Interrail in Spain: Renfe makes it impossible - Why doesn't Interrail say anything?

  • 6 December 2022
  • 6 replies
  • 105 views

I feel truly scammed here, not necessarily by Interrail, but by Renfe. Please state this clearly on the Interrail website for everyone to see before they buy an Interrail pass in order to travel in Spain. 

You need a reservation with your name for most trains in Spain. However, most of the time you can only get it if you go personally to a big-city-station, where you might have to pay up to 40€ to get a paper ticket that you can only use in paper form. No web option, no phone option. Like in the XIX century. If you’re not near a big city in Spain, you basically have no chance (unless you know someone who is willing to go to the station for you and then send you the paper ticket via snail mail). 

I can’t count the time, the money and the energy I have spent on this issue. 


6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Nono-IF holding pass, its not 40-10 (plus a tiny fee) is the MAX - IF the person selling knows the tricks-and it seems to me they have quite a lot of staff that is clearly incompetent-or at least not well trained. Used a 3-month pass myself last oct and did 3 long trips and that went after the lady got the instructions from a senior (at the tiny office at aeropuerto Barajas/mad) smooth and in total less as 20€ to pay.

You probably very well know that only positive and never ever the tiniest bit of negative can be published since 2000 due to prevailing sensibilites in these modern times. Big process and juridical pursuits will follow for sure.

The same as all those green wishfulthinkers also never ever mention the many defaults and hassles that train travel can bring-even compared to those airtravel also has.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Nono-IF holding pass, its not 40-10 (plus a tiny fee) is the MAX - IF the person selling knows the tricks-

In 1st class AVE it can be considerably more than 10€ if a meal is included.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Nono-IF holding pass, its not 40-10 (plus a tiny fee) is the MAX - IF the person selling knows the tricks-and it seems to me they have quite a lot of staff that is clearly incompetent-or at least not well trained.

 

 

The official, correct price is €10 but that is of no consequence if the only place a foreign visitor can get one is from an intransigent staff member insisting the price is something else, or insisting a dated pass is produced, or just refusing altogether forcing the buying of a full fare ticket.

 

You probably very well know that only positive and never ever the tiniest bit of negative can be published since 2000 due to prevailing sensibilites in these modern times. Big process and juridical pursuits will follow for sure.

 

I have no idea what this paragraph is even about, it sounds like nonsense but without context who knows?

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

I feel truly scammed here, not necessarily by Interrail, but by Renfe. Please state this clearly on the Interrail website for everyone to see before they buy an Interrail pass in order to travel in Spain. 

You need a reservation with your name for most trains in Spain. However, most of the time you can only get it if you go personally to a big-city-station, where you might have to pay up to 40€ to get a paper ticket that you can only use in paper form. No web option, no phone option. Like in the XIX century. If you’re not near a big city in Spain, you basically have no chance (unless you know someone who is willing to go to the station for you and then send you the paper ticket via snail mail). 

I can’t count the time, the money and the energy I have spent on this issue. 

 

You are entirely correct about this. RENFE are making it as difficult as possible without actually refusing passholders and there is no reasonable explanation other than it is designed to keep as many interrail users away as possible.

 

You are also correct that Interrail should be doing more, both in warning potential customers of these issues in Spain, France and some other countries AND in pushing for reservations to be freely available for their customers who deserve to be treated fairly and reasonably.

There is simply no justification to sell people a product that several sub-contractors are conspiring to significantly shirk their responsibility to honor in the manner it is advertised and described.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

. However, most of the time you can only get it if you go personally to a big-city-station, where you might have to pay up to 40€ to get a paper ticket that you can only use in paper form. 

For what train, (route, date, time and class) did you have to pay 40 EUR? If you paid too much for the reservation you should claim money back from Interrail.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

It's very annoying indeed. I honestly skip these countries with Interrail and use local discounts.

In the future it should be possible to have one all encompassing updated rail planner for all of Europe. Making it as easy to book trains like for railways. Unexperienced wannabe train travellers, just get discouraged this way. 

But it shouldn't be like this. It cannot be that difficult to make a proper planner, isn't it? Perhaps you could get your thoughts on paper/mail and send it to a local Member of European Parliament, the transport commissioner of the European Comission, a journalist...

One complaint won't change much, but at least it's directed to the people being able to pull the right strings and you'll be entitled to a proper answer (I work for a government, and we need to answer all public questions).

The more complaints they get, the more people know something is really wrong and downright customer unfriendly. If they instated the European year of Rail they should mean it, and not just brand it as such whilst actually travellers actually experience much worse international train connections than 40 years ago. 

The more complaints they're getting, the more they can pressure. I would gladly join your effort in filing a nice letter. 

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