advance train ticket reservation

Jun 2nd, 2017, 12:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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advance train ticket reservation

I am planning to travel from Bruges to London in July. How necessary it is to book in advance the Eurostar train ticket from Bruxelles to London? I am concerned that if I missed the IC train from Bruges to Bruxelles Midi, I would have missed my connecting Eurostar train to London. I understand from reading the various Forum that one cannot book train ticket in advance for local trains in Belgium.
dingzhin is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 12:35 PM
  #2  
 
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>>> How necessary it is to book in advance the Eurostar train ticket from Bruxelles to London?

If you have:
1. TIME, a lot of it, to book same day Eurostar tickets at Brussels.
2. AVAILABILITY of seats on the train or interest, or even more TIME to wait until a later train with seat availability.
3. and MONEY to buy last minutes tickets.

then yes, it is "not" necessary to book in advance.

However, just look at www.eurostar.com. You will find the risk you are worrying about is a fraction of risks you are likely to be incurring but not mentioned.

For example, for the June 3rd departure, if booked today, the lowest fare is 281€ for Standard Premier. If those seats in the earlier train is gone, you have part with 331€ on business premier.

If you have bought advance ticket, for example for July 1st departure booked today, you could have a standard for 84€.

It is up to you which risk you are comfortable with. Most people here would buy advance tickets and make sure they don't miss the connection train. For many people, the difference between 331€ and 84€ matters.
greg is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 01:37 PM
  #3  
 
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I think it is rarely "necessary" to book a train ticket in advance on most any train in Europe. The exceptions may be some kind of unusual date or time, of course. Some day when a particular route might be very popular, like end of a holiday or start or something. Also, mid-day is usually not full up when early or late is, for example.

It's mainly a cost issue. But nowadays it is also convenience as you can book online and get an eticket, don't need to fool around at the station.

Why do you think you might miss your local train, that's what I'm not understanding. If you just think you might be late, that is in your control, take more care and don't try to cut the time short for getting there.

You can certainly buy etickets from Brugge to Bruxelles online in advance if you want, so I'm not understanding why you don't want to do that or what the concern is.

I don't know who told you that you cannot buy an IC ticket online, but you can, just go to the Belgian rail website.
http://www.belgianrail.be/en/Default.aspx

I was just able to buy a ticket on that exact route for tomorrow am, it costs about 15 euro 2nd class, and it was an eticket. Maybe someone told you that you cannot reserve a particular seat, that is likely true.
Christina is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 01:38 PM
  #4  
 
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There is also no need to book in advance for the Belgium trains - they are not reserved so can't sell out. At worst, you may have to stand on a crowded train, at a busy time.

So the Eurostar is the one you need to worry about.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:04 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Check the ABS - Any Belgian State fare in conjunction with Eurostar trains -lets you take any train within 24 hours of your Eurostar train and there are at least hourly trains -go a bit early to assure connection. For lots on trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

No need to buy Belgian train tickets online -if for some reason you can't use you are out - easy to buy in Bruges or any Belgian station and as andrew says you can't reserve Bruges to Brussels anyway.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:23 PM
  #6  
 
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>>I think it is rarely "necessary" to book a train ticket in advance on most any train in Europe.<<

Not true for the Eurostar. It often IS completely booked up. And last minute tickets - if they are available - will be very expensive. For the Eurostar, it is generally best to book as soon as your dates are firm.

I've never ridden from Belgium to London but have twice done London to Belgium and in both instances my ticket was from London to any station in Belgium. Not London > Brussels then another ticket from Brussels to Bruges. I would 'assume' it would be the same in reverse.
janisj is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:31 PM
  #7  
 
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I would 'assume' it would be the same in reverse.>

Yes that's the ABS fare -be sure you get that - and another reason NOT to buy any Bruges to Brussels ticket in advance.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 5th, 2017, 10:08 AM
  #8  
 
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Brussels to London by Eurostar:

1. In advance from £44
2. On the day, up to £180

So no, you don't HAVE to book in advance, but it may bankrupt you not to do so!

The fare from Bruges to Brussels is around €13, but it is cheaper to buy an Any Belgian Station to London ticket, which combines IC train Bruges-Brussels with the Eurostar to London all on one ticket, only £7 (€8) or so more than a regular ticket from Brussels to London.

Just book at www.eurostar.com and print your own ticket just as you would a flight.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2017, 02:02 PM
  #9  
 
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Be sure to book the Eurostar + ABS fare like Man in Seat 61 says -you can use any train anytime within 24 hours to go to Brussels - even can stay overnight there. And book that Eurostar ticket NOW - cheap fares are often exhausted quick and the savings as Man in Seat 61 says are immense ove waiting - for tips on booking check Man's superb commercial site - www.seat61.com. Sometimes discounted first class may not be that much more than the cheapest available 2nd class tickets-if so go for it - the full meal with wine or Champagne or other beverages is worth about 20 euros alone or more - plus seats significantly bigger.

discounted tickets not changeable nor refundable though I believe so be sure of your exact time and date and don't miss the train and you are required to go thru the security at entrance about 30 minutes before the train departure (or whatever it says on your ticket).
PalenQ is offline  
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