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I recently bought a ticket from Mol in Belgium to Brussels. Since I was not sure if I would be going straight to the airport or to the city, and since the airport ticket was described on the website as a ticket to Brussels + surcharge ("Diabolo"), I figured a ticket to the airport would cover me either way.. but now I am less sure. Anyone here have an idea what the rules are and how strictly they're enforced?

Worst case scenario, I realize I can travel to airport and then bus/train to city, but that adds an hour and I do not have much time in Brussels.

  • I'm assuming you're going to graspop this weekend (barely anything else to do in the area of Mol). Have fun! – Arperum Jun 14 '16 at 5:08
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If your train to the airport has a stop in Brussels-midi you can surely get of the train earlier. You might need to buy an extra ticket for the Brussels-midi to Brussels airport trip a couple hours later. It's a good idea to buy that extra ticket before you get on the train to the airport to evade an extra charge of 12€ or something. But that should be easily doable on the day itself.

  • Welcome to travel.se! It looks like a train from Mol to the Brussels Airport would stop at the airport before Brussels-Midi, so I'm not sure about this, as it involves a longer journey, not a shorter one. The answer probably requires specific knowledge of the fare rules. – Zach Lipton Jun 14 '16 at 5:12
  • I did not check the specific train stops, but if it would involve being longer on the train, it requires an extra ticket – Arperum Jun 14 '16 at 5:26
  • The train does not stop at Midi before or after the airport.. guess I'll either take a train or bus to town. – firsttimeinbelgium Jun 14 '16 at 7:25
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  1. The official rule is that you can not interrupt your journey with a regular ticket. To do this you need a "Via" ticket. Source (click on "Can I break my journey?")
  2. You can take either the shortest or the fastest way or a longer way that allows you to do it with less changes of train. If you find the journey in the planner on their website, it is certainly fine. As long as you are traveling towards your destination you will be fine. They are not too strict about this. If your journey involves a stop in Brussels (Midi, Central, North...), you are officially not allowed to interrupt your journey there, but it is very hard to verify so you will get away with it.

Now, for your specific journey all options in the planner on the website involve a change in Antwerp, not in Brussels. So you will not get away with visiting Brussels. An alternative would be visiting Antwerp. You will get away with that, even if it is strictly speaking not allow to interrupt your journey there.

A ticket to Brussels-Midi would be one to "Zone Brussels", which includes all stations in Brussels. The airport is not in this zone, because the airport is not located in Brussels proper, but just outside of it.

Finally, you will not find anywhere on the website of the SNCB the ticket described as a ticket to Brussels plus surcharge. You will find it described as a ticket to Brussels Airport-Zaventem, as the airport station is called (formerly Brussel-Nationaal-Luchthaven) including the surcharge.

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