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How do make an exchange on a seat reservation for Thalys after a cancellation?


Hello,

I received an email today stating that Thalys was cancelling my train from Brussels to Amsterdam and that I needed to exchange it or request a refund. Of course this is the third leg of a journey that will be starting in Barnsley, UK and I have no housing in Brussels and need to make an exchange to a later Thalys train (or get a refund and take whatever train I can get) — or take a different way to Amsterdam from London so I can still arrive in Amsterdam on the same day as originally planned.

I tried calling the help line for Thalys, but the agent told me I have to make the exchange through Eurail, but I can’t find where I can do that on the website, and the help pages aren’t of any use.

How do I make this exchange? A bit panicked, especially after living through the UK rail strikes! This journey has been a major disaster. The Global Pass needs more mobile ability if we’re supposed to book ahead when we’re not in a train station. But then can only rectify issues inside a train station? It makes no sense. Please help!

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Best answer by rvdborgt 22 June 2022, 22:15

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Userlevel 4

They are fobbing you off, simple as. Thalys are cancelling a train, one you have paid a reservation for and it is THEIR responsibility to provide alternative transport for their customers.

Personally I wouldn’t be letting them off the hook on principal but you might want to be more pragmatic about it. In that vein there is an alternative provider Brussels - Amsterdam in the shape of the NS/SNCB Intercity service that you can use freely with your pass as it requires no reservation.

 

What are the date and time of your trip?

They are fobbing you off, simple as. Thalys are cancelling a train, one you have paid a reservation for and it is THEIR responsibility to provide alternative transport for their customers.

Personally I wouldn’t be letting them off the hook on principal but you might want to be more pragmatic about it. In that vein there is an alternative provider Brussels - Amsterdam in the shape of the NS/SNCB Intercity service that you can use freely with your pass as it requires no reservation.

 

What are the date and time of your trip?

I appreciate this, and honestly I’m fine with taking the Intercity trains—have done so in the past and btwn Brussels and Amsterdam, it’s not terribly long; but in that case would like the full refund for my seat reservation.

When I tried to do this through Eurail’s site, it said it’d only be refunded 75% which doesn’t seem right since it’s not my fault the train was cancelled.

I was supposed to travel 29 June at 16h52 (arriving in Brussels on Eurostar at 16h07)

EDIT to add: what does not letting Thalys off the hook look like? Just insisting more to the agent on the phone that they have to deal with this? They don’t have any of my payment details and I was told, they can’t access my reservation. Which might be a flat out lie, but I figured I’d try their way first.

Userlevel 7
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Thalys are required to rebook you free of charge to any later train of your choice with free seats, under EU Regulation 1371/2007. That is not limited to trains where pass holder seats are available.

But unfortunately I'm not surprised they're trying to fob you off.

The question is also if there is a Thalys before the next intercity service arrives in Amsterdam (runs every hour). You can check any reliable planner (that excludes the rail planner app and the Interrail website).

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

I appreciate this, and honestly I’m fine with taking the Intercity trains—have done so in the past and btwn Brussels and Amsterdam, it’s not terribly long; but in that case would like the full refund for my seat reservation.

When I tried to do this through Eurail’s site, it said it’d only be refunded 75% which doesn’t seem right since it’s not my fault the train was cancelled.

You’ll need to request a full refund via customer service. That will take some time but they will get to it.

I was supposed to travel 29 June at 16h52 (arriving in Brussels on Eurostar at 16h07)

Just take the IC at 16:45. Arrival in Amsterdam is at 19:35 instead of 18:44. The next Thalys seems to be only at 18:52, arriving 20:44.

I appreciate this, and honestly I’m fine with taking the Intercity trains—have done so in the past and btwn Brussels and Amsterdam, it’s not terribly long; but in that case would like the full refund for my seat reservation.

When I tried to do this through Eurail’s site, it said it’d only be refunded 75% which doesn’t seem right since it’s not my fault the train was cancelled.

You’ll need to request a full refund via customer service. That will take some time but they will get to it.

I was supposed to travel 29 June at 16h52 (arriving in Brussels on Eurostar at 16h07)

Just take the IC at 16:45. Arrival in Amsterdam is at 19:35 instead of 18:44.

Any clue how I get refunded for my seat reservation? Isn’t this something Eurail should do?

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

You’ll need to request a full refund via customer service. That will take some time but they will get to it.

Any clue how I get refunded for my seat reservation? Isn’t this something Eurail should do?

Quote trimmed down to the relevant text :)

 @rvdborgt  (no quotes ;) Please see my previous post, I followed their instructions and the information provided says I’ll only receive 75% of a refund.

 

Ah, @rvdborgt nevermind, I’m in a different screen now and see what you’re talking about. Will contact customer service. Thank you so much for your help!

Userlevel 7
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 @rvdborgt  (no quotes 😉 Please see my previous post, I followed their instructions and the information provided says I’ll only receive 75% of a refund.

That's why you need to open a request with Interrail customer service and ask for a full refund.

Cancelling via the reservations overview would be a cancellation of your choice, and then the normal refund conditions are applied.

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