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Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

Boston
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Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

We're a family of four traveling by train from Barcelona to San Sebastian this summer. I am curious about the 4 seater table seats (where two seats face the opposite direction and you share a table between the 4 seats). I read in the "Train travel:Buying Renfe Tickets Online" sticky that these seats should be a last resort due to limited legroom. Does anyone know if this is indeed the case? Otherwise it seems they would be ideal for a family of four (our kids are 9 and 11--though the 11 year old is more sized like a 13-14 year old)... we could play cards or chat during the ride.

Do all four seats recline in this configuration? And do all four still have access to movie/video?

What about luggage space? If we each have a small rolling luggage (airline carryon size or slightly larger) plus backpack, will that be easy to fit?

If this configuration is tight for Tourist class, would first class be significantly more legroom and/or luggage space (for the table configuration)?

Also, is food always available (for purchase) on this train? There was a little fork/knife symbol, crossed out, on the website for this train, but not clear what that meant...

Many thanks in advance!

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Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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1. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

bluephish:

Yes, these seats are good for families. The seats do not recline. You put your luggage on the overhead luggage rack if you cannot find space in the small luggage rack at the end of the car.

There is a cafeteria car where you can buy food and drinks at any time.

Boston
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2. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

Thanks very much, BennyMalaga. Do other train seats recline?

Torremolinos, Spain
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3. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

No they don't.

Please don't worry about buying 'mesa' tickets for a family. All it means is that you sit around a table (mesa).

Phrases such as: 'these seats should be a last resort due to limited legroom' really shouldn't be part of any guide (subjective views have no place in a guide).

Please don't feel that train travel in Spain is complicated - there's no reason at all why it should be.

Fortunately train ticket sales are now deregulated, so you don't have to suffer the RENFE nonsense any more.

Edited: 05 April 2014, 05:32
Europe
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4. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

As said above: these seats are good (or even perfect) for families. They have better legroom than other seats, but you share that space with the person opposite you. Good for families, but horrible if that person is a stranger. (So I understand the comment in the guide book: not only you have to endure someone next to you, but also in front of you.)

Don’t expect too much of the movie/video you mention. They show a movie (generally a bad one) on 2 or 3 small screen hanging from the ceiling. Don’t expect a personal entertainment system like on a plane. (I think that I have read somewhere that they now at least also give the original version, not only the one dubbed in Spanish as it was before.)

BennyMalaga already explained the food. The crossed out cutlery is just a warning for those buying “Preferente” (1st class) that there is no meal service (served at your seat) on this train. Some trains do have that service.

London, United...
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5. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

A table sounds good for your family especially if you enjoy playing cards ! A "commuter" train I occasionally take always has the same 4 people sitting round the table playing cards ! I agree about the film/movie / video. Take your own device.

Boston
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6. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

Thank you all for the informative replies -- exactly what I needed!

7. Re: Renfe train seating (mesa/table seats)

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