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Train Question-please help!!

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Chicago, Illinois
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Train Question-please help!!

I am going to Brussels in a couple of weeks. I reserved a train ticket from SNCB website to go from Brussels to Amsterdam Schiphol. I received confirmation from them and copy of ticket. But nowhere on the ticket I see my train #, time etc. It just has my name, confirmation #, and from where to where it goes. Also, I had purchased a full flex 2nd class ticket. When I checked the tickets now, the first class ticket is cheaper. Can I return the earlier ticket and purchase new one?

I also tried logging into My Train section of their website but even there they don't have any train information.

Can anyone please help?

Thanks,

S.P

Nashville, TN
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1. Re: Train Question-please help!!

At full flex, you're probably booked on the IC (Intercity) which takes about an hour longer than the Thalys. These tickets are usually good for a 30 day period on any IC train. There should be a validity period printed on the ticket above the departure/arrival information.

The lower 1st class prices you're seeing could be for the Thalys. The lower fares are usually sold out by now, but there may be a sale going on. However, the Thalys requires a reservation and you are limited to traveling only on the train reserved. Also. the lower fares are usually non-changeable/non-refundable.

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: Train Question-please help!!

If there is no reservation for a specific train with seat and carriage number, I would assume that this is a ticket for the InterCity train, not Thalys - but surely you remember what departure you selected? If Thalys, it would only be valid for a specific train, if IC, on the other hand, you could have taken any train on the date of travel selected.

Unlike tickets purchased at a Belgian station, SINGLE tickets purchased online are NOT valid for 30 days, but only for the date in question, or as it says on b-europe.com/Travel/…Validity ".. Your tickets for a single trip are valid for 1day from the validity date shown on the ticket and selected by the customer..".

For information on exchanging tickets bought from Belgian Railways, see b-europe.com/Travel/…Exchange The easiest thing to do is probably to send them a message from the website, b-europe.com/Travel/Practical/Contact%20us

Edited: 31 March 2012, 22:46
Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Train Question-please help!!

Thanks to both of you. I remember it was InterCity train. I know what train I want to take on that day but I don't remember which one i chose for reservation. If I can take any IC train on that day, as you said, then that would solve my problem. I sent an email to SNCB to confirm that.

SNCB website says that tickets purchased on the internet can not be refunded or exchanged. Then what's the use of purchasing a full flex ticket? I purchased these tickets couple of months ago and then the first class tickets were more expensive. Now 1st class is cheaper by 15 euros. I don't understand that. May be I should not have purchased tickets in advance.

One more quick question - In the last leg of my trip, I will be taking train from Ghent to Brussels. I have a flight to catch at Brussels airport to fly back home. My flight is at at 11am so ideally I want to be there by around 8am. I checked b-europe.com website and it looks like I can take the 6:03am IC train. Do you think I can reach the airport by 8 if I reach Brussels by 6:45am?

I sincerely appreciate your help and time.

Regards,

S.P

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Train Question-please help!!

I found on another post that I can take train from Ghent to Bruxelles-Nat.-Aéroport and it takes around hour and 30 minutes. Does this train take me to Brussels city and then I have to transfer to one of the subways (?) to get to the airport?

Is Brussels-Midi station closest to the Brussels city center?

Thanks,

S.P

Brussels
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5. Re: Train Question-please help!!

< I can take train from Ghent to Bruxelles-Nat.-Aéroport and it takes around hour and 30 minutes. Does this train take me to Brussels city >

There are trains direct from Ghent to Brussels Airport which also stop at the stations in the city. There are others which require a change of train in Brussels (city) if your destination is the Airport.

http://www.b-rail.be/nat/E/

From: Gent-Sint-Pieters

To: Brussel-Nat-Luchthaven

< Is Brussels-Midi station closest to the Brussels city center? >

No. Closest station to the centre is Brussels Central. http://g.co/maps/239mn

Brussels
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6. Re: Train Question-please help!!

< If I can take any IC train on that day, as you said, then that would solve my problem. >

You can. You can even stop off at places on the way as long as you follow the correct route and complete the journey on the same day.

< SNCB website says that tickets purchased on the internet can not be refunded or exchanged. >

This refers to Belgian domestic train tickets. Different rules apply to international tickets. Some (more expensive ones) can be changed under certain conditions. Other (cheaper) ones cannot.

< I have a flight to catch at Brussels airport to fly back home. My flight is at at 11am so ideally I want to be there by around 8am. I checked b-europe.com website and it looks like I can take the 6:03am IC train. Do you think I can reach the airport by 8 if I reach Brussels by 6:45am? >

Yes. There are direct trains from Ghent to the Airport. However, if you get a train in Ghent which involves a change in Brussels (city) for the Airport, the journey from the city to the Airport takes only 15 to 20 minutes, and trains run 4 times an hour.

You can check all the options here http://www.b-rail.be/nat/E/

From: Gent-Sint-Pieters

To: Brussel-Nat-Luchthaven (airport)

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Train Question-please help!!

Colin,

Great.. thanks. I can take 5:27 am train that doesn't need any transfer.

Would it be cheaper to purchase individual tickets or some sort of pass? My wife and i will be going to Ghent from Bruge. And I will also be visiting Antwerp for a day. I anticipate we will have to purchase minimum 6 tickets during our stay.

Thanks,

Sandeep

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Train Question-please help!!

Colin & others,

How can I find out if my ticket is eligible for a refund upon cancellation? When I see the ticket details on My Train section, it does say no exchange but 5 euro refund charge per ticket. But the website says no refund for internet tickets. I would still save money if I pay refund charge and purchase a new 1st class ticket. Any advice??

Appreciate your help.

Thanks,

SP

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Train Question-please help!!

Hi ,

I received an email back from SNCB and they confirmed that "..can use this ticket to travel with any ''classic'' train on that day.."

Thanks again for your help. Will update again on cancellation policy once I hear back from them.

SP

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Train Question-please help!!

Hi,

I was able to cancel the tickets and purchase the cheaper 1st class tickets. I had to pay 5 euro refund charge. International IC tickets are refundable if they are full flex type.

S.P