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European train travel - 1st or 2nd class?

European train travel - 1st or 2nd class?

Jul 8th, 2001, 05:54 AM
Jen Ratta
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European train travel - 1st or 2nd class?

Is there any big difference between 1st and 2nd class, between such cities as Rome and Venice, Madrid and Lisbon, or Madrid and Barcelona? Thanks!
Jul 8th, 2001, 06:14 AM
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In my experience the keyy issue is whether the train is and IC [Inter City] train or a "milk run." On the IC and EC trains 2nd class is just fine. On the "milk runs" there may only BE 2nd class. In any case be sure to reserve a seat for the train you want as well as buying the ticket.
Jul 8th, 2001, 10:04 AM
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I'd be interested to know about the 1st/2nd class difference on the chunnel.
is first class worth the difference?

Jul 8th, 2001, 01:21 PM
Joan Doyle
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No big difference in MY book. We're talking about a three-hour trip here. I have stood that long on the NYC subway. Save your money for a good meal when you get to Paris. Joan
Jul 8th, 2001, 01:32 PM
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Far less difference on European trains than on transatlantic airplanes.

Worth it? If the added cost fits into your budget you may be a bit more comfortable. If the cost makes you wince a little, forget it.

A bit more space in first, but not much. Usually a bit easier to find place for luggage, but not too much. Usually a bit less crowded, though not always. Seats sometimes a bit more comfortable, though not so much that they'll make or break your vacation ... or your gluteous maximus.

FC passengers sometimes tend to be a bit more "keep to themselves" ... so you'll have less opportunity for conversation ... or more peace during your ride. You'll have to decide which of those might be an advantage or disadvantage.

For most us, and for most routes, 2nd class travel is usually more than adequate, and usually the "sensible" choice, even if budget is not a major issue.

Crossing all eleven time zones in Russia? Consider first class!
Jul 8th, 2001, 02:29 PM
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The Eurostar under the Channel: I always travel in 2nd class, and it's very comfortable. Friends who've gone in 1st class rave about the service, the meal, etc.

For train rides under five hours, 2nd class is perfectly fine; do make reservations, though, as a crowded train means you might end up standing all the way, or sitting on one of those little fold-down seats at the end of the car. For the couple of bucks the reservation costs, it's not worth taking the chance. Anything over five hours? It's probably worth the extra money for 1st class; on an extremely crowded train, five+ hours can become grueling if people are standing in the aisles, leaning over you, etc.

I am a smoker, but I won't sit in the smoker car. It's horrible; the smoke is so thick your eyes water and it's impossible to breathe. Reserve a non-smoking car, then wander into the smoking car for a quick inhale of the second-hand smoke. It's all the fix you'll need.
Jul 8th, 2001, 04:15 PM
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First Class on the Paris-London Eurostar provides more room and a meal served at your seat, however, the meal is not really anything to rave about. For such a short trip, Second is fine.
Jul 8th, 2001, 04:34 PM
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1st class is usually a little better. Cleaner, more comfortable and a different group of people.
Depends on what you want out of life.
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