Another (sorry) Italy train question

Apr 5th, 2015, 02:45 AM
  #21  
 
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" Porta Garibaldi in Milan is not a convenient station for people needing to get to the airport"
There are just 34 direct trains daily which link Milano Porta Garibaldi station in 40 minutes with Malpensa Terminal 1.
That's less than the buses from Milano Centrale or the trains from Milano Cadorna, but the waiting time at Milano PG exceeds 20 min in 3 of all 40 cases (arrivals of Italo and Trenitalia trains from Venice, Bologna etc. and Turin) only.
neckervd is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 02:55 AM
  #22  
 
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BTW: It's perfectly possible to travel with Italo from Venice to Milan for as less as 24 EUR (with a train change at Bologna) if you book well in advance.
For May 10th they offer for 24 EUR: Venezia SL dp 12.55 - Bologna 14.20/15.03 - Milano Porta Garibaldi ar 16.18
neckervd is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 04:00 AM
  #23  
 
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>>>You may have had a lucky stroke where a super-economy ticket showed as being available when it had already sold out. <<<

It's possible there were some of those spring rates that have the extra few euro off the super economy prices (17€ instead of 19€).

I think why laurieco didn't see all trains on Trenitalia was the city selection on auto-fill. If you select Milan only (Firenze only, etc.), you don't see all the fast trains and other stations appear (Firenze Campo di Marte, etc.) which are only served by slower trains. If you pick the exact stations in the auto-fill (Centrale, SMN), you get those stations only. On the Italian version of the website, there is also a box pre-selected to show all trains or you can click the other box to show Frecce only (it used to be pre-selected to show Frecce only).

flanner - The cheaper (cheapest) tickets (as little as 9€ on some of these routes) on Trenitalia are showing for the IC or R trains (slower trains), not the fastest trains. Italo doesn't operate between Milan to Venice. You would have to go to Bologna, change trains for one to Venice.

>>>There are just 34 direct trains daily which link Milano Porta Garibaldi station in 40 minutes with Malpensa Terminal 1.<<<

Yes and Trenord operates the trains in the region (Lombardy). You can buy your tickets (12€) to and from the airport on their website (no mark-up and no fees). You select day/time and the ticket will have a 4 hour window of use. On their website, you do want to just enter Milan and Malpensa in the box. On the next screen, you will get a drop down box to select which Milan station and Malpensa will auto-fill to aeroporto.
***The ticket has to be used within 4 hours from the chosen date/hour of the trip (not after the end of the service)***

http://www.trenord.it/en/
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 04:15 AM
  #24  
 
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fact is the RailEurope now in the case of Italy, France and Germany on some trains at least taps right into those counries' rail web sites and of course Italo GTren too of which RE's parent company the SNCF or French Railways is a stakeholder.

The old myth that RE is always always much more expensive is now a myth - it was true a year or two ago but no more as the OP found out.

and all things equal book RE if an American - if you cancel our trip, etc a refund may be easier (if any refund is guaranteed).



I have done similar comparisons and at times have found trains on RE slightly cheaper tha trenitalia.com - not always or not often but I have found it to be so true now and if your take the 3% foreign exchange conversion fee out that may make it cheaper too.

Always these days check www.raileurope.com and www.trenitalia.com and Italo sites and see which is best - for RE products I always recommend either using www.ricksteves.com or www.budgeteuropetravel.com because you can actually talk to someone who knows a lot - RE agents themselves seem only to know prices. www.seat61.com the now the bible of discounted fares.

But the days when one could claim that RE is always way overpriced are gone - though this may not yet be the cast on Fodor's and other sites - the current conditions often take a few years to take hold in folks minds - especially ones who are only repeating what they have heard (not including kybourbon ir bvlience - two Italian train fare gurus who constantly help flummoxed Foroites out of the trenitalia.com site's fog.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 04:52 AM
  #25  
 
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I am wondering if Laurie just scanned over the words trenitalia and italotreno thinking it was the same and not realizing that they are different websites and different organizations. If she never actually went to the Italo website that would explain part of her posts.

In any event sounds like she snagged some super economy fares. I hope raileurope doesn't actually send paper tickets, another thing to keep track of and potentially lose.
tom_mn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 05:06 AM
  #26  
 
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PQ: seat61.com is the bible if the European train experience with copious information about the best trains and what the classes of trains look like, with great photos. But he is only vaguely interested in fares. His site mostly offers platitudes like, "Europeans don't buy their train tickets early" and to not look for fares more that 90 days out. When trenitalia offers only 8 super economy fares on their website 120 days out and they are sold within days, how is seat61.com's advice helpful to the budget traveler? He will miss out.
tom_mn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 05:49 AM
  #27  
 
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Here's another seat61 example
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-prague.cfm
Note the confidence of the last sentence "Oh, and if you wanted Prague to Budapest, you'd want the CZECH Railways website, unless it was a round trip starting in Budapest."

This isn't good budget fare advice. For example on another routing, from Venice to Innsbruck the fare from the trenitalia website (where the train starts) can be much more than for the same train on the Austrian train website (they own the train). For my instance it is about 50 euros more to buy from the trenitalia website than the Austrian website, since trenitalia adds a 4.50 euro surcharge when issuing tickets on Austrian trains, and then uses Italian rules to issue the ticket rather than Austrian: In Italy the under 14 child rides at half fare, in Austria it's free.

So the accurate budget fare advice would have been to "Check both the websites for the arrival and destination countries for the best fare." All I am saying is that seat61 is not really concerned about snagging budget fares, but is a good resource for other things about European train travel.
tom_mn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 06:05 AM
  #28  
 
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All I am saying is that seat61 is not really concerned about snagging budget fares, but is a good resource for other things about European train travel.>

That may be but Man in Seat 61 is trying to make his very very VERY commercial site even more commerically a success - he said it now allowed him to retire from his British train position - and devot fulltime to his site - which he makes cheap tickets the number one calling card - going from one travel site like Fodor's and many others dropping constantly things like 'Venice to Florence' from 9 euros or Vienna to Verona from 19 euros, " etc - always from and - just popping in sporadically to flog his site, which I do find like tom is full of nice good info - I am not an expert on discounted fares and assumed his site was - have to take a better look but still will always recommend his site as the exceptional type one with a lot of info and not just selling tickets or railpasses as so many do.

and yes take from tom - do your homework - check all possible sites, inlcuding now Rail Europe if in North America especially.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 08:25 AM
  #29  
 
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neckervd, so fine for Malpensa if you are coming into Porta Garibaldi (didn't know that), but not so fine if you want Linate, or want another train heading out of Centrale. I also think the much greater number of reasonable hotels around Centrale make it an easier place to spend the night before a morning departure from Malpensa, which is a very common travel need for visitors to Italy flying transatlantic.

As for Man in Seat 61, I think his approach to train travel is great. Just in general, I think most people are not train nerds or fare nerds, and are willing to pay a small premium for simplifying their train travel both when it comes to possibly booking tickets through a re-seller or choosing Centrale over Porta Garibaldi. The amounts are often trivial. Ditto for paying for a higher class of service in exchange for more comfort, or choosing a fast train over a slow (or vice versa for scenic routes).

But I think laurieco should be happy with her/his purchase, and spending more hours on the computer to possibly save 13 euros or less isn't everybody's idea of victory.
sandralist is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 09:07 AM
  #30  
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I did go to both the trenitalia and italo websites. The ticket for the trenitalia train is an e-ticket and for the italo, I have a printout with a confirmation number which we show on the train, along with picture ID.

I can't worry about whether I may have overpaid by a Euro or two. It was much simpler buying both from the same site, especially since one is on a trenitalia train and one on an italo train.

I appreciate all the answers and help. It is always a good idea to check all options. I ended up paying a fortune for tickets to see Leonardo's Last Supper when we will be in Milan. I failed to check what the normal price is and just bought tickets online, happy to even get them. My consolation is, people on this forum said they can be almost impossible to get so I'm not sorry.

I don't worry about the foreign transaction fees since my credit card does not charge one, but in this case, there probably would not have been one anyway, although, I was once charged a foreign transaction fee with another card for lunch at a restaurant in Jamaica, even though I was charged in US dollars! This was with a Citibank American Airlines card. Suffice it to say, I no longer use that one overseas.
laurieco is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 09:23 AM
  #31  
 
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This was with a Citibank American Airlines card. Suffice it to say, I no longer use that one overseas.>

Sounds like the infaamous Dynamic Conversion B.S. that goes on at times in Europe these days.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 09:39 AM
  #32  
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Pal, I have a Chase Signature card that does not charge any fee. I also have a debit card from Charles Schwab that does not charge a foreign transaction fee, and they refund all ATM fees too.
laurieco is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 09:54 AM
  #33  
 
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Palenq, the following is definitely not true:

<< and all things equal book RE if an American - if you cancel our trip, etc a refund may be easier (if any refund is guaranteed). >>

I noticed yesterday under the terms and conditions on the RailEurope site that they charged a fee (20% if I remember correctly) to change a full-fare ticket, where there would be no charge for changing it if you bought it on the Trenitalia site. In another case, I think with Economy tickets, where Trenitalia does charge a fee, RailEurope tacked on an additional fee of their own.
bvlenci is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 09:58 AM
  #34  
 
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Laureico, your experience in Jamaica does sound like a dynamic currency conversion issue, which is not the fault of the card issuer. The merchant does the conversion for you, charging you in dollars instead of the local currency. In doing this, they always overcharge on the exchange rate. The purchase is always in the local currency, though, which is why the foreign transaction fee is added. Whenever a merchant offers to charge you in dollars, insist that you want to be charged in the local currency. Some merchants don't even ask, they just present you a bill in dollars, but you should tell them that's not what you want.
bvlenci is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 10:17 AM
  #35  
 
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One needs to understand that DCC is entirely different from a foreign transaction fee.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 10:22 AM
  #36  
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bvlenci, thanks for explaining that. It was the first, and only time that ever happened. It was a few years ago when I was on a (ugh) family cruise. I was not given a choice, they took my credit card and charged in dollars. I guess at the time, I didn't think much of it but whenever I have been asked, usually at duty free shops at airports in Europe, I always say to charge in the local currency.
laurieco is offline  

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