I have to travel from Tijuana (Mexico) to Brussels (Belgium) on a business trip. The flight is operated by AirFrance and goes:

  • from Tijuana to Mexico City (Aeromexico);
  • from Mexico City to Paris (AirFrance);
  • from Paris to Brussels by train (SNCF).

The trip to go back to Tijuana is the same in the reverse order:

  • from Brussels to Paris by train (SNCF);
  • from Paris to Mexico City (AirFrance);
  • from Mexico City to Tijuana (Aeromexico).

The problem

Near the end of my business trip, I will already be in Paris. Therefore, I was planning on skipping the train part that goes from Brussels to Paris. Therefore I have the following questions:

  • Will I still be able to check-in at Charles-de-Gaulle airport without issues for the plane part?
  • Will I be charged with penalty fees for not checking-in at the train station in Brussels?
  • Could I not simply check-in with the Air France webpage the day before and show-up at the airport and skip the train?
  • Will I be denied to board the plane at the airport?
  • What possible issues will I be facing?
  • 2
    Related: Skipping a Lufthansa train connection
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 23:07
  • 1
    Since you'll already be in Paris, have your company's travel office arrange your flight home from Paris, skipping the train from Brussels (since it's likely you'll have taken one earlier). It'll also save them the cost of the train trip back to Brussels. Maybe just book round trip Tijuana-Paris, with a separate Paris-Brussels train trip on the actual days (return leg different) you need it.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:11
  • 1
    @FreeMan What you propose would be the obvious way to go and I have already looked into it. Unfortunately the ticket was booked a while ago and changing it now substantially increases the cost.
    – Meclassic
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 18:48
  • Just curious, what did you end up doing? We’re there checks at CDG to make sure you had taken your train. I am looking at the same Paris/Brussels route but would like the option to skip the train if needed. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 23:52
  • 2
    I did the whole trip without skipping the train part. I recommend you do not skip the train... I was specifically asked to show my tickets from SNCF at the airport counter in order to get my boarding pass. Now, if the train part is after the plane part, then you could skip it, nobody checks that (I still do not recommend this because they could still ask for that ticket on the way back). However, if the train you want to skip is before the plane part, then you will certainly have problems to board the plane (I believe there is a 300€ penalty).
    – Meclassic
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 2:28

2 Answers 2


Accoriding to Air France, you can't skip the train journey

If you are traveling in the order of "train + plane", you must complete your train trip in order for your flight ticket to be valid.

Your ticket will simply be voided with no recourse as you would likely be counted as a no-show for the whole journey.

To add to the answer :

This train (CDG-Brussels) is the only France-Belgium train run by SNCF (French national rail operator) and not by Thalys (the rail operator of all IHST (International high-speed train) services between France and Belgium)) due to a partnership with Air France.

It is treated as being a Air France operated service so all the usual procedures for a flight are in place including a separate terminal at Brussels.

As a business traveler you may have a flexible ticket that would allow you to cancel the train journey though.

  • 3
    How would the airline know you've skipped the train?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 23:06
  • 11
    @JonathanReez, it's in the answer (being a Air France operated service so all the usual procedures for a flight are in-place including a separate terminal at Bruxelles); you check-in at the train terminal.
    – Ian W
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 23:14
  • 10
    This is Air France specific btw. In Germany for example there are no entry controls for trains, so they can not verify if you skipped the train
    – SirHawrk
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 6:18
  • 8
    @SirHawrk this is not entirely true. I had a similar itinerary booked with DB/Lufthansa and the reserved train seats were in a separated part of the train where a conductor took the small piece from our tickets.
    – prehfeldt
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 8:00
  • 4
    @infinitezero The conductor probably also scanned that part into the system.
    – GACy20
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 8:11

I post this answer only to leave trace of what ended up happening during the trip.

Going from Tijuana to Europe

  1. I boarded the plane as usual, Aeromexico just asked for my passport and everything was ok.
  2. At the train counter, I was specifically asked to show my plane ticket in order to obtain my train ticket. Note that if there is one part of the trip that you could eventually skip, it may be this one but I explicitly do not recommend doing this because it was never clear to me during the trip what was I expected to show at the counters (i.e., it depended on what the person at the counter asked for).

On the way back

  1. At the train station, I was asked to show, along with my passport, either my proof of reservation (email) or my plane tickets for the inbound trip. I just showed the email from AirFrance and then the girl did not care anymore about the plane tickets so I left her with that and it was OK.

  2. There appeared to be some sort of problem with my reservation and so I was specifically asked to show my train ticket in order to obtain my plane ticket. Note that I was travelling with a colleague and no one asked for his train ticket. But again, he had no problems at all with any part of the trip, and therefore I am compelled to state that it is highly recommended to complete the whole trip in order to avoid any "surprise" penalty fees.

  • Are you saying that you used the train part of the ticket on the return trip? You didn't skip any portion?
    – badjohn
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 7:49
  • 2
    @badjohn, yes he did, he said so in a comment on the question.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 9:06

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