Thalys Boarding Mid-Journey

Old Dec 28, 18, 9:17 pm
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Thalys Boarding Mid-Journey

I am in the middle of booking a series of train tickets in March for my wife and me. For a particular train on March from Brussels to Amsterdam, the price is 60 € /each in standard (changeable) with no option for a non-flexible ticket. However, if I price a ticket on the exact same train from Paris to Amsterdam, the non-flexible ticket is available for 35 €. It seems like trains are learning about married segments.

So what would happen if I buy the cheaper Paris-Amsterdam ticket and just board the train in Brussels? Would my non-flexible ticket get canceled if it is not scanned onboard after the train leaves Paris?
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Old Jan 5, 19, 1:51 pm
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While I don't know the exact answer to your question, I can tell you that on the Thalys train we took from Paris to Dortmund on a Sunday morning, the conductor passed through our car after every station we stopped. Will conductors keep an eye out for those whose ticket origin isn't the previous stop? I don't know. Will it matter to conductors? I don't know that too. I can just say that a conductor checked for new passengers after each stop.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:53 pm
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Most train tickets in Europe are subject to the GCC-CIV/PRR terms of use.
Originally Posted by GCC-CIV/PRR
5.2.6 [...] Reserved accomodation must be claimed within fifteen minutes of departure of the train from the station from which the reservation was made or the passenger may lose his claim to the accommodation.
In other words, if you don't claim your seat within 15 minutes from departure from Paris, your reserved seat may be sold to someone else. I think that you are still allowed to travel, just without the right to sit down during the journey.

Unless the train company's own terms of use states otherwise, assume that the GCC-CIV/PRR terms apply.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:17 pm
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This has nothing to do with married segments, as revenue management on trains is done a bit differently than on planes.

In practice, you should be able to take the train, but don't expect that your reserved seat will be available if things get crowded. Thalys has a bar car and a number of fold-down seats, so you should be able to get a seat. You can always say you weren't at your seat because you were getting a coffee or something like that.

Also - I'm not sure if there is a ticket check before entering the platform at Brussels-South.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Also - I'm not sure if there is a ticket check before entering the platform at Brussels-South.
You just walk on to the platform and the train.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
Most train tickets in Europe are subject to the GCC-CIV/PRR terms of use.In other words, if you don't claim your seat within 15 minutes from departure from Paris, your reserved seat may be sold to someone else. I think that you are still allowed to travel, just without the right to sit down during the journey.

Unless the train company's own terms of use states otherwise, assume that the GCC-CIV/PRR terms apply.
I get this but unlike boarding an aircraft no one checks your ticket upon boarding to make sure you actually make use of that segment. I'd say it's safe to hop on mid-journey.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by EuroFlash View Post
I get this but unlike boarding an aircraft no one checks your ticket upon boarding to make sure you actually make use of that segment. I'd say it's safe to hop on mid-journey.
I think the risk is that someone wishes to buy a ticket on board (is this permitted on Thalys?) and so the conductor assigns your seat to that person, since no one claimed it within 15 minutes after departure from Paris. It's a lot riskier on trains without mandatory seat reservations as someone without a reservation could take the seat.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 4:26 am
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
I think the risk is that someone wishes to buy a ticket on board (is this permitted on Thalys?) and so the conductor assigns your seat to that person, since no one claimed it within 15 minutes after departure from Paris. It's a lot riskier on trains without mandatory seat reservations as someone without a reservation could take the seat.
But it's a very low risk, how many people ever buy tickets on board, and how likely is it that the train is so full that *your* seat is the only available one to be assigned to a last minute purchaser?
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by EuroFlash View Post
I get this but unlike boarding an aircraft no one checks your ticket upon boarding to make sure you actually make use of that segment. I'd say it's safe to hop on mid-journey.
That´s basically correct - at least for domestic trips within Germany.
Only Thalys might be different and Eurostar certainly is (because their operation is airline style almost 1:1)

Just two weeks ago I did board an ICE train at an intermediate stop although my ticketed origin was before my point of boarding.
Actually I had booked a trip Schwetzingen-Mannheim-Düsseldorf-Arnhem-Amsterdam where Mannheim-Düsseldorf was the ICE part.
Bought the one-way train ticket before deciding which way to go back home - ended up booking an air ticket AMS-FRA so decided to park my car at the airport ...
I boarded the ICE train at Frankfurt airport and none of the guards "raised even an eyebrow" ...
Had no seat reservation since I intended to have breakfast in the restaurant car anyway and enjoyed my breakfast at 280-300kph ...

Only bummer was that my spending in the restaurant car does not contribute to my BahnBonus account despite they are 100% DB ...

Last edited by MHG; Mar 10, 19 at 7:50 am
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