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Brexit/Eurostar Help

Old Mar 27th, 2019, 02:38 PM
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Brexit/Eurostar Help

My family (from U.S.) plans to travel from London to Paris on May 23rd via Eurostar. But I am concerned about booking my Eurostar tickets. From what I've read, if Parliament approves May's Brexit deal, then Brexit will occur on May 22, 2019 (the day before my Eurostar travel from London to Paris). Could this affect my travel because of strikes, protests, etc? I can't afford for Eurostar to be cancelled because the night of my planned morning arrival into Paris, I've got a sleeper train booked to Italy with many other subsequent paid reservations upon arrival in Italy. If the Eurostar is cancelled or heavily delayed, it will create a domino effect of missed reservations in which I cannot get a refund and could cost me a lot of money. Is it a safe bet to book the Eurostar tickets or should I consider another way to get to Paris? We could pay to have our U.S. flights changed (rather than flying into London for a few days, we could avoid England altogether and try to move U.S. flight directly into Paris...which would be extremely costly at this point thus something I really don't want to do), OR we could take the risk and book a Eurostar ticket OR try flying into Paris from London (which I assume could also be affected by a strike?) This is the trip of a lifetime for my family that we have saved up for years to do. Hopefully my fears are completely unfounded and I'm just misunderstanding the whole thing. So, I'm reaching out seeking understanding on the various potential possibilities on how Eurostar could be affected (if at all), so that I can make an educated choice on how my family should plan. And if Eurostar travel could be affected, what's the next best way to get into Paris that wouldn't be as likely to be affected by strikes or protests? Any insight you could provide, free of political opinions, would be so appreciated.
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Old Mar 27th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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There is more chance of a disruption caused by labour dispute by French staff on Eurostar than anything Brexit-related. Of course it doesn't help you in your planning and weighing of risks because the effect is the same. There have been sporadic strikes by French staff causing delays and cancellations of trains, and can happen at any time without prior notice.
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Old Mar 27th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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There have been ongoing strikes and slowdowns, etc in Paris because of I think lack of hiring new staff to deal with increased Immigration/Customs checks or whatever - I'm not sure. So who knows in 2 months but one has to think this slowdown and cancellations can't go on forever. Chances are you train will not be affected I think and you will know several days ahead of time what the situation is - I'd think perhaps Eurostar may in such situations as today - when Eurostar advised passengers not to travel right now - refund tickets I'd hope.

Planes - like from London City Airport - very close to central London of course are an alternative as is taking a train to Dover and boat to Calais and train to Paris - getting in just before your night train to Italy probably departs.

Why not leave for Paris a day earlier? Gives you some more wiggle room in case of problems.

Have you bought your Eurostar ticket already? If not I'd consider a cheap airline like Ryan Air or Easy Jet from London to Paris.
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Old Mar 27th, 2019, 03:07 PM
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Friends are doing the opposite, getting from Paris to London by getting a train to Brussels and the Eurostar to London from Brussels. Depending on your class and departure time you could do this for about 150E per person if you booked now. Any predictions regarding Eurostar service Paris to London involve crystal ball reading.

Last edited by Envierges; Mar 27th, 2019 at 03:23 PM. Reason: more info
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 12:03 AM
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If the UK leaves on May 23rd it is because a deal has been agreed, in which case the transition period kicks in and there will be little difference initially.
If the UK leaves on April 12th, without a deal, then who knows what will happen.
The current disruption in Paris is due to end this month.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 12:18 AM
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'Nobody knows' is the shortest and best answer.

Brexit speculation (the new national sport that replaced talking about the weather) is best kept in the pub among drinking fools. Nothing you can plan your travel on. For example and regarding above, how can you possibly try to compare the likelihood of disruption caused by French labour problems vs disruption that might result from Brexit. Might sound like an interesting topic of debate if you're on your fifth pint but not useful for travel planning.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 12:58 AM
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Not sure why you didn't plan to fly straight from the US to Italy. Since you have already booked flights to London it would make sense to get to Paris by whatever means the day before your sleeper train departs.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 10:09 AM
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We french have learnt not to trust the English.
Thus being said I have no idea what can happen.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 01:49 PM
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Curious as to what happens during disruptions when Eurostar has advised folks not to travel - can people get refunds ahead of time - say OP has a train and there are disruptions going on and her flight is a few days away - would Eurostar let them refund their ticket (so they could fly perhaps)? Mot full-fare tickets but discounted non-changeable tickets?
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Curious as to what happens during disruptions when Eurostar has advised folks not to travel - can people get refunds ahead of time - say OP has a train and there are disruptions going on and her flight is a few days away - would Eurostar let them refund their ticket (so they could fly perhaps)? Mot full-fare tickets but discounted non-changeable tickets?
On the website it says they will allow you to rebook or have a complete refund if you are unable to travel due to disruption at the moment - ie due to the French customs work to rule, which goes on now until April 3rd. It only affects travel from paris to London not the other way.
Whether they will be so generous should the UK crash out of the EU in two weeks, and chaos result is hard to say. They are not a charity and can't afford to keep refunding ad infinitum.

Eurostar disruption

As it stands OP should be fine, though I would still seriously consider flying directly to Paris, if the night train is an essential part of the holiday.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 02:36 PM
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dank u (very) wel for answers! Yes anyone in U.K. who has to be in Paris a certain time or day best arrange a flight from London and vice versa Paris to London.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 12:36 AM
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Eurostar has cancelled trains in both directions today due to a person on the tracks. Such things can and very rarely do happen.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 01:33 AM
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Turns out this mornings chaos and cancelations was due to a Brexiteer protesting on the roof of St Pancras. Forum rules don't allow me to say what I think of him.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 02:06 AM
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Unfortunately Eurostar is an obvious target for Brexiteer protestors.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...-a4104966.html
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 06:45 AM
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Thank you to everyone for your responses. It is so sad that Eurostar is a victim in all this. Since the night train from Paris to Italy is an essential part of my holiday, I will take your advice and leave London earlier than planned to give me extra time in case of disruption. Despite my concerns, I'm really looking forward to visiting your beautiful countries! Thanks so much.
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