Euro train websites can contain nasty language barriers

26 February 2009

We’ve banged on plenty this week about the upwardly-spiralling cost of fares on the UK’s rail network, but Which? Magazine have revealed that being a Brit can also be a hindrance when it comes to train travel on the continent.

Amazingly, they’ve found that booking tickets on the English-speaking versions of certain European train websites can be significantly more expensive than if you browse in the sites’ native languages.

If you’re railing your way around Spain, you’re better off being a Pedro than a Peter – on the Spanish version of ticket booking site renfe.es, a second-class adult single ticket from Madrid to Barcelona is €43.80 (£39.30) - but €109.50 on the English version. Que the fuck?

This discriminatory pricing structure doesn’t seem as though it’s in line with fab, groovy and harmonious European law and Which are encouraging train users to book through Eurostar’s site – you can travel into the continent from over 100 UK stations and travellers are covered by international railway conditions of carriage in case you miss a connection due to circumstances beyond your control.

Like getting carried away while beating a Spanish rail company’s webmaster around the gob with his own mouse.

2 comments

  • Colin R.
    Are you sure? Did you try other journeys and get the same result? I've used renfe before and never noticed any difference in prices on the different language sites.
  • Kevin
    I'm pretty sure I heard about this on TV a year or two ago, either Watchdog or one of those Dominic style programmes, or even Martin Lewis. Been an issue for a while.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment