I am looking to travel on AVE from Zaragoza to Madrid. I hold a Interrail Global Pass in first class and would like to travel in first class with lounge access and meal service, the so-called Confort Prémium. This special seat reservation should cost around 23€ as opposed to the 10€ for “basic” first class where the only advantage is a wider seat. My sources are Seat61 and this brochure.
However, I am having a hard time booking this:
- I won’t arrive in Spain till the very day I’m travelling, and since it’s a Sunday evening, I fear my train may be sold out by then, so buying it at a Renfe ticket office is hardly an option.
- The employee at the Renfe call centre eagerly promoted the pre-booking option where you can call and book a seat, then pick it up at a Renfe ticket office within 72 hours. There is a “24 hour before departure” limit - on the internet it seems pre-bookings cannot be initiated after this time, but she gave me the impression that pre-bookings cannot be picked up after this time, which makes this option irrelevant for me.
- I also asked the Renfe call centre if I could pre-book it over the phone and then have a friend pick it up for me in Spain, but that couldn’t be allowed since the traveller’s Interrail Pass needs to be shown when collecting.
- Finally I asked the Renfe call centre if I could purchase a 10€ reservation elsewhere, then upgrade at a Renfe ticket office to a 23€ meal fare; but the employee wouldn’t even acknowledge that there are other ways to get hold of 10€ seat reservation than Renfe.
- I called DB to check what they could do, but they only seem to sell the 10€ reservations. I tried to text them on Twitter to get written confirmation that they don’t do the 23€ reservation (maybe the employee I spoke to just didn’t know how), but I was told they could only help me on the phone or in a DB Reisezentrum.
- I contacted Andy at Rail Travel Centre, he told me they also only do the 10€ reservations.
- I even called SBB where they apparently couldn’t sell either fare - although I suspect this was owing to the employee not knowing her way around the confusing tariff codes etc. since SBB sold me a second class seat reservation on AVE Madrid-Alicante last year.
So I am running out of ideas... Do any of you have some experience or advice? Any help would be hugely appreciated :)
Best answer by rvdborgtView original