Resident travel discount needs Empadronamiento para viajar
Update 29 January: The Government has now confirmed that it will maintain the 50% discount for residents who live outside of the mainland, namely in the Canaries, Balearics, and Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. Minister Ana Pastor will meet with airline representatives to study tariffs and attempt to improve efficiency, but the full discount will continue.
Update 9 January 2013: As I posted on 9 August, there were eleven Ayuntamientos offering this service: Arona, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla de Abona, Güímar, Vilaflor, La Guancha, Santa Úrsula, Santa Cruz, La Laguna, and El Sauzal. Guía de Isora has now joined the list of Ayuntamientos facilitating this document online.
Update 9 October: The Ministerio de Fomento is likely to put a limit on the cost of a ticket eligible for the 50% discount. Secretaria general de Transporte, Carmen Libero, said that the average price should be what the discount is based on, rather than high-end peak-time ticket prices. She stressed that given the current economic situation, it was unreasonable to expect the government to subsidise 50% of tickets of up to around €550-600 when the average price was between €70 and €120. It is unclear at present whether only average price tickets will be discounted, or whether the “average price discount” is what will be applied to all tickets regardless of purchase price.
Update 6 October: The automatic confirmation of residency system (SARA) that Binter has been piloting is now ready for use by all other airlines, says the Ministerio de Fomento. It is expected that all airlines will be using it by the end of the year.
Update 4 October: In what is being called a pioneering pilot project (I don’t know whether the pun is intended or not!), passengers travelling between the Canary islands with BinterCanarias will not need to prove their residency by means of a Certificado de Empadronamiento para viajar if they book online. Residents will be able to accredit their resident status at the point of ticket purchase and will not be required to go to their local Ayuntamiento. The new measure applies from today, and is called SARA (Sistema Acreditación Residencia Automático): BinterCanarias has developed it in conjunction with the Ministerio de Fomento.
SARA works by facilitating a telematic check with the Ministerio de Fomento’s database when travellers buy tickets online through www.bintercanarias.com. This check will validate whether or not the passenger is resident in the Canaries, and if it is confirmed, then the discount will be applied automatically, and no further action will need to be taken by the traveller to prove where they live.
Update 1 October: There have been many rumours recently, after certain comments from the national Government, that the resident discount for travel from the Canaries was in jeopardy, but the minister for Industria, Energía y Turismo, José Manuel Soria, himelf a Canarian, has now guaranteed the 50% discount for residents of the Canaries, Balearics, and the two Spanish settlements in north Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. Sr Soria said that the discount for travel to the mainland had never been in question.
As far as the newly required travel certificate is concerned, however, the whole of September was a period of grace, with the cost of the ticket being refunded for anyone who had booked without the “Certificado de viajes”, but now that the “period of adaptation” is over, any traveller turning up without one will either be refused permission to board, or will be required to buy a new, undiscounted, ticket, with the original ticket being cancelled. Travellers are reminded that these certificates are available from their local Ayuntamientos, are valid for six months, and one must be presented for each ticket bought.
Update 9 August: There are now eleven Ayuntamientos who have put in place the facility to obtain a Certificado de Empadronamiento para viajar online, and for free. The measures have been set up in readiness for the requirement to produce the certificate from 1 September to benefit for the 50% resident discount for travel within Spain. The eleven Ayuntamientos are: Arona, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla de Abona, Güímar, Vilaflor, La Guancha, Santa Úrsula, Santa Cruz, La Laguna, and El Sauzal.
HERE is the information direct from the Ministerio de Fomento on the new requirement from 1 September of a Certificado de Empadronamiento for resident discount.
Update 11 July: There is some further clarity on the requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento to obtain a resident discount on travel within Spain. It is now clear that the certificate must be specifically for travel and show the dates on which the journey is to take place, and therefore on which the discount is to be granted. It will be valid for six months and will be able to be used for multiple journeys; as such, although it will need to be shown when travelling, it will not be necessary to hand it over.
Normal ID will be required in addition to the Certificado de Empadronamiento “para viajar”: this means, for foreign residents, passport and Certificado de Registro. The requirement will apply to any journey made after 1 September, even if tickets were bought beforehand. Anyone who has trouble getting this document from their local Ayuntamiento should refer to “Anexo I del Real Decreto 1316/2001″, the legislation which defines the model for the issuing of the certificates – and if meeting a blank, it’s worth bearing in mind that the certificate is popularly known as “Certificado de viajes”
Update 12 June: The requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento to obtain a resident discount for travel within Spain has been postponed until September. The measure was due to come into force on 1 July, but some outlets were already requiring the certificate before applying the discount. That will no doubt continue to be the case even though the introduction of the measure has been delayed.
Update 20 April: I’ve been unable to reply to one enquirer (email reply failed for some reason) who asked what the certificate needed is. As said, it is the Certificado de Empadronamiento, available from a local Ayuntamiento. They are issued, in the first place, when one registers “on the padron” – i.e. registers with the Ayuntamiento as living at a given address. They are valid for only a few months, so in the case of the enquirer who travels frequently, will need to be renewed as needed.
Update 17 April: Transport minister Carmen Librero says that the requirement for residence to be accredited by a Certificado de Empadronamiento for travel discount applies from now. The Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea is already co-ordinating this, she said.
Update 4 April: Although up to now residents have just had to produce a Certificado de Registro to demonstrate their residence in the Canaries (as well as photographic ID such as a passport or a Spanish driving licence) in order to get a resident travel discount, Madrid is reintroducing the requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento. The requirement applies to both flights and ferry transport, the ministra de Fomento, Ana Pastor, has announced.
Update 30 March 10pm: However they’re going to finance this, the ministro de Industria, Comercio y Turismo, the Canarian José Manuel Soría, has just confirmed this evening that it will not affect resident discount, and that Canarian residents will retain their 50% reduction in air tickets. That means, of course, cuts elsewhere ….
Original post 30 March: The Spanish budget was presented in Parliament today, and one of the most important issues for the Canaries was the announcement that the transport subsidy for residents in the Canaries (and the Balearics) has been reduced by 65 million Euros. The level of interest in the measure is indicated by the fact that this has become a global “trending topic” on Twitter – number 4 in the top ten items being discussed worldwide. It’s number one in Spain itself this afternoon. What this means in specific terms for “resident discounts” on travel to and from the Canaries is yet to be clarified.