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Thalys Smoove Fare Restrictions on Belgian Rail

Thalys Smoove Fare Restrictions on Belgian Rail

Old Jan 25th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Thalys Smoove Fare Restrictions on Belgian Rail

Hello...

Are there any restrictions on Smoove fare travel on Thalys, other than the 15 or 30 day advance purchase requirement?

25 Euros from Antwerp or Brussels to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam back to Brussels seems really good.

Thanks.
SS
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Yes, there are. These tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. They can only be bought as round-trip tickets.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Off-topic:

Hi Myriam! You've been missed! Glad to see you posting again.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 07:05 AM
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They can be bought as singles, as I bought a one way from Amsterdam to Brussels and it was 25 Euro using the Smoove Fares. The fares are usually offered on "off-peak" trains, we got the fare on an 11:00AM train which gets to Brussels early afternoon.
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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Leechie, you're right about the single ticket. That's new since September last.
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Old Feb 11th, 2010, 02:08 AM
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Thanks for the info...I went back to their site, and did a test run up to the login screen, and you're right -- on selected times, the 25 E fare is there -- otherwise it's 34 E -- still a good fare.

It's too soon to purchase (not going till end of May), but I have a memo on my Outlook to purchase on the first day possible.

Another interesting point -- I'm going from Brugge, and the Talys fare is the same whether I pick it up at Brussels or Antwerp...and so is the departing time from Brugge. (The segment from Brugge costs about the same either way.)

Any preferences on which way would be easier. The connection at Antwerp is a little longer (37 min vs. 22 min), so we'll probably go that way and have a little more margin of error on the conncetion.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Anyone know how far in advance I can purchase ticket on Thalys from here in the US - round trip from Amsterdam to Antwerp.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 02:56 AM
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Go to their website:

http://www.thalys.com/nl/en/

Start the process and a calendar will be available - - looks to be about 3 months.

SS
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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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ssander, if you're going from Brugge do buy a Thalys + ABS (any Belgian station) ticket. This will allow you to travel from Brugge on one and the same ticket while the ABS part is cheaper than a separate ticket from Brugge to Brussels or Antwerp.
http://www.thalys.com/fr/en/frequent...elgian-station
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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 10:16 AM
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Any preferences on which way would be easier. The connection at Antwerp is a little longer (37 min vs. 22 min), so we'll probably go that way and have a little more margin of error on the conncetion.>

Well if you want to throw your bags in a locker in Antwerp's station and spend a few hours batting around this wonderful historic old town then that may be a factor - and Antwerp's train station is a main sight in itself - one of Europe's grand train sheds - Art Nouveau grandeur - but if you are taking the Thalys from Bruselles then you will see only the new underground platforms in this recently rehabbed station. Stopping in Brussels for a few hours is hopeless - city is too large to do much justice but in Antwerp just a stroll from the station down the Meir towards the old docks lets you see the compact town center.
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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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MyriamC...

Thanks for the ABS tip. Took a dry run on the Thalys site to see how it works. It seems you can't get a paperless ticket.

Does that mean we have a printable reservation but pick up the ticket at the train station? Can we pick it up a day or two before?

Here's our schedule leading up to the day of the train ride:

-- Arr BRU airport May 25 - take train immediately to Bruges
-- Two nights in Bruges
-- Take train to Amsterdam May 27.

In other words, can we: Print out the reservation at home and show it to the person a the station in Bruges when we arrive on the 25th to get our tickets for our departure to Amsterdam on the 27th? (Hope I'm not making this more complicated than it really is.)

NOTE to Polemque: As you can see, we don't plan to do a real tourist stop on the way to Amsterdam. (We considered it but our schedule was too tight...but thanks for the tip.) It also seems that the ABS ticket only goes through Antwerp anyway -- no choice to go through brussels.

Thanks.
SS
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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ssander, that's how I do it. I print the reservation and take it with me to the station to pick up my ticket. Make sure you take the same credit card as the one you used to purchase your ticket! No problem to pick up your ticket in advance.
Another possibility is to print your ticket at home. You will receive it in your mail as a .pdf file. Anyway, we have that possibility in Belgium.

I agree with Palenque regarding spending a few hours in Antwerp. In order not to lose time, you can take the metro (line no. 2) in Antwerp Central station in the direction of Linkeroever. Get off at the stop Groenplaats (it's about a 10 min. ride) and you will be right in the historical heart of the city.
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Hmmm...The Thalys train we want leaves Antwerp at 10:31 a.m.

We were planning to take the 8:31 a.m. train(s) (a connection in Ghent) to Antwerp, which arrives at 9:54. This is the train out of Bruge listed on the ABS fare to Amsterdam.

There is a slightly earlier train to Antwerp. The 8:19 a.m. train (no change in Ghent) arrives in Antwerp at 9:39 ... that would give us about a half-hour in the town (or maybe just a bite to eat at a patisserie) accounting for tram ride time.

We'll consider it - - - but we really don't want to risk missing our Thalys...so we'll likely stick to our original plan.

QUESTION: If we buy at ticket for the 8:31 to Antwerp and through to Amsterdam (ABS), can we use that same ticket on the earlier 8:19 out of Bruges if we choose to? Or can we only use it on the specific ABS times on the Thalys website.

SS
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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As far as I know your (Thalys +) ABS ticket will be valid for any commuter train in the morning enabling to catch your Thalys.
If you only have half an hour, I wouldn't bother going into town. I don't know any patisserie that will be open at that early hour.
Save Antwerp for a next occasion, my city is really worth a longer visit.
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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You make a lot of sense, MyriamC...we will save Antwerp for next time...and thank you so much for that valuable tip about the Any Belgian Station ticket (37 Euro). We will definitely do that.

SS

PS - Buying the same ticket on the U.S. Thalys site costs the equivalent of approximately 77 Euro -- what a ripoff!
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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Perhaps you can help with my travel plans. We will be arriving in Brussels on September 2, plan to take a train to Brugges for a two night stay. Then take a train to Brussels for three nights. On September 7 we plan on taking the Thalys train to Paris from where we will fly back four days later to the USA. What would be the best way? Also, if we purchase the tickets for a certain time, but for some reason miss the train, can we use the ticket for a later train or have to purchase a new one?
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 08:03 AM
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If you rearrange your itinerary - staying in Brussels at first then going to Bruges and then going to Paris from there via Lille you will not have to deal with the Thalys and its Byzantine fare structure at all - and even full fare on the Bruges to Paris via Lille route is not that much more expensive really than the non-refundable non-exchangeable tickets i believe - unlike the Thalys where you must book months in advance to get the cheapest fares and then cannot change nor refund them.

If taking the Thalys RailEurope in the U.S. is offering first class seats at the price of second class seats i believe.
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Unfortunately, I cannot rearrange the stay. I was wondering if we can just catch a normal train from the airport to mid town and then another normal train to Brugges and back to Brussels. We definitely want the Thalys from Brussels to Paris. I assume Comfort I is first class, am I right? Thanks for all the help.
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