Review: Renfe AVE Preferente, Sevilla Santa Justa – Madrid Puerta Atocha

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In Spain, it’s often easier to take a train from city center to city center than by travelling to the airport and taking a short haul flight. In our travels, we ended up taking a train between Seville and Madrid. We would get the experience to test out the comfortable Renfe AVE train in Preferente Business Class. We’d discover a comfortable experience with great seats, making it a comfortable way to travel.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Iceland, the United Kingdom and Morocco. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Renfe AVE Preferente, Sevilla Santa Justa – Madrid Puerta Atocha

We checked out from The Hotel Alphonso XIII by Luxury Collection. and we took a 10 € taxi from the hotel to the Seville Santa Justa train station. I was a little hungry so I stopped for a McDonalds cheeseburger where there must have literally been one hundred people in line ahead of me.

Renve AVE
AVE 02361 (Sevilla Santa Justa – Madrid Puerta Atocha
Sept 9, 2018
4:15 PM – 6:54 PM 

The track was announced and we went down to track 3 to load the train. The tracks are not announced until shortly before departure so it becomes a bit of a waiting game in the general reception area of the train station.

We passed through the security check on the platform.

On Board in Renfe AVE Preferente:

There are several classes of travel on Renfe AVE. The Preferente Class is most representative of business class travel, or a category above lowest.

We were on a bit of an older train today, although still as comfortable as the last one. We departed on time. The train had wifi on board which supported the entertainment movies through the dedicated Renfe App.

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Food and Beverage:

We had an initial drink offering. Today’s choice was Spanish Verdejo wine.

After our initial stop in Cordoba, the meal service was offered. Again, it was a small sandwich offering.

We were on the milk run today with several stops in Corodona, Posadas, and Palma del Rio. We didn’t realize this when we bought the ticket but probably could have inferred it from the scheduled time for the return trip which was about 17 minutes longer than the departure.

We eventually arrived at Madrid Puerta Atocha and offloaded our bags. I went and did a little reconnaissance mission to locate the Renfe Cerenas train to the airport for the next morning.

In Summary:

The Renfe AVE Preferente service was still a comfortable way to travel. As we’d learn later, it was much more comfortable than our German DB Bahn experiences later in the year. Although they’ve had some cuts in the food and beverage, it was still nice that they actually served something over nothing at all.


If you’ve travelled through Spain, do you take the Renfe AVE train instead of an Iberia domestic flight?

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