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train in Spain

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Sep 6th, 2014, 09:05 AM
  #1
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train in Spain

Is it me or has the Renfe site become much more difficult to use ? I tried it in both Spanish and English but ... Want to go between Barcelona and Murcia. Can anyone recommend another site to use ?
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Sep 6th, 2014, 09:26 AM
  #2
P_M
 
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I found it impossible to use Renfe and I finally ended up buying my ticket from Rail Europe. It cost an extra $5 of so but it was worth it.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Have you checked www.seat61.com for hints on using REnfe - or try Petrabax. a U.S. outfit with ties to Spanish Railways or even try www.raileurope.com as they supposedly are now more and more tied in with REnfe and offers perhaps competitive fares - not sure as I have not investigated it but repeating what others say.

https://petrabax.com/renfe/
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Sep 6th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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I found it impossible to use Renfe and I finally ended up buying my ticket from Rail Europe. It cost an extra $5 of so but it was worth it.>

may have cost even less than $5 extra as you did not have to pay a foreign transaction fee on your credit card as you do on Renfe - if interested in any Rail Europe product I'd call Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com - I have bought railpasses from him for years and IME he will always expertly answer questions even if not buying. And if there are problems at least with Rail Europe you are working with an entity with offices in your home country - that said RE doe snot always offer the discounted tickets renfe.com may - sometimes they are competitive on some types of fares but first check renfe.com to see what the low price is to see if RE price is OK - don't blindly buy from RE or you could pay a lot more but at times about the same.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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The train in Spain is mainly on the Plain.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Ah, yes...

REN-FE (accented like Jerry Seinfeld's "Newman").

If you do a three-year search on "Renfe" on this forum, you'll find that it seems to be the most taxing booking website ever. Trenitalia and SCNF are easy-peasy in comparison.

Like a virus, the RENFE website "solves" posted here become worthless within days as website "improvements" only seem to prevent bookings.

Just when one seems to have figured out its glitches, a new twist and turn appears. An ongoing problem is that US credit card companies trust NOTHING in Spain, so even an alert to the credit card company that you will be making a transaction often fails to work.

I think so many like me on this forum have taken its peculiarities as a challenge, and I certainly was determined to overcome it or kill the darn thing. I was successful, but only after repeated attempts.

Others have said like P_M, "Heck with it, my time is my money, too. Let Rail Europe do it. It's worth the extra."

So do consult seat61, and I'd check with petrabax, too. I think there have been threads here where local Spanish TAs can book you for a very minimal fee. If you have a credit card without a foreign transaction fee, then it won't be that bad if you use an outside agency.

Wishing lots of good luck,
AZ
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Sep 6th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Or the pain in Spain is mainly on the train? Used to be but no more - now Spain has one of Europe's best high-speed rail networks.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I used these websites for reference on how to use Renfe, and had no problems:
http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/201...ckets-for.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ts.Online.html

I did have to use paypal at first (cc was declined), but after calling bank, cc worked as well.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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We normally don't have problems buying tickets through Renfe.com, but it happens every now and then. Sometimes the transaction is blocked by the bank, sometimes not. If there is a problem, we simply switch to Petrabax.com, no foreign transaction fee with any card, and they accept American Express.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 10:47 AM
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As well as Petrabax.com/renfe you can now also book at www.loco2.com who have implemented a direct connection to renfe.

Loco charge no booking fee or markup - same price as Renfe.com, same print at home tickets, same trains, just no card problems and plain English.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Oh Palenque, I had no problem one bit with our actual RENFE trains. They were clean and on time. In fact, we enjoyed the stations, too.

The RENFE website experience still seems to be woeful, although as I posted above, at least one-half of the problem lies with American credit cards that just don't trust Spanish websites no matter what. I could call "fore" with my credit cards all I wanted, but they just were not going to "play through".

Again, I was successful after repeated attempts. But I'm still unsure HOW I was successful

It's lovely that there are so many new workarounds. Wow, Man_in_seat_61, loco2 sounds like a dream come true.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #12
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Thanks for your replies. Will try those sites.
I used to be able to navigate Renfe's, but, like other sites, some employee must have had the "bright idea" to upgrade thus making it useless.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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I believe it was Man in Seat 61 who once not long ago commented about RailEurope tapping into RENFE's web site and thus giving similar pricing with a $7 handling fee tacked on.

Man in Seat 61 - I have not seen you repeat that recently - you did say the time I recall that not nearly all discounted tickets were offered thru RE however.

I am sure it was you that said that but you know as cognitive dissidence increases ... perhaps I am in error - what is your take on why person above found same price on RE with only a $5 fee if not tapped into renfe.com?
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Sep 6th, 2014, 03:24 PM
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>Loco charge no booking fee or markup - same price as Renfe.com, same print at home tickets, same trains, just no card problems and plain English.<

Then, how do that make an money? Renfe does not pay commissions! Travel agents in Spain have to tack on a service fee to make any money selling tickets.
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Sep 6th, 2014, 06:54 PM
  #15
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A big groan to you, Percy.



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Sep 6th, 2014, 07:34 PM
  #16
 
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www.raileurope.com (= Rail Europe INC, in the US & Canada) DOESN'T tap into Renfe so can't sell all of Renfe's cheap fares,

www.raileurope-world.com (= Rail Europe 4A, another SNCF subsidiary, serving Australia, Africa, Asia, S America) DOES have a connection to Renfe and sells at the Renfe price plus a 4 euro fee.

The problem is SNCF's/Rail Europe's obsession with where you live, when it's irrelevant (or should be) with a global internet.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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Thanks Man for clearing that up!
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Sep 16th, 2014, 04:47 PM
  #18
 
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Loco2 does charge a Credit card handling fee, but it's still well worth it!!! Their customer service is excellent if you have any issues (like we did, changing our itinerary after purchasing some train tickets).
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Oct 6th, 2014, 06:47 PM
  #19
 
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Bookmarking.
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Oct 7th, 2014, 08:19 AM
  #20
 
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The problem is SNCF's/Rail Europe's obsession with where you live, when it's irrelevant (or should be) with a global internet.>

But it makes corporate sense as the SNCF is the majority stakeholder in RailEurope USA and would thus logically like to send Americans there and pay more than they would on www.voyages-sncf.com - but www.capitainetrain.com seems to upset that apple cart!
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