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Trenitalia Missed Connections Between Trains

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I am going to attempt to condense here the "rules" concerning missed connections between Trenitalia trains: when minimum connection times are important and when not, as well as other helpful hints.

When reading this posting, please bear in mind the following:

1. The discussion is confined to the issue of missed CONNECTIONS between two TRENITALIA trains (and not between Trenitalia and another operator such as ITALO TRENO or the Circumvesuviana commuter rail)

2. The discussion does NOT concern trains missed for reasons NOT attributable to Trenitalia (e.g. late arriving plane or ship; waking up too late; taxi to train station breaks down, is caught in road traffic, or is delayed by bad weather, traveller is delayed because sick or injured, etc.)

3. Some of the proposed solutions represent the distillation of questions asked by me to Trenitalia Customer Assistance Staff, but are not necessarily outcomes sanctioned by the "official rules", i.e. the proposed result is NOT GUARANTEED.

So, here we go:

1. Connections TO a RESERVED Trenitalia train for which a "BASE" fare ticket is held:

If you are connecting FROM any Trenitalia train TO a Trenitalia RESERVED train, and are holding a "BASE" fare ticket on the RESERVED train, you have a ONE HOUR GRACE period to re-book to a later train (free of charge) if you MISS your connection. If you MISS your RESERVED train by MORE than one hour OWING TO a late arriving Trenitalia train, you NEVERTHELESS SHOULD seek and obtain APPROVAL from the Trenitalia customer assistance staff to re-book to a later train (which should be allowed free of charge).

2. Connections between two RESERVED Trenitalia trains for which a DISCOUNTED ticket is held on the second train:

If you are connecting FROM any Trenitalia RESERVED train TO a Trenitalia RESERVED train, and are holding a DISCOUNTED (e.g. SUPER ECONOMY or ECONOMY) fare ticket on the second RESERVED train, you must seek APPROVAL from the Trenitalia customer assistance staff to re-book to a later train if you MISS your second (connecting) RESERVED train. Approval SHOULD be given as long as you have a 15-minute official connection time and you are connecting FROM another RESERVED train.

3. Connections from a Trenitalia UNRESERVED train TO a Trenitalia RESERVED train, for which a DISCOUNTED ticket is held on the second train:

If you are connecting FROM a Trenitalia UNRESERVED (i.e. "regionale") train, to a Trenitalia RESERVED train for which you hold a DISCOUNTED ticket (and you MISS the second train), you are SUPPOSED to have an official connection time of at least ONE HOUR in order to be accommodated without penalty, although this "rule" is often waived by the Trenitalia customer assistance staff (BUT there are no guarantees that this will always be the outcome). In all cases, you need the APPROVAL of Trenitalia staff (which is DISCRETIONARY when the connection time is less than 60 minutes).

HINT: If you're holding a DISCOUNTED ticket on the RESERVED train, if possible give yourself at least 30-60 minutes connection time if connecting FROM an UNRESERVED train. (I offer the same advice even when connecting FROM a RESERVED train, even though the "15-minute connection rule" SHOULD apply here). If your request to be accommodated in denied, try asking a different Customer Assistance representative (or better yet, go to the Trenitalia Customer Assistance Office).

4. Connections TO a Trenitalia UNRESERVED train for which a PAPER ticket is held:

If you are connecting FROM any Trenitalia train TO a Trenitalia UNRESERVED train, and are holding a PAPER ticket for the UNRESERVED train, the PAPER ticket is valid for SIX HOURS after validation (punching) thereof. This protects you in case you MISS your desired connecting UNRESERVED train. If you have not even validated the PAPER ticket, you can use it up to TWO MONTHS after ticket issuance.

HINT: Do NOT validate the PAPER ticket for the UNRESERVED train until you ARRIVE at the connecting station ( just before boarding the connecting train). DON'T FORGET to validate the PAPER ticket for the UNRESERVED train in this case (this can sometimes happen when in a rush)!!!

5. Connections TO a Trenitalia UNRESERVED train for which an ELECTRONIC ticket is held:

If you are connecting FROM any Trenitalia train TO a Trenitalia UNRESERVED train, and are holding an ELECTRONIC ticket for the UNRESERVED train, the ELECTRONIC ticket is valid for FOUR HOURS** after the departure time of the train noted thereon. This also protects you in case you MISS your desired connecting UNRESERVED train. **In the case of an electronic ticket for the Leonardo da Vinci airport train to Rome-FCO airport, 90 minutes instead of four hours.

6. Tips on seeking Customer Assistance:

You can request re-booking to a later departing Frecciarossa, Frecciargento or Frecciabianca (reserved) train at the mobile desks at the head of the track (when in operation), rather than standing in line at the main staffed ticket windows. This will usually result in much faster service. HOWEVER, if you hold a ticket for an INTERCITY (reserved) train, you will need to go to the staffed ticket windows (or the Trenitalia Customer Assistance Office, where present). If you have a complicated issue (or hold a ticket for an UNRESERVED train), it's usually best to go directly to the Trenitalia Customer Assistance Office.

MOST IMPORTANT POINT TO REMEMBER: These "rules" are not enforced 100% of the time, and "exceptions" can and are made. You may not get consistent answers to these questions when you ask Trenitalia staff: don't be surprised!!!

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