.
SNCF: “Full train alert” victim of its success?
We can assume that the “countdown” aspect greatly influences the decision to make the purchase. In fact, when an alert is sent to a user, they have between 10 minutes and 2 hours to make the purchase. Suffice to say, you should always be free and have your smartphone in front of you! (The functionality is not available on the SNCF Connect website.) Despite its success, this functionality has some limitations, namely its unavailability on all routes due to already saturated waiting lists. This point highlights the popularity and high demand of this service.
This is not the first time that SNCF has tried to optimize the occupancy rate of its trains (and, in fact, optimize passenger performance). DAs of summer 2021, the Ouigo website and app have in fact included a feature called Ouigoswap. This service allows travelers forced to cancel their trip to resell their tickets if the train in question is full. Passengers on the waiting list can then purchase these tickets for the same price, while the seller receives a voucher equivalent to 80% of the initial value.