Secret rail ticket Santa saves woman's Christmas

One woman was able to spend Christmas with her boyfriend thanks to the kindness of a stranger

Facebook 'thank you' leads to a travel revelation

A woman who was given a rail ticket so she could spend part of the holidays with her boyfriend sat alongside her benefactor for most of the trip without realising it.

The woman, identified only as Isabel, discovered her Christmas Day train from Gare du Lyon to Montpellier had been cancelled due to the ongoing pension reform strikes. She was unable to transfer her ticket to a later train, and could not afford the cost of a new ticket.

Her Christmas plans appeared to be dashed, but then her mysterious benefactor stepped in. An SNCF staff member gave her a ticket to Valence, which would allow her to catch a connecting train to Montpellier, explaining that the person who had intended to use it had changed their plans.

Determined to thank her 'secret' Santa - whose name was on the ticket and who had saved her romantic Christmas plans, Isabel posted a message on Facebook.

"I don't know your face, I only have your name and your Paris-Valence train ticket," she wrote. "I still can't believe it. I'm now comfortably settled in, my mascara still on my cheeks, but no more tears! If you read me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are, this year, my Santa Claus."

The following day, the sister of the original ticket holder contacted her to explain that the ticket, in her brother's name, was intended for her mother - who had changed her plans at the last minute. The man had decided to pass on her ticket to a stranded traveller rather than apply for a refund.

It turned out he had travelled on the same train, alongside the woman he had helped travel home for Christmas.

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