Eurostar/Raileurope Advance Booking

Dec 4th, 2013, 06:05 PM
  #1  
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Eurostar/Raileurope Advance Booking

I'm a bit confused about how far ahead I can book Eurostar tickets. Need them for early June, but the Eurostar site schedule doesn't go that far out. RailEurope does show bookings that far out, for about $68 one way (which is competitive enough for me!). I really want to get these booked one way from Paris to London and paid for as early as possible.

I thought Eurostar max advance booking was 120 days out--is that correct?--but I see contradictory info on various travel sites? Some sites are saying you can book nine months ahead. Really? If RailEurope is available earlier than Eurostar, is there any reason I shouldn't go ahead and book with RE now, if the difference is just a few bucks?
zoobiechick is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Put in some earlier dates on the Eurostar site and see if prices are comparable. Usually raileurope is more expensive.
macdogmom is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 08:36 PM
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yes, you are correct - max advance booking is 120 days, as noted at http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/contac...6#.UqAMbuKQPKc.
What is the cost and availability of tickets?
Eurostar tickets can be booked a maximum of 120 days in advance


No need to mess with Raileurope and their higher prices, just go online to eurostar.com 120 or fewer days before you travel and book your tickets there.
Seamus is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 11:13 PM
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Eurostar is currently showing £40 for single tickets in March.

At a bit over $60, that's probably a bit less than the $68 the poster's finding on Rail Europe.

Depends how important getting the booking out of the way is. Eurostar's not going to be offering prices an order of magnitude different from Rail Europe, and who knows how currencies and fares will change?

Personally, I wouldn't book anything six months ahead. But if I were going through the process anyway, I can't for the life of me see why anyone would hang around three months in the off chance of saving about three quid.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 11:30 PM
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I'm a bit confused about how far ahead I can book Eurostar tickets.

It´s very simple really; book your tickets as soon as you can. If you find them available earlier than 120 days before your departure, and it is occasionally possible, purchase them; prices only rise.

As a general rule, using Rail Europe, the US version, will never save you money, using Rail Europe will cost you more for tickets that you could have purchased elsewhere for less. The exception is Eurostar tickets. In years past, I have seen Eurostar tickets available on Rail Europe, (the USA version), cheaper than what they were selling for on the SNCF websites.

Still, make a quick comparison before you buy and if you like the Rail Europe price, there is no reason to wait.
Sarastro is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 03:53 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the answers. As long as Rail Europe is a safe & reliable site, I don't see any reason to wait to save just a few bucks. Nice to get transportation/lodging booked & paid for as early as possible and start saving for smaller stuff.
zoobiechick is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 04:08 AM
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>>>At a bit over $60, that's probably a bit less than the $68 the poster's finding on Rail Europe. <<<<

Does that include the mailing fee RailEurope charges?

>>>As long as Rail Europe is a safe & reliable site, I don't see any reason to wait to save just a few bucks.<<<

I try not to use resellers when booking most transport (including flights). It just adds another layer of hassle if there is any problem as you usually have to deal with the reseller, not the actual company providing the transport.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 5th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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I have never understood how Rail Europe could offer tickets for sale before they became available on the Eurostar website. In particular, they seemed to be doing it before the timetable had been set. Is it that they only offer a restricted range of journeys, or have the right to change the precise times if that becomes necessary?

It's always good to save money, but I am surprised at the enthusiasm some people have for booking at the earliest possible opportunity. Personally, I prefer a little more flexibility in my planning.
chartley is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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French Rail, the SNCF, owns 55% of and operates the Eurostar. The SNCF also owns Rail Europe (Swiss Rails owns a small percentage as well) so effectively, dealing with Rail Europe is dealing with the company which operates the train.

Rail Europe does offer tickets for sale in advance of schedules and occasionally, tickets must be changed to reflect schedules. However, if finding the best price is important, book early.

There is no requirement to book early and those wanting flexibility may book up to just before the actual train departure assuming seats are available to sell. Flexibility simply means you pay more.
Sarastro is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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RailEurope USA has traditionally booked Eurostar tickets up to nine months in advance - for some reason but that has definitely been the case in the past. Anyway if you want someone to talk to for a definitive answer call Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com, a RE agent I often use to buy railpasses - some expert you can talk to, unlike if you call RailEurope. Does that include the mailing fee RailEurope charges?

>>>As long as Rail Europe is a safe & reliable site, I don't see any reason to wait to save just a few bucks.<<<

I try not to use resellers when booking most transport (including flights)>

Well since Raileurope is owned by the SNCF (25% by the Siwss Federal Railways) I think they are pretty reliable in this case m- like saying you would not buy Eurostar tickets from the SNCF - though RE is a subsidiary I guess if they went out of business you could be stuck but RE has been around for many years now.

Does that include the mailing fee RailEurope charges?>

I think RE uses e-tickets now so there should be no charge - they may be a handling fee however to ask about.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 09:22 AM
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As of a few days ago I read that Eurostar is now offering tickets 6 months out for certain periods of the year.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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>>>I think RE uses e-tickets now so there should be no charge - they may be a handling fee however to ask about.<<<

Wrong. RE charges $7.95 for you to print your own e-ticket.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 5th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Wrong. RE charges $7.95 for you to print your own e-ticket.>

Wrong they do not charge a mailing fee but a handling fee as it correctly seems to be or it would seem - how can you charge for mailing an e-ticket 'you print at home' but you can charge a handling fee - which is actually lower than I thought and fofr someone not that big a deal if the price is right and they can nab that price now and be done with it - it used to be $15 for a mailing fee and $15 for a handling fee - they also used to have some limit - $399 all told where there were no fees but Eurostar tickets would never come to that except in first class perhaps or full fare and why order full fare ahead of time?
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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June is a completely different situation, but right now there are plenty of round trip promotions for about 74€ round trip between Paris and London. In fact, I am making a trip this month and a trip in January as well. The earliest advance purchase fares, even during the summer, are the same price, though. But that means taking trains either quite early or quite late in the day and generally not on the weekend.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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And many foreign tourists are only going one-way not return. What are single fares compared to the 74 euro fares? $68 + $7.50 )$7.50 per order not per ticket I think so perhaps $3.75 surcharge per ticket could be a nice fare come summer time or at least OP will not be out too much money and have peace of mind all the while.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 11:59 AM
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Single fare are exactly one half of a round trip fare. There is no longer any discount at all for buying a round trip ticket.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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I just went on Eurostar site and got schedule for May 19 one way ticket from London to Paris. OP should try again.
macdogmom is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Put in some earlier dates on the Eurostar site and see if prices are comparable. Usually raileurope is more expensive.>

I just went on Eurostar site and got schedule for May 19 one way ticket from London to Paris. OP should try again.>

well was the price cheaper than $68? curious - and I agree with kybourbon if prices are nearly the same buy right from the source but also if you can get a good fare earlier than on the official source RailEurope is as good as gold, being largely owned by the French Railways.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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On the www.eurostar.com/fr-fr French language site it says no booking available after May 7, 2014 when I just tried.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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Single fare are exactly one half of a round trip fare. There is no longer any discount at all for buying a round trip ticket.>

they used to at least sell Day Return Tickets at a good price but restricted baggage like a normal day tripper would use - no use for this ruse anymore I guess.
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