The trade unions have announced a massive strike in the public transport sector on 28th May in protest of a further raising of the retirement age. It will affect NS trains, local transport in the three largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague) and parts of the regional transport.
Thank you for posting this, Ton!
Thanks Ton! I just noticed your thread after I posted my question about the strike. We are supposed to take the Thalys from Schiphol on May 28th to Paris, and I am unsure how the strike will affect our trip. The Thalys website said they are not sure and to just check the real-time information on their website. What options will we have if we can't make it to Paris via the Thalys? Are there other ways to get there?
Schiphol airport is in discussion with the relevant trade unions with the aim of securing the accessibility of the airport. The outcome is, of course, most uncertain, especially with regard to long-distance trains.
To be on the safe side you should look for a Plan B. Last-minute tickets for a flight to Paris will be expensive (EUR 175 or more). Alternative is to get the next day (29 May) Thalys service and afterwards try to get it reimbursed. There are still reasonably priced hotels (around EUR 100 for a double) available in Leiden, which is a taxi ride away from Schiphol.
Maybe all for nothing, but that's always the case in this kind of situations.
Not a pleasant start of your trip, I'm afraid.
Reimbursement should not be a problem as mentioned on the Thalys website: »All tickets for booked for a trip to or from The Nederlands on the Tuesday May 28, 2019 can be exchanged or refunded until Monday June 3, 2019 (subject to availability) free of charge at the station, through a travel agency or via the Thalys Contact Center«.
I think I'd be booking a FlixBus from Schiphol to Antwerp or Brussels and taking a train from there to Paris if need be. Even if the strike doesn't happen, this bus doesn't cost that much.
After a probably long flight with two children, hoping the bus will be on time in Antwerp to get the Thalys? It wouldn't be my choice.
My choice would be to get to Paris as quickly and most practically as possible.
Thanks for the different options! Do you think it's best to see if we can exchange our Thalys tickets when we get there, depending on how the train is affected? Or should we make arrangements now and buy alternative Thalys tickets?
I wouldn't wait until arrival. Now you still have a variety of alternative arrangements, which might not be available next Tuesday. Besides it will be a mess at Schiphol and you probably heavily jet-lagged.
Following Andrew's plan you can buy FlixBus tickets to Antwerp and new Thalys tickets from Antwerp, matching the arrival time of the bus. The FlixBus has its stop at the Koningin Astridplein (»Queen Astrid Square«) adjacent to Antwerp Centraal Station. Put in a good margin so you won't miss the Thalys with its compulsory seat reservation.
... but not until Thalys shows the departure times from Antwerp.
At the moment they don't give trains leaving from Antwerp. Only from Brussels.
Thanks again for all the help and info! Our arrival was a little crazy with no Thalys trains leaving until Brussels. We did end up taking a Flix Bus to Brussels but then learned the train station it took us to was not the train station that leads to Paris, so we took one of the trains to the next station over and was told there to just take the next Thalys train. We missed that one but got the next one. It was a little confusing because I thought the seats were all assigned on the Thalys but we just sat anywhere and no one told us anything. Anyway, we made it to our apartment 7.5 hours later than we originally thought, so not too bad really. The kids were troopers. We had a wait for our bus so we walked around really briefly in Amsterdam and went to Tony's Chocoloney store, which was a hit with the kids. I hope the journey back to Amsterdam is more straight forward!