Tickets

  • Validity
    • When is my ticket valid?

      Ordinary tickets for single and return travel are valid on the date shown for a specific journey and in the class requested.

      If you're using a return ticket, the outward journey must always take place before the return journey. Return journeys must be completed before the overnight break in rail service. Weekend tickets are an exception to this rule, unless they're bought on our website.

    • Are there restrictions on how I can use my ticket?

      Any specific conditions of use will always be clearly described on your ticket.

      Some tickets are subject to certain conditions such as restrictions on departure time and/or days of use. They may also be restricted to specific categories of passenger, individual named travellers, or certain age groups.

      Tickets purchased online and Railcards always show a name, so never give them to anybody else and make sure you always carry proof of identity when you're on the train.

    • Do I need a ticket when I board the train?

      You must have a valid ticket before you board the train. If you don’t, you have 2 options:

      • You buy a ticket at the On-board Fare (normal ticket price + € 7) and you can continue your journey as planned.
      • If you fail to buy a ticket at the On-board Fare for whichever reason, the train conductor will be required to issue a Penalty Fare Notice (€ 75). You are entitled to contact Customer Services if you can justify travelling without a valid train ticket or being unable to buy a ticket at the On-board Fare.

      The surcharge of € 7 will not be applied to:

      • Any products which are not available from the ticket dispenser
      • Any sales at stops without a ticket office or ticket dispenser
      • Any sales at stops which show up in the train conductor's ticketing system as having a ticket dispenser which is out of order
      • Situations of a general system breakdown
      • The Diabolo surcharge for Brussels Airport - Zaventem
      • Tickets departing from Maastricht, Maastricht Randwyck, Eijsden, Aachen and departing from or arriving at Lille and all Luxembourg stations

      Legal measures for dealing with infringements

      If you don’t have a valid ticket and you can't pay on the train or provide evidence of your identity or address, the NMBS/SNCB obviously won't be able to allow you to remain on board. The staff may therefore invite you to leave the train at the next stop, or even call in the police. These are legal requirements which we cannot waive.

      False declarations and proven cases of fraud (e.g. forged tickets) will not be overlooked under any circumstances.

      Would you like to respond to a penalty notice?

  • Seat
    • Where should I sit on the train?

      You must sit in a car matching the class shown on your ticket.

      During peak times, check our online planner to find out if your train may not have enough seats.

      Please be respectful and give priority to those who have difficulties standing.

    • Can I sit in 1st class if I have a 2nd class ticket?

      This is possible with a class upgrade. Ideally, you have bought this class upgrade before boarding the train, at the ticket counter or from the ticket dispenser. As of 1 February 2015 you will have to pay the on board price (which means a supplement of € 7) if you buy your class upgrade on the train.

      Please note: not all travel formulas are compatible with a class upgrade.

  • Which route should I choose?
    •  Why do I have to buy two tickets if I am travelling via a station which is not on my fastest route?

      When you purchase a ticket to travel between two stations, you buy a valid ticket for the fastest route. You can get off the train at one of the stations on this route at no extra charge.

      If you wish to travel via a station which is not on the shortest route, you have to purchase two separate tickets.

      For example: You want to travel from Brussels to Charleroi, but you want to pick up a parcel in Namur on the way. In this case, you have to purchase to tickets: one ticket for Brussels to Namur and another ticket for Namur to Charleroi.

    • Which route route is allowed for which type of ticket?

      In theory, you should always travel by the shortest distance between departure and arrival stations. But you can take a different route if it'll get you to your destination faster.

      However, you can never start further back than your departure point or go past your destination point and then come back to it unless you have paid for these journeys (‘Via ticket’).

      If you'd like to extend your journey beyond the station shown on your ticket, buy a route top-up before leaving the station (you can also buy cards for 10 top-ups).

      If you would like to use a high speed train during your domestic journey (ICE, Thalys, TGV), please don't forget to buy a surcharge at the ticket counter.

      Also for journeys to Maastricht, Roosendaal, Lille-Flandres, Aachen and Luxembourg (I) a special ticket is required for travelling to these stations.

      If your journey requires a combination of train, bus, tram or metro, you need to buy a ticket from these companies too. You can find more information about the tariffs on the websites of the other public transport companies (De Lijn, TEC, MIVB/STIB).

  • Refund
    • If you’d like a refund of your ticket?
      • Tickets purchased online
        No exchanges, no refunds.
      • Partially used ticket
        No refunds.
      • A ticket temporaly lost and found during the journey
        No refunds.
      • A round-trip ticket completely unused
        Refunded within 30 minutes afterpurchase, at a ticket counter.
      • If you’ve bought tickets while waiting for your Railcard
        Refunded with no charges. For more information, see Railcards.

      For more specific questions, contact Customer Services.

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