Wondering if anyone can explain the difference between 'base, economy and super economy' when travelling 2nd class on trains in Italy. The fares vary considerably! Many thanks in anticipation. Cheers, Kathy
You'll probably get more detailed answers, but the base fare is the full fare. Economy fares are discounted base fares and are often limited in number per train. Super economy is a time-sensitive ticket, deeply discounted, and this fare is the quickest to disappear. Generally, the closer you get to your travel date, the fewer options are available (but there's always base fare).
Great answer Zoe! Kathy, as Zoe lays out, the amount of economy and super economy "discounted" tickets are allocated by Trenitalia. Depending on the time of day, popularity of the route, and even time of year, Trenitalia allocates (read: limits) the number of tickets they will sell at these discount prices. As Zoe aptly says, when they're gone... they're gone. Very rarely have I ever seen a super economy fare "return" after the initial allocation has been sold out. So often, to get those "best" prices, you have to purchase early, up to 120 days in advance - unless a schedule change is occurring (in June and December). This article may give you a little more insight into the economy and super economy tickets on Trenitalia. Good Luck!
Thanks Zoe and Ron for taking the time to explain this! It now makes a lot of sense and I will be making sure I buy tickets as soon as I ca in order to access those cheap fares when we head overseas next year! Cheers, Kathy
Seldom are Italian trains full, except during certain holidays. In most cities, you're walking by the train stations virtually every day. Go in and buy your tickets the day before your scheduled departure. Italian trains are very inexpensive in comparison with other countries' trains. The best place I've seen the Italian train system explained is RonInRome.com. He has step by step illustrations on how to use the automatic ticket kiosk machines. And second class cars get to the destination at the same time as first class. Seldom are you on a train more than a couple of hours in Italy.