Flying into Madrid and taking train to Barcelona on same day

Hello! I will be traveling to Europe end of September for the first time with a big group (9 people total). I have some questions on how to best plan booking my train tickets.

We are flying into Madrid airport morning of 9/27. We would like to go straight to Barcelona by high speed train (AVE). I read about your cancellation/exchange policy, and I am wondering what the best option for us is. I am worried about what to do if we buy train tickets in advance and then our flight gets delayed/cancelled.

If we wait until we land in Madrid to book, I see the prices may get incredibly high and it is very likely that the train tickets for that day will be sold out. Can you confirm that this is correct?

I appreciate any information you can provide.
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this question
  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 09, 2019 17:58

    Tickets for Madrid-Barcelona (AVE trains) are non-exchangeable at this time. To view the exchange It is up to you whether or not you want to purchase the tickets, keeping in mind the fact that they are non-exchangeable. However, it is generally recommended that tickets be purchased in advance, before leaving for Europe. If you'll have as many as 9 in your party, I'd say you'd probably want to purchase the tickets in advance, just make sure you allow yourself enough of a cushion to make your departure time.

    Trains to Barcelona depart from the Atocha station in the city proper of Madrid. To get from the Madrid Barajas Airport to the Madrid Atocha station, you would take Line C-1 of the local 'Cercanías' rail network to the Atocha Cercanías station. Atocha Cercanías is adjacent to Atocha. The Cercanías trains depart once every 30 minutes throughout the day and the ride from the airport to Atocha Cercanías takes about 26 minutes in duration.

    You would purchase tickets from Madrid to Barcelona by searching the route under 'Book Train Tickets' on the homepage of our website,

    As a bonus, your Madrid-Barcelona ticket would actually be valid to cover you on the Cercanías ride from the airport to the Atocha station. For it to be valid, your transfer from the airport to Atocha would just have to occur within 3 hours of your scheduled departure to Barcelona.

    Generally, trains in Spain can only be booked once within 60-90 days of an intended departure date.
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