ALSA Bus or Busbud?

Old Mar 16th, 2017, 06:13 PM
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ALSA Bus or Busbud?

Hello,
We are planning on traveling from Cordoba to Granada and from Granada to Malaga by bus in September. What is the difference between Alsa and BusBud? I know ALSA is the name of the bus company. Is Busbud a sales agent? Has anyone had experience buying tickets through Busbud? Is one better/more reliable than the other?

And does anyone know when the bus tickets go on sale? I know the train tickets go on sale typically 2 to 3 months in advance in Spain, and I have set up travel alerts. But so far I haven't found any information about when bus tickets go on sale.

Thank you!
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2017, 08:09 PM
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Where did you come across this "Busbud"? I see no such thing on the good ol' ALSA website alsa.es or on the web.

There is a sort of loyalty program for frequent ALSA users called Busplus Club - is that it? See https://www.alsa.es/en/busplus-club

Anyway, you can't go wrong with ALSA, and I don't understand your problem with the dates - I just brought up the timetable for a (randomly picked) September date of 9/13 - from Cordoba to Granada you have a bus at 06:00, 08:30, 11:00, 14:00, 15:15, 15:30, 17:00, 19:00, with varying routes and therefore varying travel times.

Try again - at https://www.alsa.es/en/bus-schedules? (it's in English)
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 05:07 AM
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Hi Michelhuebeli,

Thank you for your reply. I have a feeling the bus tickets don't go on sale until 6 months in advance. Thank you for taking the time to check the schedule by choosing a random date in September. Our date of travel to Granada is September 25, and when I entered those dates, I got a message informing me my travel date is too far ahead and they can't show schedules, and I can't book now. But since you chose September 13, I assume this means booking doesn't open until 6 months prior.

I found Busbud by surfing the internet. It is a different company than ALSA. I had emailed them with a question about the buses. But they told me they don't know when tickets go on sale; they have to wait unti ALSA notifies them, which is why I posted my question. I want to purchase our tickets when they go on sale to make sure I get the times that I want.

Do you know if people from the U.S. have problems buying tickets through ALSA's website? I remember reading some posts (they might be older) from Americans who had problems buying their tickets from ALSA.

Thank you!
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 05:55 AM
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I haven't tried yet, but I understand PayPal is the way to go with ALSA if you're buying from the U.S. I also believe, from what I've read, that tickets don't get sold out that far in advance, so you're probably comfortable waiting a bit.
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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Had problems with purchasing tickets from Granada to Sevilla a few months ago, trying several several days in case there was a problem with the booking system. My credit card is from the US.

I discovered that I could purchase the ticket through
trainline.eu. I have used them on multiple past trips in France and Italy with no problems. This trip I have 6 reservations through trainline and it is also an easy way to always have a record in one place.

Suggest that you first look at the schedule for ALSA when it comes out if you are concerned about the type of bus, although they all look good for the money.
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 09:12 AM
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I bought my bus tickets on ALSA in October a couple of weeks before my trip, though I went from Seville to Granada. They offer two different types of buses, but this isn't something you need to do months in advance, except perhaps if you are traveling around an important holiday period.
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 10:05 AM
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Busbud is just a bus aggregator, like Kayak or Expedia or those kind of websites. ALSA is the actual bus company. Busbud is NOT a bus company.

I have not bought through them but there isn't necessarily anything wrong with them, those kind of sites can be convenient when multiple companies may work in an area (in fact, multiple bus companies do work in Andalucia), and often their websites can be easier to use than main bus/train companies (sometimes American credit cards won't go through them, for example, but will outside agents--I've had that problem in Mexico with their bus companies, the website won't work).

The thing to check is if the price is different. If you have no problem with ALSA's website, sure, use them. If you do and busbud works, check if there are any fees and decide if it is worth them or not, if there are.

I've used Paypal with Renfe but they do impose a foreign currency transaction fee, it's in their terms, you can't avoid it (Paypal does) if the charge is not in USD. this is unrelated to whatever credit card you use. It was the only way I could get a ticket and it wasn't that much, so it was worth it to me. I think it was a couple percent.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 07:02 AM
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Thank you to everyone who replied! I appreciate your information and insight. I sometimes get anxious about booking things early because I want to make sure I get the times I want, and I know the bus might be popular for my routes because people might prefer taking the bus all the way, instead of changing from bus to train in Antiquera. I still have plenty of time, and will wait awhile before I try again. I think Busbud's fares might be a little bit more than ALSA's fares, but not exorbitant so I'm not too worried about the cost. When it's time to purchase the tickets, I can try ALSA, Busbud, and trainline.eu and see which one is easiest to use. My credit card is a U.S. card, and we have a PayPal account, so can use that instead if it's easier than the CC.
Thank you!
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 07:06 AM
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As far as I know, you cannot use a US credit card with Alsa; you have to use PayPal. PayPal works just fine with it and you'll get an email from Alsa with your reservation info.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 07:14 AM
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Karen, please report back when you do. I'll probably buy all of our train and bus tickets once summer arrives, so I'd appreciate any tips.
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 03:21 PM
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Indyhiker, thank you! I will use PayPal for ALSA and not even bother with my US credit card.
PegS, I will report back to you. When will you be in Spain?
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Old Mar 18th, 2017, 03:31 PM
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Oh yeah, and my boss confirmed that PayPal works way better with Renfe too!

We'll be in Spain essentially the first two weeks in Oct. We're flying to Madrid, immediately taking the train to Seville and spending 5 nights there, including an overnight in Cordoba. (I've kinda decided that instead of doing a day trip to Cordoba, to go there around noon-ish--leaving most of our luggage in our Seville apartment--stay overnight, hit the Mezquita during that free hour, then come back to Seville after lunch.)

Then Granada for 2 nights, then Madrid for 6 nights--which will most likely include day trips to both Toledo and Segovia.
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