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Renfe train tickets; barcelona to pamplona

Yossi Fuchs

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2016
Is there a significant or any price difference, buyin the ticket at the ticket office just before boarding vs. buying online at renfe site?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Is there a significant or any price difference, buyin the ticket at the ticket office just before boarding vs. buying online at renfe site?

Hi, Yossi,

As Anemone says you may get much cheaper prices online, RENFE has a lot of very cheap web-only deals if you buy ink advance. The other thing to consider is availability. Last summer I wanted to get a mid week train ticket from Pamplona to Ponferrada and found that the fast train tickets were all sold out for the next three days. A much slower train was available for purchase the night before, though, so we got that one. RENFE is reducing the numbers of cars and routes, which probably puts more pressure on the supply as well. Weekend travel is also

If you can figure out how to buy on the RENFE site, and if you know your date, there's no harm in buying ahead of time. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Yossi Fuchs

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2016
Hi, Yossi,

As Anemone says you may get much cheaper prices online, RENFE has a lot of very cheap web-only deals if you buy ink advance. The other thing to consider is availability. Last summer I wanted to get a mid week train ticket from Pamplona to Ponferrada and found that the fast train tickets were all sold out for the next three days. A much slower train was available for purchase the night before, though, so we got that one. RENFE is reducing the numbers of cars and routes, which probably puts more pressure on the supply as well. Weekend travel is also

If you can figure out how to buy on the RENFE site, and if you know your date, there's no harm in buying ahead of time. Buen camino, Laurie

Hi Laurie,
Thank you for the detailed reply. Our concern (there are 3 of us) is that we land in Barcelona at 13:10 on April 27th and the first relevant train to Pamplona leaves at 15:30. If all goes well, we should be able to make it to Barcelona Sants station on time. However, the slightest delay in landing, collecting our luggage, passport control or travel time from the airport to Sants, and we miss the train and can make a kite out of our tickets... There is an 18:40 train that we have a much better chance of catching, the question is; can we buy tickets for that later train and use it on the earlier one, should we make it on time?
Thanks again, Yossi
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Laurie,
Thank you for the detailed reply. Our concern (there are 3 of us) is that we land in Barcelona at 13:10 on April 27th and the first relevant train to Pamplona leaves at 15:30. If all goes well, we should be able to make it to Barcelona Sants station on time. However, the slightest delay in landing, collecting our luggage, passport control or travel time from the airport to Sants, and we miss the train and can make a kite out of our tickets... There is an 18:40 train that we have a much better chance of catching, the question is; can we buy tickets for that later train and use it on the earlier one, should we make it on time?
Thanks again, Yossi
Hi, Yossi, yes that is a dilemma. The risk of missing your train vs. the risk of arriving at the station only to find the trains are full. I am pretty sure you can buy refundable tickets, but I am not sure about that.

I just looked at the schedule and the earlier train is the ALVIA (fast) and the later one is inter-city (slower) but the travel time difference is trivial. The faster trains have more amenities but that isn't really a big deal for such a short flight.

In terms of exchange, the website says that there are two types of tickets that can be changed. If you get a "tarifa flexible", (so long as you're there before departure of your original ticket) you can change for no cost. If you have a "tarifa promo+" you can change with a 20% charge. But the normal "tarifa promo" has no changes possible.

http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/larga_distancia/servicios/cambios_anulaciones.html

I distinctly remember that in 2010 when I arrived in Atocha in time to make an earlier AVE to Sevilla, I was unable to change my ticket. So either the policy has changed or I had some special non refundable type ticket.

I guess if it were my decision, I'd get the later fare (try to get a refundable one), but sitting in the Sants train station when you are chomping at the bit to get to Pamplona will be a test of your patience, I'm sure. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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