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ALSA. The company of buses in Spain. When i lost the bus, in barcelona the man behind the window, he talk to you like if you are an animal. The normal Trip is 28 euros, and he try to sell me other ticket, but for 48 euros. The only solutions for this problem is buy this ticket. Then another customer tall me about some sits in the next buses. So if you think buy a bus ticket please think in another company. because here you are not the client, you are the idiot animal.
My first experience of Alsa wasn´t travelling with the company, yet it was picking up a friend who was visiting for the weekend from a different part of Spain. The reason I mention this is that I waited for two hours after her expected arrival time and it was only then that the driver told her that he had missed the turning for Castellón and that he would have to call a taxi to take my friend and the other passenger to their destination. They finally arrived, 3 hours after expected.
This first encounter didn´t really fill me with confidence when considering transport plans later on but nevertheless I decided to use the company to go to visit a friend in Murcia.
I tried to book the tickets online several times with a few different credit cards of my own and those of a friend, but to no avail. Luckily I pass the bus station here on the way to university, so it didn´t matter too much as I was able to go there and buy the tickets in person. It actually turned out cheaper that way as each ticket has a 0.60 Euro booking fee and when there are a few people travelling, the cost can add up.
You have seats reserved on the buses, so you always know that your place is secure (as tickets can be bought on the day of travel too). The journey to Murcia went very smoothly, on board music was provided, and we arrived on time. The bus was full, but the seats have quite a lot of space so you can make yourself comfortable.
Several days later we travelled from Murcia to spend the 2 days in Alicante before returning to Castellón, again the bus ride was fine and arrived on time. My friend from Murcia accompanied us for the day and so bought a return ticket, but because she didn´t specify a return time, when she wanted to return had to wait an hour because the bus she would have liked to take was full.
The next day, when we came to leave Alicante, we arrived at the station 10 minutes before departure time. The station was disorganised chaos! Although not only Alsa buses use the station, the majority seemed to be Alsa and yet there were no information screens anywhere. Luckily, we are able to speak Spanish and could ask the driver of another bus where the platform was for buses to Castellón, because the queue at the information desk was far too big to wait in if we were to catch the bus!
We were standing on the platform, but no buses for Castellón came and there were several other people waiting for the same bus, so we knew that we hadn´t missed it. We spent 90 minutes asking every bus that went by if it was ours and running in and out of the terminal to the information desk, where they knew very little, before finally queuing at the Alsa desk to ask what was going on.
After queuing there for 20 minutes, we refused to move until the lady at the desk called the bus driver to see how long the bus would be because otherwise they would not give us any information. She told us it would be 10 minutes, and it eventually appeared 150 minutes late, apparently due to traffic! Needless to say, we arrived home very late that night.
Despite the lateness of the bus, the bus ride was still very pleasant and so when deciding on which transport to take on a recent day trip to Tarragona, we decided to take the chance and use the company again.
This time, I went straight to the bus station to buy tickets where i was informed that there is a promotion on the Valencia-Barcelona route until the end of June. Therefore, we managed to get tickets at half the usual price!
The journey to Tarragona is 3 hours from Castellón and for this journey, the bus was on time at every point and the drivers put on films to entertain the passengers. Considering the promotion, the bus was not at all full and travel was again very comfortable.
Overall, if you do not have a strict time schedule to adhere to whilst travelling, I would recommend using this service because it is great value for money and very comfortable. If you do experience lateness and lack of information, persevere at the information desks, because in the end you will be given answers. I think that the lack of information in some places is due to the culture more than anything, and most people here seem to accept the services provided without question.
If you are going to be using Alsa soon, that means that you´re lucky enough to be travelling Spain, so I hope you have a good time!