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Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

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Malaga, Spain
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Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Today the first AVE train arrives in Malaga for the opening ceremonies. The Renfe web has just changed. Here is the new example.

Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example

1. Go to http://www.renfe.es/.

This is a trial run to get a one way ticket from Madrid to Malaga on the AVE.

2. On the left hand side, click on the English flag to get the page in English.

3. On the upper right hand side, click on “Buy Tickets”.

4. At the bottom left hand side of the screen, be sure to put in “Select your language“: English.

5. As a trial, I selected Single (for one way trip).

6. For Select origin: Madrid*.

7. For Select destination: Malaga.

8. Choose the date on the calendar. I chose Jan. 14, 2008.

9. Number of Passengers: 1

10. Press Search.

11. On the next screen (Availability), I find the AVE 02092, departure at 09:35H, arrival at 12:23H, and I check Tourist class at 75.50€. This is the peak fare. For cheaper fares, you have to choose a more inconvenient time.

12. “Write the characters you see in the next image.” - Write them in the box.

12. Check the lower right hand side box Continue.

13. You reach the Form of Payment page.

14. Go to the Box Fare and choose Web. The price is now 30.20 euros.

15. Fill in all of the fields that have an asterisk, as they are mandatory.

16. For Type of Document: Check the Foreigner ID No. and you can put your passport number there.

17. Check the “I have read and accept the General Conditions for Passengers box.

18. Fill in the Credit/Debit Card information.

19. Press the Purchase button.

20. You will then go to the Ticket page to complete your purchase.

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The Tarifas page is only in Spanish. Here is the explanation in English:

A. Tarifa Web - You get a 60% discount if you buy your ticket on the web 15 days or more before the date you travel.

B. Tarifa Estrella - You get a 40% discount if you buy your ticket on the web at least 7 days before you travel.

C. Tarifa Ida y Vuelta - You get a 20% discount if you buy round trip tickets. The date of return should be 60 days or less after the date of your first trip.

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In the Timetable and Prices page, there is a column called Running Period.

There is a code for the days of the week:

Circulation days corresponding to the train's departure date in the origin station. L = Monday (Lunes in Spanish)

M = Tuesday (Martes)

X = Wednesday (Miercoles)

J = Thursday (Jueves)

V = Friday (Viernes)

S = Saturday (Sabado)

D = Sunday (Domingo)

The website allows you to buy tickets 62 days in advance of your trip.

Malaga, Spain
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1. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

I forgot to mention that the Estrella fare is 45.30 euros and the Web fare is 30.20 euros. The General fare is 75.50 euros and the Youth fare is 56.60 euros.

Malaga, Spain
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2. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

What is bad about the webpage is that if you do not know to ask for the web fare, you will end up paying more. The web page should really send you to the cheapest fare if you are an adult, knowing the time when you use the web page and the date of travel you are asking for.

As they say, let the buyer beware!

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Good job, Benny! It looks like you have good the dicey parts figured out. If buyer wants to be sure about the fare, etc., RENFE does have a phone # and people can call.

Portugal
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4. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

I´m going to buy tickets to Toledo, for one day trip.

So, this way, if I understood it, it would be cheaper to buy separate tickets, Madrid-Toledo and then Toledo- Madrid (tarifa web- 60% discount), than round trip (20%).

Malaga, Spain
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5. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Maria:

When I try the Renfe website and look for Madrid-Toledo one way or two ways, I cannot seem to get a web price. Maybe because it is a short haul ride. I do get the 20% discount for the two way ride.

This is another thing they do not explain. The front page of the website also has changed since yesterday.

Also I cannot find anyplace in their website that explains the youth fare. What is the upper age limit?

Portugal
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6. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Hola Benny

I've been searching and it seems that the youth ticket is for people between 12 and 26 (those having "carnet joven) and for Kids, from 4 to 13 inculs..

Take a look at:

cafeytren.com/companias-de-trenes/renfe/desc…

and

https://w1.renfe.es/vbi/htvbi005.html

About the 60% discounts, they say "discounts till 60%", so it seems it's not always, not for all destinations.

I´m glad that our trip (Madrid- Toledo)is not a very expensive one!

Spring Hill, FL
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7. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Benny: Thank you so much for your new updated info on Madrid to Malaga Ave train. It appears that you do get a 60% discount off the 68.00E or 75.00E fare if you click the Web fare box. This is wonderful news, as we were debating flying instead but really wanted to take the Ave train. We're not going until October, so we hope it won't change by then, as long as we purchase our tickets 62-14 days in advance. Thanks so much again.

Malaga, Spain
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8. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Mimi:

Since you are coming next October, be sure to book as soon as you can, which is 62 days before your trip because all indications are that there will be plenty of people using this AVE route as time goes on. More people are getting excited about it and they expect more than a million people to use it in 2007. They say more than 30,000 people have booked since they started taking reservations in early December. The regular trains started yesterday.

And Malaga is starting its advertising campaign in Madrid, saying that we are the beach of Madrid now.

Spring Hill, FL
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9. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Okay, Benny, will do. I plan to try on the 62nd day pre-trip, so I'll be sure and get a ticket. We also want tickets for day trips to Segovia & Toledo, but will I run into the problems of being a first-time buyer and not able to book any more at that time? If so, we'll just wait till we get there and book them a day or 2 in advance. Then there is always the bus or the local trains if all else fails.

Malaga, Spain
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10. Re: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Example - NEW!

Our Madrid expert Revulgo has passed on to me an article on the web in Spanish:

altavelocidad.org/las-noticias/empresas/desc…

The title of the article is Discounts on Renfe (Only for the Intelligent), dated Nov. 28. It criticizes the webpage and says that you will find the discounts only if you do trial and error. The webpage of Renfe is designed very poorly and the discounts are not apparent at all. Only by trying different schemes and different tariffs will you find the discounts.

The author of the article is correct because this is what I found when I tried to make sense of the Renfe website. I think that many people will give up easily and not travel if they cannot find the discounts easily. Yet Renfe wants to encourage more people to take the AVE trains to Malaga and elsewhere from Madrid.

A better webpage design would certainly help consumers. I am sure there are expert webpage designers in Spain that could be hired to correct this situation.

So not everything is hunky-dory. I wonder who in the government we can contact and complain about this situation. And will they care at all?