Need Help With Trenitalia Reservations!

Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:49 AM
  #1  
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Need Help With Trenitalia Reservations!

Yippee! I can post a message today! I've been struggling with the Trenitalia website for two days and haven't been able to post here for at least that long.

Can anyone out there in Fodorite-land help me figure out the Trenitalia website? My parents, my 7-year-old son and I will be traveling from Rome to Naples (and on to Sorrento)on October 1st at about noon. I was looking at the 12:25 train but am not set on it. We will then take the Circumvesuvia train on to Sorrento. I'm trying to figure out the fares for Rome to Naples, but when I try to book them it's not going through.

I was looking at the family fare, knowing that we'd have to buy a full-fare adult ticket in addition but when it comes time to choose the family-fare option it wants to know if it's Familia 15% or Familia 25%. Nowhere can I find the definitions of these. Then, I thought I would buy two sets of DUEperUNO tickets and just count our son as an adult (couldn't find info on that either), but it would approve the purchase for two persons but not for four, even if I put him in as an adult. So, if I buy it for two and then try a separate transaction for another two is there any way to attempt us all sitting together or at least near each other?

BTW, I'd like to get 1st class tickets as the price isn't that much different and I think it would just be easier and a little nicer for my parents.

The website is making me crazy! It has got to be the least user-friendly site I have ever tried to use. They require you to have all kinds of info to book tickets, but have either not provided it, or have it hidden deep in it's recesses. Do I sound a little frustrated? Aaauuggghhhh! I swear that it took less time to find apartments for us with only a months lead time.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 02:18 AM
  #2  
 
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It's far simpler to buy a ticket at the station. There are a couple of trains an hour from Roma to Napoli, it's a fairly short journey (under three hours even on the stopping train) and Italian trains fares are cheap.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 02:32 AM
  #3  
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Thank, Geoffhamer, but if it's possible I'd rather get the tickets ahead of time. If it was just me traveling, I'd have no problem with getting them there, but I know my parents would feel better about having them in hand.

We're having a car pick us up at the airport when we arrive in Rome on the 26th, so we won't be going to the train station until we actually leave for Sorrento on the 1st. I had thought about getting them when we arrive in Rome, but I don't particularly want to make a special trip to the station. Besides, it would be nice to have four seats together if we can get them ahead of time. If all else fails though, I'll buy them there. Thanks!
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:28 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi S,

For your Two for One tickets on the AV:

Buy two tickets, choose two seats. Get your confirmation number and your PRN.

Now buy 2 more seats.

Do not choose your seats, but go to "SEAT NEAR TO..."

Enter the necessary information.

The computer will assign you 2 seats close to the other 2.

If you are not contiguous, you can usually arrange to switch seats with other passengers.

Re the Familia rate:

If you click on the rate, the total amount will show in the little boxes. Choose the cheapest one.

You will have to buy your Family tickets and then one adult ticket as per above.

ira is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:56 AM
  #5  
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Ira,

Thanks for the help! I tried several different trains with the DUEperUNO option and so far they've all come back as unavailable. I found one that will take the Familia 25% though. How do you know if you qualify for the 25% versus the 15%? Is it just a matter of availability? Do they sell the 25% option until it's gone and then default to the 15%?

Again, thank-you.

Linda
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:31 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi Linda,

>Do they sell the 25% option until it's gone and then default to the 15%? <

Yup.

ira is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:01 AM
  #7  
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Ira,

Okay; I've officially given up. I think I've tried just about every possible combination for the four trains leaving around noon, plus several trains leaving earlier and later, and can't get any of the discounts to work on any of them. When I click on BUY at the bottom, I get messages about Cartavaggio and then offers not valid. I have trouble believing that every discount on four trains is gone for a journey a month from now. I may just try to go to one of the travel agencies here (Germany) on Monday and see what they can do for me.

Oh, and do you have any idea why they only allow you to select seats for two people when the Familia option is selected (which is only valid for two adults and a child)? I also tried not selecting any seats at all and that didn't work either.

I hate to admit it but the Trenitalia website has gotten the better of me. I feel like I've been beaten down to a little pile of goo and am wondering if it would just be faster to walk to Naples
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:20 AM
  #8  
 
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This train thing ( Rome- Naples-Sorrento)is driving me crazy too. I also don't want to waste the day, so I emailed Nello (recommended on this site) to see about a driver. He is expensive but it will give us the whole evening. We could also rent a car and drive frome Rome to Sorrento.What do you think?
CristinaR is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Hi Sardog - A number of the special offers only apply to Italian residents.

Without looking it up I suspect that's the case with family deals too.

Steve

Steve_James is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:58 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi Linda,

I just simulated booking 4 adult fares for 68E on the 11:45 IC+.

Ditto for the 12:27 IC+

I did have trouble with the AV.

It seems that the rules on the Familia rate have changed. It used to be one child rode free with 2 adults. They now want a Cartaviaggio number for the Family Discount.

Also, the computer won't assign a seat to a child.

The system won't let me on for another 20 min.

I'll get back to you about the ES* and the AV.

ira is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #11  
ira
 
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Hi Linda,

I could book 4 adult tickets (88E) on the 12:45 ES* from Rome to Naples.

For the AV, I could book 4 Flexi fare adult tickets for 132E.

Still can't get it to book a child's ticket, which is 1/2 regular fare - about 10-15E.

Hope this helps.

ira is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 07:19 AM
  #12  
 
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Hi Linda/Ira - Just to save you any more time on this one ...

The 'Carta Viaggio' (- necessary for family discounts) is ONLY available to residents in Italy.

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:22 PM
  #13  
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Thank-you so much for all of the help. It's encouraging (in a sad sort of way) to know that I'm not the only one who's had problems with their website.

How can something like a national railway not know or care how difficult it is for a big part of their customer base to navigate their website? I went through all of the English pages I could find and it said nothing about any of the discounts being available only to Italian residents. And the fact that it won't allow you to make a seat reservation for a youth still has me shaking my head. Are they expecting that the child will stand for the whole trip?

Anyway, now that Ira has so nicely checked out all of those rates for me I feel like I have the courage to go back and try again. It's funny how this leg of the trip is causing me more grief than airfare, apartments or tours. Isn't it amazing how we've become so dependant on the internet for travel booking?





sardog10 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 03:04 AM
  #14  
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Just as a follow-up, I was finally able to buy my tickets this morning! Got 3 adult and 1 youth fare for 77 euros on the 12:45 ES* from Rome to Naples. Here's a couple of things I learned along the way.

It would not allow me to use any of the discount codes, probably because we're not Italian residents. It's frustrating to me that they advertise these offers but don't specify that.

Anyway, what I ended up doing was put to three adults and one youth all on one line. When it came to seat selection, I put in seat selection for the three adults, but it wouldn't take anything for the youth. I crossed my fingers and proceeded to "Buy". On the next page it assigned seats to all four of us. I had found a Eurostar seating plan at http://downloads.raileurope.com/pdf/...escription.pdf which let me see the seats. They weren't together, so I went back to the previous page and tried again. It gave us different seats, but still not what I wanted. It then locked me out for 15 minutes but the third time was lucky and I got four seats together.

When it came to paying for them I had problems with it accepting the American Express number. I remembered seeing a post on here about putting in the number in sets of four digits with a space in between and that worked. Yay! So now we have tickets (or at least a confirmation number and email), so we're on our way! The last thing for me to do is book our tickets for getting back to Ciampino airport from Sorrento, but I think I'll hold off on that until we get there.

Thank-you all, especially you Ira, for all of your help. I really, really appreciate your responses.
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 03:14 AM
  #15  
ira
 
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Good for you Linda.

You have also come up with some tips for the rest of us.

ira is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 03:21 AM
  #16  
ira
 
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PS,

Very long URLs mess up the formatting (a flaw in the Fodor's computer's programming).

Please convert long URLs to small ones by going to www.tinyurl.com.

Your very long URL came out as http://tinyurl.com/ooopq

ira is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 04:50 AM
  #17  
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How cool is that!?! I always wondered how that tinyurl-thing worked. Thanks!
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 12:34 PM
  #18  
 
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Hi Linda,

Congrats on achieving your purchase! I felt the same way a couple of months ago. Ira also helped me. Thanks again Ira, all worked well!
cruiseluv is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #19  
 
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Well, looks like sardog10's problem has been solved. But for future reference, you can buy trenitalia tickets from travel agents. Just look for an agency with the Trenitalia logo in the window. No lines and travel agents usually speak good English.

So one needn't make a special trip to a train station to buy tickets. You're sure to run across such an agency in your touristing.
Mimar is offline  

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