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train tickets in Spain

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May 7th, 2013, 09:42 AM
  #1
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train tickets in Spain

We'll be in Spain this coming June. We will be travelling by train from Malaga to Seville and Seville to Madrid. My question: Is it recommended to buy our tickets with Raileurope (tried with Renfe site, had problems) prior to our departure or buy them once we're in Spain. We were in Italy 2 years ago, and bought all our train tickets for the remainder of the trip at our first stop in Venice. We were thinking of doing the same for Spain.
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May 7th, 2013, 10:08 AM
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You can certainly do the same IME in Spain - there are so so many trains between Seville and Madrid - you could save some money by booking weeks ahead of time but those tickets I believe are not changeable nor refundable. RailEurope supposedly now used the renfe.com system for booking and prices just tacking on a $ 7 per ticket fee (Iread on www.seat61.com I believe) - for any RE product I would advise calling Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com - RE agent I have bought railpasses from for years and will answer any questions and find lowest price, etc. www.seat61.com has good info on discounted tickets. But again you should have no problem buy full-fare tickets once in Spain.

Buses are a viable way to go between Malaga and Seville - often cheaper and may be quicker if train lines take a round about route.
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May 7th, 2013, 11:09 AM
  #3
 
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Petrabax is the official rep for Renfe in North America. You can buy your thickets online at: petrabax.com/renfe/ and you'll receive the ticket by email within 24 hours.
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May 8th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Do Petrabax have cheaper prices than RailEurope - about same prices at www.renfe.com - Spanish Railways? Curious as if not is it not best to try to book on renfe.com though that often seems rather like tilting at windmills - a quixotic quest!
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May 8th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Petrabax puts a markup on all tickets, as does Rail Europe, as Renfe does not pay commissions to agents. Purchasing a ticket is very easy and straight forward.

The Renfe site has become unusable to most people in North America, even those who are registered with them and have purchased tickets online for years.
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May 8th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Agree renfe.com has a few performance issues, but a little persistence pays off. On renfe.com if you click on the word "Welcome" on the top of the screen you will be taken to English language page which works pretty well.

Because of the time difference users in the US may hit the renfe site at a time when maintenance is being done. Petrabax essentially sits on top of the renfe site so you would have the same issue even using pretrabax. Petrabax also does not display all the discounted fares that are available on renfe.com. If getting the lowest available fare is important to you, give it another shot on renfe.com
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May 8th, 2013, 04:30 PM
  #7
 
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I've had good luck with my Citibank credit cards using renfe. I have to first contact Citibank so they authorize the charge and then have no issues. I've never been able to get my Capital One card to work however (but didn't try to hard after Citibank went through).
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May 9th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Is it true what I read in www.seat61.com - I believe i read it there that RailEurope is using renfe.com for pricing and adds just $7 onto the ticket - if so why waste hours on renfe.com to save $7?
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May 9th, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #9
 
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All I can speak to in my recent experiences is it took a call to my bank. I used this same call to notify the bak of my travel dates. So it was essentially no waste of time.
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May 9th, 2013, 02:48 PM
  #10
 
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Pal - there's more to it than that. Not only is there an added premium, but also failure to provide the full range of price options.

Cathy - I did not see where OP mentioned that the problem was with CC acceptance. Is that the issue, star48?
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May 9th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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Pal - there's more to it than that. Not only is there an added premium, but also failure to provide the full range of price options.>

So then it is not true that RE taps into renfe.com - thanks for clarifying that - if they did they would have the whole range of tickets.
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May 12th, 2013, 09:23 AM
  #12
 
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bookmarking
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May 12th, 2013, 11:58 AM
  #13
 
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We were recommended to check out Rick Stevens cite and found a step by step guide for using Renfe.Com. We were able to use our Amex card with no problem.
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May 12th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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"We were recommended to check out Rick Stevens cite and found a step by step guide for using Renfe.Com. We were able to use our Amex card with no problem." Really?

I just checked buying a ticket on Renfe.com using the Amex card, knowing it wouldn't work, and guess what, it didn't. But I did have success using my Barclays Master Card (which has no foreign transaction fees). Anyone need a one-way ticket to Toledo on the 31st, Coach 1 seat 02A? It departs at 10:20.

If not, then I'll write if off as a business expense.
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May 13th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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ttt
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May 13th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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It could be that since Barclays is a British Bank, all of their cards should work with the Renfe booking system. If so, it can be a savings and one less headache.
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