2

Are there well known places/agencies where I can buy Thalys train tickets without having to suffer the bugs, annoyances, and lack of accessibility on thalys.com/vsct.fr?

The site has form validation that rejects perfectly valid email addresses, and payment rejection when the bank claim that no request was ever made.

My plan is to travel from Paris to Brussels, in case there might be an alternative, but I believe they are the only ones with that route.

Edit 1: my plan of not buying online and hoping that ~30 days would still get me a good price was a huge mistake. A ticket for a trip 29 days from now, is costing €148 instead of ~€40!

  • 1
    does voyages-sncf.com/billet-train work better for you ? – audionuma Jun 24 '17 at 6:03
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    Or try the Belgian International version. b-europe.com (if it does not set the language automatically, you can get it in 4 different versions. (Although I do prefer the French site if I have the time to get the tickets send home.) – Willeke Jun 24 '17 at 6:42
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Besides the Thalys website, other options for buying Thalys tickets include:

Those sites sell tickets for all Thalys journeys (so you can, for example, buy a Paris to Brussels ticket from NS in the Netherlands) and you can use all the sites from any country.

  • 2
    Besides online services, you can, at least in France, go to any medium to large train station to buy tickets at a desk. – audionuma Jun 24 '17 at 12:23
  • Most of the time the NS-International site is not working much better than the Thalys site, but yes, it is available. – Willeke Jun 24 '17 at 15:49
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    @anomuse There's no surcharge to my knowledge when buying tickets at a station ticket office in France. There's (probably) a queue. The OP seems to have an issue with online services, he could appreciate using a plain old desk service. – audionuma Jun 24 '17 at 20:41
  • Note about nsinternational.nl: It is the only online vendor i've ever seen to forbid you to not agree to creating an ill-advised arcot (mastercard) or visasecure (not) when paying with credit card. I am pretty sure that goes against my credit card policy, and will engage them. But until they solve it, can't buy there either (as i do not want to activate bogus services on my CC account) – gcb Jun 25 '17 at 18:38
  • What a train wreak are all those online stores. When they actually work (izy, owned by thalyz, works fine and does not say valid emails are invalid!) they force you to use arcot. I will just hope the prices don't shoot up if I leave to buy tickets 30days before the trip because i will buy tickets at the physical counter. Good riddance to all those sites. – gcb Jun 25 '17 at 19:14
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neat. Thalys tweeted this question and pointed to www.raileurope.com. which even has better prices then their own website or ticket counters. Do they own that site and upsell on other channels? Or recognize their own site is awful?

Either way, thank you, thalys for helping out even if in this convoluted way. (would be much more help if you instead fixed the email validation on your main site!)

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    Rail Europe is owned by SNCF. These days raileurope.com is just the version of voyages-sncf.com aimed at customers from the USA. Rail Europe originated as the British Railways International Ticket Sales office, which like every other piece of British Rail was sold to to the highest bidder when BR was privatised, in this case SNCF. SNCF is also the majority owner of Thalys - so everything is interconnected! – Jonathan Jul 5 '17 at 11:20
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Yet another good website: goeuro.com

By far the simplest booking of any other mentioned so far on this question!

no need to input passport numbers, no problem with credit cards, no broken email validation, no high prices! in fact, it was half the price of any thalys owned sites! and it also show airplane and buses. The only bad thing on this site was zero information regarding luggage. But you can solve that by noting the ticket name and looking up on each company site.

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