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Buying AVE train tix upon arrival in Madrid

Buying AVE train tix upon arrival in Madrid

Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:53 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 129
Buying AVE train tix upon arrival in Madrid

I gave up on getting the Renfe tix online for our upcoming trip in 5 weeks.
We are a party of 3 (adults) and still don't have anything for the domestic legs...I'm starting to get nervous now as I always/prefer to plan ahead and have things ready in hands.

Yes, the train ride for Seville/Cordoba to BCN costs more than the airplane. But DH prefers the train (for hassle wise).

The plan is to take the AVE trains for the following:
Nov 1: (early evening) MAD to Seville
Nov 4: either Seville to BCN, or Cordoba to BCN

Rather than paying extra money to purchase the tix on the Rail Europe site, do you think we can purchase these tix at the train stations when we arrive in Madrid?
Anyone know? Pls help
p3t0t is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Yes, Renfe has been a bit of a pain lately, but you can buy your tickets at the ticket offices at Madrid-Barajas when you land.

There is one in T1 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 21:00; Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, 9:00 to 16:00) and another in T4 (8:30 to 15:00 Monday to Friday)
Robert2533 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 02:00 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,952
Of course you can buy tickets at the station.
Just follow the signs for "AVE" and do not queue at ticket
windows for "Media Distancia" trains or "Cercanias".
Renfe also has a ticket desk at Madrid airport (not sure which terminal, though)
You can also buy tickets at travel agencies in the towns where you will be staying. Literally hundreds of points of sale in a big city like Madrid.

But hopefully someone will help you with your internet problems so you can buy them cheaper in advance.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 02:42 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
Maybe it is another case of your credit card being refused because of "unusual suspicious activity" (how often do you make overseas purchases with it?) by the card's security system, while you think it's the Renfe website's fault? Did you call your credit card company in advance to tell them about your attempts to make foreign transactions?

Then ask them if they can see attempts of the charge being put through- give them the exact day and time of your previous unsuccessful attempts, and ask them to watch your account while you are trying again. If no request comes in then you can assume that Renfe is not processing and blame Renfe.

Then do the same thing with another card, not every card works on every site and it is often not obvious.

Good luck.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 03:18 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
For some it may be a problem with "unusual suspicious activity", but I have a long history with Renfe. I tried twice yesterday, while the rep from VISA was on the line. There was nothing coming through on this end, so the card wasn't being denied.

The problem with Renfe is it's new software (installed last year). Sometimes it seems like its simply a case of hit and miss.
Robert2533 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 01:32 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,952
Bit off topic, but in case OP needs to go straight from Barajas airport to Atocha station, this info may be helpful:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...port-bus.cfm?1
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Sep 24th, 2010, 05:42 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for the responses...like always, this forum is very helpful
p3t0t is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 07:24 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I've sent an email to the marketing director at Renfe to see what's going on with purchasing tickets. He responded to an inquiry I had in June, but we've never encountered as many problems as we have lately, three errors messages today. The system needs to be fixed, and soon!!!
Robert2533 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2010, 01:14 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
i would call as you can still get estrella tickets by phone if there are any left.. well worth the phonecall.
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 06:14 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 955
Dear p3; I share the same anxt as you do about having reservations in hand. You may wish to check out my recent report on our Spain Train experiences. Based on our experience, my recommendation is to relax and get the tix in Mad when you get there. We got ours at the Madrid Atocha train station. A very positive experience.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-positive.cfm

If you have any questions, I'll try to answer.

Bill.
BillJ is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 08:40 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Here is the response from Renfe regarding buying tickets online:

We are having some troubles with some foreign credit and debit cards payments on www.renfe.com where normally you can make purchases.

We apologize, but there is an error produced when Renfe´s server try to connect with some of the overseas Bank´s servers.

If you have a Spanish credit card or an American express you can buy tickets calling to +34 902 320 320 telephone number.
Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 05:42 AM
  #12  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 129
Thank you Bill & Robert.
My only concern about buying the tix until we get to Madrid is that we need to travel from MAD to Seville on Nov 1st which is a national holiday...I'm not sure if many schedules will be fully booked by then...?

Has anyone actually purchased via phone? I wonder how it works (in terms of ticket rsvp, etc)...?
p3t0t is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 11:03 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
By phone you tell them what day and time you want, how many passengers, ask them if there is an estrella rate still. ..( most likely on a holiday NO) and give them a credit card number. Then they give you a locator number which you can print out the tickets from a kiosk machine in any renfe station.

I would NOT wait until the 1st as you yourself have observed.. it is a holiday and places may be scarce for the time you want to travel.
lincasanova is offline  
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