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Positive Experiences with Renfe

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I know some people have great difficulty with renfe.com but thought I would share my positive experiences having just returned from a month in Spain with all our travels by train.

I followed the instructions given on seat61.com for Spain and after initial frustrations purchased 10 tickets and, where possible, they were all webfares.
The initial frustration was caused when someone at a bank told me they used Verified by Visa when they don't. I moved on to a different bank and credit card which I was able to sign up with Verified by Visa. From then on everything was straight forward. I also registered with Renfe. This is very worthwhile.

I had reason to cancel one journey and decided to phone Renfe direct. When someone answered I said "English please". Within seconds a man who spoke very good English came on. I gave him the "localizador" number from my ticket and as it was a web fare I lost 50% of the fare but the 50% refund was paid promptly into my account. It was a very short phone call.

While we were away I went online and changed one departure time to later in the day. No problems and the hotel printed the new ticket for me.

Another day our train was cancelled due to a strike. I went to Customer Service at the station and we were allocated seats on the next train. These were also web fare tickets - I expected to lose our money, but no, just new seat numbers and departure time were written on our tickets.

The trains were all clean, comfortable, punctual and fast. The people at Customer Service were very helpful. Another big plus was being able to turn up at the station a short time before the departure time - unlike catching a plane.

To those trying to buy tickets one way or another, I know you will forget the frustrations once you are sitting back in a train enjoying the scenery of Spain. Good luck with it all.

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