How do you travel from Brussels to Paris if you just have a France Rail Pass?

We just purchased two first class France Rail Passes. Does a France rail pass cover the Thalys train fare from Brussels to Paris or will we need to purchase two additional tickets for that train? We read that we will need to pay for a reservation, but we thought that the reservations were under $20 per person.
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  • This reply was removed on 2012-03-19.
    see the change log
  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 19, 2012 19:21
    Rail passes do cover the ticket costs on Thalys trains, however, the cost of reservations on the Thalys trains are higher than the standard reservation fees throughout the rest of Europe. They would not be as low as $14 per person, like reservable trains through much of the rest of Europe.

    Since you would be traveling from Paris to Brussels with a pass that does not include the Benelux (Belgium), you would purchase your reservations at what is known as the 'Passholder 2' rate. The 'Passholder 2' rate is a special rate created to allow passengers in possession of a rail pass that only covers one of the countries being traveled through for a particular Thalys route, to still take the train at a lesser cost.

    To ensure you are purchasing the reservations at a Passholder 2 rate for a direct train from Paris to Brussels, you would take the following steps:

    1.) You would do a search for the individual train under 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' and indicate the type of pass you are traveling with when prompted (you would just type 'France Rail Pass').

    2.) You would then locate a direct train and click on 'Select' listed with the costs that are shown for your preferred train.

    3.) After you've clicked on 'Select', you would then refer to where it says 'Ticket Flexibility'. Underneath 'Ticket Flexibility', you may see 3 options: 'Non Flexible', 'Semi Flexible' and 'Fully Flexible. You would click 'Read More' next to each of these options until you see the fare titled 'Thalys Passholder 2'. Generally, the Passholder 2 rate would be found under the 'Semi Flexible' option.

    4.) Be sure the option labeled as 'Thalys Passholder 2' is checked, and then click 'Select' to proceed and add it to your shopping cart.

    The Passholder rates can sell out very quickly, so we would just recommend booking your reservations as soon as possible. The Thalys trains can be booked at any point within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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