Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > From Paris to London by train to catch a flight in the same day

From Paris to London by train to catch a flight in the same day

Reply

Sep 21st, 2016, 12:48 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
From Paris to London by train to catch a flight in the same day

I'm planning my London/Paris/Brussels trip and the last part of it will be in Paris or Brussels (we have not decided the order yet - most likely Paris), but our flight home is from London (we tried to change it but it's way too expensive). Would it be too much of a risk to take the 13:13/14:39 train to London (and then Heathrow) to catch our 20:10 flight that same day?

It's our 1st time going to Europe and I know Eurostar is supposed to be punctual and reliable, but I'm worried about what may happen (we could go to London one day earlier, but that would mean minus one day in Paris and we only have 4 days there right now)...
thalitamd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 12:54 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 67,512
Well I would strongly advise getting to London a day early because there have indeed been stoppages in Eurostar service the past few years - including just this summer when trains were disrputed -not shut -for days - due to French or Belgian rail strikes or technical problems or migrants swamping the Tunnel, etc.

If you have a non-changeable non-refundable air ticket go a day early or try to fly from Paris to London in connection with your flight from London - ask your airline about that or EasyJet. Why not slice a day off your London time at the beginning of the trip and add it later?

Well that's my opinion.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 01:07 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,832
Eurostar is awfully reliable, and I'd spend more time in Paris
.
If you're nervous about strikes, etc, you can go to the official Eurostar website for daily updates about anything that might be occurring in the near future.

I'd suggest taking an earlier train, just to be sure that you can avoid any stress about making your flight.

The other benefit of taking an earlier train is that it might be much cheaper than travelling during the lunch rush.

Go to the SNCF website, look for your date of travel and check out the times and prices - you might get a very good deal.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 01:46 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Can you switch your trip around so that your London time (or at least most of it) is at the end? That would seem to be the best solution under the circumstances. What is your whole itinerary, generally?

In all likelihood you'd be fine, but whether it's worth the risk is your call. If you do go for it, I'd second fuzzbucket on the earlier train.
jent103 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 02:08 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 67,512
http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption

Yup keep checking this site for possible disruptions.

I'm not sure earlier trains are cheaper as most folks going to London on short stays want to leave early. Anyway go to www.eurostar.com and see.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 02:41 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,182
>>Can you switch your trip around so that your London time (or at least most of it) is at the end? That would seem to be the best solution under the circumstances. <<

Ditto that.

I wouldn't be concerned about strikes -- they are usually announced well in advance.

But it is still a (VERY) bad idea IMO because ether have been several disruptions due to the refugees in Calais and other reason.

I was on a EuroStar London to Brussels last May that was delayed more than 4 hours due to problems on the line in northern France. We sat on the train just south of Ebbsfleet (basically in suburban London) for hours and all the business people/civil servants on the train missed their meetings in Brussels that afternoon.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 02:43 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,182
oops - should say >>. . . because there have been several disruptions . . .<<
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 02:44 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,182
The good thing about the delay was I got a refund of my entire fare -- but that wouldn't have been very helpful if I ended up missing a transatlantic flight.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 02:54 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 744
Absolutely go to London the day before.

I just had a race to the airport in Rome because a train from Florence to Rome was late. Not a situation you want. I had fortunately left extra time, but you never want to be sweating before an international flight--and you certainly do not want to miss your flight.

Next time I will stay in my flight city the day before.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 03:03 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 67,512
20:10 flight means you have to be at Heathrow what around 6 pm?

It's a long haul by car or Tube from Kings Cross/St Pancras to Heathrow - allow 2 hours at worst - means you have to leave Paris about noon (but you do gain an hour going to UK from France)- why not spend most of the day before in Paris and take a late train to London and car or tube to airport and stay in a hotel outside it or inside it?

Can store your bags at Gare du Nord the night before in lockers if possible.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 05:54 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,084
What happens if you miss the flight? Will you have to buy another ticket at the full last minute price? And wait for the next flight with space available?

I wouldn't want to chance it.
Mimar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2016, 06:09 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,692
If you do this - and do recognize that you are taking a risk (there can be train strikes as well as other issues) I would take an early morning train into London, so that any delays will still give you several hours to work with. You should get to Heathrow 3 hours before an international flight and allow yourself at least 1.5 hours to get there.

But I am risk averse - and would just switch to a flight home directly from Paris (agree better not to give up a day there when you have so few).
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 02:52 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,832
I don't understand why trains in Italy were mentioned, when the OP is going from France to Great Britain. It's a different situation.

Morning trains during the middle of the workweek are often cheaper.

Most of the disruption concerning Calais is under control.
If you want to keep abreast of any disruptions, check the official Eurostar website.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 06:22 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,182
>>Most of the disruption concerning Calais is under control. <<

To clarify -- my delay in May was not because of the Calais situation.

>>If you want to keep abreast of any disruptions, check the official Eurostar website.<<

In general yes, but that would not have helped in that case because when we left St Pancras all was well -- the disruption didn't arise until 15 minutes later when we were approaching Ebbsfleet.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 06:31 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,376
jent103 has the most sensible suggestion. Re--jig the trip so you end up with your time in London at the end of the trip, rather than sweating about getting from Paris to LHR for a flight. You could fly of course, but even then with a separate ticket you have no protection if you are delayed for any reason.
hetismij2 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 09:53 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
I'm risk averse too, that's why I asked opinions here to see if it would be too much of a risk or if I was worried for nothing.

Since we didn't want to miss a whole day of the trip going from one country to the other or risk missing our flight, we decided to talk to the airline again and see about changing our flights (we had considered this last week but it was way too expensive at that time) and today they had a gret deal (although now we'll have to stay - and pay - one more night in Paris - oh well)! We spent less money changing our flight home (now we're leaving from Paris) than we would spend on the standard fare on Eurostar!

Thanks for all the advices!
thalitamd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 10:01 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,182
Terrific . . . I was going to suggest that changing the flights might not cost much more than the Eurostar fares -- and you got it for even less.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 11:24 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 67,512
(although now we'll have to stay - and pay - one more night in Paris - oh well)!>

Probably saving money to all comparable London hotels or at least a wash and you gain a whole day to be at leisure. Eurostar to London and transfer to Heathrow on day of flight could be hectic.

Good choice.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 12:15 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2,302
Need help in choosing a hotel for last night in Paris ?
I love Fabric Folie Mericourt in 11e, and I always recommend Montmartre Mon Amour that i find romantic and where I'd like to take my wife to. At the feet of the stairs to Montmartre.
WoinParis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2016, 01:38 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Perfect! I'm glad it worked out.
jent103 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:49 PM.