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Careful with the Language!

A view of a Platskart wagon

While I'm a huge train fan, I am certainly no fan of the supposedly 'national' train company here in Spain, RENFE. I've always wondered why the prices for train travel here in Spain were so much more expensive than bus travel, but it was the Barcelona-Madrid High-Speed link that pushed me over the edge.

Under the pretext of greening travel here in Spain, the supposedly 'public' company promised to reduce the ludicrous and terribly polluting air travel between the county's two main cities by linking them with a high-speed train link. A link that would take people between the 2 cities in about the same time as flying. Sounded great, but when they linked the 2 cities, they also cut all regular travel, leaving only the very expensive AVE high-speed link or the carbon spewing highway.

Now it seems that they and other companies around Europe have taken their deception to a new level.

An article in the Guardian the other day warned travelers about the possibility of train fares being much more expensive when using the English Language versions of web pages to book tickets. Turns out that the native language version of some European train sites are up to 60% cheaper than the English versions. A local blogger tested it and indeed found that the prices were a lot more expensive, though he found a way around it, check the link for details.

Anyone heard of other situations like this around Europe?


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