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Belgian Rail during late December

I will be in Ghent from 20-23 December. On the morning of the 23rd I have a flight from Brussels to Prague. Do I need to worry about significant delays and leave extra early, like 1-3 hours on top of the 2 I have planned for check-in and security? Is the bus more reliable? Or, should I just modify my hotel Booking and spend Friday night in Brussels?

I'm grateful for any help!

Posted by
7080 posts

I am not aware of any specific reliability issues at that time of the year. The train ride takes 1-1.5 hours and I'd allow maybe another hour for possible delays, but the bus certainly won't be more reliable (and I believe it is slower).
As for changing hotels... I am not sure it is worth it in this case, unless your flight is really early (in which case I'd opt for a room at the airport). Gent is already pretty close to Brussels airport (40 miles).

Posted by
2026 posts

First and for all, is the flight from Brussels Airport (BRU) or Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL)?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks balso!

Wil: Leaving from Gent-Sint-Pieters for BRU with flight scheduled to leave around 9:30. I've seen trains as early as 5:40; the 6:40 would work in an ideal situation. (I realize the departure times may change slightly when the next year's schedule comes out.)

Posted by
67 posts

You could take an airport transfer. If you book it in advance it will be about 80-100 euros. At that time of the year on a saturday, it will take about 45 minutes to get there. It's more expensive but it will be more convenient. If there is a problem with the train you'll be too late.

Belgian railways aren't the most reliable in the world. Mechanical problems, trains not riding, trains too late,... these things happen quite frequently. If you need to be somewhere, it can be quite stressful.

I wouldn't take the 6h40 train as you'll arrive less than 2 hours before your departure. Brussels airport can be sketchy though. It would not be the first time that there is a sudden strike.

To be fair if it was up to me. I'd take a late train the day before and I'd stay at an hotel nearby the airport. If you depart at 9h30, it will be a lot easier.

Posted by
2026 posts

Agree with NSTTSN, with such an early flight I would stay as close as possible to the airport too.