Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris

Oct 6th, 2006, 03:03 AM
  #1  
cy1
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris

Hello and thanks for our help!!

I need to buy a 2 one way tickets on Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris on Nov 8
How does the web site work? I need your help
Can I buy tickets and have them ship to USA? Can I buy from someone over the phone like a customer service representative?
Would they ship it to a hotel in Amsterdam?
I know- too many questions, but I was just curios if any of you had used their site to shop on line and did o.k.

Thanks in advance
cy1 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 03:42 AM
  #2  
 
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Don't buy one-way tickets. Get discounted roundtrippers and trash the return. You'll save a lot of money. For November 8 on the Raileurope site, a discounted second class roundtrip ticket is currently listed for $128 while a one-way is $382.

If you want the tickets delivered to a U.S. address, the easiest -- but not the cheapest method -- would be to purchase on the www.raileurope.com site. (Others will give you advice on how to save money by arranging to pick up your tickets in Europe for the Thalys.)
Flyboy is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 03:47 AM
  #3  
 
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Do a search for BETS - if you want tickets delivered in the US rather than pay the (generally) extortionate prices raileurope charges.

Check the prices on Thalys first though so you know the REAL price of the ticket
alanRow is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 05:44 AM
  #4  
 
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If you don't mind e-tickets (you print them yourself at home), you can buy the from the SNCF French rail site. And I agree, buy the roundtrip special fares, and you'll save big $$$.

The SNCF english language site is: http://www.sncf.com/indexe.htm
martytravels is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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Is buying through BETS really that much less expensive than getting them through RailEurope????????????
Dukey is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Actually the price would be the same thru BETS or RailEurope, but the service and being able to talk to someone when ordering is priceless - RailEurope i believe charges a $25 order fee to place a phone order and thus being able to ask questions, etc., but online if the order is over $200 RE does not have a maling fee - BETS has a similar policy i believe. RE of course also charges a $15 booking fee as does BETS as they work thru RE like most everyone does. If price is the same i'd go for service.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 04:10 PM
  #7  
cy1
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Thanks guys
I went ahead & checked Raileurope and selected round trip option, but each segment is pricing: AMS-PAR128.00 & PAR-AMS210.00, so Am I doing something wrong by not getting the low price?
Also what is BETS - Can you please provice me with the whole link ? what is BETS stand for ?
I keep seeing this name of other post as well
Best regards,
cy1 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 04:56 PM
  #8  
 
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Last month, I purchased one way tickets from Paris to Amsterdam on the Thalys train via the SNCF website. I did a lot of research to check if it was cheaper to purchase roundtrip tickets and, in my case, it wasn't. 2 one way tickets in 2nd class cost 195 Euro.

I was sent an email confirmation which I took to the ticket counter at the train station. My tickets were printed off by a staff member and I was ready to go. If you choose this method, leave yourself enough time to stand in line to pick up your tickets. Good Luck!
stragic is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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BETS is a RailEurope agent as just about everyone is who sells European rail in the U.S. Their web site is www.budgeteuropetravel.com; phone 800-441-2387. You may have been reading my posts as i often recommend them instead of RailEurope though their prices are obviously exactly the same. (S&H can vary; RailEurope has none on order of $200 and more - less than that they charge $15 - i believe they also charge $25 to place a phone order (i.e. where you can ask them questions) - BETS has no mailing fee for orders over $250 i believe and a $5 fee for orders under that - thus they would be $10 cheaper only in total on orders under $200 and the same for orders over that. But like i said above it's service that counts if they price is the same - and they are experts in my experience. Take the Thalys Smilys fare (round trip required and 14-day advance purchase but cheaper than most one-way fares) - if you go to www.raileurope.com you will nearly never (i have never) seen this fare for the train you put in - it inevitable gives you the higher one-way fare (I have not done an exhaustive search however and will gladly stand corrected.) That's why you should call BETS or any other such European rail specialist like perhaps euraide.com and ask specifically about the Smilys fare -saying you're going round trip even if you're not and ask for the cheapest fare. Another problem with www.raileurope.com is that, as several other Fodorites have posted - that the price that appears on RailEurope.com is not in real time and you may get an e-mail later saying that fare is not available and the price is higher. That's why i recommend calling and talking to someone and see what is really available right there and then. Many people have also reported that they could use the www.thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com to get Thalys tickets at a better price than thru RailEurope, BETS, etc. and you should always compare each to see what savings there could be. And RailEurope is not always more expensive - this summer through the end of August they had an incredible $16 Paris-Amsterdam v.v. fare, which though was probably hard to book couldn't be beat. (RailEurope and BETS and RE agents also charge a $15 bookng fee per order that you would not pay thru European online sites.

Anyway, i love the Thalys trip - blasting thru the signature French countryside at speeds rivalling 190 mph and then limping thru Holland at speeds of only about 90 mph, passing thru the quintessential Dutch 'pastoral' countryside till it crosses the galatic border and dumps you off in otherworldly Amsterdam.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 03:42 AM
  #10  
cy1
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Thanks again for the wonderful info here.
I have an other question
Where can I find a site for Amsterdam rail that sells train tickets less expensive than the Thalys-I heard there is a train -it just takes longer to get to Paris. By the way I checked BETS - I didn't see them mentioning Thalys tickets on their site-it's most passes that they sell right ?
cy1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 04:26 AM
  #11  
 
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You can buy discounted tickets on SNCF.com if you book them in advance and print on your on printer.

You can book within 90 days.
Leave the country as "France" (it won't matter).
You want to look for "Smilys" tickets - these are restricted roundtrip tickets (no refunds,no exchanges). They will be in the neighborhood of 38€ each way at the best price. You just use a fake return date - then after your trip, just tear up the unused page you printed for the 'return'.

You cannot buy only the one way at this price. The cheapest one-way price is the one for about 98€.

Do not select the 'insurance' option or you will not be allowed to print your own. When you board the train, there is nothing to 'composte' or stamp. You just show the printed page and your id to the conductor when asked.

This is the best possible price you can get.
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 05:42 AM
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>Where can I find a site for Amsterdam rail that sells train tickets less expensive than the Thalys-I heard there is a train - it just takes longer to get to Paris.

What you mean are the trains to Brussels - the "normal" Intercity trains are not much slower than Thalys until Brussels, but cheaper and don't require reservations. You can look up the timetables and prices at the Dutch railway website www.ns.nl or it's Belgian counterpart www.b-rail.be. There is no need to buy these tickets in the US.
From Brussels to Paris you don't really have a choice. There are almost only Thalys trains.
You cannot get a Thalys ticket cheaper than what Thalys itself says. there is no "grey market" like with airfares.
altamiro is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #13  
cy1
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thanks again
you are the best !!
cy1 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 06:23 AM
  #14  
 
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There are $84 round trip Smilys fares available in the U.S. thru RailEurope - of course you can throw away the return. As always i say check all sources and take the best deal. To see if the $84 Smilys fare is available you should call someone and talk to them about it, like BETS (800-441-2387) as on the RailEurope.com site this fare is rarely (never in my searches) displayed though it does exist - so talk to someone who has the RailEurope computer in their office and ask for a search of what trains have the $84 Smilys Amsterdam-Paris return fare and throw away the return. But always check sources like Altamiro lists and www.thalys.com and www.voyages-sncf.com. And there are also booking fees to add to the cost in the U.S. so look at the bottom line and then decide.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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I don't know about BETS but I think you will never actually be able to book a Smilys with RailEurope. The fare seems to disappear after you have made your request.
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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If you're traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, you wouldn't want to buy the tickets on the SNCF website, since that's the French railroad system(as some have suggested).

Paris to Amsterdam, yes, since you'd be picking them up at a French station, but not Amsterdam to Paris.

Or am I wrong?
DejaVu is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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As BETS works thru RailEurope as nearly everyone does in the U.S. they should have exactly the same offerings, and do...except you will never see the Smilys option on www.raileurope.com though it is at times bookable thru RailEurope - either call RailEurope and ask for a search- but i think RE charges to talk to anyone in person, instead marshalling folks to the often more expensive perhaps web site or call a RE agent like BETS - there are others too who have the RE computer system in the office but i don't know of any offhand, perhaps others do - at least this way you know there are in fact no Smilys tickets available for sure - you can't via www.raileurope.com. But most likely the Smilys fare will not be available for the train you want, so ask for a search of any available Smilys fares and then see if any are possible for your plans.

Not sure is Smilys are any easier to book thru www.thalys.com, sncf, etc. Maybe they exist only in ethersphere.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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DejaVu - So long as you're booking Smilys tickets which you can print yourself, you can book Amsterdam-Paris tickets on the SNCF site.
TimS is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Tim: is there much of a difference in using www.thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com - i think it may have been you or some other expert saying sncf was better - can you print out from thalys.com as well and do you know if prices are similar from site to site.

Respectfully tapping your immense knowledge of online ticketing so valuable to Fodorites. I'm trying to get up to speed on such.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 10:19 AM
  #20  
 
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I always buy my tickets on SNCF.com now, even if the trip starts in Amsterdam. It's all in English and I've gotten the hang of it.

I tried Thalys.com before, but either I don't know how to 'work' it or it defaults to Dutch once the actually booking starts, and I don't want to try that.
Travelnut is offline  

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