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StantonHyde Aug 17th, 2011 08:33 AM

Is Renfe's Spanish-version Website Better?
Given all the horror stories about navigating the Renfe website, I am wondering if anybody has tried the Spanish version of the site?? Does it have all the bugs that the English site has or is it more reliable? I know the whole credit card issue will be there no matter what site I use, but I am just wondering if the Spanish site is less challenging??

almesq Aug 17th, 2011 09:06 AM

I recently tried to buy tickets, tried the English site and then the Spanish version. Was ok until i went to actually purchase the tickets, and kept getting an error message back that the system could not process it right now, etc. I tried several times and was never able to get it to go through. Ended up buying from Rail Europe, but it was only one ticket so the extra few dollars was not a big deal, wanted to make sure I got the ticket.

PalenQ Aug 17th, 2011 10:08 AM

funny just the other day one 'RENFE expert' claimed that the site was not at fault but you and your bank! Seems is still the frustrating maze it always has been?

but if you keep topping perhaps one of those experts will be able to help you out as they have others.

danon Aug 17th, 2011 10:32 AM

PQ, I am not a RENFE expert (no need to be snippy), I just don't have a problem purchasing tickets because MY bank's system is designed to handle their request. I normally use the Spanish version, but it should work the same in English.
When purchasing from airline or other railways in Europe , the sale just goes through. ONLY when I purchase on RENFE, after there is a note on the screen that they are contacting my bank,the security question from my bank pops-up, I answer and the sale goes through.
Blame who you wish, Canadian banks seem to have the software able to handle RENFE's security system.

chapla Aug 17th, 2011 10:33 AM

I used the tutorial link on Maribels site w/success!
Renfe supposedly has revised its website to make it easier ut obviously w/out success!

Robert2533 Aug 17th, 2011 10:33 AM

In one word, NO! Travel agents in Spain even have difficulty when trying to purchase tickets online, but they eventually get through.

With Renfe you just have to keep trying until you get through, or purchase your tickets through an outside vendor. Petrabax is the official rep for Renfe in the USA.

VISA cards work better than MasterCard, for unknown reasons. Amex not at all, unless you decide to call Renfe to buy your tickets. Bank of America's VISA credit cards do not work because BofA does not support the system, although their VISA Debit Cards do work, when you finally get through the purchasing process.

PalenQ Aug 17th, 2011 10:39 AM

danon - my apologies but RENFE.ES still seems incompetent as a site, even to Spaniards it seems!

travel4art Aug 17th, 2011 10:54 AM

I had the same problem with RENFE and tried everything in all languages. Yes Canadian systems work. No, USA systems don't. Period. I ended up asking the hotel in Spain, where I had reserved my room, to please book the tickets for me and I would pay when I got there. They charged a fee to do this, but the discounted ticket was so much cheaper that it paid.

kimhe Aug 17th, 2011 10:54 AM

Had no problems buying tickets for several distances from the Spanish Renfe site this summer.

danon Aug 17th, 2011 10:55 AM


Don't know why it works with our banks, but I am glad it does.
I have purchased tickets 3 times with my MC, last time four days ago.
It is too bad many posters have experienced constant problems.
Saving 60 % of the price is worth the effort..

yk Aug 17th, 2011 11:00 AM

I haven't done this for a couple of years, but when I went to Spain in '08, I had ZERO trouble at all buying multiple train tickets from using my US-issued AMEX.

Robert2533 Aug 17th, 2011 11:43 AM

The world of Renfe has changed a lot since '08.

Cowboy1968 Aug 17th, 2011 12:54 PM

I'm in Germany and use a German CC. Never had problems with the booking procedure. But then we also don't have this concept that a bank needs to be informed before shopping or going abroad.
Otherwise, I don't find the steps it takes to get a ticket intellectually demanding.

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