Eurostar vs. Rail Europe

Old Feb 25th, 2009, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Eurostar vs. Rail Europe

Hi...so i'm researching ways to get from London to Paris and I was hoping that someone could tell me the main different between Eurostar and Rail Europe. They both provide these high speed services from both of these cities (among others) and besides very little pricing difference I was hoping someone could provide some additioanl info. Are they both owned by the same company? Are they competitors?

Thanks!!
Uniflower is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Eurostar is the actual train that goes thru the Chunnel - no matter where you buy your Eurostar ticket you will ride on the Eurostar trains - eurostar is an independent company - Rail Europe sells Eurostar tickets as does eurostar.com themselves.

Thus the only difference is price - everything else is the same. Rail Europe has no trains but is an agent for Eurostar.

Prices can be cheaper either via RE or Eurostar - so i always say check both sources. In both cases you get a e-ticket and pick up your ticket at St Pancras International (Eurostar station) in London. So price is the only variable. www.raileurope.com unfortunately does not always portray the cheapest fares they actually sell - as many here have complained. That's why i always urge to have someone do a manual check of Rail Europe's base - and the best IME is Byron at BETS 800-441-2387 - a Eurostar expert that you can talk to and ask any questions. You can call Rail europe to but then you get some phone jockey IME that may or may not know anything but pricing - and i believe RE also charges 10% extra for phone orders. But be sure to check www.eurostar.co.uk or eurostar.com for prices in pounds as well - add 3% currency conversion to pound prices on the average. And the early bird does get the worm here - can book 9 months in advance thru REurope - less i believe at eurostar.co.uk - try for a mid-week day for the best availability of cheaper fares. You could pay $100s of bucks more if you just show up in London andy buy. Ask about special fares for seniors 60 and over and youths under 26. These are not only often the cheapest one-way fares but can usually be changed once in London up until the time of the train - subject to a seat in that category being available. RailEurope currently is offering special discounts on Eurostar tickets thru the end of Aug, 09 i believe.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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There is a free service that I used and they were great. They will speak to you and tell you schedules and prices. They are a wealth of information and were so helpful for our last trip. Their name is European Planning & Rail Guide. their phone number is 800-441-9413 and 800-4412387. They told us when it was cheaper to take local short trips or when to use our day pass. Call them and keep asking your questions you will not be sorry. And no I do not work for them and do not know them personaly just impressed with past service.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Wow! What a wealth of info you both are...thank you so much!!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:53 AM
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In looking for fares consider that you also can use the Day Return fare and even if going one way and then simply throwing the return away - sometimes this fare can be cheaper than any one-way fare. There apparently are no restrictions on using it only one way though you must reserve a round trip when booking so not really cheating IMO - but keep the Day Return fare in mind when searching.
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