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Trenitalia Imposes New Advance Purchase Rule on ECONOMY/SUPER ECONOMY Fares

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Trenitalia has quietly introduced an advance purchase requirement for its popular ECONOMY and SUPER ECONOMY fares, which previously did not exist (although as a practical matter, most of the "good" fares were sold out on or near the departure date, especially during the summer season).

Now, ECONOMY and SUPER ECONOMY fares are offered up until 23:59 (Italy time) of the day PRIOR to scheduled departure.

Some travellers may recall that this advance purchase requirement existed for the (now defunct) "MINI" fares, but had been dropped when the ECONOMY and SUPER ECONOMY fares were introduced last year (meaning that these promotional fares were at least theoretically available up to the moment of departure).

Before the advance purchase requirement was introduced, it WAS possible to find some ECONOMY fares on SOME trains as late as the departure date, although the discount was usually not great. For example, when taking a fast train immediately after arrival at FCO or MXP airport, one could nevertheless sometimes find an ECONOMY fare which one would have hesitated purchasing in advance (because of the possibility of forfeiting the ticket if the train was missed).

This possibility of saving some money no longer exists (and primarily affects people who purchase at the last moment).

Remember that Trenitalia tickets can USUALLY be purchased up to FOUR MONTHS in advance (as long as schedules have been uploaded to the Trenitalia website). During periods when the schedules are close to being updated, the booking period can be much shorter than four months.

A large portion of (but not all) trains for travel on and after June 9, 2013 have now been uploaded. In particular, it seems that many Intercity and unreserved regionale trains have yet to be uploaded.

BEWARE: The new advance purchase requirement is stated in the ITALIAN-language webpages, but not yet in the ENGLISH-language pages.

NOTE: An identical advance purchase restriction applies to other Trenitalia promotional fares but NOT (as yet) to the "Familia" fare.

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