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Rail Europe vs Trenitalia

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Mar 19th, 2013, 08:31 AM
  #1
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Rail Europe vs Trenitalia

I will need to get train tickets from Rome to Venice and then from Venice to Florence for mid June. These dates are still not posted on Trenitalia. I'm looking for 6/16/13 for the Rome to Venice and then 6/18/13 from Venice to Florence. However, when I checked today the dates showed up on Rail Europe. Why would the tickets be available to purchase on one site but not the other?

Unless I'm reading the prices incorrectly, when I put in dates that are available, say June 2nd, as a comparison, the Rail Europe prices are significantly more than what the Trenitalia tickets would be for the same tickets. Is that possible? For example, I am looking for 4 tickets (3 adult 1 child) from Rome to Venice and I come up with $468 USD on Rail Europe, but on Trenitalia I get Super Economy for a total price for four tickets of 137 Euros which I would estimate to be around $180 USD. Even the Economy tickets are 172 Euros which is still less than $225 USD.

So, given that the prices, if I'm reading this correctly, are so much more on Rail Europe, I suppose it makes sense to wait until the tickets are released on Trenitalia - but I suppose my question then would be does anyone know why they'd be available on one site but not the other?
ShellD is offline  
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Mar 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM
  #2
 
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Rail Europe is more expensive. I found out the hard way....
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Mar 19th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #3
 
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I'm not sure why the schedules aren't posted on Trenitalia yet, but RailEurope is a marketing company that exists to resell European train tickets at higher prices. And actually, it's usually RailEurope that doesn't list all the trains.. You could try looking at schedules and prices on www.bahn.de and see if they're listed there (prices should be the same as Trenitalia on that site).
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Mar 19th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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Rail Europe can't really be selling tickets that aren't available yet. I would think they will let you pay, e-mail some reservation code that you would have to change out later when the trains are actually loaded.

Can't wrap my brain around wanting to buy from Rail Europe. What's the point? They don't show all the trains available, make up train numbers that don't even exist (at least for Trenitalia), don't have most of the discounts (in the past no discounted tickets although they claim to now) and charge you a fee.

The routes you are looking at are walk up price of about 43€
for Florence/Rome and 80€ for Rome/Venice without the family discount which you might qualify for depending on age of child.

I would just keep checking Trenitalia every day until they get the schedules loaded (sometime between now and 2nd Sunday in June).
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Mar 19th, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #5
 
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I agree - periodically check Trenitalia until they get the schedules loaded.

Those ridiculous price differences between Trenitalia and Rail Europe are normal.

I can't understand how Rail Europe even stays in business with their outrageous mark-ups!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 10:28 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hi SD,

Raileurope is the marketing arm of the European train systems. It was once useful to Americans. Today it is used by those who know no better.

For the high-speed trains RE will sell you an "open" ticket for which you will have to purchase a seat reservation, at a higher price than if you wait for Trenitalia.

The online ticket will come with a reservation.

Enjoy your visit.

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Mar 19th, 2013, 04:20 PM
  #7
 
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Is there a "typical" window when Trenitalia publishes the new schedule? 60, 90 days or is it just random?
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Mar 19th, 2013, 09:50 PM
  #8
 
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It's random. Can pop up at any time and not all routes are loaded at the same time. Once they are loaded, you can purchase 120 days in advance.
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Jul 24th, 2013, 10:21 PM
  #9
 
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My advice: Avoid Rail Europe at all costs! I've just been ripped off by these crooks.

I tried booking on line (raileurope.com.au) a simple trip for two from Pisa to Rome. I got to the payment part and the site seemed not to process my payment. No acknowledgement whatsoever. So I tried again. Nothing.

Getting close to our departure from australia, I decided to give up and so I booked through Italiarail. That was easy and it worked. Payment acknowledged and ticket issued. And it was cheaper than rail europe's ticket as well. So I emailed Rail Europe telling them of my frustration with their on-line booking system and asked them to ensure that, had either of my booking attempts been successful, to cancel them. I told them the full story and how id not received any confirmation and so assumed no booking had been registered. Anyway, my visa statement comes and, sure enough, two debits from Rail Europe!

Now I've been battling with them ever since. Providing them proof and copies of emails etc. They eventually refunded one of the payments - but refuse to refund the second- saying that a ticket had been issued. Well, guess what?: It hadn't!

We're not talking sheep stations here. Only $85 in fact. But if Rail Europe cared at all, they'd fix their faulty website booking system and they'd avoid further-tormenting their already-frustrated customers by asking them for proof. (Even with the proof i provided them - my Italiarail ticket and my email correspondence highlighting the problem with their site - they didn't want to know me!)

Rail Europe: FAIL.
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Jul 24th, 2013, 10:53 PM
  #10
 
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Why are you restricting yourself to government-operated trains?

We all know Fodors browsers are crypto-communists: but between Rome, Venice and Florence, the privately-operated Italotreno (www.italotreno.it/) is often cheaper, just as fast, just as frequent, generally has funkier rolling stock and you might find booking easier.

The fact that Rail Europe (which isn't "the marketing arm of the European train systems", but a travel agency run by the French government, featuring just SOME railway companies) doesn't appear to acknowledge unsubsidised businesses is yet another reason for avoiding it
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Jul 25th, 2013, 07:27 AM
  #11
 
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Italo Treno does not go to small cities or towns. They do not go to Pisa either. Their routes are very limited. I find their prices to be the same as Trenitalia (including discount tickets) and if Trenitalia runs a promo (kids travel free in summer), Italo follows suit. Italo does let you book further out than Trenitalia. They also sell discounts up until departure if still available.

>>>Getting close to our departure from australia, I decided to give up and so I booked through Italiarail.<<<

Italiarail is also a reseller like RailEurope. You paid Italiarail to book your ticket for you when you could have booked directly with Trenitalia without a fee and extra restrictions.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #12
 
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"Italiarail is also a reseller like RailEurope" - well yes and no. I just used Italiarail to book Milan to Venice tickets, I paid $5 total for four tickets and got a very decent (NOT RailEurope) price. The restrictions are the same as buying advance promos on Trenitalia and there was a US number to call if there was a problem, plus it took my AMEX with no issues. This was worth $5 to me as I have had troubles out the wazoo with Trenitalia in the past. Maybe it has gotten better, but again it was worth $5 to me to not have the possible hassles!
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Jul 25th, 2013, 09:08 AM
  #13
 
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If the people who run Raileurope which just happen to be the folks from the Swiss and French national railroad systems which OWN that agency then why would anyone use them for anything else?

They are not "crooks" but simply charging what bthey think the market will bear.

Nobody is forcing you to use them and if anyone got ripped off by them they obviously didn't do much research.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 10:44 AM
  #14
 
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>>>The restrictions are the same as buying advance promos on Trenitalia<<<

You evidently didn't bother to read Italiarails rules/fees and compare to Trenitalia rules/fees for ticket fares/changes. etc. when you made your purchase. If that were the case, Italiarail wouldn't list extra fees/rules associated with the tickets that Trenitalia doesn't have.

Italiarail fare rules for their economy ticket:
**Fare Rules
No booking or ticket changes are allowed with this fare. This fare is not refundable.***

Trenitalia fare rules for the same economy ticket:
***Booking/ticket changes
Changes are allowed once from the issuing date up to train departure, only at ticket desks or at the issuing travel agency (with the exception of web agencies), in accordance with the opening hours of same. The departure date or time can be changed only for the same train category or service purchased, subject to a change fee (which is equal to the difference to the corresponding full Base price).The new ticket (called "e;Economy ticket change"e has the same characteristics of the Economy ticket.***

Italiarail full fare ticket rules:
***Fare Rules
Cancellation requests are subject to a 30% penalty when received 24 hours prior to the trains departure.
The ticket is non-refundable if cancelled within 24 hours of the trains departure.
The cancellation penalty breakdown is as follows: 20% penalty to Trenitalia, and 10% processing fee to ItaliaRail for handling and processing the cancellation.
Changes to your ticket are allowed at a fee of $20.00 per change.
Changes are also subject to a price increase if the new fare is more expensive. There is NO refund if the new fare is less expensive.
No changes are allowed within 24hours prior to the trains departure.***

Trenitalia full fare (base) ticket rules:
***Booking changes/date/time - Free of charge, unlimited number to times up until departure. Once up to one hour after train departure, exclusively at ticket desks and self-service tellers and alongside the train (AV trains only), at the departure station printed on the ticket.

***Ticket changes - It is allowed subject to payment of any price difference, if applicable:
- an unlimited number of times up to train departure, at any ticket desk or at the issuing travel agency (with the exception of web agencies), in accordance with the opening hours of same,
- Once up to one hour after train departure, only at the ticket desk at the departure station printed on the ticket. If you purchased a ticket that need to be collected at ticket tellers, you must collect your printed ticket first and then apply to a ticket desk.

***Refunds - Refunds are allowed up to the train departure time subject to a 20% deduction by applying at ticket desks at any station or at the issuing travel agency.

***Access to other trains - Access to other trains
With the Base ticket you can board directly, on the same route, another train of the same category by applying in advance to train personnel and paying a surcharge of 8 euro:
From one hour before and up to one hour after train departure***
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Jul 25th, 2013, 11:19 AM
  #15
 
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Kyboubon - you're right, I realize now that I made an assumption that the discount promo fares were non-refundable, non-changeable from either site - it seems most heavily dicounted fares from any source are. But I'm still happy I dealt with Italiarail - I'll hope that I have no last minute snafus and have to forfeit my monies. Thanks for putting the correct info on the board!
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