Buying Thalys tix in advance?

Dec 18th, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #1  
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Buying Thalys tix in advance?

Other than SMILYS promotions, is it advisable to purchase train tickets in advance from the website or wait till day of travel? We will be traveling from Paris - AMS on 1-18-05. Do trains sell-out? Is it more expensive to purchase same day as travel? Thanks so much - this message board is very informative.
wm07302 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 01:03 PM
  #2  
 
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The full-fare, exchangeable/refundable tickets are the same price regardless. The discount fares have restrictions and must be bought in advance, and are limited in availability. I doubt that, in January, the Thalys will be sold out. If you do not want to buy tickets online, you can buy them when you arrive in Paris a few days ahead of time (it that works with your itinerary).Go to any SNCF office at the train station or their boutiques.

If you decide to order tickets in advance, keep the country as "France". Select the option to pick up at the station. After you give your credit card info, you will get an email with a confirmation number - you must show this email and the credit card you used to purchase when you pick up the tickets. The instructions will be in the email.
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 02:48 PM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi wm,

Is there a reason why you do not want to purchase an advance SMILYS discounted ticket?
ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 04:35 PM
  #4  
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hi ira -
we're flying into paris but leaving from amsterdam. the smilys were based on r/t travel - i'm also not sure of the time we'll be traveling.
thanks
wm07302 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 05:34 PM
  #5  
 
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Anyway check with RailEurope in the US to compare prices for tickets sold here with those in europe. full fare tickets are changeable and may be cheaper here than there. i havn't checked euro prices but i know with some point-points and especially Eurostar tickets, which are significantly cheaper across the board than in Europe (cause they've remained unchanged for two years whilst the dollar has plummeted against the pound and euro, making tickets in europe, in dollar prices, much more pricey. A common fallacy propogated by Fodorites is that tickets are always cheaper in Europe - while this has often been true it no longer is. (Swiss passes are much cheaper bought here than in Switzerland because of the exchange rates; the same may be true of Thalys, as it is of Eurostar, so check first. For current prices contact RailEurope or any of their agents, such as Budget Europe, whom i've bought from - they're extremely informed and helpful (800-441-9413). Too bad you can't commit to a time because the Smilys fare is currently $35 each way - you obviously can throw away the return ticket - still much cheaper than full fare.
PalQ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2004, 04:02 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi wm,

As PalQ notes:

>Too bad you can't commit to a time because the Smilys fare is currently $35 each way - you obviously can throw away the return ticket - still much cheaper than full fare.<

This is a lot cheaper than the LIBRYS at 90.5E.

You might consider taking the THALYS to Brussels and then a regular train on to Amsterdam. The THALYS is not a high-speed train on that portion of the trip.
ira is offline  
Dec 19th, 2004, 05:18 AM
  #7  
 
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You can definitely buy the Smilys "round trip" ticket, carry both segments in case conductor asks, but you can toss the 'return' ticket when you arrive in Amsterdam. Just did this the opposite direction in October.
It does depend on you being sure of the desired departure time...
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 08:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I took the thaly's from Brussels to Amsterdam in early Dec and was REALLy disappointed. The train was very slow, crowded, noisy and filthy. Your best option is to get to Brussels Midi and take any regular train to amsterdam. Belgian trains are so much cleaner and wider and not so crowded. They will cost you a lot less than a Thaly's ticket. You do not have to book in advance
tweetexT is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 01:47 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Yes, no reason to do Thlays Brussels-Amsterdam as the high-speed tracks are not done yet as they are on the Paris-Brussels portion. But they will be within a year so then it will be different. So why pay more for same speed and deal with required reservations and even pay more.
PalenqueBob is offline  

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