The following is a reply to
thread, which it took a great deal of mental strength for me to copy/paste elsewhere and thus preserve the sanctity and cleanliness of that most vital resource
I suspect a fair few people would already have known about this development, but it needs to be heard loudly enough that as few 1st class passholders as possible find themselves disappointed; particularly given that this information hasn’t been updated on all parts of the Interrail website (https://www.interrail.eu/en/plan-your-trip/reservations/reservation-fees/international-train-reservation-fees).
Definitely not topical (*sorry!*), but I have to say for the sake of consumer advice, that I’m glad now this booking fell through, because I then tried to book via Thalys’ own call centre. I found out that they have now stealthily removed the quota system that allowed a certain number of 1st class passholders into the excellent Premium class (with Paris & Brussels lounge access, meals, posh cakes and wine). It must have been quite a recent development, because even the booking agent didn’t know this had happened.
Up until this point, an advance-booked 1st class Thalys Interrail reservation was pretty much unique among the cross-border TGV family offerings in actually being very much worth the pricetag as a proper luxury experience, including when compared to the full-fare rate. Now all that is left - however early you book - is the standard TGV experience, just going a bit further north in burgundy velour, for a 200% price increase. Sadly Thalys now isn’t good value for passholders in either class :-/
So, unless you’re really in a tremendous rush and/or are wealthy enough not to care, change at Lille when you’re travelling between France and the Low Countries :-)