Wednesday, April 1

Tante Belle Cose - March 09

At face value, it sounds almost too good to be true: Trenitalia has announced that it will offer cheap train fares just like the discount airlines. This is great news, except that will probably signify that traveling around Easter or Christmas could cost you the equivalent of a round trip airfare to Sydney.

I haven’t determined whether and by how much I’ll get penalized for being a last minute buy-at-the-station, but, I can imagine it won’t be pretty. And, considering that the online bookings don’t accept foreign credit cards, tourists will most likely seriously be hit right in the wallet.

I am not making this up: Those ever-inventive Italians have come out with a low cholesterol cheese. How’d they do it? By feeding their cows low cholesterol foods! Grains, seeds, the works.
All I know is, I now have free reign to eat formaggio with wild abandon…and if they could work their wonders on the heavenly (and outrageously fattening) Burrata (read: milky white butter) well, all my cares will be free.

And, again, what’s good for the passengers fares less for Trenitalia…A guy won an incredible lawsuit (payment: 1650 euro) for being forced to travel in an unheated wagon on his commute. While I don’t agree with the cost of his 30 min. discomfort, by these calculations I should be a millionaire. In any case, considering the number of times I’ve traveled in ice cold compartments, on my feet, or in sweltering hermetically sealed cabins, this is nothing short of a Miracle on the order of Sant’Irene di Lecce.
Thanks to the folks at the Associazioni Consumatori, it looks like legal recourse is finally going to be settling in to stay. Those thousands of commuters who sit on the tracks to protest the drastic conditions, disgusting bathrooms, and immense delays may finally get their day in court.
It’s a new world.

1 comment:

Jacques said...

Well, it also depends on what the cause of the delay or difficulty might have been: just the other day I had a 65 minute delay on a super EuroCityExtraChargeSuperFast10+eurosTrain (without any restaurant car, and without any refreshment cart on board the entire train, and without even any electrical outlet as I was in seat n° 10 next to the compartment door that wouldn't close and without any tray on which to pose my laptop...) but the delay was due to "people on the tracks" (literalmente "persone sui binari") which was obviously due not to Trenitalia (the people who sell the tickets) but the fault of RFI: Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the people who run the traintracks...

So translated very roughly: you (the passenger) are screwed. No refund due to anyone.
"Insomma": life is unpredictable, and we couldn't predict this delay, so it's your fault you picked that unlucky train, not our fault we couldn't keep people off our tracks. Next time, maybe you're better off flying, even with the hour+ before and time to collect baggage...

If the cause is not directly blame-able on Trenitalia, obviously (to them it seems so obvious) no refund. Trenitalia doesn't have to protect the tracks if they don't want to (or if it costs extra money like hiring track-guards or having people call the police). They don't have to pay up...

If the problem is chronic delays on a certain line, there is no reimbursement for past passengers, only a discount on future monthly passes (so only for people who have monthly passes, obviously).

The discounted fares are also only in limited time periods of low-traffic periods, so good luck finding a low-cost high-speed fare.