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Your Handbook To The Thalys Train

Explore Europe with the Thalys Train

Amidst the European backdrop of art and sophistication, Thalys provides a close-knit network of railway services that exemplify speed, opulence and comfort. Shuttling between handpicked destinations, the Thalys trains have repeatedly proved to be the first choice for multicultural and fast-paced travel enthusiasts.

1. What is the Thalys train?

Thalys is a high-speed train service that operates internationally in 4 of the most iconic countries of Europe – France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

It panders to a genre of travellers whose journeys touch over 15 cities in these countries, such as Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.

2. What is the speed of the Thalys train?

Being a set of high-speed train services, Thalys travel at the speed of 300km/hour. Speed being its forte, the 500 km distance between Paris and Amsterdam is covered in just a little over 3 hours with the Thalys train. Bolting through both the cities, Thalys travels from Cologne to Essen in a swift 1 hour, making it the obvious choice for most people travelling to these destinations.

3. Where can I book my Thalys ticket?

The most hassle-free way to book a Thalys ticket is by doing so online or through the Thalys mobile app. The official website www.thalys.com gives you the option of purchasing your ticket online and then collecting your paper ticket in an international SNCB railway station. Alternatively, you can also receive your ticket by post or print it at home. If you choose to travel ticketless, i.e., without a paper ticket, you can become a member of Thalys TheCard. TheCard is a loyalty programme that provides a range of benefits, miles and tailored offers to its members.

You may also scan the barcode on your ticket confirmation email through the Thalys app, making it your paperless ticket.

You may also make a booking over the phone by calling +32 70 66 77 88.
You also have the option of going conventional and visiting a SNCB international railway station to buy your tickets.

4. What is the types of Thalys tickets?

Thalys has specific ticketing categories to suit different types of pockets. Much like the air fares, the closer you come to the date of departure, higher is the price of the ticket. Hence, it is recommended to book tickets in advance. The Thalys tickets are sectioned into 3 main types:

  • No-Flex: The No-Flex ticket is an economy ticket, offering the lowest possible fares, starting at about €29, one-way. This type is only available in the Comfort 2 (2nd class) segment.
  • Semi-Flexible: The Semi-Flexible tickets are ideal for travellers who seek a good service and flexibility in terms of price, booking deadlines, refund and exchange, etc. These are available in the Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 segment, providing an array of services, including free wi-fi connectivity during your train journey.
  • Flex: The Flex tickets give you the best treatment on board and benefits on last-minute booking and exchange. These tickets are available only in the Comfort 1 segment, and have a benchmark tariff of a minimum of €100.

5. What are the price benefits offered by Thalys?

Thalys provides travellers with a number of deals and offers to minimise their expenditure of train tickets.

  • Child discount – Children under 12 years of age get a special discounted rate on their ticket fares. The price of the tickets varies according to the source and destination. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Kids Connection ticket – This is a unique type of ticket that allows children from 4 to 14 years of age to travel alone with one train attendant looking after them. This service is only available on Friday and Sunday from Paris to Brussels and vice versa. The cost of the ticket and attendant together comes to €59 one-way. Bookings for the same must be done only via the phone.
    France: +33 825 290 190
    Belgium: +32 70 79 79 85
  • Youth discount – Travellers under the age of 26 are entitled to a youth discount applicable on all Thalys destinations in Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 class.
  • Senior Citizen discount – Passenger over the age of 60 can enjoy a senior citizen discount in both, Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 class.
  • Group discount – For groups of 10 passengers or more, Thalys provides a special discount of up to 50% on basic adult fares. This can be done only through a phone booking. Youngsters between age groups 12 to 26 are eligible for an additional youth discount.

6. Do I need to make a reservation?

Reservations are mandatory in Thalys trains. The reservation window opens 90 days before the departure. The ticket cost includes the reservation fee. For those who are holders of the Eurail, Interail or other rail passes must make reservations before boarding any high-speed Thalys train. Reservation can be made on the Thalys website www.thalys.com or through independent websites of your rail pass provider, such as www.eurail.com, www.interrail.eu, www.raileurope.com, etc.

7. What are the amenities provided by Thalys?

Popularly known as the “Red Train”, Thalys trains are designed to deliver speed and luxury. The Premier and Economy class of the trains provide their passengers with different seating options such as a Solo Seat or Duo Seat, and also Solo and Duo seats facing each other, thus ensuring you not only have a comfortable journey, but also a memorable conversation. The Premier class passengers are also spoilt with sumptuous meals and drinks on-board, along with certain privileged services at the station; for example, no check-ins.

Additionally, many Thalys trains offer free wi-fi connection across almost all routes for both Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 passengers.

Thalys innovatively also offers an on-board conference room called Le Salon, which is ideal for a 4 passenger set-up. It is furnished with a meeting table, work space, internet connectivity, electrical points and so on. The Le Salon requires a booking of all 4 seats. Though it is relatively more expensive than the rest of rates, it is absolutely worth it for all the businessmen who are on the move.

8. What is the baggage allowance on Thalys?

Thalys has strict rules when it comes to luggage. Each passenger is allowed 1 carry-on bag and 2 suitcases, the weight of which mustn’t exceed 32kgs and size up to 62 inches. Baggage tags are mandatory; and failure of complying with any of the conditions may result in a fine. The luggage can be stored in the overhead racks, space between seats, or area at the end of the compartment.

9. Is there a refund and exchange policy on the Thalys ticket?

Yes. Thalys are very co-operative when is comes to refunding and exchanging tickets. The policy differs depending upon the type of ticket.

No-Flex tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.

Semi-flexible tickets are 50% refundable before departure and an hour after it. The may be exchanged only once until the day of departure.

Flex tickets are 100% refundable before departure and 50 % refundable an hour after departure. These tickets can be exchanged unlimitedly before departure.

10. What is the Thalys Pass?

Unlike the other general European rail passes, Thalys provides a tailor-made pass for its frequent travellers, known as Thalys ThePass. Based on the regularity of a route or the recurrence of your travel, ThePass is classified into Ultra-frequent, Frequent and Regular. The passes fall under the Premium, Business and Weekend category, each of which has a different scope, discount, price and policy. To know more, you may visit – www.thalys.com/fr/en/offers-and-fares/thepass.

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