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Getting Train Tickets Day Of?

DebbieG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
I am flying to Madrid on September 18 (landing 7:50am). I'd like to book the 11:30 train to Pamplona, but I just don't trust the airline to be on time these days.

Is it OK to wait and just buy a train ticket when I get to the train station? or do they sell out?

TIA
 
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RobinS007

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
I just went in the station to see if I could figure out where my train was leaving from today and it was a zoo. I was glad I already purchased (still not sure where I’m catching train yet though). I think if you go through Omio, which was super easy, there is an option to get a refund if you need to cancel and your ticket will be on their ap. Others with experience may have a better answer.
 

DebbieG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
I just went in the station to see if I could figure out where my train was leaving from today and it was a zoo. I was glad I already purchased (still not sure where I’m catching train yet though). I think if you go through Omio, which was super easy, there is an option to get a refund if you need to cancel and your ticket will be on their ap. Others with experience may have a better answer.
Good to know. I see there are several (location) options leaving Madrid. Once you figure it out, let me know which one you got and if that’s the one you’d suggest 🙏
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
You can get a refund within so many hours ahead, however, if you are in the air, you might not be able to do that if you are cutting it close. If you fly into T4, there is a train office in the lower level or you can purchase your tickets as soon as you get off the plane on your phone through Renfe. I think those will have a QR code for your ticket on a phone instead of needing to print. We used the Trainline App which was very easy, but I had to find a place to print tickets.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Things are very tentative this year and last with air travel. We have navigated tickets being cancelled both going and coming to Spain for Phil last fall and this summer our return trip was cancelled while we were in Spain and we had rebook by phone. The airline app was not helpful since one of the legs was on a partner airline and rebooking was not possible without a phone call and a long wait on hold.
 

DebbieG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
Things are very tentative this year and last with air travel. We have navigated tickets being cancelled both going and coming to Spain for Phil last fall and this summer our return trip was cancelled while we were in Spain and we had rebook by phone. The airline app was not helpful since one of the legs was on a partner airline and rebooking was not possible without a phone call and a long wait on hold.
Oh, wow. Thank you for the heads up. I’m happy I don’t have super fixed plans/needs. I’m hoping to be able to just roll/flow with however it unfolds and not stress out. Also why I don’t want to book too many things that I may need to change. I did buy travel insurance with my flight so if it gets messed up hopefully I’ll get compensated for extra costs related.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If I were you, I would definitely buy a ticket for the 11;30 train to Pamplona! Our plane usually lands at 9am at MAD. We have landed as late as 10:00am and stll made the train you plan to take. If you print out your tickets at home, and skip checked luggage, the odds are definitely in your favor. Get a taxi.(€30) . It takes them about 20-25 minutes to your train station. Your luggage needs to go through security at the station but you should have plenty of time to do so.


It is quite possible that the train could sell out as well and you must have a reservation to get on! And the price at the last minute to puchase tickets could be much more.

Are you flying directly from theUSA to Madrid? If so, you will likely know before your final departure from USA about when you should land? You could always cancel your train ticket, before you depart the USA if you are so significantly delayed…
If you purchase a refundable ticket.
 
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irishrock

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
I am flying to Madrid on September 18 (landing 7:50am). I'd like to book the 11:30 train to Pamplona, but I just don't trust the airline to be on time these days.

Is it OK to wait and just buy a train ticket when I get to the train station? or do they sell out?

TIA
in 2017, I arrived at 5:50am, went through passport control and headed straight to the train station for the 9:15 to Pamplona...sold out. I did catch a later train (I think it was around 11:30).

So, I don't think it's a bad idea to buy tix ahead of time.

Coming back from Santiago to Madrid...I wish I would have ordered this ahead. I couldn't get the right ticket and was fortunate that I bought a ticket to Leon, and was able to get a Leon to Madrid. (It was a VERY long day on the train) I don't think it's a horrible idea to look into flying from Santiago to Madrid. (short trip and the cost was equal)

Buen camino
 

DebbieG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
If I were you, I would definitely buy a ticket for the 11;30 train to Pamplona. Our plane usually lands at 9am at MAD. We have landed as late as 10:00am and stll made thetrain you plan to take. If you print out your tickets, and skip checked luggage landng the oddsare def8nitely in your favor. Get a taxi.(€30) . It takes them about 20-25 minutes to your train station. Your luggage needs to go through security at the station but you should have plenty of time to do so.

It is quite possible that the train could sell out as well and you must have a reservation to get on! Also The price at the last minute to puchase tickets could be much more.
Thank you, I like this plan the best, but if I’m late for this train, will they let me book onto the next one?
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Thank you, I like this plan the best, but if I’m late for this train, will they let me book onto the next one

I believe you need to cancel at least an hour before departure! Check the fine print on cancellations. Depends upon the ticket you purchase!

What I actually do is buy two tickets. One for the 11:30 and one for the later train. I puchased mine through trainlne.com. It is user friendly. Then, when I get to the train station and know I am making the first train, I cancel the second tickets online. I Usually lose about 25 percent of-the ticket cost. But if Ipurchasethe second ticket for 50 euros and cacel, I will get € 37.5 credited to my account. This way, I don’t have to worry about train availability!
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Thank you, I like this plan the best, but if I’m late for this train, will they let me book onto the next one?

Not unless you buy a premium flexible ticket; and then it’s subject to availability and you’ll have to navigate the ‘less-than-simple’ processes of the train operator, RENFE.

Tickets on medium and long distance trains have assumed seats, so if you don’t show they’ve lost a sale.

I’d book the 1130 based on a 0750 scheduled arrival without concern.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
I believe you need to cancel at least an hour before departure! Check the fine print on cancellations. Depends upon the ticket you purchase!

What I actually do is buy two tickets. One for the 11:30 and one for the later train. I puchased mine through trainlne.com. It is user friendly. Then, when I get to the train station and know I am making the first train, I cancel the second tickets online. I Usually lose about 25 percent of-the ticket cost. But if Ipurchasethe second ticket for 50 euros and cacel, I will get € 37.5 credited to my account. This way, I don’t have to worry about train availability!
Worth pointing out that two tickets bought well in advance can be roughly the same cost as the walk-up fare for one ticket on the day, so you win both ways.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Worth pointing out that two tickets bought well in advance can be roughly the same cost as the walk-up fare for one ticket on the day, so you win both ways.
Yes, but that assumes that there is occupancy onthe day for either of the trains! I buy my tickets as soon as they are so they are reasonable. And I don’t have any worry about making a train!
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Yes, but that assumes that there is occupancy onthe day for either of the trains! I buy my tickets as soon as they are so they are reasonable. And I don’t have any worry about making a train!
Sorry - I was agreeing with you. I buy as soon as the tickets are available also and have often bought two consecutive tickets. It never crossed my mind that they may be refundable. Every day’s a school day.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Sorry - I was agreeing with you. I buy as soon as the tickets are available also and have often bought two consecutive tickets. It never crossed my mind that they may be refundable. Every day’s a school day.
It depends upon which ticket you purchase…obviously.
 

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