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purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

Indianapolis...
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purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

Hello!

Trying to purchase train tickets online at Trenitalia for our trip end of May. They are offering a great discount when purchasing in advance. My credit card continued to get denied and after $20 in phone calls to them in Italy (!), I've discovered they only accept "international" ?? credit cards. They suggested I purchase thru a couple travel agences they are affiliated with in US. I called one of them and the price is double. Does anyone have experience with this and any suggestions out there?

thanks!!!

Le Marche, Italy
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11. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

The problem with the credit cards is mysterious. I've been following it closely for several years. I have an American credit card that used to work, but no longer does. People from Singapore, Thailand, and some other countries in Asia have no problem. People from the US, Canada, and Australia almost always do. There should be no problem with European cards, except for the odd case where the card is flagged for fraud, as reported by the Irish person above. The normal credit card problem trenitalia has involves a request that never arrives at the bank.

First class really is not worth the extra money. In 1st class they *may* give you a free newspaper (in Italian) and *maybe* a beverage. However, the few times I've ridden in 1st class, neither ever materialized. They're talking about abandoning the two different classes and replacing it with a system where you pay for extra services. In the meantime, thieves aren't stupid. It's mostly businessmen and executive women in 1st class, riding on the company's money. It's full of laptops and Blackberries and iPhones. Why on earth would the thieves prefer 2nd class?

There are no longer any discounts you can get the day ahead of the trip, except for a few special situations, such as long-distance round trips in the same day (which would involve about 8 hours on the train, at least.) The family discount is available at any time, even on the same day.

Riding 2nd class on the IC train will give you a 35% discount over 1st class, which is even better than the discount for advance purchase.

SF Bay Area
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12. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

I had the same experience. I'm definitely a "planner" and like to know where I'm going in advance and love those discounts. My US credit card didn't work with Trenitalia so I found a travel agency that was recommended on their site. It was out of NY and I contacted them by email. They were able to get me a bit of a discount (not the meno 30) if I carried a hotel or car rental voucher with me on the train. I wouldn't have worried about getting the tickets ahead of time, but we are travelling from Florence to Naples and wanted to meet up with my daughter along the way. So it was important for us to book ahead of time to get seats together. We are also travelling on an IC train (so that we could meet up with the daughter) and chose to travel 1st class as then we would have an internet connection for our laptop. Since we were taking the slower train, we wanted to be as comfortable as we could.

Le Marche, Italy
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13. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

I never heard of any Italian trains having internet connections, at least yet. Where did you hear this? There is a proposal to allow internet connections on the AV (high speed) trains, but not on the IC trains. In any case, that proposal isn't active yet. Also, there's no indication of how it's going to work. It will be using a cell phone netbook (UMTS), so it would probably work only for smart phones and internet keys. It will be free in 1st class, and cost 3 euros in 2nd class. It would be cheaper to pay the three euros, actually, than to buy a 1st class ticket. I have an internet key, and for 10 euros I can get 30 hours of internet connection, so I would be unlikely to pay 3 euros for a connection for 2 or 3 hours.

SF Bay Area
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14. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

I can't remember where I read that and I might have misspoke a bit. I think it was actually an electrical outlet for computers that was available. I've read so many different posts and advice. It's really difficult to get accurate information about what the different trains and classes provide.

Bottom line was that there are 4 of us travelling together and getting on at different stops. We will be spending 5 hours on the train so wanted to avail ourselves of as much comfort and enjoyment as we could since it's the slower and cheaper IC train. Plus we wanted to be able to sit together so our travel agent was able to arrange that for us.

Le Marche, Italy
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15. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

The electrical outlet is definitely available on high speed trains, in both 1st and 2nd class. However, I've never seen an electrical outlet on an IC train.

Edited: 08 March 2010, 10:30
Australia
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16. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

Hi

We had 9 weeks in Italy last year travelling by train and I was really worried about purchasing the tickets, getting on the right train etc.

we tried to purchase on line before I left as I like to be organised but found that was impossible.

We used the machines on the wall in the station to purchase our tickets, just like using an ATM machine. We just watched one or 2 people use them first.

You just enter your departure station and arrival station and it will give you all the available trains. I had printed out the timetable of each train I wanted to take so I knew what I wanted. You can also choose where you want to sit it will get an option to choose a seat and shows a photo of the seats, window or aisle.

We normally sat opposite each other on the aisle side, that way we could put our luggage beside our seat in the passage, as it was too difficutl for my husband to get it on the luggage rack.

The machines took our Australian credit cards no problem, just make sure it is a machine that has credit card and cash. Much better than standing in line for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Most of the people in the line dont speak italian and a lot of the staff dont speak a lot of english.

We found that buying the tickets in Italy was so cheap compared to using an agency in Australia, about half the price and if there is a discount available you will automatically get it.

On one occassion in Siena there wasnt a machine to use so we had to line up and when I tried to use my credit card Visa, Amex, Visa debit card, (I tried them all it rejected them) and he said we dont take foreign credit cards. So I had to go to the ATM outside and draw cash, then get in the line again to buy the tickets.

One tip we usually bought the tickets as many days ahead as we could at the station, then checked on the departure board to see what platform that train departed from, not always the same platform each day but is usually right and then went and found that platform and how to get there, without any luggage. That way when you do have the luggage you know exactly where to go and if you need to use escalators, lifts etc.

Hope this helps. Happy travelling.

We will be using the trains and ferries for 10 weeks this year in Italy and Sicily. We are in our 60/70 so if we can do it anyone can.

Le Marche, Italy
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17. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

You've got some good advice from Janderra. I think it's especially a good idea to print out the trains schedules for the trips you're interested in. Whether you use the machines or the ticket agents, having a schedule to refer to is very useful.

Milan, Italy
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18. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

It's not a mystery actually.

https:/…what_are_signature_digits.asp

"Payment by Visa and MasterCard

To guarantee greatest customer security, the international Visa and MasterCard circuits require that credit card transactions respect the following security measures:

the typing in of a three-digit security number on the back of the credit card, near the area reserved for the signature.

the authentication by the customer on the appropriate pop up, managed directly by Bankpass, using data that have been given previously to that same customer by the card issuer ("Verified by Visa" and "SecurCode" standard).

PLEASE NOTE: CartaSi informs that credit cards are checked with the IP number of the PC where the purchase has been made. Therefore, and for online purchase only, the transaction could be denied by the credit card circuit."

Indianapolis...
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19. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

Thanks Chris, that all makes sense. I have done all those things but was still denied each time with every credit card and debit card I own! My credit card is enrolled in the Verified by Visa program, I entered the 3 digits from back of card (this is pretty much a requirement all the time now with online purchases), I have the pop-up blocker turned off in hopes of receiving the "Verified by Visa" pop-up window in order to authenticate myself and am using my home PC. Still no luck. No pop-up window from Visa, still denied. Thank you for all the info though. Maybe someone else will have luck with it.

Milan, Italy
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20. Re: purchasing train tickets from Trenitalia

Don't worry hapylove333.

just buy the ticket when you're italy.

get familiar with the discount rules and if you book one day earlier, you might be lucky to get some discount.

Remember to enjoy the trip and treasure the moment you're with your love one, eg. hold their hands, stare into their eyes and listern carefully to what they are saying as if you're going to loss them in the next minutes...

you know, something like that, and that's the meaning of life, right?

Ok, study the discount rule now. You can get them at the train station either at the sales counter or like what most people do, go straight to the Automatic Ticket machine and use your good old USA visa/master card. It works at the Automatic ticket machine :-)

www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp…

bon voyage.