Old Apr 22, 2013, 9:04 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: stifle
Bienvenue. Welcome to the Eurostar FAQ - for all your questions on fares, ticketing and what to expect when travelling on Eurostar. If you have updated or new information, please feel free to update this post by clicking on 'edit' below!

This wiki and thread cover Eurostar services to and from the United Kingdom. Eurostar also operates services between Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany which were formerly branded Thalys but merged into Eurostar in October 2023. They're not covered here.

Q. Where can I go?
A. Eurostar's core services travel from London St. Pancras to Paris (non-stop) and vice-versa, and from London St. Pancras to Brussels-Midi/Zuid and vice-versa, mostly calling at Lille. Around half of the Brussels trains go on to/originate from Amsterdam Centraal, calling at Rotterdam Centraal on the way. These routes run up to 13 trains per day each direction.

There used to be a service to Marne-la-ValleChessy for Disneyland Paris, this ran a single service each way Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun during term-time, calling at Lille outbound only. During summer school holidays (roughly the third week of July until the first week of September) a Saturday service was added. The service didn't run at all for around 4 weeks in January and early February, and went daily during other school holiday periods. This service ended on 05JUN23 and whilst Eurostar have said this is "until 2024" they've shown no indication it will be back.

Eurostar used to offer trains to Marseille calling at Lyon and Avignon, but these were suspended indefinitely in 2020 and there's currently no sign of them coming back. A twice-weekly ski service to Bourg St. Maurice via Motiers-Sallins-Bride Les Bains and Aime La Plagne ran until early 2020; it did not run in winter 2020-21. In 2021-22 they attempted to get it back off the ground but the day after it restarted France closed the borders. For 2022-23 the trains are slated to run once a week but will only be sold in packages via TravelSki.

Eurostar is not allowed to sell domestic tickets (such as Amsterdam to Rotterdam or Lille to Marne-la-ValleChessy) and whilst it used to sell international intra-Schengen trips like Brussels to Lille, this seems to have been killed off.

Q. Do I have to go to/from London? I heard you can get on in Kent...

A. You could pre-COVID, but service to and from Ebbsfleet and Ashford stations (as well as Calais-Frthun in France) hasn't been operating since early 2020 and Eurostar have said they won't be bringing it back any time soon. You can take Southeastern High Speed services to St Pancras and then come back the way you came, which for the time being is more or less your only option.

Q. How do I get the cheapest fares?

A. Generally, by booking as far in advance as possible on www.eurostar.com, the cheapest fares from London to Paris and Brussels start from 89 return in Standard Class. Standard Premier (Premium Economy-style) start from 159 for a return ticket. It is possible to mix fare classes and travel out in Standard and back in Standard Premier for example. Sometimes a Standard Premier ticket may only be a few pounds more or even cheaper than a Standard Class ticket depending on when you book. As with airline fares the nearer the date of travel the more expensive it is to travel, although from time to time fares do drop down in price when travel periods are quiet.

Eurostar tickets are available to book on average 9 months prior to travel, though this is not a fixed rule.

Also, if you're going to Brussels, check Deutsche Bahn's website to see if their prices to Cologne are cheaper than Eurostar's own website.

Q. What if I only want a one-way ticket?

A. One-way fares between London and Paris/Brussels start at 41 for a non-exchangeble/non-refundable ticket in Standard Class. These fares are available in limited quantities and must be booked well in advance of travel (usually at least 3 weeks) but may be available at short notice during quiet periods. Discounted one-way fares in Standard Premier start from 110 and, again, are non-flexible.

Q. Are there any other discounts?

A. Youth and senior discounts have been quietly killed-off. Wheelchair users can book fully flexible fares and travel in Standard Premier with one companion for only 79 return each (the price of the cheapest Standard Class return fare). You need to call for this.

Q. How can I book from overseas?

A. Very easy. All bookings on the Eurostar website allow purchases with most major international credit cards. Tickets are now e-tickets and can be printed at home or downloaded to your mobile phone. It's also possible to collect paper tickets (how retro!) at St Pancras, Lille, Brussels, and Paris-Nord. Ticket collection at the NS-International offices at Rotterdam and Amsterdam will incur an admin fee, and availability at other stations is not assured. Eurostar used to offer the option to post tickets out, but this seems to be history.

Q. What can I expect on board?

A. Eurostar offers three classes of service:-
  • Business Premier (First Class)
    Dedicated carriages for full-fare ticket holders only, at-seat light meal including drinks and champagne, express breakfast options, newspapers and magazines, lounge access. All First Class carriages are now equipped with UK and continental power points. Business Premier tickets are recognised by the number "1" for First Class under the class indicator on your ticket. Tickets are fully exchangeable and refundable including after travel (Dutch routes: up until departure time only). Seats in duplex (2 x 2 around a table), 1x1 at a table, and some solo seats.
  • Standard Premier (formerly Leisure Select)
    Exactly the same reclining seat as in Business Premier. A cold Continental breakfast or light canap style meal and complimentary drink, followed by tea and coffee is served at your seat. Alcohol is included after midday. Magazines are available, no newspapers. No lounge access. Standard Premier is sort of like first class: if you book a trip with a connection on SNCF/SNCB/NS/etc. you'll book into first class on the connecting train.
  • Standard Class
    Standard Class seat, refreshments for purchase from the bar-buffet. No at-seat trolley service. Seats are 2x2 either side of the aisle, predominantly with pull-down tables. A minority of seats have regular tables.
All seats in the new e320/class 374 trains feature at seat power, regardless of class of service. Some older e300/class 373 trains have not been upgraded, but are now very rare; these trains have power sockets in Business Premier and Standard Premier, and only coaches 5 and 14 in Standard Class.

As the seats for Standard Premier and Business Premier are the same, in principle they can vary the number of coaches sold in each class, although it's very rare in practice for there to be demand for more than one coach of Business Premier.

Q. How do I collect my tickets?

A. From either the Eurostar self-service ticket machines or the Eurostar ticket office (Railtour office in Bruxelles-Midi station). Collection is easy, just bring the card you used to book and the 6-letter PNR (or 8-letter Elgar booking reference). Alternatively you can now print your tickets at your leisure and go straight to check-in on the day of departure. At the check-in gate simply scan the barcode on the reader and voila! If Print-your-own tickets have been changed at the ticket desk then you will be given new boarding pass(es). You can also present your tickets in the Eurostar mobile app. In the event of a last minute seat change, a yellow docket will print from the ticket gates when you scan your ticket.

Q. What are the check-in times?

A. Eurostar recommends passengers arrive 90 minutes prior to their train departure (with the exception of Lille departures and Business Premier, 60 minutes). Standard Class and Standard Premier passengers are liable to be refused travel if they have not scanned through the ticket gates at least 30 mins before departure, and Eurostar Carte Blanche members as well as Business Premier passengers can check-in up to 15 mins before departure.

Q. Is there fast-track check-in?

A. Yes, a dedicated fast-track check-in lane is available to Business Premier ticket holders and Eurostar Carte Blanche members at St Pancras International, Paris Nord and Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid.

Q. What if I'm travelling to/from the Netherlands?

A. Travel from Rotterdam and Amsterdam stations is a little different owing to the station layouts. The Eurostar check-in desks are located within the gated area of the station, so if joining a Eurostar train you'll need to pass through the ticket gates (your Eurostar ticket barcode will work fine) and then head to the Eurostar check-in point, which is at platform 15b in Amsterdam Centraal and platform 2 in Rotterdam Centraal.

If alighting Eurostar you'll also need to scan your ticket to get out of the station.

NB: When scanning your ticket at the NS ticket gates from a mobile phone, it must be added to the Apple/Google Wallet to work. Tickets will in most cases fail to scan from the Eurostar app, nor will screenshots, images etc. be any good. This is because the barcode scanner doubles up as the contactless payment reader and when you bring your phone near the scanner it will attempt to invoke a contactless payment. The only way this will be suppressed is if you scan it from the Wallet app. Make sure you have a print of your ticket if you're not confident with this process, as station staff can be few and far between.

There are validators for OV-chipkaart/contactless payment users on the platforms if you need to check in or out.

If you're in Business/Standard Premier the main complimentary food and drink service only operates between Brussels and London and vice-versa. A snack and drink trolley operates between Brussels and Amsterdam. The paid for snack bars in coaches 8-9 do operate between Brussels and Amsterdam, with a staff change at Brussels.

There is no customs presence at Rotterdam (not sure about Amsterdam) so if you've done tax-free shopping in the Netherlands and need to get a form validated on your way out of the EU, you won't be able to do that when travelling Eurostar.

Finally, the Dutch part of the route tends to get affected more by weekend engineering works than the rest, so check the Eurostar website occasionally for updates in case there is a change of plans.

Q. How do I check-in?

A. Most tickets these days have a barcode and you scan this on the ticket gate. If you have a ticket without a barcode, or have any issues, then you will need to go to the manual check-in desk. Alternatively, you can present the barcode from your phone, either through the Eurostar app, or through a PDF if you downloaded it to your phone.

Q. How do I find my seat?

A. Eurostar have 2 types of trains:
  • Older model e300/class 373 trains have 18 coaches numbered 1-18. You will always find coach 1 at the rear and coach 18 at the front of the train when travelling to the Continent. First Class coaches (7-12) are located in the middle of the train with the two bar-buffets coaches (6 and 13) separating Standard Class from First Class. Each seat is numbered numerically with no letters. Coaches 9 and 10 are half-length First Class coaches and also where wheelchair users are seated (one per coach). Coaches 1-5 and 14-18 are normal Standard Class coaches and each coach has just two tables of four in the centre, with the remainder of seats being airline-style seats. There are baby changing facilities in coaches 3, 5, 10 (1st Class), 14 and 16.
  • Newer model e320/class 374 trains have 16 coaches numbered 1-6. You will always find coach 1 at the rear and 16 at the front of the train when travelling to the Continent. First Class coaches (1-3 and 14-16) are located at either end of the train, with the front one coach usually reserved for Business Premier (Coach 1 towards London, coach 16 towards the Continent). Coaches 8 and 9 in the middle of the train are half bar-buffet, half Standard Class. All other coaches (4-7 and 10-13) are Standard Class coaches with six tables of 4 spread across the length of the coach with the remainder of seats being airline-style seats. There are baby changing facilities in all Standard Class coaches (4-13), and in coaches 2 and 15 in Business/Standard Premier

Q. Can I choose a specific seat when booking?

A. For online bookings you can select your seat from the seatmap on any fare in any class after you book. When calling Eurostar reservations you may request a particular type of seat (facing, window, table, etc) available at the time of booking. You may also select a particular coach for your class of travel. On busy or overbooked services specific seat selection may not be available online.

Q. What are the seating arrangements like?

A. Standard Class:
Seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration similar to airlines. Armrests are moveable but seats do not recline. All seats have a fold-down table and a foot-rest (except for seats around a fixed table). In a normal standard coach half the seats will be facing the direction of travel. Seat pitch is decent enough. A few seats are arranged with four seats around a table, which get snapped up very quickly.

Business Premier/Standard Premier:
There is no difference in the seating arrangements between these two classes. Seats are in a 2-1 configuration throughout the whole of First Class. All coaches will have seats arranged in pairs, singles and fours around a table. Seats side by side with seatback tables are Aisle and Window seats. Seats of four around a fixed table are known as Club 4 whilst single seats facing each other around a fixed table are known as Club Duo. Individual (Solo) seats have a seatback table and foot-rest. Seats are reclineable by pushing the button on the moveable armrest and shifting the base of your seat. You will know if your seat is around a fixed table if it has Club Duo or Club 4 printed on your ticket.

There are seat maps here:

e300 trains: https://flockler.com/files/sites/891...lan_050115.pdf
e320 trains: https://flockler.com/files/sites/891...9bydms3bv5.pdf

Q. What food can I expect in Business Premier?

A. On all morning trains (departing origin before 11:00) breakfast will be served. There will be either a choice of a cold Continental or cooked breakfast served with fresh juice, yoghurt and pastries/bread. Lunch (departures from 11:00-14:00) will include a choice of two main courses and a side dish (salad with dressing) and dessert. Afternoon meals (departures between 14:00-17:00) are exactly the same. Dinner is served on trains departing from 17:00 and, again, there will be a choice of two mains together with a salad and dessert. Food portion sizes are small. A full complimentary bar including Champagne (currently Piper Heidsieck Brut) is available on all trains but alcohol is only available on request on morning breakfast trains.

Business Premier afternoon meal example London-Paris

Business Premier afternoon meal example Paris-London

Q. What food can I expect in Standard Premier?

A. Before about 11am a breakfast service offers a pastry, bread roll, fruit, and yoghurt, with tea/coffee and water. For the rest of the day, there's a choice of 2 cold mains, usually chicken with accompaniment or a vegetarian quiche, a bread roll, a small starter and a dessert, plus a bottle of still water. The cart will also have a choice of beer, wine, and soft drinks. The usual allowance is one alcoholic drink, though this depends on how busy it is and how nice you are to the staff. Tea and coffee are offered after the meal. Food portions are very small, you shouldn't rely on these meals for sustenance, but they break up the journey.

Goodbye Eurostar Leisure Select, hello Standard Premier

Q. What food can I expect in Standard Class?

A. A limited range of food from the bar-buffet, similar to what you can find on other European rail carriers. It isn't great, and it isn't cheap. The general advice here is that if you are hungry, you should shop before security. M&S is right outside the check-in area in St Pancras, and there are multiple options in Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi. Please note that there are trains with restrictions on alcohol, when it cannot be brought on-board, nor bought at the bar-buffet. These usually include times when football supporters are travelling to games.

http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel.../food-on-board

Q. Is wi-fi available on the train?

A. Yes. WiFi is free in all classes, but very patchy. The on-board entertainment with movies and shows streamed locally from the train has been quietly removed. Cellular reception is available in both tunnels, with carriers being those of the country you left when entering (French carriers towards the UK, UK carriers towards the continent).

Q. Any general seating tips?

A. Avoid the seats right by the vestibule doors due to the constant noise of them opening and closing throughout the journey. Coaches 9 and 10 may be less crowded in First Class at less busy times and offer slightly more space as each seat has a fixed table in Club Duo and Club 4 formation. Coach 18 in Standard Class is the most convenient for a quick exit on arrival in Paris and Brussels. Coaches 1-3 offers a quick exit on arrival at St Pancras Int'l. Coach 5 is the most convenient for the exit in Lille when travelling Brussels-Lille. Coaches 5 and 14 in Standard Class are adjacent to the bar-buffet coaches.
(Note: This section needs updating with best seats in the e320 trains which are now the majority of the fleet).

Q. What if I want to change my seat assignment?

A. It is now possible to change your seat assignment online until departure for both telephone and internet bookings. Once you have retrieved your booking you may select a new seat via the Eurostar website (subject to the seat selection function being available). This function can be ropey for third-party bookings. Make sure you re-download or reprint your ticket after you change your seat.

Q. Do I get lounge access?

A. Business Premier ticket holders and Amex Platinum and Centurion card holders are entitled to lounge access. No guests. Railteam elite members are also entitled to lounge access, no guests except for Eurostar's own Carte Blanche and toile members. Please check if your Frequent Traveller programme is a member of Railteam.

There are also less well-appointed lounges for Avantage level passengers at, or more precisely a little down the road from, Paris Nord and Brussels-Mini/Zuid.

Q. What are the facilities in the lounges?
This section has not been updated in quite some time and may be considerably out of date.
A. Lounges are available at St. Pancras Int'l, Paris Nord, Bruxelles-Midi, and Lille-Europe.
  • In London there is spacious seating spread over two floors with lift access to the upper floor. For early morning departures continental breakfast is available which includes cereal, fresh fruit and pastries. Throughout the day there will be light nibbles such as nuts and...not much else. A free bar is open all day. International newspapers and magazines are available. As well as free wi-fi in the lounge there are four PCs located on the upper floor. There is an on-demand cocktail bar on the upper floor. At the time of writing direct access to the platforms isn't available. The lounge is located on the right, immediately after Business Premier check-in and passport control.
  • In Paris, there is a spacious lounge with various seating available, with views over all concourses and the check-in area. There is a buffet with nuts, olives and various snacks. A free bar is open all day, and an on-demand cocktail bar is available at the far end of the lounge. There is free WiFi across the whole lounge. The lounge is accessed up the lifts on the left-hand side just after security (there are also stairs to walk back down if you can carry your luggage -- the lift gets crowded when a train gets called).
Q. Can I upgrade my Standard Class ticket?

A. You can, if there is availability. For a lot more money than what it's worth you can upgrade your ticket to Standard Premier either at the ticket office or on-board the train. The train manager will be happy to quote you a price.

Q. What are the baggage rules?

A. In principle you can take up to two bags onto the train, though even this generous allowance is rarely enforced. There is no weight limit beyond that you need to be able to carry them yourself. Bags cannot be longer than 85cm (about 33 inches) in any dimension. You can also take one small item of hand luggage.

Eurostar's "registered baggage" service was dropped due to low demand, so if you need to take multiple kitchen sinks with you you'll need to use a baggage forwarding service; Eurostar recommends First Luggage.

There's a list of prohibited items at http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel...ohibited-items. Larger quantities of alcohol, including wine, may be refused, but this depends as much on the demeanour of the passengers as on the quantity.

Luggage racks are available near the doors and any items left there must be labelled with the owner's name and address on the outside of the bag. Labels are usually available for this purpose at check-in and on a holder next to the rack. Smaller items (up to the size of an airline carry-on) should be stored in the overhead racks in the carriages to leave the main luggage racks (which aren't really that big) free for larger items.

Q. What are the passport control and security procedures?

A. With the exception of services from Marne-la-ValleChessy (Disneyland Paris) to London St. Pancras, passport control for both the UK and the Schengen area is carried out before you join the train. A security screening is also carried out, and this may be before or after the passport checks depending on the location. Non-EU passport holders such as British citizens will have their passports stamped entering and exiting Schengen. EU passport holders may use automatic passport gates where offered, and UK and certain other passport holders may also use the UK's automatic passport gates at Gare du Nord. For Marne-la-ValleChessy to London St. Pancras services, security and French exit passport checks are performed at Marne-la-ValleChessy station, and UK entry checks are upon arrival at London St. Pancras.

Security screening consists of baggage being X-rayed and passengers passing through walk-through metal detectors. There are no restrictions on liquids, and no body scanners or anything silly like that. Please note that people carrying alcohol have been questioned, and if it looked like they were going to consume it on board, it was confiscated.

Landing cards are not required to be completed.

For journeys which cross the EU border (which will be most of them), customs checks are systematically performed on arrival at St. Pancras, Gare du Nord, and Marne-la-ValleChessy, and spot checks may be performed at other stations. These usually take the same form as airports (i.e. walk through unless you have something you need to declare, and occasional passengers stopped and searched).

Q. Can I travel for free in Belgium?

A. Eurostar tickets to Brussels Midi/Zuid include free travel on SNCB to other Brussels stations such as Centrale/Centraal or Nord/Noord. An extension to Any Belgian Station can be added at time of booking (but not later) for a nominal fee. A similar Any Dutch Station add-on is also theoretically available if you can convince the website to issue it.

Q. What happens if my train is delayed? Do I get any compensation?

A. If your Eurostar service is delayed by at least an hour, whether or not the cause of the delay is within Eurostar's control, you may claim compensation online from 24 hours after your trip. They give you a higher amount if you accept repayment in Eurostar vouchers, but they are required by EU law to pay out in money if you want them to. Money payments can be paid back to the card you used to book or sent to any bank account.

60-119 minutes - 25% of the value of the affected ticket in money or 30% in Eurostar vouchers

120-179 minutes - 50% of the value of the affected ticket in money or 60% in Eurostar vouchers

180 or more - 50% of the value of the affected ticket in money or 75% in Eurostar vouchers

E-vouchers are issued in the same currency you used to pay for your ticket.

For full details on Eurostar's compensation policy please see below, including help with onward travel and accommodation:

https://help.eurostar.com/faq/uk-en/...y/compensation

Q. How do I get between Eurostar terminals and local airports?

A. Here is a list of applicable airports:
  • LHR: London Underground Piccadilly line direct to King's Cross St. Pancras. Journey time approx. 60-70 minutes (depending on departure terminal). Fare 5.50.
    Heathrow Express to Paddington and change onto London Underground Circle or Hammersmith & City line (which depart from same platform) to King's Cross St. Pancras. Journey time approx. 45-50 minutes (depending on departure terminal). Fare around 28.
    Elizabeth line to Farringdon and Thameslink to St Pancras. Journey time approximately an hour. Fare around 13.
  • LGW: Thameslink offer direct services from Gatwick Airport station straight to St Pancras Int'l. Journey time approx. 55 minutes. Fare around 9 off-peak 16.50 peak.
  • LCY: DLR to Bank, change for the London Underground Northern line to King's Cross St. Pancras. Journey time approx. 35 minutes. Fare 4.70 peak 2.90 off-peak.
  • LTN: Thameslink offer direct services from Luton Airport Parkway station straight to St Pancras Int'l. Journey time approx. 35 minutes once you're on the train, but you need to get a shuttle from the airport to the station which can add up to 20 minutes. Fare is 14.40 peak or 10.60 off-peak, plus another 2.40 for the shuttle bus (train link opening soon ️).
All above fares are based on using your Oyster or contactless payment card or Apple/Google Pay. Nearly all cards will work, including foreign cards, you just touch the card to the yellow or white pad to open the ticket gates at each end (at LCY there are no gates but they have standalone card readers). Paper tickets are still available from ticket machines at each station but can cost more than double.
  • STN: Stansted Express to Tottenham Hale, change for the London Underground Victoria line to King's Cross St. Pancras. Journey time approx. 65 minutes. Fare is 25.70 (paper ticket at the station only), or you can save a quid or two by buying separately from the airport to Tottenham Hale and using a contactless or Oyster card for the Underground.
  • CDG: RER Line B suburban train from CDG T1 and T2 direct to Paris Gare du Nord. Trains depart every 10-15 mins, both non-stop and stopping, journey time approx. 30 minutes. Fare is approx. 9 one-way.
  • ORY: Orlyval automated people mover to Antony, for a direct connection on RER B suburban train to Paris Gare du Nord, mostly semi-fast services. Journey time approx. 30 minutes. Fare is approx. 13 one-way.
  • LIL: Hourly shuttle bus between Lesquin and Lille-Europe. Journey time approx. 20 minutes, cost 5.
  • BRU: SNCB suburban train from Brussels National direct to Brussels-Midi. Journey time approx. 20 mins, trains every 20 mins.
  • AMS: NS service from Amsterdam Centraal direct to Amsterdam airport, 4.70 if you use the NS app, an OV-chipkaart, or a contactless card, with an extra 1 charge for a paper ticket. If you have a lot of luggage, consider taking a local (Sprinter) train rather than an InterCity.
Q. What's changed due to Brexit?

A. It takes a bit longer to get through the formalities at the station as British passport holders mainly can't use EU passport gates and need to get their passports stamped. (Although on a recent trip I saw an automated gate in use and a chap sat at a desk behind the gate was proffering stamps for anyone who needed one.) This is likely to get a lot worse when the Schengen Entry-Exit System eventually goes live.

Customs checks may be performed on arrival.

If you're a non-EU resident visiting the EU and have collected tax refund vouchers whilst doing your retail therapy, these need to be validated at your point of exit from the EU. If you're travelling from France, this is easy: after the security checks you will find one or more Pablo terminals where you scan the barcodes on the forms you were given at the shops. Customs officers are present to help if needed (you may have to fetch one of them from the baggage search point) and can manually stamp forms that refuse to scan or forms from other EU countries. You'll then need to submit those forms back to the retailer or tax-free provider following the instructions on the form. You cannot get refunds in cash there and then.

At Brussels-Midi, this is possible but a bit more complex. After security there is a customs window but it's rarely manned, there is a courtesy phone there and you need to ring an officer to come down and stamp your forms. These will need to be posted back by yourself when you get back to the UK.

There are no facilities to claim tax refunds at Amsterdam-Centraal or Rotterdam-Centraal. If you are travelling from one of these stations by Eurostar, you are SOL when it comes to tax-free shopping. If you know you will need to do tax-free shopping, plan to fly home, or take the Thalys or another train to Belgium or France and get the Eurostar from there.

The UK no longer offers tax-free shopping for goods exported in baggage by tourists; it was very quietly abolished in 2020. The only way for visitors to avoid paying UK VAT is to have the goods shipped by the retailer and it's unlikely the shipping cost plus the taxes charged by your home country will come out less than paying UK VAT.

Finally, remember if you've gone overboard on that retail therapy and exceeded 390pp travelling to the UK or 430pp travelling to France, you'll need to declare this to customs and pay tax. The usual limits on alcohol and tobacco apply too. St. Pancras has a modest duty-free stores after security. The other stations have not got much.

Original information provided by Strawb.
Updates by alex67500 in Dec 2020 and by stifle in Sep 2022 and Dec 2023.






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Eurostar FAQ

Old Nov 8, 2007, 7:17 am
  #1  
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Eurostar FAQ

[Moderator Edit] Please see above for the wikipost containing this thread's information.

Last edited by stut; Apr 22, 2013 at 9:14 am Reason: replaced by wikipost
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 9:34 am
  #2  
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Ah, cool stuff, UK Flyer.

I'd also add ORY: Orlyval automated people mover to Antony, for a direct connection on RER B suburban train to Paris Gare du Nord, mostly semi-fast services. Average journey time 30 minutes. Dunno the cost, but it's probably the same as CDG.

And possibly even (what with it being the new BD hub and all ) LIL: hourly shuttle bus between Lesquin and Lille-Europe. Average journey time is 20 minutes, cost €5.

Last edited by stut; Nov 8, 2007 at 9:44 am
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 9:51 am
  #3  
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Yeah, thanks for the info. I've added that now. Excellent thread by the way stut.
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 2:47 pm
  #4  
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Current Eurostar Promotions

Valid until 30th November 2007

2-for-1 tickets to Paris, Brussels and Lille from Ebbsfleet Int'l.

This is a good deal for those living in Kent and Essex. Get two tickets for the price of one for travel from Ebbsfleet Int'l only.

www.eurostar.com/ebbsfleet

Enter promotional code...wait for it...'EBBSFLEET' to take advantage of this deal. Travel is permitted between 19 November 2007 and 28 February inclusive, limited availabilty at weekends.
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 7:53 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by UK flyer
Eurostar tickets are available to book four months in advance of travel.
That seems to be true if I use Mozilla Firefox to visit the Eurostar website (won't sell to me more than four months out). If I use Internet Explorer, I appear to be able to purchase all the way out to about August 2008. Although various FAQ sites list 180 days out as the ticketing window. Which is correct? (will be traveling early April 2008)

And I was finding US$51.50 each way London-Paris return the other day when I was searching, but now the best I can find is about US$75.50 each way. Was there some kind of special going on or ???

edit: Guess I found my answer at http://meleterc.com/Page523.html - same day return at US$102 r/t.

Another question. I will be purchasing using a US debit card (ATM card with VISA number). I read somewhere that "virtual" credit cards are not permitted for online purchase, will I be able to use a debit card for purchasing Eurostar tix online.

Thanks

Last edited by omahajim; Nov 8, 2007 at 8:45 pm Reason: correction
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 5:56 am
  #6  
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Eurostar UK officially states that bookings can only be made 4 months (or 180 days) in advance. You are right though - it looks like on the US site, when using IE, you can make bookings all the way up until August 2008.

If booking from the US site, then your US debit card should be accepted. Eurostar accepts the following debit cards: Maestro, Switch, Visa Electron, Delta and Solo. If your booking is successful then you should receive a 6-letter PNR beginning with one of the following letters; Q, R, S or T. You can view full details of your booking at anytime on the Eurostar website by entering the email address you used for your booking and the 6-letter PNR.

Yes, day returns in Standard Class are cheaper than longer period returns on the US site. In the UK, however, day returns in Standard Class are priced exactly the same as a longer period return. Only First Class day returns are discounted.

If you are booking now for April 2008 then you should expect to be able to book the lowest fares. If you are doing a day return then you should book on the US site as the price, US$102, is slightly cheaper than the UK equivalent. If you intend on a longer period return then US$151 is not the lowest fare right now. I would suggest booking on the UK site in order to obtain the cheapest £59 return ticket. You will, however, have to wait until the beginning of December in order to book on the UK site for April next year.
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 1:05 pm
  #7  
 
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Thank you very much UK flyer.

I did a United mileage run to Heathrow in November 2006 and had a great Remembrance Day walking around the Westminster area (5 hours in London before returning to the US).

On March 30 I will be on the inaugural DEN-LHR nonstop in C, so I figure I'll spend a few days this time and get down to Paris (first time there). Will probably do the Fat Tyre day and night bike tours in Paris.

Anyways thanks for the helpful info and FAQ, looking forward to my trip.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 2:06 pm
  #8  
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The FAQ is wonderful, exactly what I need.

How far in advance should I arrive at St Pancras for ticket collection and to clear security and passport control? I hold a US passport, should that matter.

fwiw, I had the UK and US sites up, using different browsers. I was able to find a time on the US site available at a lower cost than on the UK site.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Nov 10, 2007 at 2:21 pm
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 2:50 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
How far in advance should I arrive at St Pancras for ticket collection and to clear security and passport control? I hold a US passport, should that matter.
Based on previous experience at Waterloo the busiest periods for check-in are Friday afternoons, Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings. I would recommend turning up at least 45 mins before departure if you haven't already collected your tickets. There will be plenty of machines for you at St Pancras to collect them from.

Regarding passport control at St Pancras - after passing through security this will involve two inspections. Firstly your passport will be checked by British Immigration officers. You will then proceed to another desk where your passport will be checked again, this time by French Police officers. It remains to be seen if passport control by British Immigration officers will be on a permanant or a part-time basis.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 2:53 pm
  #10  
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Thank you. That's very helpful.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 2:55 am
  #11  
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Quick Q about the 20-minute check-in for Carte Classique holders - is this still the case? The Eurostar website is self-contradictory about it.

If it is still the case, is is strictly member-only, or member plus guest?

TIA
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:16 am
  #12  
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Eurostar Carte Classique members are still entitled to 20 min check-in (plus guest if travelling together). This benefit has not been withdrawn.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:56 am
  #13  
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Thanks, UK Flyer, that's exactly the answer I was hoping for! By all accounts, the current state of the departure lounge at STP sounds rather sparse, so that gives us all the more time basking in Barlow.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 7:53 am
  #14  
 
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Small Correction:
Originally Posted by UK flyer
Q. What are the passport control and security procedures?

A. At [...] Brussels-Midi security X-ray screening takes place immediately after check-in followed by passport control.
Actually, in Brussels, there is check-in first, then Belgian emigration, then security control with x-ray screening and metal detector, and then UK immigration.

SmilingBoy.
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Old Jan 3, 2008, 7:26 am
  #15  
 
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I was told when I booked my ticket today that the Business lounge in St. Pancras is still not open yet. Last time I was there, though, there was a little curtained off area with a 'Business Premier' sign on it. Is that a temporary lounge? If so, what is in there, and is there access with Amex Plat?

Also, is there a different immigration in London for people traveling to Belgium, or is it the same as going to France?

Thanks

Dr. PITUK
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