malaga to madrid train ?

Dec 28th, 2014, 12:27 PM
  #1  
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malaga to madrid train ?

We will be taking a train on March 3 from Malaga to Madrid. I've read several posts recommending advance ticket purchase. How far in advance, and what are the benefits ? Is it best to buy first class or tourist class, and what are the benefits ?
jeterray is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Though tickets are usually available IME right up until the day of the train- first class especially rarely sells out - you can get some nifty discounts by booking online weeks/months in advance to score the limitred in number discounted tickets sold on each train and they often sell out weeks early.

There is always a difference between first- and second-class seats - about 25% less seats in same-sized train car in first class and IME often ample empty seats to spread out on - easier to stow luggage especially if typically you're carrying WAY yoo much around!

But 2nd class is perfectly comfortable if more fuller but there is IME a significant difference that to me makes first class well worth the extra price - to others it is a waste of money. There are also discounted tickets in first class I believe so that those booked well in advance may actually be cheaper than a full-fare 2nd class walk-up ticket.

For lots of goodies on European and Spanish trains check out these fab IMO sites: www.seat61.com - the bible on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

There are folks more versed on Spanish train discounts than me so keep topping your thread if it falls in Fodor;s black hole so they can see it and respond. Note that I think discounted tickets are non0changeable non-refundable so be very sure of your train time and date - otherwise they are the exact same seats folks pay full fare for. The early bird doth get the proverbial worm - with restrictions.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for asking. I'm interested in the answers to this for our upcoming May trip.
progol is online now  
Dec 28th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Most long-distance trains in western Europe now work like air fares, cheap in advance with an advance-purchase ticket, expensive on the day with a full-fare flexible ticket.

In Turista class, Madrid-Malaga starts at around 30 euros with a Promo or Promo+ fare (limited or no changes or refunds), rising to around 80 euros with a Flexible fare.

Book from 90 days ahead (this is approximate, and varies as Renfe loads its trains in batches of dates) at www.renfe.com

You can also book at the same prices with the same lack of fees and same print-at-home tickets, but no credit card acceptance problems (which renfe is known for) and in plain English with no odd translations, at www.loco2.com
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Dec 28th, 2014, 01:59 PM
  #5  
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Thanks PalenQ. Great info. I understand you can book up to 60 days in advance. We will book first class as soon as we can.
jeterray is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 12:58 PM
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Man in Seat 61 - who runs www.loco2.com? Curious and exactly same fares and no fees - sounds great as www.renfe.es is very fickle for foreigners' c cards to use - legions of complaints about it here for years now. Some can get it to work though and will gladly help you thru the fog.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 04:41 PM
  #7  
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Booked business class online for what we think was a reduced rate of $60. May not be the best, but it is done. Thanks for the advice.
jeterray is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 08:51 AM
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curious as to what site you booked on and for first class $60 will be a great deal - you'll get some food and drink en route I think.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 05:52 PM
  #9  
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Seat61 said if you had problems go to petabax.com That's where we booked. We have a receipt but no tickets yet. Happy new year to everyone.
jeterray is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 05:54 PM
  #10  
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sorry. it's Petrabax.com
jeterray is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 08:15 AM
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thats a good website. I had trouble with Renfe not accept two of my US credit cards, also (and there was nothing wrong with them, the banks told me they had never gotten the charge nor refused it). They do accept Paypal, however, which I used. But Paypal charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%, regardless of which credit card you use. Someone on here once said they didn't pay that with Paypal, but I complained to Paypal about it, as I was unaware, and Paypal admitted they had done it and that their terms in the fine print say they charge it. It isn't the credit card chargbe, but Paypal doing it. So I think perhaps that person who said they didn't pay it just may not have been aware as it isn't broken out by Paypal, of course, it's just in their charge that comes through. And the charge ot your card will be in USD from Paypal, I guess.

So Paypal is okay in a pinch, but if your credit card doesn't have such a foreign charge, Petrabax is better. If your card does, and it's 3 pct, Paypal would be fine and just a tad better.
Christina is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 03:58 PM
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Our credit card has no foreign charges. However, we have not gotten our tickets in 3 days since we paid and received confirmation. Likely no problem, but I'm anxious.
jeterray is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 06:22 PM
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I tried finding a train on the loco2 site and unless you know the time of the train it doesn't give you any info. I went to the petrabrax site and found a timetable.
I put in the info on both sites and the fares came out to be the same. Petrabrax is suppose to charge a fee whereas it was stated that loco2 is the same price as Renfe.
So far the loco2 site seems not very user friendly with no discount?? (I read the FAQ about times etc but it didn't really help.
giro is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 11:13 AM
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too bad www.renfe.com is so feeble in its attempts to make it easier to use instead driving custom to other sources that presusmably get a commission like Petrabax must!

Incompetence!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Well, I guess companies like Petrabax could just pass on the cost of the tickets, free of charge, as service. Or we can just live with the fact that not everthing works the way we would like it to and make concessions.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:38 AM
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jetteray,
Please let us know about your experience with Petrabax. If my research is correct, using Petrabax over Loco2 is a no-brainer. I'd like to know that there are no glitches and that you've received your tickets!

I've just compared rates between Petrabax and Loco2 for several different dates, and the prices are significantly lower on Petrabax for the same trips. For example, the trip, Madrid Atocha to Sevilla Santa Justa (6:20am AV City 02260) on March 5 is $62 for the lowest fare on Petrabax while its £68 on Loco2.

giro - the loco2 site does have timetables, only it shows a smaller time frame in the window at one time. You can use the arrows on the bottom of the window to find earlier or later time frames. To get more information (ie, range of class/prices offered for each train), one needs to click on the fee and a small menu with options will appear. The fee showing appears to be the lowest one on offer for each particular train.

Thanks again for sharing your experience! This is great info!
progol is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:23 AM
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We use Petrabax often. They normally email the tickets within the hour, depending on the time of day and day of the week. I don't think anyone's in the office over the weekend.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Thanks, Robert. That's helpful. It looks like Petrabax is the way to go when ordering train tickets.
progol is online now  
Jan 5th, 2015, 03:53 PM
  #19  
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Got the tixs. Had to call a couple of times, probably because of holidays. They tried several to email tixs. Finally we gave them another address, and it worked. I recommend Petrabax.
jeterray is offline  
Jan 6th, 2015, 06:18 AM
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http://petrabax.com/
PalenQ is offline  

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