Renfe vs. RailEurope

Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:29 AM
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Renfe vs. RailEurope

Please forgive me if this has been disgused already. I'm having trouble booking tickets via the official Renfe site, let alone trying to figure out their schedules. I have a MAC desktop. Does that make a difference? Also, when I checked out the RailEurope site, I had no trouble navigating it and finding schedules. Has anyone used RailEurope to book train tickets in Spain instead of Renfre and if so, did you have any issues using those tickets?

And one more question, is there a direct train from Madrid to Granada, or will I have to take a bus part of the way?

Thanks in advance for your patience!!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:37 AM
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I had no trouble buying tickets at:
http://petrabax.com/renfe

per the good advice here:
http://www.seat61.com/Spain-trains.htm#.V6IrGdIrJhE
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:39 AM
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See http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...omment-9691943
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:43 AM
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Thre shouldn't be an issue with Raileurope tickets, just they are an agent to what you pay will likely be marked up. YOu can compare prices to see. Also, I think they make you pay a delivery fee but not sure if they now will give electronic tickets. I haven't used them since the internet came along.

I had trouble booking on Renfe with a CC but could with Paypal. That should work fine. You can also check www.petrabax.com which I think is a Spanish agent but they might mark up less thanRaileurope.

There is definitely not a direct train from Madrid to Granada, they are doing work on that line between Antequerra and Granada and you must now take a bus between those two points. I think it is supposed to be finished sometime this year, and someday there may be a train (but perhaps not direct).
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 12:07 PM
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though Rail Europe has recently began trying to match discounted fares on European rail sites they may still be higher - sometimes a lot but not always so do check their prices and if about the same go thru them IMO - always better to deal with an entity in your own country (I guess Petrabax is too) - you also have no foreign transaction fee like many credit card have for foreign purchases.

RailEurope International is not based in U.S. I think and is said to use Renfe's fares -not sure.

Yes www.seat61.com is the bible now of dope on discounted tickets so do check them out - for general info check also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Renfe site simply sucks it seems in light of the scores of complaints seen here.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 12:22 PM
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I had no problem using Renfe, but I have a chip and signature /Pin credit card.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 12:43 PM
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Like Christina, I have had trouble using a credit card but it usually works if you use paypal. I booked tickets last week and was unable to use any of my credit cards (all are chip and signature.) Try the paypal way.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 01:21 PM
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Use www.captaintrain.com

They have recently connected to renfe's ticketing system.

Same prices, same print-at-home tickets as Renfe.com, but much easier to understand and no payment problems.

Raileurope.com in the States still doesn't (I think) connect to Renfe, so can't match its prices nor do Renfe's print-at-home tickets (so conventional tickets have to be sent to you, at more cost and fees!)

Raileurope.com.au / raileurope-world.com DOES connect to Renfe's system, so can match prices and do print-at-home tickets, but adds a €4 fee on top and plays some funny games with classes which can be confusing.

Just use www.captaintrain.com - easy to use and no fee!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 02:05 PM
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Raileurope.com in the States still doesn't (I think) connect to Renfe,>

Not sure about Spain but I've heard they do now in France - plus the minor fee tacked on. It's probably a matter of competing against European rail sites - ironically RE is largely owned by the French Railways so could have done this before but obviously made more money by selling overpriced tickets for those looking for convenience.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 02:50 PM
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Captaintrain.com will not show me tickets on the Granada to Madrid route, nor will raileurope. Only Renfe. One of the trains only gives me an option for tourist, no first class. Other 3 daily trains have both classes.

And the trip involves taking a bus for part of the journey and then the train, so it may not pay to have first class anyway for so short a trip--2 hours-- on train.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 04:54 PM
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For Spain last year we used www.loco2.com. Their prices are quoted in pounds, but that's easy enough to figure out what the dollar cost would be. The best thing I liked about them was their customer service. Not only could you ask questions, but we would get very prompt email responses.

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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 05:00 PM
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In a recent thread, someone reported a $17 fee (per ticket I think) with captaintrain.com. I found that perplexing given that their website insists that there are no added costs.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 04:06 AM
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Purchase made! Last night the site would not let me book. This morning Visa would not work (even though I spoke to Visa) however my AMEX card worked without a problem.

This was the last piece of our trip to book in advance. Local trains I will purchase at the stations on the days we want to go.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 11:18 AM
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In a recent thread, someone reported a $17 fee (per ticket I think) with captaintrain.com.>

could be RailEurope which has a handling fee of about that per order however not per ticket.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 03:21 PM
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dro - no $17 fee from Capitaintrain, right?
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