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Trenitalia - Difference between self service and ticketless?

Trenitalia - Difference between self service and ticketless?

Old Feb 16th, 2008, 08:05 PM
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Trenitalia - Difference between self service and ticketless?

Aside from planning for my own backpacking trip, I have also been assigned the task of figuring out transportation issues for our two week family vacation in Italy/Paris.

I've been scouring this forum, as well as getting myself familiarized with the Trenitalia website. I realise that we can purchase the tickets in Italy, but my parents are insisting on getting them in advanced. My mom, like myself is entirely too melancholy-choleric and loves to have "everything in order."

Anyway, my question is, what exactly is the difference between self service and ticketless? From what I can understand, ticketless works like an airline e-ticket, yes? So, is the self service option equivalent to going up to the ticket counter in Venice, for example, with a confirmation number to get the tickets reserved for Florence?

Also, I've been reading up on the "Smart" option, and I was wondering if it's possible for non-Italians to book them? I know it's only in second class, but that should cover a T4 couchette, right? I'm currently looking at night train prices from Rome to Geneva, and with the smart discount, it's only about 45E per person on a T4 (compare this to the standard fare of 115E). This ticket falls only under the self service or home delivery category. So, if my assumptions are right, if we pick self service, we can just pick up these tickets at the train station, right?

Last, I was also wondering if the ticket prices quoted in Trenitalia includes the mandatory reservation fee for the Venice-Florence and Florence-Rome leg? Or, will we have to pay extra for it when we get to the station (say, from Florence to Rome)?

I apologise for my questions - I'm sure you are all tired of clarifying Trenitalia woes, but I would appreciate (and my parents will, undoubtedly, as well) any further information I can get.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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Not sure I can answer all your questions.

Ticket prices for Venice-Florence, FL-Rome on ES trains include mandatory seat reservation - price is inclusive. For ticketless travel you don't need to checkin at any counter - you simply board the train. When asked you tell or show the conductor your reservation #. It's handy to have a print out of your reservation, but you could just as easily write the reservation # on a napkin or store it in your computer. On those routes look for the Amica fare, which is 20% discount off standard fare. There are some restrictions/limitations on flexibility should you need to change so be sure to read the fare rules.

I believe self service simply refers to kiosk ticket machines in train stations.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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Smart fares are available to anyone. Book ASAP to have the best chance of getting them. On the Trenitalia site you can book up to 60 days in advance for routes within Italy and up to 90 days in advance for international routes.

To retrieve your ticket from a ticket machine you'll need to have the confirmation number you'll be given and the same credit card you used when booking.

Registering on the Trenitalia site can be problematic. Even if it's too early to book, register NOW to be sure you succeed.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:28 AM
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Seat reservations will be included in the price on AV,ES and ICPlus trains.

Do you really want to put your parents in a T4 couchette situation overnight?

For the self service option you use the ticket machines in the station.For the difference between ticketless/self service:
http://www.trenitalia.com/en/orari_b...na_ritiro.html
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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having just returned from Italy and taking T-4 couchettes and i would NOT advise them for anyone that is not fully fit and able to hop up a ladder to the top bunk - in case you can't reserve the lower one and unless on a starvation budget to anyone

i ditto KyBourbon's feeling in this regard.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for the replies. It's definitely cleared a lot of confusion in my mind.

Thank you for your concern about my parents, as well. I've brought up the situation to them (and showed what pictures I can find online), and they don't mind - they're troopers. That, and both of them are under 45 (my mom is just turning 40 this year...this is going to be her "big gift"). The joys of being blessed with young, fit parents .

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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So for another post, I just kind of forgot to ask this.

For the ticketless option, has anyone ever had any issues with this? We can just pick up the tickets in any of the yellow ticket machines, which are very self-explanatory, right?
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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No, not quite correct.

For ticketless you don't need to do anything, you don't need any piece of paper. It's not like airplane travel where you need a boarding pass. You don't need to stop at a ticket machine or ticket window.

Just get on the train and have your conf # available for the conductor.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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One more thing, regarding purchasing tickets on Trenitalia.

Many people, myself included have had difficulty with US credit cards allowing the purchase to go through.

I have a Citibank MasterCard, and if I use the # printed on the card on Trenitalia (& several other Italian web sites) the transaction is not authorized (I believe it's a Citibank fraud protection). As an alternative I use Citibank's 'Virtual Card #" feature where they issue a unique, single use number - you need to login to your Citibank online account to do this. It works well, and my real CC # is never used or at risk.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Yeah, although this thread is two years old, it hasn't changed much. I note that the OP never comes back with a success story - does he?

We've gone through so many cycles of trying to get one of several U.S. credit cards accepted that we ow feel we've submitted CC iformatoin to Trenitalia for no reason at all.

In the end, we have no reservations and will be standing in the train station trying to figure out whether a self service kiosk is still an option, or whether to wait on line for a human ticket vendor.

I'm guessing they'll accept actual Euros when in Italy - no need for credit cards.

But, to me, it's discomforting to contact my bank and submit my info so many times - only to be denied.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:35 PM
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Trenitalia does not process US credit cards. Are you from the US?

Ticket machines are simple to use and this 3 minute video will walk you through it. The first half is shows how to use the old ticket machines, but they are usually in the small stations these days. The second half shows how to use the newer touchscreen ticket machines (in English).
http://www.webvisionitaly.com/catego...8&ref_item=375

This link will walk you through it using close-up, screen-by-screen pictures of each selection you will need to make.
http://www.roninrome.com/%20transpor...a-train-ticket

There is no need to stand in lines at ticket windows. Expect to pay about 5% above the prices you see on Trenitalia as the online purchases are supposed to be discounted 5%.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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kybourbon: Trenitalia does not process US credit cards.

I assume you mean ONLINE right? In another thread recent thread, someone claimed that Trenitalia no longer accepts US credit cards online. That may be - I last used one successfully (last time I tried) back in 2007. In September 2009 I used my US credit card (a Visa) successfully at several Trenitalia self-service ticket machines. I assume THAT hasn't changed since last September?

I needed to purchase a ticket a ticket window only once - not because of a problem with my US credit card but because for some reason, the machine did not list a train combination (that I wanted) listed on the Trenitalia website. The agent knew quickly what combination I wanted, just a fluke of the ticket machine. It's a good idea at least to have an idea of the train schedules the day you will travel so you aren't surprised when you get to the ticket machine. They are very easy to use.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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Yes, I meant online. The ticket machines will accept US credit cards. There will also be some machines marked cash only.

In earlier years, a handful of people were able to get their US cards to go through online, but it was very random. In the last year I don't know anyone that's been successful. One poster called Trenitalia and they told her they were not processing US online.
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