Rick Steves writes that the train fare connecting stations in Brussels is covered by any train ticket in or out of Brussels. We will be arriving at the airport, taking a train to Centraa, sightseeing for 3-4 hours, taking the train from Centraa to Midi/Zuid/South and then taking the Thalys high speed train to Paris. Our ticket was printed off the email from Thalys. Does the ticket from Brussels (Midi/Zuid/South) to Paris cover the cost of the two local train trips? If so, how do I use it? Thank you.
Using a single ticket for two different intra-city trains (between the three stops in town) is a violation of the rules. You should, properly, buy an Airport to Brussels (any of the three stations) ticket in the morning. Even if you used cash to buy an Airport-Midi ticket, it would not embody a "stopover". Sorry. Does your Thalys ticket say "Any Belgian Station"? That used to be standard and free, now it costs extra. If the Thalys ticket doesn't say that in the originating station field, then it's not valid from the Airport to either Centraal or Midi. If it says Brussels, it's only valid from Midi/Centraal/Nord (any of those three) to Paris, via Midi. I suspect that Any Belgian Station costs more than an airport-downtown ticket, but I honestly don't know. One issue is that while it is unlikely that your ticket will be inspected between Centraal and Midi, it is very likely that your Thalys ticket will be inspected in the morning, on the "longer" journey. For a likely answer from a Belgian, try TripAdvisor Brussels forum.
You could also take the metro between the two stations, but that isn't as direct. And I probably shouldn't mention this, but... between the rail stations in Brussels, they never check tickets... not that I'm recommending anything, just saying...
Thanks Tim. Your reply is very helpful.
Thanks Tom: your information is safe with me.