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Buying ALSA bus tickets online

#1
Anyone ever bought ALSA bus tickets online? Do they post them to you or do you pick them up somewhere?

Need to get a bus from Valladolid to Astorga, but there's only one I can get because my flight gets in on a sunday - would be really annoying to get there and find they're sold out, which is why I'm wondering about buying in advance.

Thanks
Cathy
 

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Minkey

Active Member
#2
Hmm... Not sure. I'd be a bit wary to be honest... I ordered Renfe tickets online, I had a reference number, went to collect the ticket and they didn't know what I was on about...

That said and done, Alsa are meant to be a good, reliable company... I think.

Have you tried their website?
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Anyone ever bought ALSA bus tickets online? Do they post them to you or do you pick them up somewhere?
I did this about a year ago at that time you just printed out your confirmation number. Once you enter the bus, the driver has your name on a list and he just checks that your reference number is the same as the one you have. There are not physical ticket.

At that time, you could put in your passport number if you did not have a Spanish id number.

I have heard from some foreigners that have said that they have had some problems paying using non-Spanish credit cards on their site. Not sure away around that... ... they may have fixed this as well, not sure.

Buen camino,
Ivar
 

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Karo

New Member
#6
I've bought bus tickets from internet from Movelia/Continental auto. The passport number was required, payed with Visa and printed the tickets from my own computer. No problems so far. They will be used next saturday, so I hope this system works!

Leaving tomorrow 06.35 to Madrid via Copehagen. Feels wonderful to count hours instead of days/weeks! :D Backpack is waiting by the door, feeling almost nostalgic... in a positive way!

Karo
 

Karo

New Member
#8
Bus tickets from internet

P.S: The tickets I printed out home where ok. At the busstation in Lorgoño I changed the print to a regular busticket, needed to show my passport as identification. No problems!

Karo
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#10
The main bus station in Santiago is on the outskirts of the city - not close to the airport. You might need to take a bus to the city in order to get your ALSA bus to Ponferrada. It doesn't look as though the bus goes near the airport - it goes to Lugo and A Coruna before swinging south again.

The bus company that does the ± hourly bus service from Santiago to Airport route is : http://www.empresafreire.com/html/ingles/seccion3.htm

If you are flying in on Ryanair there is a special timetable - you can download the pdf file.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#11
While preferring trains (and I like Spanish trains), the timetables were not good for me in 2007 and so I booked my Alsa ticket to Madrid online, and had no trouble with it. I spent about 12 euro extra and took the Alsa first-class bus, with much more room (seats 1 and 2 across, rather than 2 and 2) and headphones for the movie, and snacks and drinks brought to us at our seats. It is not as scenic as the train to Madrid, but was one of the more comfortable means of public transport which I have tried.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#12
jleex88 said:
are ALSA bus stations usually near the airports?
I'm flying into Santiago and need to take the bus to Ponferrada.

Thanks
I just realized that I had made a mistake and that you had to ask your question again, since you most likely did not know where the first one ended up. :oops: My mistake. I split your first question out to make a new thread, but did not realized that you then lost track of where it was.

You can find your first post here, with another answer from me:
traveling-to-from-the-camino/topic4555.html

Buen camino,
Ivar
 
#14
since my camino journey is coming up im getting all antsy :D

i was wondering if its ok to just show up at the bus station in santiago and buy the ALSA ticket to ponferrada...since theres always a chance i could miss the bus due to the need for me to find a way into town. would this be more expensive?

thanks in advance for answering so many of my questions!
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#15
jleex88 said:
since my camino journey is coming up im getting all antsy :D

i was wondering if its ok to just show up at the bus station in santiago and buy the ALSA ticket to ponferrada...since theres always a chance i could miss the bus due to the need for me to find a way into town. would this be more expensive?

thanks in advance for answering so many of my questions!
I think you should be fine just showing up without booking ahead. This is normally how they do it here. Just try to be at the bus station, maybe an hour or so before the bus (if possible). Since most people are buying the ticket "on the spot" and they show up 15-20 minutes before the bus leave.... if you can beat that crowd you should be fine. This is especially true if you are traveling on a Friday during the school year. Many university students go home on the bus leaving on Fridays. (I think the University here starts up again in September/October... not sure, I know it is a bit later than "normal").

Buen camino,
Ivar
 

jeff001

Active Member
#16
The ALSA window is in the far corner of the ticket area at the Santiago bus terminal. You have to look carefully for the small sign above the window.
 
#17
I just managed to buy tickets for next week from Valladolid to Ponferrada. I once tried it before - in English and it didn´t work. Now I used Spanish and the dictionary :) Tuulis
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#18
I have just tried to purchase an Alsa bus ticket online, for a journey on Sept. 25th. I tried 2 separate debit cards and each time was told that my bank had refused my request. Since than I have used the cards for other purchases, so the cards are valid. Any suggestions out there? I have spoken to a Spanish tour guide who tells me that he is able to purchase the tickets from inside Spain. Do Australian banks have a thing about Alsa?

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018
#19
Alan, I found that I could only buy my Alsa tickets using Paypal when booking from South Africa. The online web site did not accept my Visa or American Express cards. Join PayPal and it works a dream.
Pam
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#20
Hi Pam

Thanks for your reply. I went back to the Alsa web site and clicked on the Paypal option and it told me that a ticket bought through Paypal cannot be printed, changed or cancelled. If it can't be printed, how did you get on? I just love having a piece of paper in my hand that I can use if there is a misunderstanding over whether I have a seat on the bus or not :)

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#21
Last year I bought tickets, using PayPal, for 14 people in May and for 9 people in September. They allowed me to pritn out each individual's ticket. Perhaps they mean that you have to exchange the confirmation of the booking for a ticket at the bus station?
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#22
sillydoll said:
Last year I bought tickets, using PayPal, for 14 people in May and for 9 people in September. They allowed me to pritn out each individual's ticket. Perhaps they mean that you have to exchange the confirmation of the booking for a ticket at the bus station?
I am not sure if this is true in this case, but sometimes what you get when you buy a ticket with ALSA is a confirmation number. You take this to the bus station (in the ALSA ticket window) and they will give you your ticket.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 
#23
We were planning on waiting till we get to Pamplona to buy our bus tickets to SJPP... but is it necessary to purchase them ahead of time via internet? We want to be on the additional 5:30pm bus to get to SJPP by 7:30 for dinner at L'Esprit du Chemin! So have you had trouble buying them at the bus station on the same day as your travel?
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#24
Thankyou Sillydoll and Ivar for your comments. I am going to take the cowards way out and ask Garry from Spanish Adventures to buy the ticket for me and send me the details. I will post here the results of how he gets on.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

Geoleeu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
#25
One can also pay using Paypal. Register your credit card on the paypal web site, then pay bus tickets through that service
 
#26
Wow....isn't technology a wonderful thing sometimes !

Through this forum, I know how to get from Barcelona to SJPdP, that I can buy my bus tickets online before, and now, that I can also use Paypal to pay for them. There is such a wealth of knowledge here on the forums, thank you all for it ! It certainly makes the planning so much easier for us newbies :) I can only imagine how much more difficult the journey to SJPdP to start the Camino Frances would be without this. Would probably require even more vino tinto :)

Thank you !
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#27
A slight change in procedure - I have bought my Alsa bus ticket on line after joining Paypal, and have printed it out. I presume that I present this to the Alsa bus office on the day of departure and they will print out a regular ticket for me? If so, how much earlier would I need to be at the depot to have this done? I am not leaving Madrid [departure point] till 09.30 so it is no drama to be there a bit early. Sorry for all the questions but the answers may help others as well :oops:

Thanks again

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#28
For the airport bus, they looked at my computer printout, but my name was on the driver's roster as well. No separate ticket was issued.
 

mmm042

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
#29
The one thing to note is that if you miss your bus, you can't just use your ticket and get on the next one. You have to purchase an entirely new ticket. That happened to me when I was in Spain last March during Daylight Savings, which was a different weekend than here in the U.S., so I showed up at 7 a.m. for my 6 a.m. bus.

Melanie
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#30
I bought my Alsa ticket by using a Travellex debit card, which has a mixture of Euros and Aussie dollars on it. The ticket cost around 40 euro and I assumed that the money would be taken from the euro section. Silly me. It came out of the dollars. Hmm.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
#32
I have been searching the ALSA website to see the timetables for Valladolid to Leon, and Valladolid airport to Valladolid. Although it looked like there were many buses doing the Valladolid to Leon trip, when I used the search page and entered the date (22 September 2014) it gave me a "lo siento" message that there were no possible journeys than day. My Spanish isn't good enough to figure out if it is only possible to book within a much shorter time frame, and also if a non-resident can book online. I had a look at the RENFE site with similar success. I'd quite like to crack this one as I'm trying to leave the other end of my Camino very flexible to wander by public transport back to Barcelona airport. Also is it relatively easy to catch commuter trains and buses without a booking?
Thanks
Mary
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#34
On the longer routes I have been able to book 4 months in advance on some routes with a 50% discount. https://www.alsa.es/en/offers/
Others don't put their full timetables up until 30 days in advance (Leon to Astorga).
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#35
As you've seen from the ALSA and Renfe pages ... the buses and trains run frequently. So unless your travel plans are during a major holiday you will likely be able to travel without reservations. Worst case scenario is you have to wait for the next one an hour or two later.

I've been to Spain 3 times. I've only gotten one reserved ticket (for New Years day and was VERY glad I had done so) ... otherwise I've made all bus and train trips without getting reservations. The flexibility once meant that the late airplane arrival didn't throw a wrench into the works.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
#36
Thanks folks. I've been thinking that leaving room for spontaneity as to how slow or fast to wander back to Barcelona afterwards would be a fine thing. Do you know if you can hop on and off buses or trains - say for a dip in a hot pool at Ourense and then catch a later connection to points south?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#37
Do you know if you can hop on and off buses or trains
Not on the same ticket. Keep in mind that some buses and trains are one or two a day, so it might be a long swim. Trains pass by a lot of stations, so if you want a really short hop, make sure you are on a local train.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#38
I'm having a heck of a time buying tickets on the ALSA website. I am buying for 9 people. I put in all my information, then my VISA number only to have it give me a message saying "Error en datos enviados. Contacte con su commercio." I contacted my bank and they never received the charge. I'm stumped? Help?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#39
Annie, I guess you are experiencing the problem cited above. ALSA's site doesn't seem to like non-native cards. I've always bought tickets on a walk-up basis but I realise that is a scary option for a party of nine. Might be worth phoning them despite call costs and time differences.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Part walked / part cycled September 2014 SJPdP to SdC
Walked SJPdP to SdC summer 2017
#40
I've bought lots of tickets with ALSA Bus from UK.

I think these days you can pay via PayPal - or at least you used to be able to.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#41
ALSA doesn't accept foreign credit cards. Click on the pay via PAYPAL link and pay that way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
#42
My experience just a few hours ago was that there were glitches with paying with PayPal, though I got it done. Sort of.

After the final step, the Alsa site would post a bilingual message saying that there was a problem with my PayPal payment and to contact PayPal.

A friend was here--we used her PayPal account the next attempt...same issue. (This was after numerous attempts failing for other reasons--or no apparent reason. This is not for the impatient.)

Surprised then to find 2 emails from Alsa confirming the two different reservations, so I would certainly recommend keeping an eye on your inbox and not taking all things at face value.

It remains to be seen what happens on Friday when I try to board the bus. I will either have two seats or none.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2014 will be my first with my son at my side
#44
I have just tried to purchase an Alsa bus ticket online, for a journey on Sept. 25th. I tried 2 separate debit cards and each time was told that my bank had refused my request. Since than I have used the cards for other purchases, so the cards are valid. Any suggestions out there? I have spoken to a Spanish tour guide who tells me that he is able to purchase the tickets from inside Spain. Do Australian banks have a thing about Alsa?

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
Hi, almost two years have gone since your post, I just went through exactly the same process, all cards (debit and credit) I've tried have been rejected, but I am using them and they're valid. I can't even imagine how many sales those guys are losing just for not fixing a little error like this.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2014 will be my first with my son at my side
#45
And ALSA says in their website their phone is open 365/24/7 and it is not - I've been calling them for an hour now, nobody answers, not even an answering machine. Pity.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014) Camino France from SJPdP
(2017 sept) Camino France from Burgos
#47
I booked Alsa-ticket online last week. Paid with PayPal. No problem at all :)
 

Trillian

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 18-June 7 2015
#48
I know this thread is "old" but I referred to it recently when I encountered some difficulties purchasing an ALSA ticket for Bajaras-Madrid -> Leon in May 2015. It may help someone to provide a recent experience.

When I attempted to pay with my Canadian MasterCard, after entering the information and clicking to finalize the sale, I got redirected to a "securesite" page which was completely blank. It remained this way for some time before I gave up waiting for it to load. Securesite should have given me a screen to enter a password for my MasterCard. The following day, I checked my statement online to confirm there was no charge (there wasn't).

I went back to the ALSA website and went through the same steps to purchase my bus ticket except this time, I paid with PayPal and everything worked correctly. The sale finalized and I got a confirmation screen. I was emailed a pdf of my ticket.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#49
I purchased an Alsa ticket online with my Canadian MasterCard some weeks ago for a ticket from Barajas/Madrid to Pamplona in late September. I had no trouble at all. I used my passport number for ID and printed the ticket to show to the bus driver. Aside from having two tickets (changing buses in Soria) and a final bill a bit more than I expected, it all went through fine. My only challenges now will be to get to the bus on time at the airport and to find my bus to Pamplona in Soria. Of course, travel can always bring surprises, which is why I am grateful for those who share their experiences after having done what I am trying to do.
 

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