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How flexible are RENFE tickets? (Zaragoza - Canfranc service)

eamann

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2024 Le Puy - Cahors + Saint-Jean - León
God being willing, I will arrive in Zaragoza at 14h20 on 11 April and hope to pick up my checked luggage and get to the Delicias station in time to catch the 15h42 train to Canfranc. Theoretically, it should be possible, the transfer taking about 25 minutes and there being buses at 14h45 and 15h15.

To avoid delay at the station, I plan to buy my ticket in advance, preferably on the RENFE website.

My question: if I miss the 15h42 train, would my ticket still be valid for the next train (the following morning)? Have any of you any experience in this matter?

In other threads, I read that some people buy two consecutive tickets, to be sure.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
from a train perspective, I was in Pamplona heading to Madrid and tried to get on an earlier train and the ticket scanner to get on the train caught the discrepancy and I was not allowed on to the train, fwiw. My experience with trains in Spain is that they are almost like airplane reservations with an assigned seat. If I had to guess, you'll have an issue
 
I think if you buy certain classes of tickets you can change them up to a short time before departure. I am uncertain about this ticket class. My app says that with my Tarjeta dorada (senior discount pass) the ticket is refundable up to 85% if cancelled within 5 minutes of departure. This is a regional train. It is slower and stops at "flag stops" where the station can put out a flag to indicate that they need to the train to stop to pick up. It is only 2 cars long. I have taken it twice to Canfranc from Zaragoza and it is does leave on time. You don't have to go through rail security to get on this one if I recall.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
from a train perspective, I was in Pamplona heading to Madrid and tried to get on an earlier train and the ticket scanner to get on the train caught the discrepancy and I was not allowed on to the train, fwiw. My experience with trains in Spain is that they are almost like airplane reservations with an assigned seat. If I had to guess, you'll have an issue
There were no assigned seats on the Canfranc train that I recall. People sat where they wanted.
 
I have no experience with that particular train, but have been watching Renfe fares on some other routes. When you buy your ticket, you select the type, and the refundability is described right there on the website. More refundable=more expensive. The details of how to do the refund are not so obvious.

Prices fluctuate a lot in advance. With patience, you might even get 2 consecutive cheap tickets for the price of one flexible ticket.
 
In other threads, I read that some people buy two consecutive tickets, to be sure.
If you miss a train you will have some time to find out at the station wether you need a second ticket - and then buy it.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
God being willing, I will arrive in Zaragoza at 14h20 on 11 April and hope to pick up my checked luggage and get to the Delicias station in time to catch the 15h42 train to Canfranc. Theoretically, it should be possible, the transfer taking about 25 minutes and there being buses at 14h45 and 15h15.

To avoid delay at the station, I plan to buy my ticket in advance, preferably on the RENFE website.

My question: if I miss the 15h42 train, would my ticket still be valid for the next train (the following morning)? Have any of you any experience in this matter?

In other threads, I read that some people buy two consecutive tickets, to be sure.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!
It is possible to buy a flexible ticket that allows you to change at no cost. It costs a bit more than a standard ticket that can't be changed.
 
Thank you all for your various comments and suggestions. The ticket only costs € 17 (which is very cheap given the distance travelled), so I will buy one for the afternoon train and if I miss that, I will see if they will let me use it the following morning. If not, I’ll just have to buy another ticket. No big deal!
 
God being willing, I will arrive in Zaragoza at 14h20 on 11 April and hope to pick up my checked luggage and get to the Delicias station in time to catch the 15h42 train to Canfranc. Theoretically, it should be possible, the transfer taking about 25 minutes and there being buses at 14h45 and 15h15.

To avoid delay at the station, I plan to buy my ticket in advance, preferably on the RENFE website.

My question: if I miss the 15h42 train, would my ticket still be valid for the next train (the following morning)? Have any of you any experience in this matter?

In other threads, I read that some people buy two consecutive tickets, to be sure.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!
I’ve made that connection, coming into Zaragoza from Alicante and switching to go to Canfranc. In fact, I didn’t realize there was a train to Canfranc at that hour so had originally planned to spend a night in Zaragoza. When I realized there was a train almost immediately, I got a ticket with no problem and didn’t spend the night. So the connection is doable. You definitely would need to get a ticket for the train you are actually taking though, and not try to use a ticket from the day before, should you somehow miss the same day connection.
My experience with RENFE has been, if you bought your ticket directly from RENFE you can cash it in within a few minutes of the departure time and exchange for another time. Once I did have to get a refund for an unused ticket that was several days, maybe even weeks, old. I don’t re
Thank you all for your various comments and suggestions. The ticket only costs € 17 (which is very cheap given the distance travelled), so I will buy one for the afternoon train and if I miss that, I will see if they will let me use it the following morning. If not, I’ll just have to buy another ticket. No big deal!

call exactly but it seems like I was refunded the full amount or at least a significant percentage. Being that it’s Spain, especially in smaller towns or cities, refunds or exchanges could possibly be at the discretion of the individual clerk— maybe not so much the case with RENFE, as it’s government owned and there are rules. But I have had occasions in Spain when I had to activate the “squeaky wheel” to get results when things weren’t correct.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
So just caught that exact train AND also cancelled a ticket for that exact route, so here’s my first-hand account:

- regular ticket can be cancelled up to a few minutes before the train leaves for an 85% refund, so you can get some money back if it looks like you’ll miss it

- you cannot simply reuse the ticket for a missed train for the next train; seats are assigned and they scan your ticket to verify you are on the right train and seat

- our Zaragoza-Huesca-Canfranc train was completely sold out on a random Tuesday in April. Other dates were, too. Very odd, but the “free ticket” promo going on right now is really packing in the trains. After Huesca, the train was nearly empty.

- the Avanza bus is actually cheaper, faster, and runs more often. That’s an alternative if the train is full. It goes to Canfranc Estacion two times a week and Jaca every day. From there, the local bus to CE is less than 2€.

- no security scan to get on this little train, so that makes your connection easier
 
Thanks! That could be a potential fallback. I say "potential" because the Avanza website does not propose a Zaragoza - Jaca service. (There is one from Huesca to Jaca). I’ll play it by ear and see what Providence permits.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Avanza DOES run between Jaca and Zaragoza with a stop in Huesca! I took it last year and I have a ticket for it this month. In fact, there are usually 7 buses in each direction on most days. Not sure why you can’t see them, unless you are searching too far in advance.
 
Thanks for confirming that there is a bus service between Zaragoza and Jaca. I'm travelling on Tuesday 11 April. The bus leaves at 15h30. My train leaves at 15h42. The next bus is at 17h00.
 
Excellent! Will you be staying with us that evening at the Canfranc Pueblo pilgrim donativo? It’s about an hour hike (downhill!) from Estacion and a beautiful place to spend the night. The next day’s hike to Jaca takes about four hours and the municipal albergue there is also comfortable.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
After all the positive comments I read about the albergue, I was looking forward to spending a night there, but arriving in Canfranc Estacion at 19h30, after a long day travelling, my priority will be checking into a hostal and going to a good restaurant to celebrate my arrival in Spain and the start of my walk.

The following morning, Wednesday 12, I hope to take the bus up to Somport, walk back down to Canfranc Estacion, pick up my backpack and head towards Jaca. When I pass by Canfranc Pueblo mid-morning you will be closed.

I would be interested to hear your experience of your initial days in the albergue.

May your stint as hospitalero be a blessing to you and to all who pass through the albergue!
 
Sounds like a great plan. Ultreia!
 

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