Splitting Cross-Border Rail Ticket Buys

Old Feb 5th, 2018, 03:04 AM
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Splitting Cross-Border Rail Ticket Buys

To make this as simple as possible I'll give one of several possible example(s):

The rail trip might be from Zurich to Verona(with a change in Milan). In general is it significantly cheaper to use both the SwissRail (SBB.CH) and the Italian Rail (Trenitalia, or the re-seller ItaliaRail OR Loco2.com) site(s) to buy tickets/reserve seats or just one? Or is this simply one of many "in general" questions which actually aren't?

It seems easier to use one vendor but at what cost does that "easier" occur?

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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 04:02 AM
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I think it depends.
In your case, Trenitalia sells the through ticket for €44 while SBB will charge €54 - in a dummy search for March 21st, 3pm.
I'm not sure if that's a general rule, but it looks as if SBB can only access saver fares on the international leg (as does Trenitalia).
But for the leg within "the other" territory, the local train company (Trenitalia) finds more of their own saver fares than SBB, which seems to price the foreign leg with its base fare.
So in this case, the €10 less with Trenitalia result from a special saver fare on the Milano-Verona leg.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for your reply (and your own research). I tend to agree given what you have found. I'm just lazy enough to often use the same ticket "source" repeatedly since over the past several years we seem to be crossing the same borders by train repeatedly. This coming summer we are actually going to be flying for longer trips between some locations for a change.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 08:16 AM
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If you book a long distance journey with one service provider across borders the total fare is usually (not always) cheaper. However the downside is that you will have less choice of trains - the set lower fares rely on using specific services.

If you book separate legs with different rail providers you have the luxury of more trains to choose from and being able to fine tune connection times - but it usually costs more.

I did this exact exercise when I went from London to Budapest last year - I could have saved quite a bit by booking almost the entire journey with Deutsche Bahn, but some of the connections were scarily short, so to feel less stressed, I used the Eurostar, DB and Railjet sites and booked each leg on its own.

So the answer is it IS easier to book with one company, but it can limit your flexibility.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 02:02 PM
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Thanks you for your information as it is appreciated.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 02:59 PM
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I tend to agree with RM67, as of late we have taken and been planning a number of trips that involve crossing from France into Spain (different parts of France, different parts of Spain). We've kind of settled on the fact that if we want to get fromwhere we live to the Atlantic coast of Spain, getting separate tickets is the answer. ``But from where we are to the Costa Brava, for example, seems like a thicket of price comparisons, to the extent that I am often finding myself saying "hell, an extra 20 euros and another 20-minute connection...Eff it!"

Wish I could be more helpful, but I'm in the midst of planning our spa vacation to French Catalan country right now and have spent HOURS online researching this stuff, and it can be a royal PITA. And that's before you figure in all the mountainous bus rides we're going to have to take, which although only 1€ apiece look hair-raising, and I'm not good on mountains in buses.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 03:02 PM
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Or www.italotreno.com also for Italian involved trains.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 10:20 PM
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SBB and Trenitalia can BOTH access cheap fares from €29 for Zurich-Milan.

BUT only Trenitalia can access cheap fares within Italy Milan-Verona from €9.90. SBB can sell trains within Italy, but only at the most expensive full-flex rate.

SBB can sell Swiss domestic journeys (obviously, being Swiss Railways) but Trenitalia can;t.

So... putting all this knowledge into practice, book Zurich-Verona at Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia OR www.loco2.com which connects to it, from the cheapest possible rate, €29 + €9.90.

BUT if your journey involves a Swiss domestic leg, eg Interlaken-Spiez-Milan-Verona you;d book Spiez-Verona at Trenitalia.com and Interlaken-Spiez at the station or sbb.ch
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