Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

How much time should I allow to catch the train

How much time should I allow to catch the train

Jan 9th, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
How much time should I allow to catch the train

Our plane arrives (via London) in Amsterdam (Schiphol) at 14:05, and we need to catch the next train to Paris via Schiphol. (please don't ask why we don't just fly directly to Paris, the deal is done and we need to take the train)..

I am assuming we should leave time in case of a delay, etc. Especially since once I buy the tickets from the Thaly's site, they are not refundable. I don't want to spend and extra 200E for refundable tickets. We are arriving the first week of April and tickets are available to buy in advance now.

So, basically the question I need answered, is which train would we comfortably be able to catch after the 14:05 flight arrival? There are 4 of us - two adults and two teens, and we only have carry on bags.

15h34, 17h34 or 18h34 ? I do not know the layout of the airport, how long it takes to go from the plane to the train station (or where it is), if we have to get our passports checked again, etc.. I'd hate to buy 4 tickets today for the 15h34 train, only to miss it when we get there (because of a flight delay/getting lost/customs, etc)and not only be out all that $$, but then have to buy 4 more tickets at a higher price than the first batch.

Thanks, I will appreciate your advice. Hope I can get the answer in this thread.
Jinky is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 08:08 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
Also, which do you suggest for getting the tickets, once purchased?

Ticketless, Collection from an Automatic Ticket Machine, Delivery free by post or Collection from the station??
Jinky is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 09:04 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
I would not buy tickets in advance because if your flight is delayed, you've had it.
tarquin is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 09:18 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12,565
It rather depends on how strong your nerves are.

In theory if the flight is on time you could easily get get the 15.34, especially if you have carry-on only.
It can take 30 minutes from touchdown to disembarkation if you land on the wrong runway, and there is no way of saying which runway will be in use - it all depends on the winds that day.
Depending on the airline you are using it can also be quite a hike to get to passport control. You may be lucky and be at an adjacent gate but you may be up to 20 minutes walk away.
You will go through passport control since you are entering Schengen at Schiphol. That can take some time but for a flight from the UK shouldn't be too bad.
The station is clearly signposted and easy to find. You need to check the boards for which platform you need.

If the flight is delayed for any reason though you could be really cutting it fine.

So if you feel happy with that book the 15.34. If you want some leeway book the 17.34, and spend the time up at the roof terrace or wandering around the shops, enjoy a cup of coffee, find a quiet corner to relax, and be sure you will get your train.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 12:29 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
hetismij2, thanks so much. We really appreciate the info.

I think we better take the 17.34 just in case. Schiphol looks like a pretty cool airport, so if we have to hang out a bit it will be a great way to do so. We are flying KLM, by the way
Jinky is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 10:39 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,440
I agree: the 17:34 seems the best option. You'll be able to have a bit of a breather between getting off the plane and catching the train, which might be welcome too. And this way, you can be sure you'll make it.
menachem is online now  
Jan 10th, 2013, 07:17 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
>>I would not buy tickets in advance because if your flight is delayed, you've had it.

So you suggest waiting until we get there and paying a total of 806 € instead of 280 € .. Seriously?
Jinky is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 07:18 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
That's a round trip ticket, and yes, it would be 806 € if bought there at the time of travel through Thaly's.
Jinky is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 07:19 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
806 € for all four of us, RT.
Jinky is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 07:46 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
You did not tell us the difference in cost. With that big a price jump, I too would go for the later train.
tarquin is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 08:08 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12,565
Glad to have been of help. I hope you enjoy your trip.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 08:09 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
tarquin, it's amazing how much the price goes up

I miss the days when a train ticket price was the same, no matter when you bought it. When you could just show up and get a cheap ticket.

Even the "flex" tickets that allow one change would be almost 616€ -- 376€ more!
Jinky is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 08:18 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,441
>>I would not buy tickets in advance because if your flight is delayed, you've had it.

So you suggest waiting until we get there and paying a total of 806 € instead of 280 € .. Seriously?>

well yes the price difference was not known but the point being that if your plane was seriously delayed by some volcano or something you'd lose the 280 and then have to buy the 806$ ticket - but yes with such a differnce I'd take the remote chance but would put as much time in between train and plane as possible.

Yes Schiphol does offer a lot of amenities once you are out of customs - lots of shops and restaurants and even last I knew a branch of the Rijksmuseum - small branch and I recently read even a small red-light district though I doubt if that would interest you.

If you booked the last train - 18:34 and arrive on time you could take the train from Schiphol into Amsterdam, put bags in station locker and then just board the Thalys train from central station - even though your tickets are from Schiphol I think no one would mind but...maybe they would.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 08:46 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
True PalenQ .. let's hope there's no volcano!

We really don't want to book the last train and get into Paris so late. Fingers crossed that the 17.34 works!
Jinky is offline  
Jan 11th, 2013, 07:38 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,670
The price difference should have been known. The Amsterdam-Paris Thalys fare is ALWAYS a megabucks €130 on the day fully-flexible, but from €35 in advance, so any advice to wait and buy on the day should have taken that into account.

It's like the OP saying they're not sure when they'll arrive at their departure airport because of the traffic, so telling them to stay flexible and buy their flight ticket to Europe at the airport an hour before take off! ;0)
Man_in_seat_61 is online now  
Jan 11th, 2013, 08:58 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 276
Man in seat 61, what do you suggest that OP do?
Doppio is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:48 AM.