a VirtualTourist member
Hi all! I will have a flight by Ryanair from Charleroi in 6.35 (early morning). How do you think - is it normal to take first shuttle bus from Gar du Midi in Brussels in 4-00? In which time it will arrive to airport? And also I listen that sometimes it so many people who use this bus - thats why it hasn't enouf seats, is it actual problem for the morning shuttle? I am not from Brussels, Is it not difficult to find a place where is the bus stop in Gare du Midi? And also a question -is it big queues in airport in the morning for check in and dropp baggage? I ask because of strict Ryanair rules to do all in time))
I will arrive in Charleroi one day before my next flight - is it not a problem to buy tickets to shuttle bus in airport for both ways - to Brussels and return?
You should be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. Yes, there may well be queues for Ryanair bag drops and for security as well. The 4am bus should be ok: taraffic congestion is unlikely so early in the morning.
This page tells you about the shuttle buses:
You can buy a return bus ticket at the airport. You can also buy tickets online; there is a link on the page above.
You can also go to the airport by train + bus. Details here:
To reassure you about the shuttle from gare du midi. The shuttle stop is easy to find. Head off the platforms and turn left through a parade of shops, in an L-shape I think. At the end of this go outside, cross the road and the shuttle stop is outside a hotel. The map on the Ryan air website was very accurate for my journey there last May. If you have booked via the Ryanair website make sure you have a reference/ticket number. I did not have one on my receipt that I took with me, the driver was kind enough to let me on as I looked devastated in my best pigeon French way.
Leics is right about train and bus option, check this out, however I found that the combined time including wait for short bus ride from Charleroi train station, was longer than the shuttle bus on its own.
1) The shuttle generally takes 45 minutes although they say it takes an hour, to allow for traffic problems (unlikely at that time in the morning - but sometimes there is fog). So the 4 a.m. shuttle should arrive at 04:45, almost 2 hours before the flight which is fine for you. I have only taken it once and there was no problem with the number of people (despite 3 Ryanair flights having been cancelled the same evening!); I very much doubt that there could be a problem of their not being enough seats.
2) If you mean the bus stop for the shuttle, you don't say how you are arriving at Midi, but basically look for the Air France Office. Head for the platform 1 end of the station (rue de France), keep the Eurostar terminal on your left and turn left, at the end of this "corridor" you will see the Air France Office, and glass doors on your right leading to rue de France, the shuttle is a white coach which stops right outside.
3) Depends how many flights are leaving at the same time, but Ryanair is (or was) EXTREMELY strict on timing, they used to close check-in 40 minutes before the flight whether there were still people in the queue or not. However, I thought they had abolished check-in, insisting that people do this online? If so, you only have the baggage drop, don't know whether there is a minimum time for that. If they do still have check-in at the airport, it must be much reduced now that so many people do it online.
4) I don't see why it would be a problem to buy a return rather than a single ticket for the shuttle, in fact I think it is cheaper. But if you are taking the bus from CRL to Midi, why are you asking where it leaves from? You will find out when you arrive!
You still cannot check-in later than 40 minutes before departure, whether online or at the airport (which costs a fortune now). Ryanair advise pasengers to check-in 2 hours before departure, which makes sense to me.