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Air from US to Belgium

I am struggling with air from Chicago to Brussels and returning from Amsterdam...is United really the only non stop choice ? Looking for PE or at least no long layovers. Does anyone recommend flying into Amsterdam both ways and training to Ghent where our tour starts? I have booked many, many international flights and always had options....doesn’t seem like it here.
Thanks

Posted by
15573 posts

KLM has a daily nonstop from O'Hare to Amsterdam Schipol. United has one too. You can get a train to Ghent (with one connection) from Schipol train station. You can take the hourly IC trains taking about 3 hours, or the Thalys (much more expensive spur of the moment) in about 2 hours.

Posted by
8889 posts

According to the list of flights to Brussels here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_Airport#Passenger
United is the only airline from Chicago to Brussels.

For Chicago to Amsterdam (Schiphol, list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam_Airport_Schiphol#Passenger ) you have KLM or United.

Schiphol has an intercity station at the airport with regular trains to Antwerp and Brussels, so for access to Ghent, it is early as good as Brussels airport.

Posted by
2487 posts

As noted above, there are two connections from Schiphol (mind the »h«) to Gent: the high-speed Thalys service and the Intercity Brussels. The Thalys comes with a compulsary reservation; tickets for the Intercity service are valid on all Intercity trains on that day, which makes it a safer choice when coming in on an international flight.
You can buy those tickets in advance at the website of the NS (Dutch Railways), of the NMBS (Belgian Railways) or from a reputable agent like Loco2 or Trainline.

Posted by
4677 posts

There are evening departures from the NYC airports. Would you consider a first segment in the US? Another option is Lufthansa (United partner) second segment from multiple German cities. We no longer avoid 2-segment trips because Lufthansa is so good.(Opinion)

Posted by
306 posts

consider an intermediate stop.
Last year we flew into Amsterdam via Toronto on Air Canada.
The prices on the non-stop flights from the US were double what we paid.
Your price may increase if you are arriving one city and departing another.
Decide between convenience and cost.
either way, you will have to take the train to Ghent.
If you need a hotel in Ghent, highly recommend the Hotel Carlton

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks to all of you for the info. I ended up booking KLM, which I love, with just a short stop in Amsterdam...very good price,good schedule and better seats. I had been looking at all the other nearby cities to fly into and then hop over to Brussels by train but they were more expensive ! Always changing world of air fare.

Posted by
11153 posts

Just a note for anyone finding this thread (I know the OP has already booked).

Since Brussels has limited flights from North America, another option is the flight and train combo from Air France. With this, you fly to CDG, then get a TGV train right from CDG to Brussels. Your train is given a "flight number" and your connection is "protected," meaning that if your arriving flight is late and that causes you to miss your train, you are put on a later train at no additional charge.

Details here: https://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/resainfovol/avion_train/reservation_avion_train_bruxelles_airfrance.htm

I can't find it now, but someone posted here a few years about using this service and finding it went very smoothly.